How long does a whiplash claim take?

If you intend to bring a road traffic accident claim, one of the most important questions you’re probably asking is, “how long will it take?”

As with any personal injury claim, it depends on the specifics of your accident and, most crucially, the injury you have suffered.

What determines how long my whiplash claim will take?

Several factors influence how long your whiplash claim will take, including:

  • Whether the other party admits or denies liability.
  • The nature of your injuries.
  • If you decide to accept a compensation offer or wait out your injury prognosis.

Let’s look more closely at each of these factors.


If the other party accepts responsibility for your accident and injuries, this may speed up your claim and lead to you receiving your compensation quicker.

In contrast, if the other party denies liability for your accident or accepts responsibility for the accident but not your injuries, your claim may take longer to resolve. While most personal injury claims are settled before going to court, gathering additional evidence, like witness statements, can take time.

The nature of your injuries

Your claim may be relatively straightforward if you have only suffered a soft tissue injury like whiplash. However, your case may be more complex and take longer if you:

  • Suffer a severe whiplash injury
  • Develop a whiplash-associated condition
  • Experience long-term, chronic whiplash symptoms.

If you suffer whiplash plus additional injuries needing further assessment and more detailed medical evidence, it may take longer to understand the full extent of your injuries.

Whether you accept a compensation offer

The sooner you accept a compensation offer, the sooner you’ll get your money. But that doesn’t mean you should automatically accept an offer as soon as you get one.

Once you have undergone a medical assessment – sometimes even beforehand – the other party’s insurance company may send you a compensation offer. Your offer will be based on your prognosis – the length of time the person who examined you believes it will take for you to recover from your injuries. If you accept a compensation offer, you’ll get your money. However, you won’t be able to reopen your claim if you’re still suffering from your injuries past your expected recovery date.

While the decision to accept a compensation offer is always yours, a personal injury solicitor will usually advise you to wait out your prognosis. This helps ensure you get an amount of compensation that accurately reflects the pain and suffering you have endured.

How much whiplash compensation will I get?

Since May 2021’s whiplash reforms, whiplash compensation has been determined by a tariff. The government introduced this new system for several reasons, including:

  • To reduce fraudulent whiplash claims, which ultimately lead to higher car insurance premiums.
  • To make it easier for genuine claimants to get their personal injury compensation.
  • To bring transparency and consistency to the process.

The latter point is significant, as it means anyone suffering the same whiplash injury with the same prognosis will receive the same general damages. So if some guy in the pub claims they got £10,000 for a whiplash injury after May 2021, they’re probably being a touch economical with the truth!

Learn more about the whiplash compensation tariff.

While compensation for the whiplash injury should be consistent, your special damages award will depend on your circumstances and the costs and expenditure you incur after the accident.

Is there a time limit for bringing a whiplash claim?

Yes. You must bring a whiplash claim within three years of the earliest of:

  • The date of the accident that caused your injuries.
  • The date symptoms of whiplash became apparent, if after the accident.

In some limited circumstances, you may be able to bring a whiplash claim outside of the three years.

Get whiplash compensation with LawPlus Solicitors

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and suffered whiplash or other injuries, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact LawPlus Solicitors for a free, no-obligation review of your accident and injury. If we believe you have grounds to bring a successful claim, you can instruct us to manage your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.

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