Chancellor George Osborne announced that cash payments for minor whiplash injuries will be banned, under plans to curb ‘compensation culture’. However, many people suffer genuine whiplash injury causing great pain and incurring loss of earnings and amenity. Today at Unlock the law we look at what is changing as stated by the Chancellor, and give you the inside information on making a whiplash claim.
What is changing?
The Autumn statement to the House of Commons included various items affecting personal injury claims. It was announced that the small claims limit for personal injury claims will be raised from £1000 to £5000. Furthermore, courts are now prohibited from issuing general damages for minor soft tissue injuries. General damages cover things such as pain, suffering and loss of amenity. This means that general damages will no longer be awarded for minor whiplash claims. Claimants may still make a claim for special damages. Special damages are awarded for any treatment required, loss of earnings and loss of future earnings. In order to be awarded these special damages, the injured person will be required to prove their claim and have it supported with medical evidence. However, the practicality of this change is that the small claims limit for whip clash claims will be raised to £10,000 as the lower limit only applies to general damages. This is a great restriction on how people can claim compensation for whiplash injury, and if you have suffered a whiplash injury you should act now to ensure you are fully compensated for your loss.
Whiplash Claims, UK
At present around 1500 whiplash injury claims are submitted in the UK everyday. Whiplash normally manifests itself as painful strained muscles, soft tissue and nerves in the back however whiplash symptoms vary depending on the individual, and may include:
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Pain or discomfort in the arms and legs
For some people, the symptoms show themselves right away or they may take a few days to develop. If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and are suffering from whiplash symptoms you may be entitled to compensation.
Can I make a whiplash claim?
If you have suffered a whiplash injury as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. We have created a complete guide to making a whiplash personal injury claim. This guide takes you through each stage of the personal injury claim process. You shouldn’t be dissuaded from making a claim because of the impending changes to the law - it is likely your case will be settled before this comes into force. Whiplash can be very painful and can affect many areas of your life. Under the current law you can make a claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenity, and claim compensation.