Whiplash Personal Injury Claims Reforms

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16 February, 2023

John Bennett

On the 30th May 2021 the Government introduced a new Tariff for whiplash claims. The House of Commons have just announced a review.

The principle behind the Tariff scheme was to restrict the apparent explosion of whiplash claims and reduce insurance premiums. At the same time the small claims limit was increased from £1,000 to £5,000. This meant that overnight, the percentage of Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury claims, which were Small Claims, went from virtually nil to around 90%, and thus became non-costs bearing.

Whiplash has been defined in the statute as being an 'injury of soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder namely a sprain, strain, tear, or rupture or lesser damage of a muscle, tendon or ligament except if it is... part of or connected to another injury ie broken bone.'

The tariffs are as follows:

Whiplash Only

Whiplash and PTSD

No more than 3 months



More than 3 months, but not more than 6 months



More than 6 months, but not more than 9 months



More than 9 months, but not more than 12 months



More than 12 months, but not more than 15 months



More than 15 months, but not more than 18 months



More than 18 months, but not more than 24 months



These claims are now run via the Official Injury Claims Portal, which was designed to allow litigants in person to run their own cases. Statistics recently published show 9% have done so whilst 91% are represented.

The portal is complicated, some may say it is incomprehensible, which may explain why so many claimants are represented.

The Court of Appeal have recently ruled on the interpretation of how hybrid claims should be treated. Hybrid claims are those which involve injuries not classed as "whiplash". Examples could include, headaches, tinnitus, wrist, hand, ankle, knee sprains. Awards for these are assessed in the normal way, based on past case law and may result in a valuation of more than £5,000. A fracture to any bone is likely to justify an award in excess of £5,000. In that case costs should be recoverable.

We offer a fixed fee service for road traffic accident claims worth less than £5,000 at £700 plus VAT.

Costs are recoverable if you are a "vulnerable road user". The following are vulnerable road users:

  1. motor cyclist or pillion passenger
  2. cyclist
  3. pedestrian
  4. horse rider
  5. using a mobility scooter at the time of the accident
  6. a child or a Protected party (a person under a disability without capacity to make financial decisions).
  7. an undischarged bankrupt
  8. the claimant or defendant is deceased
  9. the defendant's vehicle registered outside UK.

If you, a friend or family member have suffered an injury as a result of a road traffic accident please contact a member of our Personal Injury team for some free no obligation advice.

For more information contact John Bennett in our Personal Injury department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Personal Injury department here

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