Whiplash claims and recent reforms

After much delay, the adjustments to regulations regarding whiplash claims came into effect on 31st May 2021. These changes will have a significant impact on the amount of compensation on offer and the ability to reclaim legal expenses in the future. However, they have prompted another question; will ongoing whiplash claims be impacted by the changes?

Accidents prior to 31st of May 2021

The “good news” for claimants is that any accidents which happened prior to 31st May 2021 will not be impacted by the new regulations. As a consequence, whether or not you presented your claim before 31st May 2021, these accidents will be considered under the old compensation regulations.

Three-year window of opportunity

It is important to remember that you have a three-year window of opportunity from the time of the accident, or the time that you were diagnosed. While there are rare occasions where you can pursue compensation after the three-year window, this timeline tends to be fairly rigid. However, when looking at the regulations against which your whiplash claim will be considered, this will be the old regulations if the incident occurred before 31 May 2021.


If the victim was less than 18 years of age at the time of the accident there are two options when pursuing compensation.

  1. A claim can be made by a legal representative/guardian and pursued on behalf of the minor.
  2. Alternatively, they can wait until they are 18 at which point the three-year window of opportunity begins. However, if the accident happened prior to 31 May 2021, the case would be considered under the old regulations.

Take legal advice

When any regulations are changed, there tends to be a period of uncertainty when old and new regulations are perceived to crossover. Consequently, it is important to take advice from qualified parties when looking to pursue a whiplash claim. They will be well aware of the new regulations, the impact on your claim and will advise you accordingly.

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