Can you prove you have whiplash for a compensation claim?

Yes, you can prove you have whiplash when making a personal injury compensation claim. In fact, you may have to prove you have an actual whiplash injury before your claim can be considered for approval.  

In order to prove you have whiplash, you will need to see a qualified medical professional. Your GP will be sufficient, as is the Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital – if you went straight there. From there, you can consider whether making a claim is viable and in your best interests.  

Not sure how this all works? We’ll explain everything below. 

How do you prove you have whiplash? 

You will need to seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional to prove you are suffering from the effects of whiplash. Your GP or similarly qualified professional will be able to confirm:  

  • whether or not you are suffering from a whiplash injury; and 
  • the potential short and long-term consequences of your injury. 

Moreover, a qualified medical professional will be able to offer recommendations for treatment, rehabilitation and advice on managing any pain.  

If your GP confirms you have whiplash and you are considering making a claim, you may want to consider getting in contact with a lawyer. A fully qualified whiplash lawyer will be able to simplify the process and allow you to focus on your recovery. 

What is whiplash? 

Whiplash is soft-tissue injury to the neck, often caused by a violent movement rocking one’s head back and forth. Whiplash is considered a soft-tissue injury because it involves damage to the neck’s muscles and tendons, rather than damage to the actual bones.  

Whiplash injuries are often the result of motor vehicle accidents; the impact of two or more vehicles colliding at speed. You can, however, also get whiplash from playing contact sports or other accidents. 

How do you know if you have whiplash? 

You will know you have whiplash if you are experiencing any symptoms of whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash are, however, not always apparent immediately after a car accident. In the hours after an accident, be sure you are alert to the following symptoms: 

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck 
  • Increase in pain with neck movement 
  • Reduction in range of motion in neck 
  • Headaches 
  • Pins and needles or numbness  
  • Fatigue 
  • Dizziness. 

Again, the symptoms of whiplash may not be apparent immediately after a car accident. Therefore, we recommend vising a healthcare professional or GP after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.  

Even if you feel your accident was minor, it may be in your best interest to get checked out.  

Can a doctor tell if you have whiplash? 

Yes, your GP will be able to tell if you have whiplash.  

They’ll examine the circumstances around causing your injury, the symptoms you are suffering from and your current situation and make an assessment.  

If you decide to seek compensation for whiplash, a number of qualified specialists will inspect your injuries and provide specific reports during the course of your claim. These specialists then report on your injuries and consider the ongoing impact they will have on your ability to live and work. These reports assist your lawyers in calculating the extent of damages available for your injuries and their consequences on your life. 

How does a doctor diagnose whiplash? 

A doctor will usually make a diagnosis of whiplash after examining your physical symptoms and asking questions about how your injury occurred.  

According to, the doctor will examine you, feel your neck and test your neck’s range of movement in different directions.  

Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may order an x-ray, CT, or MRI scan to rule out any fractured bones, or more significant injuries. However, as whiplash injuries are soft-tissue injuries, they will not appear on an x-ray. 

Why do you have to prove you have whiplash? 

You must prove you have whiplash because you must prove you are genuinely injured. Moreover, if you have proven your injury was the result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, you may have grounds for compensation. 

Your compensation amount is calculated according to your overall circumstances, the extent of permanency of the injury, the ongoing impact that your injuries have on your ability to work and on your life generally.

Understandably, the impacts of your injuries on your life can be unexpected and wide-reaching. A full-qualified whiplash injury lawyer will be able to explore every avenue and help ensure you receive your best possible result. 

Is it hard to prove whiplash? 

If a fully qualified medical practitioner, as well as other specialists, have confirmed you have whiplash, it should not be hard to prove your injury in the claims process.  

If, however, you are lying or exaggerating your injuries, your claim will be rejected.  

For more information, head to our article on whiplash injury compensation claims.

What evidence do you need to claim whiplash? 

If you sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident, it is important you gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.  

This includes: 

  • Medical certificate with a specified diagnoses 
  • Photos of the damage and accident scene 
  • Witness statements 
  • Police report or QP number 

Understandably, gathering pieces of evidence from multiple different sources can be overwhelming if you are suffering from an injury. A lawyer from Gouldson, however, will be able to take the stress of claiming off your plate, allowing you to focus on what’s important – recovery! 

Can you still get whiplash if you were wearing a seatbelt? 

Yes, you can still get whiplash if you were wearing a seatbelt.  

While seatbelts are obviously essential for saving lives in car accidents, they do not generally prevent you from getting whiplash.  

This is because seatbelts generally hold the body in place but not the head and neck. So, even if you are held in-place by your seatbelt, your head may still jerk violently back and forth.  

Can Gouldson help me claim for whiplash? 

Yes! Gouldson can help you prove you have whiplash when making a claim.  

While we are not medical professionals and therefore cannot provide a medical diagnosis, we can help prove that your whiplash injuries have impacted your life. From there, we can help ensure you get the best possible outcome for your situation. 

Considering making a claim for whiplash? Get started with a free case review today.


Get specialised advice about your claim today, from one of our expert lawyers – totally free.

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