What is whiplash?
In the eyes of the media, whiplash has a bad reputation. But those who have suffered whiplash know it can be a crippling injury that results in you having to put your life on hold.
Whiplash typically refers to a specific type of neck injury that is caused by a sudden jolt or jerk, causing the tissues in the neck to move quickly and beyond their natural range of motion.
Common whiplash and neck injury symptoms
It’s normal for symptoms of whiplash to display a couple of days after the accident that caused the injuries. In fact, the time it takes for the injury to have an impact can vary from 12 hours to a couple of days after.
Because whiplash is typically a soft tissue injury affecting the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the neck, the pain can get increasingly worse.
It’s not uncommon for whiplash injuries to result in more than a sprain. For example, your accident may have caused a fracture in your neck, or caused damage to your spine.
Fractures and spinal injuries can be particularly serious and can even lead to lifelong pain, so if you’re concerned you should seek medical attention as soon as symptoms appear.
Typical symptoms of whiplash and neck injuries include:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck or lower back
- Bruising or swelling
- Numbness or pins and needles in your arms or hands
- Restricted movement
- Muscle spasms
- Dizziness, blurred vision or tiredness
- Headaches or tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
Claiming for whiplash
Claiming may not be the first thing somebody thinks about when suffering whiplash, but compensation can really help you get back to where you were before your injury.
For example, it’s quite likely that you’ve had to take time off work. This may be the result of being unable to work due restricted movement or because you’re simply in too much pain, but either way it’s likely you’ll have received less pay.
If you’re thinking of making a claim, the first step is relatively straightforward – simply use one of our forms or the telephone number to get in contact.
From there, you’ll speak to an expert about your accident and resulting injuries. They’ll advise you whether you have a claim, and can pass you on to a personal injury solicitor to handle your case.
Road traffic accidents and whiplash
Your accident may have been the result of a car, motorcycle or bicycle accident. Each of these can lead to a sudden and serious jolt to your neck – causing lasting pain.
Suffering an accident while on the road can also leave you without transport to and from the doctors or hospital. You may have been left out of pocket due to the costs of alternative travel, such as public transport or taxis.
Claiming for whiplash can recover compensation to reimburse you for the costs of being injured, and can provide you with additional funds to get the medical treatment (such as physiotherapy, osteopathy or counselling) you need to help you fully recover.
Claiming as a passenger
If you were in an accident as a passenger, either on public transport or in a private vehicle, then you can still make a claim.
Your claim will be against whoever was responsible for your injury and accident, which may be the person who was driving at the time. This can make many people feel hesitant about recouping the costs of their injury. However, road traffic accident claims are usually made against the insurance company of the person responsible, meaning the driver is not left out of pocket.
Get more information on making a claim for whiplash and neck injury compensation with this helpful video guide.
How much can you claim?
Every case is different, so it’s difficult to say how much exactly you’ll receive if you win.
However, there are guideline amounts that judges use to decide how much compensation to award for pain and suffering.
These figures do not include compensation for loss of earnings, medical expenses, etc. The example amounts below are taken from the 14th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.
|Injury Type||Description||Compensation Amount|
|Severe Neck Injury (I)||Injuries including incomplete paraplegia, permanent spastic quadriparesis, limitation of movement and/or severe headaches.||Around £130,060|
|Severe Neck Injury (II)||Serious fractures or injuries to discs in the cervical spine which cause disabilites less severe than those listed above, but lead to limited movement of the neck or one or more limbs.||£57,620 – £114,810|
|Severe Neck Injury (III)||Injuries such as fractures or dislocations, or serious soft tissue damage and/or ruptured tendons which lead to permanent disability.||£39,870 – £49,090|
|Moderate Neck Injury (I)||Fractures or dislocations causing immediate symptoms and which may require spinal fusion. Includes soft tissue injuries to the neck, and injuries which limit function or leave the victim vulnerable to further trauma.||£21,910 – £33,750|
|Moderate Neck Injury (II)||Soft tissue or wrenching-type injuries, or severe disc lesions resulting in cervical spondylosis, limitation of movement, permanent or intermittent pain, stiffness or discomfort. Includes injuries which exacerbate existing conditions for a period of five years or more.||£12,050 – £21,910|
|Moderate Neck Injury (III)||Moderate soft tissue injuries which have taken several months/years to heal. Accidents which have exacerbated an existing injury for a shorter period of time, usually less than five years.||£6,920 – £12,050|
|Minor Neck Injury (I)||Soft tissue injuries where a full recovery is made within one to two years.||£3,810 – £6,920|
|Minor Neck Injury (II)||Soft tissue injuries where a full recovery is made within several months to a year.||£2,150 – £3,810|
|Minor Neck Injury (III)||Soft tissue injuries where a full recovery is made within a few months.||Up to £2,150|