When you have suffered from an injury that was the result of an accident that wasn’t your fault it is completely acceptable that you may be thinking about compensation.
Whiplash although sometimes mild, can be severe and have long lasting effects on your day to day life.
So are you able to claim compensation for whiplash and how much could you be looking at receiving?
There is no set amount of compensation. This is due to the fact that settlement amounts are decided by not only the severity of your injury but also your long term prognosis.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is the result of a sudden and forceful movement of the head, resulting in damage to the ligaments in the neck. It can result from road traffic accidents, slips, falls, sporting injuries and violent attacks.
The symptoms may not appear until several hours after the incident and can include –
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain and muscle spasms in the shoulders and arms as well as tingling.
- Blurred vision
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Poor concentration.
- Memory problems.
Recovery can take weeks, months or in severe cases years. This long recovery can then lead on to psychological symptoms including, anxiety, depression, irritability, anger and insomnia.
Can I claim compensation for whiplash?
If the accident was due to the negligence of another party then legally you are able to claim compensation. In cases where the accident was someone else’s fault but you were partly to blame, for example another driver hit your car from behind but you were not wearing a seatbelt, you may still be able to claim compensation, although your settlement amount will likely be smaller.
How much compensation will I receive?
There is no set amount of compensation. This is due to the fact that settlement amounts are decided by not only the severity of your injury but also your long term prognosis. This is why, if your long term prognosis is not yet known you may be advised to wait until it is clearer. This is to ensure that you receive the right amount for your injuries.
Although no one will be able to tell you exactly how much you will be awarded The Judicial College to have guidelines for injuries, their severity and recovery times.
|Severity & Recovery Time||Compensation Amounts|
|Mild – Recovery within three months||£300 – £1,950|
|Moderate – Recovery three months to one year||£1,950 – £3,470|
|Severe – Recovery one to two years||£3,471 – £6,290|
Compensation is awarded in two parts –
- Special Damages – This is designed to help you recover your losses. This can include compensating you for
- Loss of earnings
- Medical expenses
- Occupational therapy
- Care and assistance at home
- Adaptations you need made to your home.
- General Damages – This part is to compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured. It is not just physical pain that is taken into account but also psychological pain and suffering too. After a traumatic accident and when your injuries are severe, it is not uncommon for your mental health to be affected and for you to suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia and post traumatic stress disorder.
You will be awarded an amount for each category, these are then combined and will become your final settlement figure. Whilst the case is ongoing your legal team may be able to arrange for interim payments. These payments will then be deducted from your settlement amount.
If you are thinking of claiming for compensation after an accident that has resulted in whiplash then it is advised to speak to a personal injury claims specialist as soon as possible.
Claims need to be raised within three years from the date of the accident but as cases can take anywhere from three months to three years to settle, sooner is always better than later. Not only will the claims specialist be able to advise you on whether you have a case for compensation but they will also be able to take you through the process and ensure that you get the right amount of compensation for your injuries.