What You Need to Know About Whiplash Compensation in the UK

If you have ever been in an accident and suffered injuries, this article can help you learn how much compensation you can get. Receiving whiplash compensation can help you return to the position you were in prior to your accident. If the accident was proven to not be your fault, you are legally entitled to the compensation. You will be given a certain amount of money to help you with out of pocket expenses. The amount you will receive will depend on the severity of your injury.

What Is a Whiplash Injury?

Whiplash Injury

It is a neck injury that occurs when you suddenly jerk your head. It can also occur when your head is struck by a solid or heavy object, or when you experience a sudden blow to your head. It involves soft tissue damages, but it can be quite difficult to treat since its symptoms do not appear right away after the accident. It can take at least twelve hours before you begin to feel its effects. The symptoms may also appear only several days after your accident.

Common Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury

  • Shoulder and neck pain

The pain typically occurs immediately or after a few hours after the accident. It is common for the shock of the accident to delay the onset of the symptoms. You may feel intermittent or continuous pain.

  • Feeling of pins and needles in the hands and arms

These are classic symptoms. Every vertebra of the spine is in control of the nerves that lead to various areas of the body, so when the upper vertebrae get damaged in the accident, the hands and the arms can be affected.

  • Headaches and dizziness

It is typical to have headaches and experience dizziness after an accident.

Treatments for a Whiplash Injury

A mild whiplash injury usually heals on its own. To speed up your recovery, you can do the following:Whiplash Treatment

  • Apply cold compress on your neck for twenty to thirty minutes, every three to four hours for two to three days to reduce the swelling and pain. If you do not have a cold compress, you can wrap an ice pack in a piece of clean cloth. Avoid applying the ice directly to your skin.
  • Use painkillers or other medications. Your doctor might prescribe you with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce the swelling and pain.
  • Use a cervical collar or neck brace for extra support. Your doctor may also recommend that you use one of these. However, take note that they are not ideal for long-term use as they can weaken the neck muscles.
  • Keep your neck cool for two to three days and then apply heat. When the swelling has subsided, you can take a hot bath or apply a warm, moist towel on your neck.
  • Get a massage. Massaging the neck can also help it heal faster.
  • Undergo physiotherapy. You can perform neck exercises to help improve your condition.

Your recovery time can depend on how severe your condition is. Your doctor may also suggest that you undergo rehabilitation after your acute symptoms are gone. Rehabilitation can strengthen your neck muscles and make them more limber.

Whiplash Compensation

Whiplash Claims

Now that you have understood what a whiplash injury is and how you can treat it, you must know how to make a whiplash claim. However, before you file a no win no fee claim, you should establish that your injury was directly caused by the other party’s negligence.

No, win no fee is also called Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you file a no win no fee claim, the law firm agrees to offer you their services for free if your claim becomes unsuccessful.

To make an assessment, you have to provide your lawyer with crucial information, such as the date, time, and place of the accident. You should also describe how it happened.

You must never exaggerate your condition because the courts will use your testimony against your hospital records. You can seek help from a personal injury solicitor if you are not sure whether or not you should make a claim.

In general, the total compensation amount is the sum of the general damages and the special damages amounts. The costs for general damages are computed depending on the severity of the injury and its possible effects in your life. The costs for special damages, on the other hand, cover your out of pocket expenses, such as your travel expenses, loss of income, hospital visits, vehicle storage and recovery expenses, prescription medications, and extra household and healthcare costs.

So How Much Can You Receive?

The following whiplash injury compensation amounts are based on the 12th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

Minor Neck Injury

Period of RecoveryAmount of Compensation
Several months Up to £1,705
Several months to 1 year £1,705 to £3,520
1 to 2 years £3,520 to £6,380

Moderate Neck Injury

Description Amount of Compensation
Heals in less than five years£6,380 to £11,110
Lasts for five years or more £11,110 to £20,185
Makes the victim vulnerable to £20,185 to £31,130
further trauma and may require
spinal fusion
£20,185 to £31,130

Severe Neck Injury

DescriptionAmount of Compensation
Injuries result in permanent disability£36,740 to £45,265
Injuries result in limited movement of the limbs and neck £53,075 to £105,875
Includes limitation of movement, Includes limitation of movement, paraplegia, and/or permanent spastic quadriparesisApproximately £119,900

Is It Possible for Passengers to Make Whiplash Claims Too?

Yes, it is. Some people think that only the driver has a right to make a claim. However, anyone who was directly injured in the accident actually has a right. This includes passengers, passers-by, cyclists, motorcyclists, and other drivers. As long as you can prove that your injury was directly caused by the negligence of the other party, you are entitled to make a claim.

What If the Victim is Under the Age of 18?

Minors are not allowed to make injury claims on their own. Their parents or legal guardians have to make the claim on their behalf.

When you get involved in an accident, make sure that you write down the insurance details, contact numbers, and names of the other party, witnesses, and any other individuals involved. If possible, you should also take photos of the scene and record as much information as you can. Inform the police and seek medical attention right away.