How much compensation can you expect from a whiplash claim?
Whiplash compensation is awarded if you have been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you have suffered with whiplash symptoms.
The aim of whiplash compensation is to get you back to the same financial position you were in before the accident. Not only does whiplash compensation cover you for whiplash injuries, you can also claim expenses. Details of these are listed below.
Average payout for whiplash claims
The value of the compensation awarded depends on the severity of your injuries and how long your symptoms last.
Below is the whiplash-specific amounts taken from our compensation calculator, detailing the different amounts of compensation for the different levels of whiplash/neck injuries**, for more information use our personal injury calculator.
Minor neck injury:
A few hundred pounds – £6,000:
- Full recovery takes place within 1-2 years: £3,300 – £6,000
- Full recovery takes place between 3 months-1 year: £1,860 – £3,300
- Full recovery within 3 months: A few hundred pounds – £1,860
Moderate neck injury:
£6,000 to £29,250:
- Fractures/dislocations: £19,000 – £29,250
- Soft tissue/wrenching type injury/exacerbation of over 5 years:£10,450 – £19,000
- Accelerated/exacerbated injury less than 5 years: £6,000 – £10,450
Severe neck injury:
£34,575 to £112,750:
- Little/no movement in the neck and severe headaches: in region of £112,750
- Serious fractures or damage to disks with disabilities of considerable severity: £50,000 – £99,500
- Fractures/dislocations or severe damage to soft tissues that lead to chronic conditions: £34,575 – £42,550
** Information taken from Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases – 13th Edition. – please note that these figures are for guidance only and the compensation that you receive may be outside of these guidelines.
You can also claim expenses as part of your whiplash compensation.
Details of the expenses you can claim are as follows:
- Compensation for vehicle collision damage
You are entitled to claim back the cost of repairs to your car.
If your car was written off (was beyond economic repair) you can claim the amount that your car was worth (based on age, mileage and its condition)
- Cost of vehicle hire
You can claim the cost to hire a vehicle whilst your car is being repaired
- Loss of use of vehicle
If you chose not to hire a vehicle whilst your car is being repaired, you can claim ‘loss of use of vehicle’, which is a sum of money calculated at a daily rate
- Vehicle credit repair and hire
You can enter into a legal credit agreement to pay for your vehicle repairs and hire expenses. You are entitled to claim this back.
- Vehicle recovery expense
You can claim back the costs if your car needs to be towed away from the scene of the accident.
- Vehicle storage expense
If your car is stored whilst waiting to be repaired, you can claim back storage expenses. This is often capped at a certain amount as a vehicle may be stored for a long period of time.
- Loss of fuel
If your car is written off, you can claim back the cost of any fuel in the tank.
- Travel expenses
You can claim back any travel expenses relating to your accident, for example, getting a taxi to the hospital or your GP surgery.
You must keep receipts for any travelling you do if you wish to claim this money back.
- Cost of medical treatment
If you have to pay for any medical treatment for injuries sustained in an accident, including pain relief, you are entitled to claim this back. Like travel expenses, you must keep receipts for any medical treatment.
- Loss of income
If you were unable to work for a period of time as a result of your accident, you can claim loss of earnings.
- Nursing expense
If you required professional nursing assistance after an accident, you can claim these costs back when applying for compensation.
- Care and assistance expenses
If family or friends provided care and assistance to you following your accident, you are entitled to claim an hourly rate for their time.
- Loss of holiday
If you had a holiday booked prior to your accident and were unable to go, you can claim back the cost of your holiday.
You can also claim loss of enjoyment if you went on your holiday but failed to enjoy yourself due to suffering with injuries relating to your accident.
For more information, read our complete guide to whiplash. If you have suffered a whiplash injury and would like to make a claim, contact us below to start your claim today:
A complete guide to whiplash
Most people will know someone who has suffered from whiplash. It can be a very painful and distressing thing to suffer with. If you have sustained whiplash and are wondering what your options are as far as treatments and legal claims are concerned then you’ll find the information in this article to be invaluable.
First let us look at what the causes of whiplash are.
What are the causes of whiplash?
When most people think of whiplash, they automatically associate it with car accidents. Whilst car accidents do account for a lot of cases of whiplash, it can be caused by any sudden jolt to the neck, which causes it to become hyper extended.
Other common causes of whiplash other than car accidents are falling off a bike or a horse. This often results in the neck muscles being jolted suddenly, resulting in whiplash.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash often take up to 12 hours to develop. Inflammation and bruising on the neck may not appear at the time of the accident either. Because of this, an individual may believe that they do not have whiplash, but in actual fact, they do.
The most common symptoms and signs of whiplash are:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Tenderness of the neck muscles
- Reduced neck movements
- Painful neck movements
Less common symptoms are:
- Lower back pain
- Pain and numbness in arms and hands
- Muscle spasms
- Blurred vision
Even though the ligaments in the neck do not break (and just sprain) whiplash can still take several months to heal properly.
Whiplash is usually short-lived, but occasionally, symptoms persevere and it can become a chronic condition. The symptoms of chronic whiplash are:
- Long term neck pain and stiffness
- Persistent headaches
- Pins and needles
- Anxiety and depression
What Does Whiplash Feel Like?
Nearly everyone has experienced neck pain and headaches at some point and whiplash is not dissimilar to this, although often it can be quite extreme and result in restricted movement of the head and neck, amongst other symptoms.
Whiplash is usually at its worst just after the injury has been sustained. People who are involved in car accidents often find they are not able to move their head at all for a few minutes afterwards. But it can sometimes take between 6 to 12 hours for the symptoms to show.
Proper treatment is essential to ensure that you recover from whiplash as quickly as possible. Below are some of the most common types of whiplash treatments:
- Physiotherapy – If whiplash symptoms persist, then physiotherapy is often used to help relieve pain and restore full movement. Through using a range of massage and manipulation, the function and movement of your head and neck can be completely restored without any pain or discomfort.
- Painkillers – If your symptoms are more severe, then you may be prescribed painkillers to help manage them. Over-the-counter painkillers are usually enough to ease symptoms in most cases but sometimes your GP may prescribe something stronger, such as codeine.
- Good Posture & Exercise – Good posture and exercise are strongly recommended to speed up the recovery from whiplash. Whether you are walking around or sitting down, you should ensure that your back is straight. In addition to this, you can do controlled whiplash exercises such as yoga to help speed up the recovery too.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, or any other accident or incident which has resulted in you suffering from whiplash symptoms, there are certain things which can be done to ease your pain and help aid recovery.
Firstly, you should visit your GP if you are experiencing any symptoms and he/she will perform a thorough examination, or refer you to a physiotherapist to do this. A description of how the injury occurred will also help a doctor to determine whether or not you have a whiplash strain. Sometimes, mainly in serious car accidents, an x-ray, MRI or CT scan may be required to rule out severe injuries such as spinal fractures or broken bones.
In most cases, you will recover over time after some basic whiplash treatment.
How to treat whiplash
This can be done by keeping your neck mobilised by doing gentle exercises and will help to speed up your recovery. You may experience slight or severe pain when starting to do this, so a day of rest may be needed first. However, resting and not moving your neck for long periods of time will have the opposite effect and could prolong recovery.
Activities that place a large amount of stress on the neck should be minimized. These can include: prolonged sitting, standing or laying in awkward positions and poor posture; activities which involve your head looking down for long periods of time and activities which involve your shoulders hunching over for long periods of time.
It is important to remember that you will not cause any more damage to the neck by moving it.
Medication for whiplash
Painkillers – painkillers can be used as a treatment for whiplash as they help to relieve pain. Paracetamol is usually recommended to treat mild to moderate pain. They should be taken regularly instead of taking them only when the pain is at its worse. For severe neck pain from whiplash, a GP may prescribe stronger painkillers such as codeine. It is always important to follow the advice from your GP when taking medication, and never exceed the suggested dose.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – NSAID’s, such as Ibuprofen, can also be used to help ease pain and can reduce inflammation.
Muscle relaxants – These are sometimes prescribed by GP’s for a few days if muscles in the neck become extremely tense. An example of a muscle relaxant is Diazepam.
Physiotherapy for whiplash
If symptoms continue after a few weeks of gentle exercise and pain relief, you may be sent for physiotherapy. This is usually a combination of massage and manipulation which should help ease symptoms and cure whiplash. This may include:
- Joint mobilisation
- Soft tissue massage
- Postural bracing
- Neural stretches
- Exercises to improve flexibility and strength
Other whiplash treatment tips
Posture – You should always try to maintain good posture by keeping your back straight whilst sitting, standing and walking.
Support Pillow – A firm, supportive pillow can be used to help whilst sleeping.
Exercises and Stretches – Simple and gentle exercises and stretches can be done at home. A doctor or physiotherapist will advise you on which exercises you should do at home to aid recovery. Some examples of whiplash exercises are the following:
- Sit or stand with your back and neck straight and your shoulders back slightly
- Tuck your chin in until you feel a stretch in your neck, which does not cause pain
- Hold this for 2 seconds
- Repeat 10 times daily
Shoulder Pain Squeezes:
- Sit or stand with your back straight
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and for as long as possible, again, without any pain
- Hold for 5 seconds
- Repeat 10 times a day
- Sit or stand with your back and neck straight, with your shoulders back slightly
- Turn your head to look over one shoulder until you feel a slight stretch, causing no pain
- Keep your neck straight whilst doing this and do not allow your head to come forward
- Repeat the movement looking over the other shoulder
- Repeat 10 times over each shoulder
If you are currently suffering from whiplash after an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation. To start a claim, or to get more information, contact us using the options below:
Exercises for whiplash
Whiplash is caused by physical trauma that causes your head to snap forwards and backwards very sharply. It’s most commonly caused by traffic accidents or sports injuries.
Whiplash injuries normally involve pain in the muscles around the neck and, in severe cases, mild traumatic brain injury.
In less severe cases, sufferers experience reasonably mild neck and shoulder pain and stiffness and sometimes headaches. Other symptoms include dizziness, pain that extends down the shoulders and the arms or a sensation of weakness in the arms.
How Long Will it Take to Heal?
This depends on the extent and the severity of the whiplash. In most cases, you will find yourself able to undertake your usual daily activities, but it can take several weeks or months for the pain and stiffness to clear up entirely.
If your pain is intense or persistent, it may be necessary to reduce your activity for a few weeks. However, you should aim to return to normal activity levels as soon as possible as after the accident.
Exercises to Help
Lie down with a soft pillow under your neck and with your knees bent in the semi-supine position. Slowly and carefully nod your head forward. Pay attention to the muscles at the front of your neck and stop the forward motion before you feel them contract. Hold the final position for five seconds and then gently and slowly move your head back to the start position. Work your way up to repeating this exercise ten times.
In a neutral standing position, gently and slowly turn your head from one side to the other. Make sure your eyes follow a natural arc in line with the direction of your head. Try to turn your head until your chin is over your shoulder – you may need to work up to this position gradually. Work up to ten repetitions each side.
Sit in a neutral position in a comfortable chair. Make sure your lower back is straight, pull your shoulder blades gently back and down. Deliberately relax your chin. Put your right hand on your right cheek. Now gently rotate your head to the right whilst resisting the movement with your hand. The resistance you apply with your hand should be just enough to stop your head from actually moving. Hold this position for five seconds whilst pushing with your hand, but check your effort. This exercise must be performed gently, so don’t exert more than 10% – 20% effort. Do five repetitions on each side.
General Advice about Exercising After Whiplash
- Perform all exercises slowly and carefully, paying attention to any warning pains.
- Try to make each movement as smooth and controlled as possible without any strain, tension or jerkiness.
- Relax your mouth, chin and jaw relaxed. Your lips should be touching but with your teeth slightly apart.
- If you experience dizziness, blurred vision, fainting, sudden pain or unusually severe pain or if you are finding that exercising your neck causes headaches, you should see your physician as soon as possible.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
In most cases, whiplash will clear up on its own, usually within a matter of months, especially when treatment such as physiotherapy is used.
However sometimes the symptoms of whiplash can persist and cause further problems that can even last for years. In this case it would be referred to as chronic whiplash.
Learn more about whiplash after effects.
Compensation for Whiplash
Whiplash injury compensation amounts vary depending on how severe your whiplash is and how long it lasts. The average claims payout for minor whiplash is approximately £2,800.
For whiplash that lasts for a period of more than 6 months, the compensation amount would increase and for whiplash that lasts 2 years or more, it is not uncommon for the payouts to be in excess of £10,000.
How much compensation for whiplash you receive will also depend on the competence of the legal support you seek out.
How to Claim for Whiplash
When you want to make a claim for a whiplash injury you should seek the advice of a legal firm or a solicitor. Whilst whiplash claims are fairly straight forward, you’ll want to hire a law firm that adheres to the following:
- They have had previous experience and success in dealing with whiplash claims.
- In the event of a successful claim, you will keep at least 75% of the compensation.
- They will not charge any hidden fees such as administration fees.
Most reputable firms will adhere to the above points and work to get you as much compensation as possible.
How Long Do Whiplash Claims Take?
The success of a whiplash claim depends very much on the opinion of the doctor who is assessing your progress. Due to the fact that the nature of the payout will depend on the length and severity of your injuries, it is not unusual for claims to take between 6-12 months to settle. This is to ensure that there is significant evidence to show the extent of your symptoms.
If you have suffered whiplash as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with Cute Injury today to start your claim…
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