Whiplash is a type of injury which is often a consequence of a road traffic accident. It affects the neck and back and tends to last from a few weeks to a couple of years. In a collision on the road, whiplash is almost unavoidable, but treating it can be complicated and expensive. What should you do?
Symptoms of whiplash can take several hours to emerge, so you're unlikely to know immediately after a road traffic accident whether or not you have it. A lot of whiplash claims are made mainly because it’s such a common problem after a car crash.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury which primarily affects the neck area. It is caused by the head suddenly moving forwards, backwards or sideways, often as a reaction to a collision on the road. It can also affect the spine, arms and head. Common symptoms are:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness and pain around the neck/spine
- Muscle spasms
- Tenderness around the neck, shoulders and top of the spine
- Difficulty with swallowing
Whiplash can last a few weeks or, in more severe cases, it can go on for longer.
Who can I claim against?
If whiplash happens after a road traffic accident which wasn’t caused by you, the driver responsible can be claimed against if they have insurance. If the driver is uninsured, you will need to go through the Motor Insurance Bureau to apply for compensation from them. In other instances where whiplash happens following an accident, such as a sports injury, the person who caused it should be claimed against. More about claiming for road traffic accidents.
The longer your whiplash symptoms last, the more you’ll be able to claim. For a minor whiplash injury, where recovery is expected in a matter of weeks, you could get up to £3,810.
How long do I have to make a claim?
You have up to three years to make a whiplash compensation claim, starting from the incident where you first became injured. It is generally advised that you claim as soon as you can to allow more time for your claim to be processed.
I’ve been a victim of whiplash. What should I do?
Once you have received treatment, it’s worth starting a compensation claim to help cover the costs. You can request a callback at the top of this screen, or complete our online claim form. Once that’s been done, one of our solicitors will call back at a time to suit you, to discuss your claim options in greater detail.