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?
According to the NHS, whiplash symptoms take six to 12 hours to fully develop. This means that, immediately after a road traffic accident, you won’t find out straight away if you have whiplash or not. 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 around the neck/spine
- Painful neck/spine movements
- Tenderness around the neck, shoulders and top of the spine
- Difficulty with swallowing
Whiplash can last anywhere between a few weeks to over a year for more severe cases.
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 have to go through the Motor Insurance Bureau to get compensation from them. In other instances where whiplash happens following an accident, such as sports injuries, the person who caused it should be claimed against.
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 might be entitled to between £300 and £3,100. You can claim between £3,100 and £5,600 for moderate whiplash injuries.
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 making a compensation claim to help cover the costs. You can request a call-back from First4Lawyers, claim by post or fill in our online claim form. Once that’s been done, one of our solicitors will call back at a time to suit you, talking about your claim in greater detail.