Personal Injury

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Whiplash?

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, April 14, 2021

Most people have heard of whiplash, but not everyone knows what it means.

Whiplash is most commonly caused by road traffic accidents, but can also happen after a fall or when taking part in certain sports. It’s an injury to the soft tissue in the neck caused by the head suddenly being thrown backwards and forwards.

It can cause neck pain and stiffness, as well as difficulty moving your head and headaches. You might also suffer from pain, tingling or muscle spasms in your shoulders and arms.

Some of the less common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty sleeping and concentrating and ringing in the ears.

The most common cases last a few weeks before you start feeling better, but some cases can last years – or even permanently. You probably won’t realise immediately that you’ve suffered from whiplash. It can take up to two days for symptoms to develop.

Compensation for whiplash

Currently, compensation for whiplash is awarded based on severity. So if your injury is one of the least severe forms and you’ll recover within three months, you could receive compensation of up to £1,950.

If your injury is more serious and recovery is expected within one year, you could likely receive up to £3,470 in compensation. And if your whiplash injury is the most severe, where recovery is expected within two years, you could receive up to £6,290.

It’s possible to suffer even more serious whiplash injuries. These will usually be assessed as neck injuries.

A neck injury involving severe soft tissue damage, which causes long-term or permanent symptoms, could see up to £44,630 in compensation.

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, you can start a claim here

Certain accidents can cause multiple injuries. If you sustained additional injuries on top of whiplash, you could also be able to claim compensation for those. Your solicitor will be able to explain how your compensation will be calculated in this situation.

It’s also possible to claim compensation even if you were partly responsible for your accident. The final compensation amount will be reduced by the same proportion that you were to blame. For example, if you were 30% responsible for the accident, you will receive 70% of the compensation.

Whiplash compensation changes

On 31 May 2021, the UK government is introducing a change to the way whiplash injury claims are processed. Claimants will have to manage their claims themselves through an online portal.

Known within the legal sector as the ‘whiplash reforms’, they are being introduced to reduce insurance costs for motorists after rises in the number of claims. According to the Association of British Insurers, there are more than 1,500 whiplash injury claims made every year.

But according to the most recent annual statistics, 2019 saw 153,158 casualties of all severities across all road traffic accidents. This means whiplash accounts for less than 1% of these injuries.

As well as the change to processing, the government is imposing much lower limits on how much compensation you could receive for whiplash.

The Civil Liability Act 2018 will limit compensation for whiplash injuries that last up to three months to £240. This payout scale will increase incrementally for every three months the injury continues, until 24 months. These injuries will see compensation of £4,215.

This is a significant reduction. If you’ve suffered from whiplash in the last three years, the best thing to do is to begin a claim as soon as possible.

Compensation for other losses

If you’re involved in an accident, chances are that your injury wasn’t the only resulting problem. For example, your property might be damaged. This is particularly likely if your whiplash was caused by a car accident.

And your injury might go on to cause you further problems. If you end up having to take time off work, you might lose out on wages. You might also have to then spend your own money on medical treatments, like physiotherapy.

This is why special damages are awarded. These cover any financial impact your injury has had on you. So if you’ve suffered any sort of financial loss caused by your accident, you could be able to recover the cost of that.

To find out how the team at First4Lawyers could help you claim whiplash compensation, just give us a call or start your claim online and we’ll get back to you when it’s convenient.

Claiming compensation for whiplash is done on a No Win No Fee basis, so there is nothing to pay upfront. You also don’t have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. It ensures that there is no financial risk to you taking legal action for the accident you were caught up in.

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