If you have ever suffered from whiplash then you’ll know how painful it can be. One of the most common injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, whiplash occurs when the head and neck are moved suddenly sideways, backwards or forwards, causing damage to the soft tissues of the neck. Although whiplash is a self-limiting condition, which means many people feel better within a few weeks without the need for medical intervention, symptoms can persist and leave you feeling unwell for longer. Making a claim for compensation with Accident Advice Helpline is a good idea if you have suffered a whiplash injury, and although the average payout for whiplash claims can vary, it is generally worth claiming, especially if you have taken time off work after your accident.
Symptoms of whiplash
Whiplash symptoms usually include:
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Muscle spasms
- Neck stiffness and difficulty moving your neck
- Neck pain and tenderness
Pins and needles in your arms and hands, dizziness, tiredness and memory loss are less common symptoms but still suffered by many affected by whiplash. It could take a few hours after an accident for these symptoms to appear which is why it is so important to see a medical professional for a diagnosis after your accident.
How common are whiplash injuries?
With over 840,000 personal injury claims after road traffic accidents in the UK in 2015, it’s clear that more people than ever before are claiming the compensation they deserve after accidents. But did you know that eight out of ten of these claims are for whiplash? Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, and although most people don’t need medical treatment, it’s estimated that whiplash claims cost the insurance industry around £2 billion a year. According to AXA, although road traffic injury rates in the UK are falling, almost 70% of claims for compensation are related to whiplash injuries. However, other reports suggest that almost 40% of those who suffer a whiplash injury never seek to claim compensation after their accident.
What should you do if you suffer from whiplash?
The first step to take after suffering a suspected whiplash injury is to see a medical professional for a diagnosis, to find out if you are actually suffering from whiplash. Treatment is normally in the form of physiotherapy and carrying out neck exercises, such as stretches, to keep your neck mobile, as well as taking over-the-counter painkillers to relieve pain. More severe cases may be referred to an NHS pain clinic for further treatment. Most people start to recover within a few weeks, and once you are feeling better you may wish to think about making a claim for personal injury compensation, if your accident was caused by somebody else, as the average payout for whiplash claims could help you out financially.
Why should you claim whiplash compensation?
There has been talk of a ‘whiplash culture’ in the UK, with experts suggesting that people often suffer from long-term symptoms after a whiplash injury simply because we are so aware of the condition. In fact, reports from other countries such as Lithuania and Greece show that fewer people suffer from long-term symptoms in these countries because of a general lack of awareness of the condition. In 2015, claims for whiplash reached record figures with over 840,000 people in the UK claiming compensation for whiplash injuries, according to Aviva. Why shouldn’t you be one of these people? You are perfectly entitled to make a claim for compensation if you have been injured in an accident caused by somebody else’s negligence.
Remember that you can be compensated not only for your pain and suffering but also for any financial losses you have experienced after your accident. So if you have paid for complementary therapy or taken time off work to recover from your injury, you could be compensated for loss of earnings and the cost of medical treatment. The average payout for whiplash claims can vary but you could receive a substantial settlement that could help you to cover your bills whilst you’re off work.
How long does whiplash recovery take?
The majority of whiplash sufferers start to feel better within a few weeks, but it is important to keep your neck mobile and carry out the exercises suggested by physiotherapists and doctors. In some cases, whiplash symptoms can persist for months or even up to a year or more. This is known as late whiplash syndrome or chronic whiplash, and can lead to problems at work as well as the development of psychological issues such as anxiety or depression. Short-term treatment which may help can include massage and using ice packs or a warm compress to relieve pain, but physiotherapy is the main treatment for chronic cases of whiplash.
What’s a realistic payout for a whiplash injury?
There is not really any such thing as an average payout for whiplash claims, as the circumstances of every accident and injury are very different. But it’s perfectly normal to wonder what the average payout for whiplash claims is, if you’re considering claiming compensation after your road traffic accident. You can take the 30-second test on this very website to get an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to – it could be more than you expected. We handle each claim on an individual basis, which means we take into account things like how long your symptoms have persisted, how much (if any) time you have taken off work and how this has affected your earnings, financial losses – for example the cost of travelling to medical appointments or any treatment you require and so on.
Claiming compensation after your whiplash injury
There is a three-year time limit in place to make a claim for compensation after suffering whiplash, so if you’re wondering what the average payout for whiplash claims is or simply need some advice on making a claim, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. Call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile, to get confidential advice after your accident. Our expert advisors and professional personal injury lawyers have over 16 years’ experience helping people claim compensation, and we have even been endorsed by our patron, TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen.