Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to be sustained in a road traffic accident. Although it’s not considered a serious injury, pain from whiplash can linger and have a serious impact on your life, although most people heal quickly and are back at work within days or weeks rather than months. Did you know that in the UK, 80% of accident claims in 2015 were for whiplash injuries, compared to just 3% of claims in France? Our whiplash claims statistics are the highest in Europe. So what’s the average payout for a whiplash injury? Surely it’s easy to say, when so many claims are made every year. Actually, the average payout for a whiplash injury can depend on a number of different factors, so it’s very difficult to say without knowing more about your accident.
Does recovery time affect the average payout for a whiplash injury?
When working out your personal injury settlement, a solicitor will usually look at the severity of your symptoms, your prognosis and how long your recovery time is likely to take. Most people will begin to recover from whiplash within a few weeks or months, but for others, it can take years, with ongoing pain affecting their daily lives. Generally speaking, if you recover fully within 12 months, you could expect to claim from £850 to £2,750, depending on the severity of your symptoms and how they have affected your life. For those whose symptoms persist past 12 months, the average payout for a whiplash injury can range from £2,500-£5,000. There’s some good news for anybody already suffering from a condition which has been exacerbated by whiplash, as the average payout for a whiplash injury in cases like these is even higher, anywhere in the range of £5,000-£8,750.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
It’s normal for whiplash symptoms to take a few days to develop after your accident, and they can often get worse for a few days before they get better. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- Difficulty moving your head
- Muscle spasms
- Pain in your arms and shoulders
Occasionally you will find you also suffer from some of the following symptoms too:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Feeling tired
- Pins and needles in your hands and arms
Although you’re likely to feel better fairly soon, you’ll probably need at least a few days (or maybe even a few weeks, depending on your job) off work to recover. Chronic whiplash, where symptoms persist for longer than 12 months and there is ongoing pain, is still something of a medical mystery, and is estimated to affect around 25% of those who suffer a whiplash injury.
Who’s claiming compensation for whiplash?
There are those who would never dream of claiming personal injury compensation for a minor injury like whiplash, and then there are those who have made several successful claims after accidents caused by other drivers. Did you know that the UK has been named the ‘Whiplash capital of Europe’? According to figures from The Association of British Insurers, one in every 140 people makes a claim for whiplash in the UK each year. This sudden surge in the number of whiplash claims has little to do with compensation culture and everything to do with the fact that we are now better informed about our options when it comes to making a personal injury claim after an accident.
Having said that, in 2016, the government announced controversial plans to crack down on the number of whiplash claims in the UK by reducing the average award to a maximum of £425, as well as introducing a number of other measures. This isn’t particularly helpful for anybody who has suffered chronic whiplash or serious pain after their accident – although provided you have a medical report as evidence from your doctor, you should still be able to make a personal injury claim.
How much compensation could you get after your accident?
With the average payout for a whiplash injury varying so much, how can you be sure how much compensation you could get if you decide to make a claim for compensation? Well, you could get an idea of the amount you could be entitled to receive by taking the 30-second test on our website. There are just a few questions to answer and then one of our personal injury advisors will call you back to discuss your accident with you in more detail. Because the average payout for a whiplash injury depends entirely on how severely you have been injured, as well as a range of other factors, you will only find out the exact amount you can claim when you decide to proceed with a claim with us, and there is no obligation to do so.
Will your claim be successful?
Whether you have suffered from chronic whiplash since an accident a couple of years ago, or want to find out more about making a claim for an accident last week, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. Like anything in life, there are no guarantees your claim will be successful, but what we can guarantee is that you won’t have to pay any legal fees upfront. That’s because our personal injury solicitors work on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis, so there are no fees to worry about unless your claim is successful – and we have a great track record.
The easiest way to find out if you are eligible to make a claim is to get in touch with us by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile). This also gives you the opportunity to ask us any questions you have about making a claim and find out what the whole process is, as it can often be a little daunting for anybody who has never made a personal injury claim before. But the good news is that you’ll probably find you won’t have to go to court, as most claims can be settled over the phone.
Date Published: 6th August 2013
Author: David Brown