Whiplash is an injury to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck and back, caused when the head and neck is jolted suddenly forwards and then backwards. Although it’s most commonly caused by a car accident, it can also be the result of a sports accident or even a slip, trip or fall. One of the trickiest things about a whiplash injury is that the pain and symptoms associated with it do not always appear immediately. Often, it can be a few days, weeks or even months before symptoms make themselves known. Whether you were injured in a road traffic accident or some other type of accident, if somebody else was liable then you could find yourself able to claim personal injury compensation, and you might be wondering what the average whiplash compensation payout is. If that’s the case, keep reading.
Do need to go to hospital?
The good news is that for the majority of whiplash injuries, you won’t need to go to hospital. In fact, most treatment is carried out at home. Whiplash symptoms can include pain and tenderness in the neck, headaches and difficulty moving your neck. Around 62-98% of whiplash sufferers complain of neck pain, which most often occurs within two hours to two days of the accident, whilst 66-70% of sufferers also have a headache. Treatment is usually by carrying out gentle exercises at home, icing your neck, which should be done every few hours for around 15 minutes, for at least the first few days after your accident, and taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. For more severe symptoms, you may need to see your GP – for example some people suffer from loss of memory, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and pins and needles in their arms and hands.
If you’re suffering from any unusual symptoms then it is always recommended to seek medical advice. You should always have your whiplash diagnosed by a doctor as soon as possible after your accident, not just to rule out any further, more serious injuries, but also because you will need a copy of your medical report should you later decide to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
So what’s the average whiplash compensation payout?
It’s actually quite tricky for us to say what the average whiplash compensation payout is, as your settlement will take into account a number of different factors. However, the average whiplash compensation payout is split into two elements:
- General damages for your pain and suffering
- Special damages which refers to any expenses incurred after your accident, as well as compensation for loss of earnings
The amount of damages you’ll be able to claim after your accident will depend on the severity of your injuries and the length of time it takes you to recover, which can vary from person to person. Here is a rough guide to the average whiplash compensation payout:
- More minor injuries generally pay out £750-£2,500, for recoveries within 12 months
- For recovery within two years, expect a pay out of between £2,500 and £4,250
- Moderate injuries with more severe symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, with a longer recovery time, could see you receive between £4,250 and £7,750
- Severe injuries with recurring pain, a need for surgery in future or limited mobility could see you receive between £7,750 and £16,400
Accident Advice Helpline’s personal injury advisors will be able to offer you advice relating to the average whiplash compensation payout, and answer any questions you have about the claims process. We have over 16 years’ experience in the personal injury industry, so you know you can trust us.
How common are whiplash claims in the UK?
Over the past few years, the number of people claiming personal injury compensation in the UK has risen – whiplash claims in particular have soared. For every road traffic accident reported, there are 2.7 claims for whiplash, despite the government’s effort to tackle fraudulent claims. Yet not every claim made for whiplash is successful. Recently there was a case where a woman took 18 days to visit her GP following a road traffic accident and was heard talking of the opportunity to claim compensation at the scene of the accident. Without a proper medical report and seeing her GP promptly after the accident, her claim was dismissed as false in court. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to seek medical advice after your accident, even if your whiplash symptoms seem mild. Accident Advice Helpline can liaise with experts including medical professionals to collect evidence in support of your claim, including copies of your medical reports and details of any treatment you have received. Medical professionals will also be able to outline how long your recovery period should be, which can affect the amount of compensation you will receive if your claim is successful.
What’s the prognosis for whiplash sufferers?
The good news is that you should start to recover from your injuries within a few weeks – for some people, a full recovery can take a few months. Unfortunately, chronic whiplash can affect some people, which could leave you suffering from pain years into the future, and you may need to see your GP for referral to a specialist. Did you know that whiplash injuries not only increase your chances of chronic neck and shoulder pain in future, but they also increase the probability of other unrelated health problems? If you have suffered a genuine whiplash injury and seen your GP then your chances of successfully claiming compensation with Accident Advice Helpline are good. It’s almost impossible for insurers to prove that whiplash didn’t happen – in fact, figures from 2013/14 show that car insurers paid out on 99% of all claims, according to a survey by the Association of British Insurers.
Call Accident Advice Helpline today
If you’d like to find out more about making a claim for whiplash or the average whiplash compensation payout, then you can call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile). Or you can take the 30-second test on our website right now to get an idea of the average whiplash compensation payout, before you call us for more advice.
Date Published: 8th August 2013
Author: David Brown