What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is the term given to an injury to the neck as a result of the head being violently flung forwards and then backwards in quick succession. The most common cause of this type of injury is being involved in a car accident, especially if your vehicle is hit from behind, but you can suffer whiplash as a result of a trip or a slip.
Symptoms of Whiplash
- Pain in the neck and/or shoulders (this can appear immediately or several hours after the injury is incurred, when your adrenaline levels have dropped off and you are capable of noticing your pain);
- The pain can be there all the time or just from time to time, perhaps when you move your head in a particular way;
- A sensation of pins and needles in your arms and/or hands;
How Much Compensation for the Average Whiplash Injury?
Compensation that is awarded by a court or agreed through negotiation with the party at fault can be broken down into several components. These are amounts deemed to:
- Repay you for any lost earnings (if you have had to take time off work unpaid due to your injury);
- Repay you for any out-of-pocket expenses you have had to pay;
- Compensate you for your “pain and suffering.”
The courts use a standard list of amounts to be paid for the average whiplash injury and other types of injury. That list has recently been revised upwards by about 10% to take account of recent changes to the civil claims process. Now, solicitors cannot claim a ‘success fee’ from the losing party and have to take it from your compensation (they cannot take more than 25% of that part of your compensation awarded for your pain and suffering).
The award for an average whiplash injury could be between:
- £900 and £5,500 for a mild injury;
- £5,500 and £17,000 for a moderate injury
- up to £110,000 for a severe, permanent whiplash injury.
These are very rough guidelines and a judge would always take into account the circumstances of your case before making a final decision as to how much compensation to award. It is impossible for any lawyer to give you a definite figure for how much compensation you will recover, but if you use a reputable firm with plenty of whiplash claim experience then they should be able to tell you how strong your case is and in which band of compensation amounts your injury will be considered to lie.
Finally, remember that you have three years from the date of an injury to submit a claim for compensation to the courts. It is important to seek legal advice early to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork and negotiations can take place before the end of the three year time limit. So call us now on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile to get the ball rolling.