Whiplash is most commonly sustained after a car accident and if you have suffered this type of injury then you may be considering making a personal injury claim. The sooner you make your claim, the sooner it will be settled, but there is no one answer to the question ‘How long does a whiplash settlement take?’ That’s because it can take anywhere from a few months, a year or even longer for your claim to be settled, depending on the details of your accident and the severity of your injuries.
Finding an experienced personal injury solicitor to handle your claim is vital, and Accident Advice Helpline can estimate how much compensation you could be entitled to – or you can take the 30-second test here on our website right now.
What is whiplash?
According to figures from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, one adult in 140 makes a claim for whiplash compensation every year – and it’s these figures that have led Britain to be named ‘The Whiplash Capital of Europe.’ But what is whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden jolting of the head sideways, backwards or forwards, typically during a road traffic accident. Whilst it usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to heal, it can take longer. Symptoms of whiplash generally include:
- Neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder and arm pain
Some people will suffer from symptoms including pins and needles in their arms, tiredness, feeling dizzy, inability to concentrate and even memory loss. It’s important to see a medical professional for a diagnosis after any car accident, but don’t bother asking them, ‘How long does a whiplash settlement take?’ as they won’t be able to give you the answers.
Whiplash treatment and prognosis
Before asking, ‘How long does a whiplash settlement take?’ first you will need to be treated for your injury. Your GP will normally carry out a physical examination of your neck if you complain of whiplash symptoms after a car accident. A neck brace is not usually recommended, as it’s important to keep your neck mobile and you may be given exercises and stretches to carry out at home. Taking over-the-counter painkillers can help to relieve pain and stiffness, whilst if your pain is severe you may be referred for physiotherapy. Using ice packs for the first few days after your accident can help to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain – after that you may find that warm compresses offer more in the way of relief. Investing in a supportive pillow can also be helpful.
If symptoms persist for six months or more then this is known as chronic whiplash or late whiplash syndrome. It’s estimated that this affects around 25% of people, who go on to suffer long-term pain and disability as a result of their whiplash injuries. Treatment for chronic whiplash is usually via GP referral to an NHS pain clinic, and there is usually the option for psychological support too, as it is common for those affected to suffer from anxiety and depression.
How did your accident happen?
So who is to blame for your accident? If somebody else was driving negligently and caused your accident, you could make a 100% no-win, no-fee* personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline. According to a study by the Institute of Advanced Motorists of over 70,000 car crashes between 2005 and 2009, the leading cause of road traffic accident injuries in the UK is ‘driver error or reaction’ responsible for over 65% of all fatal crashes. Failing to look properly, loss of control or a poor manoeuvre could quickly cause an accident. Even if you are the safest, most cautious driver in the world, you could still be injured by another driver’s carelessness, and you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence if this has happened to you.
Accident Advice Helpline can help you to claim general damages for your pain and suffering, as well as specialist damages for any financial losses you have suffered as a result of your accident. This can include things like loss of earnings, if you have taken time off work to recover from your whiplash.
Claiming compensation after your accident
If you’re wondering how long a whiplash settlement takes, unfortunately there is no one answer to that question. You can ask Accident Advice Helpline, ‘How long does a whiplash settlement take?’ when you get in touch with us after your accident – but in truth it will all depend on the circumstances of your accident. When you contact us, we will get in touch with the other driver’s insurance company to inform them of your claim. From there they may agree to settle out of court – this is good news as it means that your claim can be processed fairly quickly. It is actually highly unlikely that you will have to go to court, as most claims are processed over the phone and settled out of court. However, in the event that you do have to wait for a court date, this could take up to six months or even as long as a year, delaying your claim significantly.
How long does a whiplash settlement take?
Accident Advice Helpline will try to get your claim settled as quickly as possible. Whilst average whiplash compensation amounts can range from around £1,500 to £3,000, there is a better way to find out how much compensation you could get. You can take the 30-second test here on our website for an idea of what you could receive if your claim is successful. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner you will get an answer to the question ‘How long does a whiplash settlement take?’ There is a three-year time limit in place to claim compensation for your whiplash, so make sure you contact us as soon as possible after your accident.
Just call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or call 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out if you have a viable claim, and benefit from advice from our helpful, friendly advisors. We have over 16 years’ experience handling personal injury claims for a wide range of injuries, from whiplash to serious head injuries, so you can trust us with your claim.
Date Published: 14th September 2013