Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues and tendons of the neck, caused by a sudden, rapid movement of the head forwards and then backwards. This is usually the result of a road traffic accident, causing a debilitating injury that can be more painful than you might expect. Although most people recover from whiplash at home, for others, whiplash-associated disorders can develop, leading to ongoing, chronic pain. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was somebody else’s fault, then you could make a claim for compensation, and you may find yourself wondering what the minimum payout for whiplash is.
Symptoms of whiplash
Although it’s not considered a serious injury, whiplash can still be very painful and can result in any of the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Arm pain
- Back pain
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Diagnosis of whiplash is usually carried out by your GP, or at the hospital, and consists of a physical examination. You may need an x-ray to rule out any more serious injuries to your neck and back.
How is whiplash treated?
In the past, a soft collar was used to support the neck whilst patients healed from whiplash, but today, studies have shown that it is far better to keep the neck mobile during the healing process. Staying immobile decreases blood flow to the injured tissue and causes muscle wastage, lengthening the healing process. Carrying out early range of motion exercises several times an hour in the four days after your accident can speed up recovery time, whilst physiotherapy can help to strengthen muscles as they heal. Of course there are things you can do to prevent whiplash too, such as ensuring your car has airbags fitted and making sure you adjust the head rest properly so that it is positioned directly behind your head.
How long does it take to recover from whiplash?
Most people will start to feel better within a few weeks or months, although your symptoms may get worse before they get better. You can take over-the-counter painkillers to ease pain and carry out exercises to keep your neck mobile, which can speed up the recovery time. If you work in a physical job, you may need to take time off until you are fit to return to work, and if this is the case then your earnings could suffer as a result. The minimum payout for whiplash will depend on the severity of your injury, how it has affected your life, and any financial losses you’ve suffered – such as loss of earnings, in this case.
A study carried out in the US into the rate of recovery following whiplash injury looked at 50 patients after five days, three months, one year and two years. Although 52% of patients said they had recovered completely after a year, after two years, this had fallen to 38%. There is also the risk of suffering from whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) which can cause chronic pain. Up to 50% of people who suffer a whiplash injury will never fully recover, whilst up to 30% will remain moderately to severely disabled after their accident.
Did you suffer whiplash after a fall?
Although whiplash is generally the result of a road traffic accident, it is possible to suffer this type of injury after a fall. You could be injured after a fall at work, after slipping on an icy pavement or even whilst shopping, if you slip on a wet floor. If your fall was caused as a result of somebody else’s negligence – for example, no wet floor warning signs displayed, or cables stretched across the office floor at work – then you could find yourself in a position to make a claim for personal injury compensation. The minimum payout for whiplash can vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries, and Accident Advice Helpline handles every claim individually. But you could get an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to by taking the 30-second test on our website.
What factors affect the minimum payout for whiplash?
With so many people claiming whiplash compensation in the UK, the government recently announced a new consultation paper outlining plans to crack down on the number of claims by capping the minimum payout for whiplash at £225, rather than the current average of £1,850. This may not seem like a serious matter, but for anybody who has suffered whiplash that has resulted in chronic pain and whiplash associated disorders, it could be. However, you can maximise your chances of a successful whiplash claim by using a reputable, experienced firm of personal injury solicitors such as Accident Advice Helpline.
We have over 16 years’ industry experience, we’ll be able to calculate the minimum payout for whiplash that you could be entitled to, and we will do our best to get you a personal injury settlement which compensates you adequately for your injuries, pain and suffering and financial losses.
Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline
Making a whiplash claim doesn’t have to be complex, but there is a three-year time limit in place to claim. So rather than sitting there Googling the minimum payout for whiplash, a far better move is to pick up the phone and call Accident Advice Helpline on our freephone helpline. Just contact us on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile and you’ll be able to find out more about making a claim, as well as benefit from confidential, no-obligation advice from our expert advisors.
What’s more, there are no upfront fees to worry about with us, as our professional personal injury lawyers provide a 100% no-win, no-fee service, giving you one less thing to worry about if you decide to proceed with a claim. Get in touch with us today and we’ll be able to tell you whether you have a viable claim, as well as give you an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to for your whiplash injury.
Date Published: 11th July 2014
Author: Jan Newell