A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck is jolted suddenly forwards and then backwards, resulting in an injury to the soft tissues, muscles and tendons of the neck. This is usually as the result of a road traffic accident, and as we all know, driver error is the main cause of car accidents. But what if it wasn’t your error that led to your accident, but the negligence of another driver? You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence physically, emotionally and financially if you have sustained a whiplash injury as a result of somebody else’s careless driving.
You could consider getting in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation. Whiplash claim payouts can vary depending on a range of different factors, but you could take the 30-second test on our website right now for an idea of how much you could claim.
How serious is whiplash?
In the past, doctors would recommend a soft collar be worn after suffering a whiplash injury, to support the neck. Nowadays, it’s been recognised that keeping your neck mobile after an injury increases blood flow to the injured tissue, prevents stiffness and can help your injury to heal faster. Most whiplash injuries are minor and will heal within a few weeks or months at home, and there is rarely need for further treatment. You can use heat packs (or a hot water bottle) or ice to reduce pain, take over-the-counter painkillers and carry out neck and shoulder exercises at home to help keep your neck mobile, which can speed up recovery time.
According to a study carried out in the UK of 280,000 people who had sustained whiplash injuries, 62% of patients made a full recovery in six months or less, with just 6% taking longer than 12 months to recover. There is the risk of developing chronic whiplash or whiplash associated disorders, which may mean that you suffer from pain years after your accident.
Are there any alternative treatments for whiplash?
If you visit your doctor to have your whiplash diagnosed, they may refer you to a physiotherapist who will give you exercises to carry out at home. But what about alternative treatments for whiplash? These are more likely to be recommended if you are in extreme pain, or if you are still suffering from ongoing pain and symptoms after 12 months. Alternative treatments can include things like acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Obviously, most of these are unavailable on the NHS, so you will need to find a way to cover the cost of treatment yourself. This is where making a claim for compensation could be helpful, as your whiplash claim payout could help you to cover the cost of any alternative treatments you need to relieve your pain and suffering.
How common is whiplash?
Although road traffic accidents and whiplash injuries are not really any more common nowadays than they were ten years ago, the number of whiplash claims being made is on the rise. In fact, the number of claims is 50% higher today than it was a decade ago. In 2016, the Ministry of Justice launched a consultation to cut the number of minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims, by capping the average whiplash claim payout.
What is the average whiplash claim payout?
The amount of compensation you could get for a whiplash injury takes a number of factors into account, including:
- How serious your injuries are
- How much (if any) time you have taken off work after your accident
- What treatment you have received or will need in future
- Your prognosis for the future
Most whiplash claim payouts range from around £750 to £1,400, but as Accident Advice Helpline processes all claims on an individual basis, it’s hard for us to say exactly how much compensation you could get. You could take the 30-second test on our website, for an idea of what you could be entitled to receive if your claim is successful.
How much time have you taken off work?
Did you know that over one million acute whiplash injuries occur in the US every year? And every year in the UK, thousands of people make a claim for whiplash compensation after taking time off work after their accident. Taking time off can affect your earnings, making life difficult financially in the aftermath of an accident. On average, employees of large companies take approximately 60 days off work after sustaining whiplash or other injuries in a road traffic accident, whilst for staff working at smaller companies, this figure drops to approximately 12 days off. Self-employed people take the least time off after an accident, with around four days off the average reported. If you are self-employed then you may still be able to claim compensation for your loss of earnings, allowing you to take the time off that you need after an accident to focus on recovering fully from your whiplash injury.
Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline
The best way to find out if you could make a claim for personal injury compensation after suffering a whiplash injury is to get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. Since 2000, we have helped countless people claim compensation after a road traffic accident, and we’re here to make sure we can help you get the compensation you deserve. You can call us for no-obligation advice at any time on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) and speak to our expert personal injury advisors.
What’s more, our professional personal injury lawyers cover the whole of the UK and work on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis, so you have no need to worry about paying expensive legal fees upfront. Call us today and we will be able to tell you whether you have a viable claim, and answer any questions that you may have about the claims process and what happens next – it’s free to call us from a landline.
Date Published: 27th October 2013
Author: David Brown