Whiplash Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
By Max Mitrovic. Last Updated 5th May 2022. In this guide, we’ll offer information and tips on claiming compensation for whiplash. If you have suffered a whiplash injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for this and other injuries you may have experienced in the same incident. The aim of this compensation is to help the injured party get back to the same position they were in prior to the accident. The amount awarded to each injured party is different. It varies depending on the severity of the injuries as well as the total out of the pocket expenses incurred.
Is There A Whiplash Claims Average Payout in 2022?
You may want to know more about the average whiplash claim payout. There is no average because every claim is unique. If you do receive compensation for whiplash, how much you receive will be based on many aspects, including the extent of your injury, to what degree it has negatively impacted you and if any permanent health issues have been caused.
Importantly, you would only be able to claim for an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence. For example, if another road user breached their duty of care and caused you harm as a result.
What are the symptoms of a whiplash injury?
The symptoms of whiplash injury vary widely, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A collision at low speed is more likely to result in mild symptoms whereas the symptoms will be more severe in a high-speed collision.
Some of the more common whiplash symptoms range from neck and upper back pain, headaches and dizziness to ringing in the ears, pain in the lower back, arms and legs and difficulty sleeping. In more severe cases, a whiplash injury can also leave a person paralysed.
The time it takes for the symptoms to manifest can also vary widely. The symptoms may be immediately noticeable in one accident victim whereas, in another, it may take a few days or even a few weeks for the symptoms to develop.
Top Tips For Proving Whiplash Claims
Evidence is significant when making any personal injury claim. A solicitor will assess the circumstances of the accident and the degree of your injuries using evidence when attempting to build your case.
Our top tips for proving whiplash claims include:
- Making sure you get sufficient medical attention after the accident. Your injuries being assessed by a medical professional can ensure you receive the correct treatment and diagnosis. Also, the details of the treatment you received can be used as medical evidence during the claim.
- Taking photographs of your injury and the accident site.
- Getting the contact details of anyone that saw the accident. Your solicitor can then contact them for statements.
- Requesting any CCTV footage that may have shown the accident happening.
If you would like further information about the claims process or to learn how much you could get for whiplash, please contact us for free legal advice at a time that works for you.
How compensation for whiplash is calculated
Whiplash is a complicated injury with far-reaching consequences. Calculating the compensation amount is just as complicated. To ensure that whiplash injury victims are fairly compensated, the award amount is broken down into two parts – general damages and special damages. The sum of both these makes up the final compensation amount that is awarded. You can also visit our whiplash compensation calculator page.
The Judicial Studies Board decides on the amount to be awarded under General damages. This is calculated based on the severity of the whiplash injury and the impact it has had on the victim’s life.
Special damages are calculated differently. These damages cover your actual expenses. The amount awarded under this category depends on what you have had to pay out of pocket towards doctor’s fees, diagnostic tests, medical treatment, hospital visits and parking, cost of medications and rehabilitation procedures and cost of mobility aids. It also covers the cost of any structural changes you may have had to make to your home or vehicle, cost of professional home care and loss of income or work bonuses.
Any other expenses that you had to bear as a result of the whiplash injury are also covered under special damages.
The one problem that arises because of the many variables involved in calculating the compensation is that you could end up getting less than what you are entitled to. The chances of this happening are higher if you file the case yourself without any legal help. An experienced lawyer will be more familiar with this area and will fight to get you the best settlement possible.
How the claims process works
If you have sustained whiplash injuries that were caused by a road accident, you have a legal right to claim compensation for your pain and suffering and also for your financial losses.
The best way to file a whiplash injury claim is through an established personal injury lawyer who specialises in this area. Most reputed lawyers will give you a free first consultation where you will get a chance to fill them in on exactly what happened the day of the accident and after. The lawyer will listen to your explanation and also examine the police records and the doctor’s report, take a look at the photographic evidence and CCTV footage and also read the witness statements. Dashcams are also helping victims who win car accident claims and the number of people using dash cams in the UK is growing.
Based on all of the evidence, the lawyer will determine whether or not you have a strong case and will advise you accordingly. They will also give you an idea of the amount you can expect as compensation. If necessary, the lawyer will also get an expert medical professional to take a look at your medical records and give their expert advice regarding your injuries.
How personal injury lawyers work
If you have a strong case with high chances of winning, the lawyer may agree to file the case on your behalf and represent you in court. Once both parties – you and the lawyer – agree to the terms, the lawyer will go ahead and put together the case and initiate court proceedings on your behalf. Most times, if you have a strong case, you will find that the claim does not even get filed in court. More often than not, once the defendant’s insurance company gets to know that you’ve got a lawyer to represent you, they would prefer to back down and settle out of court.
When you hire a reputed personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that your personal details will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and no third party will have access to this information.
Hiring a personal injury solicitor to claim compensation for whiplash
If you are hesitant about hiring a lawyer because of the legal fees involved, you should know that you are at no financial risk at all right through the process. This is because most personal injury lawyers offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. You may also hear it being referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement.
A Conditional Fee Agreement means that the lawyer will agree to represent you without charging you any upfront fee. From the beginning right through the court hearing and the legal process, the lawyer bears all costs, including the court fees, consultant’s charges and other miscellaneous expenses. You only pay the agreed-upon fee on condition that the lawyer wins the fee for you. In the rare case that the claim is unsuccessful, you are not liable to pay any legal fees at all. You could say this is definitely a risk-free, win-win situation for you.
This No Win No Fee agreement helps all victims of road accidents get the legal representation that they need without worrying about having to pay any upfront legal fees.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer for your whiplash injuries, the lawyer will work to make sure that you get your compensation in the shortest time possible so that you can get the financial assistance when you need it most.
Calculating the claim amount for whiplash injuries
Compensation for whiplash injuries can vary widely depending on the type and severity of the symptoms. Following the introduction of the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, it is now a requirement that if you wish to claim for road traffic accident (RTA) injuries valued below £5,000 in total, then an online Government portal should be used for this process. Claims made through this portal can be resolved without the need to hire legal representation. Whiplash claims and other RTA injury claims are usually processed through the standard claim procedure if they are valued above £5,000.
Other Injuries You May Be Compensated For Following A Road Traffic Accident
Just below is a breakdown of compensation brackets for different types of injuries you may claim for following a road traffic accident, ranging from very serious to moderate. This includes compensation brackets for neck injuries (potentially caused by whiplash). The compensation brackets included below are based on the Judicial College Guidelines. These are guidelines a personal injury solicitor may use to help value your potential claim.
VERY SERIOUS INJURIES
Brain Damage (Very Severe): £264,650 to £379,100
Very serious head injuries attract some of the highest compensation payouts. This is awarded to individuals who are left severely brain-damaged after the accident. This could range from those who display minimum response to outside stimuli to those who are completely unresponsive and in a vegetative state. The high compensation covers the cost of full-time nursing care that the injured person is sure to require.
Neck Injury (Severe): £42,680 to in the region of £139,210
This high compensation range is typically awarded to individuals whose neck injuries are so severe that it restricts their ability to move their neck freely and it also impacts the movement in one or more limbs. Very serious neck injuries could include a neck fracture, severe soft tissue damage, dislocation or damaged disks.
Injuries Affecting Sight (Total Blindness): In the region of £252,180
High compensation for serious eye injury is awarded if the injury has left the injured person completely blind in both eyes.
Facial Disfigurement (Very Severe Scarring): £27,940 to £91,350
Severe scarring and facial disfigurement entitle the victim to high compensation amounts depending on the extent of the damage done. Women who suffer face injuries typically receive higher compensation than men with similar injuries.
Shoulder Injury (Severe): £18,020 to £45,070
Severe pain in the shoulders usually tends to radiate to the neck, elbows and upper back resulting in significantly restricted movement and disability.
Injuries To The Pelvis And Hips (Severe): £73,580 to £122,860
Very serious pelvis and hip injuries can often lead to other short and long term complications ranging from bowel damage to impotence or the problems related to childbirth. Some individuals may also require spinal fusion to treat their severe hip or pelvis injuries and in a few cases, additional surgeries may also be required at a later date.
Total Deafness: £85,170 to £102,040
This high compensation bracket covers ear injuries leading to total deafness.
Brain Damage (Moderately Severe): £205,580 to £264,650
This compensation range is typically awarded if the head injuries cause other serious physical symptoms such as paralysis of one or more limbs or if the brain damage results in drastic changes to your persona or intellect.
Complete Loss Of Sight In One Eye: £46,240 to £51,460
This compensation bracket covers instance where there is loss of vision in one eye, with scarring in the region of the eye but the eye itself has not been lost completely.
Shoulder Injury (Serious): £11,980 to £18,020
This compensation range is awarded for serious injuries, which could range from the pain and discomfort of soft tissues damage to the movement restrictions of a dislocation.
Total Loss Of Hearing In One Ear: £29,380 to £42,730
Loss of hearing in one ear comes under the serious injury category and attracts compensation within this range. The exact amount of compensation depends on whether or not there are any other associated symptoms such as dizziness.
Minor Eye Injuries: £3,710 to £8,200
This compensation amount is awarded to those who have suffered an eye injury that has resulted in temporary vision problems.
Facial Disfigurement (Less Significant Scarring): £3,710 to £12,900
Those who suffered a facial injury that resulted in light or no scarring but no broken bones may be awarded compensation that falls within this range.
These compensation amounts mentioned are only for the actual physical injuries sustained. Not all potential physical injuries that you could be compensated for are covered. They do not include other amounts that are awarded for out of pocket expenses, loss of income and other incidentals that you are entitled to be compensated for. When all of these are added together, they can add up to a significant amount.
Extra information on claiming compensation for whiplash
Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: provisional results 2019: Between 2016 to 2018, an average of 49% of those injured in a road traffic accident respondents reported a whiplash injury.
The Highway Code: The rules all road users have to follow to prevent accidents and injuries.
How to claim as a Passenger in a Car Accident?: Our guide to claiming if you were injured as a passenger.
Compensation for whiplash FAQs
Can you prove you have whiplash?
Medical evidence is essential in proving you have whiplash so see a medical professional when you are able to. And as part of the claims process, your personal injury solicitor will arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical expert.
Is it worth claiming for whiplash?
If you believe that your injuries were caused by another party and you have suffered as a result, you could claim for whiplash. There’s no reason why you should suffer, so if you have a good claim, it can certainly be worth claiming for whiplash.
How much compensation do you get for whiplash with physiotherapy?
How much compensation you receive depends on how severely the whiplash affected you through injury, psychologically and financially. Physiotherapy is often included in claims involving more serious whiplash injuries. Speak to a personal injury solicitor to find out what you could be entitled to in compensation for whiplash.