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Whiplash claims – How much compensation can I claim?

Suffering from whiplash following a road traffic accident that was not your fault? If so, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your pain and suffering and to help you pay medical fees and rehabilitation costs.

Last updated on November 7th, 2023

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Key points for making an injury claim

What you need to know about making a claim for whiplash

  • Whiplash usually occurs after a car accident, but can be brought on by any sudden back and forth movement of the head.
  • You might not experience whiplash symptoms until a day or two after an accident.
  • Compensation for whiplash claims can start from around £1,000 and go up to tens of thousands.
  • It’s best to use an independent solicitor like us, rather than go through your insurance company.
  • We can help with rehabilitation and physiotherapy, and recover those costs from the other side.

How to make a claim for whiplash

Two of the questions you’re likely to have if you’ve suffered from whiplash (soft tissue injury) is how much compensation do you get, and how long does the claim take to settle.

It’s perfectly reasonable to ask both questions.  Compensation exists to cover the pain and suffering, which can be quite serious with whiplash injuries, and to reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses as a result of the accident.

If you’re in pain and losing money you’re going to want to know that the compensation is sufficient to pay bills and cover costs, and that it won’t take too long to receive it.

This guide will explain how much you might be eligible for, what else you can claim for, and outline the cause, symptoms, and treatment of whiplash injuries.

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How much compensation can I claim for whiplash?

The typical settlement amount for a whiplash claim varies from the low thousands of pounds for mild injuries, up to potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds with severe whiplash injuries that affect your ability to work.

The payouts for the actual injuries are set by the Judicial College Guidelines, but when all the other losses and costs are taken into account such as medical treatment, loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses etc, the overall whiplash settlement can be much higher.

Your compensation amount will be calculated by taking into account the pain you have been subjected to, as well as any loss of earnings you have incurred due to a period spent out of work, rehabilitation costs and medical fees.

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What are the average whiplash claim amounts

The average whiplash payout in the UK is between £1,000 to £3,000 for milder injuries where there is some discomfort and headaches lasting from a few days to a few weeks.  More severe whiplash injuries with longer-term symptoms can settle for up to almost £100,000 in the most serious cases.

Generally, though, the typical compensation amounts can be up to:

  • £3,500 for a whiplash injury with good recovery
  • £13,500 for a severe whiplash injury with long-term or permanent symptoms

It is always best to contact an experienced solicitor for an accurate appraisal of your case’s chances of success and an estimated compensation amount.

Average compensation amounts for whiplash

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident on or after 31st May 2021 then the figures below may not be relevant to your case. This is due to the Civil Liability Act 2018 and Whiplash Reforms Program which have now come into force affecting cases where the accident happened on or after that date. These changes have provided a different way of valuing some of those cases. The changes also mean that the Defendant will not contribute to the legal costs incurred in many cases unless the case is worth £5,000 or more.

Not all road traffic accident claims are affected however and the best way to find out is to give us a call; we will be able to advise you as to which compensation method will apply to you and to give you more detailed advice.

Part of bodySeverity of injuryAmount of compensationTypes of injuries
NeckMinorUp to £6,680.00Soft tissue injuries or whiplash with recovery within 3 – 24 months. Compensation factors include severity of pain and amount of negative effects on everyday life.
NeckModerate£7,410.00 to £47,760.00Covers injuries that accelerated a pre-existing condition, disc lesions, cervical spondylosis, serious limitation of movement, permanent and/or recurring pain, all caused by fractures or dislocations.
NeckSevere£56,100.00 to £139,210.00Serious fractures, severe soft tissue damage, chronic pain conditions, disc damage, partial paraplegia, or significant, permanent disability.
BackMinor£2,090.00 to £10,670.00Includes lighter strains, sprains, disc prolapses, and soft tissue injuries. Recovery between 3 months and 5 years.
BackModerate£11,730.00 to £26,050.00Includes: spinal fusion, compressed or fractured lumbar spine (possibly resulting in higher risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain), prolapsed discs and other injuries that may require surgery and a continued acceleration/worsening of a pre-existing back condition.
BackSevere£36,390.00 to £151,070.00Typically requires surgery. Injuries include: damaged spinal cord and partial paralysis, psychological issues, loss of bladder and/or bowel function, disc lesions, impaired movement, arthritis, etc.
ShoulderMinorUp to £6,730.00Soft tissue injury resulting in pain. Full recovery between 3 – 24 months.
ShoulderSerious£10,890.00 to £16,380.00Fractured humerus, clavicle or rotator cuff needing surgery.
ShoulderSevere£16,380.00 to £40,970.00Significant disability caused by severe damage to the neck or brachial plexus.
Pelvis & hipsMinor£3,370.00 to £10,750.00Complete recovery after minor soft tissue injuries. Little or no disability within 2 years.
Pelvis & hipsModerate£10,750.00 to £33,430.00No serious disability, but covers injuries requiring hip operations, replacement of hips (or the need for either in the future).
Pelvis & hipsSevere£33,430.00 to £111,690.00Severe hip/pelvis fractures resulting in bowel damage or spinal fusion, childbirth complications, hip replacement, and/or leading to higher likelihood of future surgery.

Why use Express Solicitors and not my insurer’s solicitor?

We are completely independent; we are not tied to any insurance companies and do not pay referral fees for claims.

In some cases, the insurance company used by both parties (you and the person that crashed into you) in a car accident is the same – creating a huge conflict of interest. Express Solicitors are wholly independent and therefore not dictated by any external companies. We will not settle claims for the best interest of an insurance company but solely in your best interests.

We understand the financial impact of an accident.

In 99% of cases, we recovered more compensation than the insurer’s first offer. We’ll provide financial security with our interim payments wherever possible, meaning you don’t need to rush into an offer that is lower than you’re legally entitled to.

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How much of the whiplash claim process will Express Solicitors handle?

The personal injury solicitors at Express Solicitors will handle the entire whiplash injury claims process on your behalf, ensuring you receive the maximum amount of financial compensation for your injuries. Our team will also be available throughout the claims process, ensuring you receive regular updates on the progress of your case.

How long will my whiplash claim take?

Every case is different based upon its complexity. Some claims can settle within a matter of weeks whereas others can take months. However  rest assured, Express Solicitors is well known for its efficiency and processes all claims in a diligent manner.

How long after accident can I claim for whiplash?

You can claim up to three years after the accident, or 3 years after you discover injuries caused by the accident.  If you are under 18 when you had the accident, you can claim anytime up until your 21st birthday.

If you are claiming on behalf of someone who has diminished mental capacity, there isn’t a time limit within which you have to claim.

It’s usually better to start your claim straight away as we have the best chance of collecting all the evidence we need to mount a strong case.

I was a passenger, can I claim whiplash?

If you suffered a whiplash injury as the passenger in a car or other motor vehicle, you can still make a claim for whiplash compensation.  If the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault, you would be claiming against their insurance policy.  If the fault was of the vehicle that collided with yours, then you would claim against their insurance.

We can sort out all those details for you once you get in touch and explain the accident circumstances.  If the fault is disputed, we can negotiate with the third party and our legal team will be able to let you know the best course of action.

Do I have to have a medical for a whiplash claim?

All personal injury claims require a medical examination, but it’s really nothing to worry about.  We’ll arrange an appointment with one of our panel medical experts and they’ll produce a report based on the findings of the examination.  This will all be discussed with you at each stage.

New Law change affecting whiplash claims

The insurance industry has lobbied the government to change the rules for soft tissue (whiplash) claims.  The government has agreed to reduce the compensation for injuries significantly and will also increase the small claims limit meaning that people may have to represent themselves in court against the insurers.   However, regardless of the change to the law, we still operate on a no win no fee basis, ensuring that you can take your case forward without financial constraints.

Client story: Emma

We helped Emma get compensation and cover her physical therapy after she sustained injuries to her neck and shoulder in a road traffic accident.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is often caused by accidents involving fast moving travel – the impact of a collision causes the head to quickly move backwards and forwards, straining the neck and causing damage to sensitive tendons. Even low speed crashes can cause whiplash as the muscles tighten as a protective reflex, regardless of how hard the jolt is.

This means that almost all car accidents result in these soft tissue whiplash type injuries.  Many of the cases we work on involve some level of whiplash injury, although many also have other and more complex injuries.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Symptoms can develop over the course of a day, or a few days, with neck pain and stiffness the most obvious side effects, but also include headaches.  You might not feel anything for a day after the accident but then start to notice a range of symptoms including:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Stiff neck and difficulty moving your head
  • Stiffness and pain in your back and shoulders
  • Tingling or numbness in your arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In more severe cases of whiplash the symptoms may also include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with memory
  • Depression
  • Bad or low moods and mood swings
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Treatment for whiplash injuries

Treatment is incredibly limited, meaning that many cases are left to heal themselves – though exercises recommended by a trusted chiropractor can help speed up recovery. However, not all cases heal themselves or getting better with exercise, leaving long term consequences and impacting life in the longer term.

Physiotherapy for whiplash

You may need physio treatment after a whiplash injury to help with the rehabilitation and strengthening of the muscles affected.  We can arrange physio on your behalf and the costs will be recovered as part of your claim.  For a whiplash claim with physiotherapy involved, the compensation settlement would generally be higher as it would indicate a more serious injury.

Start your claim today

Contact Express Solicitors today to start your  claim. The sooner you contact a solicitor to discuss your whiplash claim the better – under UK law a claim must be made within three years of the original injury. Call our 24 hour advice line or email to set up your free consultation.

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