How much on average is a whiplash payout?
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and have sustained a whiplash injury you may be thinking of making a claim for compensation. If this is the case, you may be wondering how much you might receive for you whiplash compensation claim. This article looks at what exactly whiplash is, how compensation for the injury is calculated and how much you may be likely to receive.
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A whiplash injury is commonly caused when one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle, often when the other vehicle is stationary or moving slowly in a queue of traffic. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are suddenly and forcefully thrown backwards and forwards causing the soft-tissue and ligaments in the neck to be stretched beyond their normal range of movement. This can result in symptoms – which may take up to two days to appear – such as pain and discomfort in the neck and back, dizziness, headaches, nausea, pins and needles and restricted movement in the neck.
The amount of compensation you receive for your whiplash injury will depend on how severely you have been injured. Immediately after the accident you should visit your GP or local Accident & Emergency Department to rule out anything more serious than whiplash and to seek advice you on the type of treatment you require. This may range from painkillers and gentle mobility exercises to a course of physiotherapy. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be seen by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and prepare a report containing a prognosis for your recovery. Your solicitor will use the information in the medical report to compare your case with that of previously settled cases where Claimants have suffered similar injuries to your own and have taken a similar amount of time to recover. The medical report will then be disclosed to the third party’s insurers and your solicitor will attempt to settle your claim.
As a guide, the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries will depend if your whiplash is considered to be mild, moderate or severe and your solicitor, as well as looking at previous cases, will refer to a book called the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines to assess the value of your claim. The guidelines below will give you some idea of what you may receive for your whiplash injury:
|Minor whiplash injuries where recovery takes place within one year||£750 - £2500|
|Minor whiplash injury where recovery takes place within 2 years||£2500 - £4250|
|Moderate whiplash injuries (where symptoms persist for more than two years and the future prognosis is uncertain)||£4250 - £7750|
|Severe whiplash injury where pain and suffering will continue indefinitely||£7750 - £13,750|
In summary, it can be seen that the amount of compensation awarded in whiplash claims varies considerably depending on how severely you have been injured and the length of time it takes you to recover.
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Nicholas Jervis, Solicitor (non-practising) and Managing Director of Whiplash Specialists Loyalty Law
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