If you have suffered whiplash in an accident, and that accident was caused by somebody else, then you may be eligible for financial compensation.
To be eligible for compensation, you have to have a level of diminished liability. In addition to this, under the Limitation Act 1980, you have to bring your claim forward within three years from the date your accident happened, or within three years from the date that your injuries were first diagnosed. This is known as your Date of Limitation or your Date of Knowledge. After three years, injury claims become time-barred or statute-barred under the Limitation Act 1980, so it is crucial that you seek legal advice sooner rather than later.
How is whiplash caused?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head. It often happens as a result of a road traffic collision. The head moves suddenly forwards, backwards or sideways, and this causes the tendons and ligaments in the neck to stretch. This overstretching damages them. This usually results in severe pain for several days afterwards, and in severe cases that pain can last for several months – or even years.
Whiplash is graded by medical experts on a scale of 1-4. Using this formula, it is possible to provide general pay-out figures for whiplash compensation an average.
So let’s take a look at these grades.
- Grade 1 whiplash – This is minor whiplash. The only symptoms are pain and discomfort. Grade 1 whiplash can result in a pay-out of £1,000 to £2,500;
- Grade 2 whiplash – This is moderate whiplash. The symptoms are pain and discomfort and musculoskeletal signs of injury. Moderate whiplash can result in a pay-out of £2,500 to £8,500;
- Grade 3 whiplash – This is severe whiplash. The symptoms are musculoskeletal and neurological signs of injury. Severe whiplash can result in a pay-out of £9,000 to £15,000, depending on how severe it is;
- Grade 4 whiplash – This is extreme whiplash. It usually means that a fracture or a dislocation is evident. It also means that the victim will have a very long road to recovery. This can result in a pay-out of £15,000 to £35,000.
How much compensation is my whiplash worth?
Compensation for whiplash is calculated based on the extent of your whiplash, your recovery period and your prognosis for the future. The worse your whiplash is and the bigger the impact it will have on your life then the more compensation you can claim.
To establish these facts, you have to attend a medical examination which your solicitor will set up. Only once a medical report has been prepared for you detailing these can an accurate claim value be given to you.