It is estimated that several thousand people suffer from whiplash every year click to read. The most common cause of whiplash is car crashes, which account for 95 per cent of cases. If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident, or another road traffic accident, then you may be eligible for financial compensation. However, there are some eligibility criteria to meet.
The first criteria is a time-based one. To bring your claim forward in the United Kingdom, your accident must have happened within the last three years. This is known as your Date of Limitation, or your Date of Knowledge. Most personal injury claims become statute barred or time-barred after three years, so you must take action quickly to secure compensation.
The second of those criteria is a liability-based one. To have a claim at all, you must have a level of diminished liability. This means you cannot be 100 per cent responsible for the accident in which you sustained your injuries. You can however be partly responsible, although the greater your level of liability the less financial compensation you can claim for.
The settlement average for whiplash
The amount of compensation you may receive for your whiplash depends on the extent of your whiplash and how your whiplash has and will affect your life.
When determining a settlement demand, your lawyer will refer to past cases that are similar to your own in injury and circumstance, to come up with a pay-out figure. However, it is important to remember that all claims are different so you may be owed a thousand pounds or several thousand pounds. The only way to really know is to consult an injury lawyer.
The settlement average for whiplash is £1,000 to £3,000 – that is for minor whiplash, where the only symptoms are pain and discomfort. Whiplash injuries that have musculoskeletal or neurological symptoms will result in a significantly higher pay-out.
Whiplash injuries are also assigned a grade between 1 and 4. 1 is minor whiplash, 2 is moderate whiplash, 3 is severe whiplash and 4 is extreme whiplash. The higher your grade of whiplash, the more compensation you can realistically expect.
In addition to compensation for your injuries, you can also put in a claim for ‘special damages’, which is the compensation awarded for financial loss related to an accident. You can claim back lost income including overtime and any related out of pocket expenses, such as travel expenses and medical expenses. For example, if you have been left unable to drive and you have had to pay for taxis to and from a hospital, then you can claim back these costs so long as you keep your receipts and provide proof to your lawyer.