If you have suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident and another party is either fully or partly to blame, you may be able to claim compensation.
Call our No Win, No Fee whiplash solicitors for a free consultation on 0808 175 8000 or tell us about your accident and we will call you.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a non-medical term that’s used to describe an injury to the soft tissue in and around the neck, shoulders and spine. A type of sprain, these injuries can range from severe to mild. The neck is particularly vulnerable to sprain injuries of this kind because it’s designed to be highly flexible.
Whiplash happens when the head is thrown forwards, backwards or to the side. It often occurs as a result of a sudden impact, which is why so many cases relate to road traffic accidents. For example, if a slow moving car is struck from behind by another vehicle, the impact can cause whiplash. If a vehicle is struck from the side, this can also lead to passengers and drivers suffering sprain damage to their necks
It’s important to be aware that collisions don’t have to be high-speed to result in these injuries. Even if a vehicle is travelling at speeds as low as five miles an hour when an accident happens, those involved can still sustain whiplash.
Regardless of the cause of the injury, whiplash tends to be worse if people are unprepared for an impact or if their head is turned at the time of impact. Also, if someone has a history of similar injuries, they’re likely to have weaknesses in this part of their body and therefore, they tend to suffer more damage and pain.
What are the symptoms of a whiplash injury?
If you think you might have suffered physical damage of this kind, there are a range of symptoms to watch out for. The most common are stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulders, and sometimes down the arms. You might also find you suffer from headaches and a loss of movement in your neck.
Less common symptoms can include dizziness, blurred vision, disorientation, tiredness, poor concentration, memory loss, nausea, pins and needles in the arms and hands, muscle spasms and pain in the lower back.
You might not experience these effects immediately. It can take between 6 and 12 hours for the symptoms to develop. It’s also worth bearing in mind that these effects tend to be more noticeable the day after an accident, and they can worsen over a number of days. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms straightaway, don’t rule out the possibility that you’ve suffered this type of injury.
When should you visit a doctor?
If you think you may have whiplash, make sure you visit your GP as soon as possible. They will ask how the injury occurred and examine your neck for signs of tenderness and damage. They will also assess your range of movement.
It’s also important to be aware that as well as damaging the soft tissues in your neck, there’s a risk that sudden jolts to this part of your body will harm other important structures, such as your airway, nerves or cervical discs. If you experience symptoms such as headaches, difficulty swallowing or chewing, sickness, ringing in your ears or blurred vision, it’s vital that you seek medical help immediately. Diagnosing these injuries quickly will minimise any further damage and improve your chances of recovery.
How long does a whiplash injury last for?
Because whiplash injuries differ in terms of severity, it’s difficult to predict how long they will last for. Although whiplash symptoms can resolve themselves after a few days, some whiplash injuries can take several weeks to heal, with neck pain and stiffness getting worse in the days immediately following the accident. According to the NHS, the average recovery time for these injuries is 32 days.
However, unfortunately whiplash can last much long than this. In fact, a study conducted by the NHS discovered that 12% of people who sustained this type of injury experienced chronic whiplash. This term is used to describe whiplash that continues for a period of six months or more. In some cases, the damage can last for a year or even longer.
What physical and psychological suffering can result from whiplash?
Those who suffer from chronic whiplash sometimes find it difficult to continue with their lives as normal. These injuries can make it difficult to carry out a range of day-to-day tasks, meaning sufferers may experience problems at work or find they’re unable to enjoy their usual leisure activities. In turn this means as well as suffering physical pain, chronic whiplash sufferers may experience psychological problems such as depression or anxiety.
The longer whiplash injuries persist, the greater people’s risk of developing these mood disorders.
Can I claim whiplash compensation?
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim. To be successful, your case should meet the following criteria:
You must be able to provide medical evidence of your injury
Your injury must have happened within the last three years
Someone else must be at fault or partially at fault for your injury
Knowing whether someone else was to blame for your injury isn’t always easy. However, our expert whiplash injury solicitors can advise you whether you have a case based on your individual circumstances. Simply call us freephone on 0808 175 8000 or contact us online to discover more about the whiplash claims process and to find out if you are in a position to take legal action.
We know that making a whiplash compensation claim won’t undo the harm and distress you have suffered, but this can be an important step in achieving justice and gaining compensation for any financial costs you may have incurred as a result of the injury.
Should I claim whiplash compensation?
Road accident whiplash claims have received considerable bad press, but you shouldn’t let this put you off taking legal action. The law entitles you to make a claim to compensate you for your suffering and costs, so you shouldn’t feel awkward or bad about doing so. The fact is, these injuries can have serious and potentially even life-changing consequences, so it’s only right that you investigate your legal options.
What are No Win, No Fee whiplash compensation claims?
The vast majority (98%) of our whiplash injury claims are funded through a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is more commonly known as a No Win, No Fee agreement. Under the terms of these arrangements, you will not have to worry about making any upfront payments or having to pay any costs if your claim is unsuccessful. This means that you will not have to take on any financial risk when deciding to pursue a claim. No Win, No Fee agreements are designed to give you added confidence and can take much of the anxiety out of the process of taking legal action.
If you would like to find out more about how No Win, No Fee agreements work, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team. We’re on hand to answer any questions you might have.
How long does the whiplash compensation claim process take?
Each case is different so there’s no set timeframe for resolving these claims. The length of time it takes you to claim compensation will depend on the particular circumstances of your case.
However, our personal injury lawyers will be able to provide you with an estimated timeframe. Simply have a chat with our specialists to discover more. In many cases where whiplash injuries are not severe, our whiplash solicitors can fast track claims, ensuring that you receive compensation as quickly as possible.
How much whiplash compensation can I get?
Compensation for whiplash varies from case to case. Without knowing the exact circumstances of your accident and the nature of your injuries, it’s difficult to provide an accurate figure in terms of the level of compensation you are likely to receive.
Compensation is determined according to a variety of factors, and these factors are divided into two categories: general damages and special damages. General damages are calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the impact they may have on your life. Special damages are intended to cover any out of pocket expenses you incur.
Special damages include expenses such as:
- Lost earnings or bonuses
- Medical expenses, including any prescription and private treatment costs
- Hospital visits and parking costs
- Travel and accommodation costs
- Care during your recovery, whether this is provided by a professional or by a family member or friend
- Additional household costs
Speak to our whiplash solicitors to get a clearer idea of how much compensation you are likely to receive if you make a claim.
How can Slater and Gordon help with your whiplash compensation claim?
Our expert personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of people claim compensation for whiplash injuries sustained in road accidents, so you can rely on Slater and Gordon Lawyers to help you achieve the most favourable outcome from your compensation claim. With decades of experience in dealing with these cases, we’re perfectly placed to lead you through each stage of making a claim.
We’ll use all the relevant evidence and medical reports to construct the most compelling case for compensation and use this to negotiate the maximum possible level of compensation. Whether your injuries are minor or severe, you can count on us to present your case in the strongest terms.
Our lawyers bring their combined legal knowledge and expertise to bear on each case to ensure we get the best results for our clients every time.
Slater and Gordon appreciate the potentially traumatic nature of whiplash injuries and our solicitors will handle your case with the utmost sensitivity and care. We know that when you are dealing with these injuries, the last thing you want is any additional stress and uncertainty. When you come to us to make a compensation claim, we’ll guide you through each step of the process and ensure it’s as simple and smooth as possible.
Our No Win, No Fee whiplash lawyers have helped people claim compensation for all kinds of whiplash injuries, so regardless of the details of your case, they will have the knowledge and expertise you need.
Call our whiplash injury solicitors 24/7 for a free consultation on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online to see how we can help you.
Many solicitors at Slater and Gordon are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL), so you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
We are one of the UK's largest and best known law firms and have offices across the UK in locations including Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.