If an injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Back injuries and back pain can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. Back injuries cause chronic pain, limit mobility, and lead to time off work. In some cases, these injuries can even result in long-term disability, with some back and spinal injuries leading to permanent loss of movement and mobility.
Back injuries can arise from a very wide range of circumstances, from slips and trips and accidents at work, to road collisions and medical negligence. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a back injury due to someone else's actions, inactions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim financial compensation.
You can make a compensation claim for a back injury or back pain with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
This article will provide an overview of the types of back injuries and pain that can result in a claim, as well as the process for making a claim and the types of compensation that may be available. If you have suffered a back injury and are unsure of your options, it is important to seek legal advice to fully understand your rights and the potential compensation that may be available to you.
In this article
You are not alone
The back is an intricate structure consisting of muscle, bone, joints and nerves, extending from the neck to the pelvis. The most common types of back injury include sprains and strains, fractured vertebrae and herniated disks.
Back injuries can be extremely painful, sometimes leading to temporary or permanent immobility.
According to Health Response UK, an estimated 1.2 million people are currently suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder.
Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury. 60% of work-related illnesses relate to back, neck or limb problems. Of these, back problems are the most common, accounting for nearly 120 million lost workdays every year.
Back injuries often lead to ongoing chronic back pain, with an estimated 7.8 million back pain sufferers in the UK.
Although a full recovery following treatment and rest is often possible, even relatively minor back injuries are painful and distressing, however. More serious injuries may require physical therapy or surgery.
If you decide to make a back injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Am I eligible for back injury compensation?
You should be entitled to back injury compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
My injury was partly my fault - can I still claim?
Cases where the defendant and claimant are both partly to blame are actually quite commonplace in personal injury claims.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
When fault on both sides caused a claimant's injuries, this is called 'contributory negligence'. In these situations, compensation may still be payable on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How long after a back injury do I have to claim compensation?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.
How can back injury compensation help me?
A central legal principle is that compensation should attempt to put you back in the situation you were in before your accident. Of course, money can only go so far in compensating you for the pain and distress of an injury.
Back injury compensation payouts
The courts recognise the impact of a back injury can be life-changing. Personal injury compensation may be awarded:
- for general damages to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA)
- to reimburse financial losses and damage to personal property
- for medical expenses such as physiotherapy and ongoing care
- to cover loss of earnings
How much compensation can I claim for a back injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a back injury will depend on:
- the severity of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your back injury such as pain medication, physiotherapy, lumbar supports and epidural steroid injections.
How are back injury claims and payouts assessed?
When making a back injury claim, your personal injury solicitor would refer you to a medical professional for an expert opinion.
A medical examination will be arranged at a location near you, to assess the severity of your back injury. The medical report will be used by your solicitor to build your case.
Your lawyer will refer to back injury compensation examples to calculate your back injury compensation amount. Your back injury claim payout will also consider how long your injury could take to heal if you are not yet fully recovered.
Average back injury general damages compensation
The following back injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Back injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £2,230|
|Back injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£2,230 to £7,170|
|Back injury||Moderate||Full or nearly full recovery within 5 years||£7,170 to £11,370|
|Back injury||Serious||Less severe disability||£25,240 to £35,250|
|Back injury||Serious||Ligament or disc damage with permanent symptoms||£11,370 to £25,240|
|Back injury||Severe||Chronic permanent symptoms||£35,250 to £63,390|
|Back injury||Severe||Serious injury with permanent symptoms||£67,420 to £80,390|
|Back injury||Very Severe||Spinal cord damage||£82,810 to £146,350|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £220|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 1 year||£220 to £1,200|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Injuries that worsen an existing condition||£7,170 to £12,490|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Soft tissue injury||£12,490 to £22,720|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£1,200 to £3,830|
|Neck injury||Serious||Fractures or dislocations or severe soft tissue damage||£41,350 to £50,900|
|Neck injury||Serious||Fractures or dislocations with severe symptoms||£22,720 to £34,990|
|Neck injury||Severe||Serious fractures or damage to discs||£59,760 to £119,030|
|Neck injury||Severe||Causing paralysis||Around £134,850|
|Paralysis||Paralysis of short duration||Up to £44,850|
|Paralysis||Paraplegia||£199,150 to £258,420|
|Paralysis||Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia)||£295,090 to £367,260|
|Whiplash||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £220|
|Whiplash||Moderate||Full recovery within 1 year||£220 to £1,200|
|Whiplash||Serious||Full recovery within 2 years||£1,200 to £3,830|
Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
A phobia of aggravating a back injury by movement (kinesiophobia) can seriously hamper recovery. Ongoing back pain will also impact daily activities, including work and socialising; this can lead to isolation and depression, worsened by chronic pain.
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
Claiming compensation with the help of a solicitor
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
How did your injury happen?
Claiming compensation for a back injury is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.