If an injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

A back injury can have a significant impact on your quality of life. They can 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 No Win, No Fee 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.

With nearly 200,000 back injuries a year, you are not alone

The back, a complex network of muscles, bones, joints, and nerves from the neck to the pelvis, is susceptible to injuries like sprains, strains, fractured vertebrae, and herniated disks. These injuries can cause severe pain and potentially lead to temporary or permanent immobility. While many back injuries heal with treatment and rest, even minor ones can be distressing. More severe cases might need physical therapy or surgery.

Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Lower back pain accounts for 11% of the total disability of the UK population (england.nhs.uk).

Of the 473,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2022/23, 41% were caused by back injuries (hse.gov.uk).

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 need to move forward.

If you need information on back injury symptoms and treatment, visit: back pain (nhs.uk).

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 2024 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.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

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.

Back injury compensation calculator

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 June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

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.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

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 (oup.com).

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).

Example Amount
Back injury
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £2,230
Full recovery within 2 years £2,230 to £7,170
Full or nearly full recovery within 5 years £7,170 to £11,370
Less severe disability £25,240 to £35,250
Ligament or disc damage with permanent symptoms £11,370 to £25,240
Chronic permanent symptoms £35,250 to £63,390
Serious injury with permanent symptoms £67,420 to £80,390
Spinal cord damage £82,810 to £146,350
Neck injury
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £220
Full recovery within 1 year £220 to £1,200
Injuries that worsen an existing condition £7,170 to £12,490
Soft tissue injury £12,490 to £22,720
Full recovery within 2 years £1,200 to £3,830
Fractures or dislocations or severe soft tissue damage £41,350 to £50,900
Fractures or dislocations with severe symptoms £22,720 to £34,990
Serious fractures or damage to discs £59,760 to £119,030
Causing paralysis Around £134,850
Up to £44,850
£199,150 to £258,420
£295,090 to £367,260
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £220
Full recovery within 1 year £220 to £1,200
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 2024 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:

No win, no fee back injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim back injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Source: (reviewed: 13/12/2023)

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor