Neck Injury Compensation Claims
If you have been affected by a neck injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a neck injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
neck injury compensation:
Types of neck injury
A neck injury is an injury to any part of the top of the spine, bone, muscles, cartilage, ligaments or tendons between the head and back.
Neck injuries can also be linked to psychological symptoms including anxiety and depression.
Neck injuries are categorised by the Judicial College as follows:
Neck injury symptoms may include minor numbness and pain forcing the sufferer to take time off work.
Damage to muscle and soft tissue or ligaments and tendons tend the heal well. However, there is still typically pain and distress lasting anywhere from months up to a year.
Whiplash injuries usually fall into this category.
More serious neck injuries such as a prolapsed disc, cervical spondylosis, permanent, on-going or recurrent pain will be eligible for more substantial compensation.
More serious whiplash injuries where a recovery takes between 1 and 2 years will also usually qualify for higher compensation.
As the neck is essentially part of the spine, damage to this region of the body can have serious life changing impact such as complete paralysis (paraplegia, quadriplegia) or permanent spastic quadriparesis.
Settlements for injuries of this severity are the highest.
Compensation awards for less severe disabilities work on a sliding scale that considers the extent of pain, disability and time taken to recovery of for symptoms to ease.
Typical causes of neck injury
The most common cause of neck injury is car accidents. The sudden acceleration (then deceleration on impact) causes the head and neck to be forced forward and then back in what is commonly known as "whiplash".
Whiplash claims have been somewhat demonised by insurers and politicians over recent years. (See: Low-value neck injury claims section below). Whatever the legitimacy of this argument, there is no doubt that neck injuries, whatever the cause, can be extremely painful or even debilitating. Whiplash injuries can also be sustained as a car passenger or on a motorcycle or bicycle.
Neck injuries from surgical or neck handling errors can lead to a claim for medical negligence. Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis of a neck fracture is relatively common in A&E departments.
Do I have a neck injury claim?
It should be possible to make a neck injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a neck injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I make a neck injury claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a neck injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
The amount of money you could claim for your neck injury will depend on:
- the extent 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 neck injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
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.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a neck injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a severe neck injury can be £75,000
For a more minor shoulder injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £5,000.
However, if you have a severe neck injury and a more minor shoulder injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £5,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for a neck injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a neck injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your neck injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Neck injury compensation amounts
The following neck injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £1,950|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 1 year||£1,950 to £3,470|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Injuries that worsen an existing condition||£6,290 to £10,960|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Soft tissue injury||£10,960 to £19,920|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£3,470 to £6,290|
|Neck injury||Serious||Fractures or dislocations or severe soft tissue damage||£36,240 to £44,630|
|Neck injury||Serious||Fractures or dislocations with severe symptoms||£19,920 to £30,690|
|Neck injury||Severe||Serious fractures or damage to discs||£52,390 to £104,370|
|Neck injury||Severe||Causing paralysis||Around £118,240|
Low value neck injury claims - Updated June 2021
The regulations for making a lower-value road accident claim (sometimes called 'small claims') have changed.
From 31 May 2021, some lower-value neck injury claims should be made using the Ministry of Justice’s new Official Injury Claim Service online portal.
If you were injured in a vehicle, and the general damages for your injuries are likely to be under £5,000, the Official portal will be used to make your claim. The portal should also be used if the total value (general damages and special damages) for your claim is less than £10,000.
Claims for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and children are not affected by the new regulations.
The new process can be daunting, and we are here to help. You can still use a solicitor to calculate the value of your compensation and to help you make a low value claim through the portal.
No Win, No Fee compensation for low value neck injury claims
Some solicitors are no longer assisting with lower-value claims, but we can still help you make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for a lower-value road accident claim.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Calculate my neck injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a neck injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your neck injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a neck injury claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for a neck injury can vary considerably.
For instance, a straightforward liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a couple of months. If the defendant denies liability, the process might take longer. Typically, an injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your neck injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How compensation could help you
It is recognised by the courts that a neck injury can have serious consequences. General and special damages are typically awarded for:
- medical treatment and care costs
- anticipated future treatment and care
- other expenses including travel costs and potentially property damage
- loss or reduction of mental or physical capacity
- general pain and suffering
- lost earnings during recovery
- loss of earnings if unable to return to work
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee, no risk
With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a neck injury claim without having to worry about upfront legal fees. If your neck injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your neck injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my neck injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my neck injury claim?
If your neck injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Neck injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a neck injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the neck injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your neck injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a neck injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim neck injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a neck injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
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.