If a neck injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Neck injuries can dramatically affect your life, whether they stem from an accident, sudden movement, or poor posture over time. If a neck injury has affected you and it was caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Compensation can also alleviate the financial burden of medical treatment, compensating you for lost wages, and any other expenses or losses related to your injury.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
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 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.
Am I eligible for neck injury compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't 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.
Am I still eligible to claim if I was partially responsible?
Determining legal responsibility for a claimant's injuries can involve myriad factors.
In our recent 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.
You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident. Claims where there is fault on both sides (contributory negligence) are often resolved with a split liability agreement.
How long after a neck 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 much compensation can I claim for a neck injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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
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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 is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your neck injury. Compensation can include loss of earnings (including future anticipated earnings loss), retraining costs, career trajectory impact, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication, cervical collar and physiotherapy.
Average neck injury general damages compensation
The following neck 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).
|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|
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
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.
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. 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.
Neck injuries at work are also quite common when an employee slips, trips or falls.
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 happen?
The process for a neck injury claim depends the circumstances of the accident. To learn more, click the icons below:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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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.