A guide to neck injury compensation claims
In the following article we explain everything you should know about making a successful neck injury compensation claim.
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 classified 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 is usually considered in 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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
The most common cause of neck injury is through 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 come been somewhat demonised by insurers and politicians over recent years. Whatever the legitimacy of their argument, there is no doubt that neck injuries, whatever the cause, can be extremely painful or even debilitating.
Neck injuries from surgical or neck handling errors can amount to a claim for medical negligence. Misdiagnosis where a patient has a neck fracture are common in A&E departments.
A neck injury claim should be possible if the injury became apparent:
- in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and
- someone else was to blame.
However, even if you qualify, some solicitors may not take on your claim for other reasons.
A good personal injury solicitor will help gather evidence with a view to putting together the strongest claim. If you can, the following will help:
- gather statements and contact details from witnesses
- take photos of the scene
- report the accident to the appropriate authorities
Neck injury compensation amounts will vary depending on the severity of the injury. For example:
- for a soft tissue injury recovering within one year, an average claim may range from £1,000 to £3,300.
- for a neck fracture, dislocation or damage to discs, the claim will be valued with reference to the severity and duration of the injury - from around £10,000 to over £110,000 for the most serious injuries.
Table 1. Neck injury compensation amounts*
|Injury Type||Duration of Injury||Compensation Amount|
|Soft tissue neck injury (whiplash)||Up to 3 months||£300 to £1,860|
|Moderate soft tissue neck injury||3 months to 1 year||£1,860 to £3,300|
|Severe soft tissue neck injury||1 year to 2 years||£3,300 to £6,000|
|Spondylosis (limitation of movement and recurring pain)||Permanent/recurring||£10,450 to £19,000|
|Neck fracture or dislocation||Partial recovery||£19,000 to £29,250|
|Neck fracture or dislocation||Permanent symptoms||£34,575 to £42,550|
|Severe neck injury||Permanent||Approx. £112,750|
*excerpt from the Judicial College tables.
However, the above neck injury compensation payouts only factor in general damages.
Compensation awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board) in their frequently-updated guidelines for personal injury awards.
These awards are calculated in relation to the nature and severity of an injury. They are set out in the form of upper and lower values for a specific injury.
While the Judicial College guidelines are suggested amounts rather than legally binding their suggestions are generally followed. Most insurance companies will, when calculating a settlement amount, also refer to the guidelines.
Compensation could also be claimed for existing conditions or earlier injuries that have worsened as a result of the accident or illness.
Special damages, including the cost of healthcare, physiotherapy and other costs incurred as a result of the injury, will also be included in the total settlement or award.
Find out how much your neck injury claim is worth, including general and special damages, with our Injury Compensation Calculator:
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
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim neck injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming neck injury compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
No win, no fee means that you will not have to pay any legal fees if your claim is not successful.
If your claim is successful then you would pay the solicitor a 'success fee' which would be deducted from your compensation. You and your solicitor would discuss and agree the success fee at the start of the case.
How can Quittance help?
Quittance is a panel of highly experienced personal injury solicitors. Our solicitors have an excellent track record of winning neck injury claims and will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
To speak to us about your claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456 or click here to arrange a callback.
Meet the QLS team
Our national network of solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Chosen for their winning track record, QLS's solicitors have years of experience handling claims on behalf of injured claimants.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert