You can sustain different types of injuries from accidents. This includes spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal wounds, cuts, and lacerations. You could also suffer a whiplash or experience back pain.
In either case, it is natural to want to know how much compensation for whiplash and back pain you can receive from the party responsible. If this is true for you, a claims calculator from Claims Bible will come in handy. But first, let’s look at instances where you can suffer whiplash and back pain and the possible compensation.
Common Causes of Whiplash and Back Pain
Several events can cause a whiplash injury or back pain . We discuss some of them below.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Whiplash occurs in motor vehicle accidents due to the head’s forceful forward and backward movement. The motion can injure the bones in the spine, the discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other neck tissues.
You can also develop back pain after an auto collision. Both injuries are common in rear-end crashes, and the impact determines the pain you’ll feel. The negligent driver in such a case pays the financial compensation, and you can file a claim with their insurance provider.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Under the tort doctrine of premises liability, property owners must keep their premises safe for lawful visitors. When they fail to do this, you may suffer a slip and fall injury, which could hurt your back or cause whiplash.
Common causes of a slip and fall are wet, slippery, or uneven surfaces. In this instance, the property owner would be the liable party if they failed to warn you of the unsafe condition of their property. E.g., failing to put a warning sign for a newly waxed floor.
Accidents sometimes happen at work, especially if there are hazardous conditions. These occurrences could result in whiplash and back pain. For instance, objects lying around can cause you to slip and fall.
Also, lifting heavy objects puts strain on your back. In either scenario, you can request compensation from your employer. This comes under the worker’s compensation legislation.
Sports activities also cause whiplash and back injury. This is common in impact sports like rugby or football. Note that proving liability in cases like this is pretty challenging. Therefore, we advise our clients to consult with a solicitor before beginning the compensation claim process.
If you are the victim of a violent crime and sustained these injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) . A solicitor can also help you with this.
Are You Eligible to Receive Compensation for Whiplash and Back Pain?
Before asking how much compensation for whiplash and back pain, you must first determine if you are eligible to receive a settlement. Under personal injury law, a person who suffers injuries from another person’s negligence is eligible for compensation. The person becomes the claimant while the negligent party, the defendant.
As the claimant, the onus is on you to prove fault. This follows the tort doctrine of ‘he who asserts must prove.’ Also, you must establish the four elements of negligence to have a successful personal injury claim.
So how do you do this?
Duty of Care
A duty of care is a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others. It exists primarily between parties with a fiduciary relationship, like employers and employees.
However, it also extends to parties with no fiduciary relationship like drivers on the roadway. When pursuing a compensation claim, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care that they breached.
Breach of Duty
A breached duty occurs when the defendant fails to exercise the standard of care a reasonable would in the same circumstances. So, suppose a driver was tailgating and rammed into your car from behind. Then they would have breached their duty of care to maintain a safe distance when on the road.
A breached duty is not enough to file a personal injury claim for whiplash and back pain. You must establish that it caused the accident that resulted in your injury. So, if the driver tailgated but did not strike your vehicle, then the claim against them will not stand.
Finally, even if all the above elements exist, you still have to establish the presence of damages. This is because, without a loss, there would be no remedy. So, you must show how the accident affected you and the losses you suffered as a result.
What Evidence Do You Need to Prove a Claim for Whiplash and Back Pain?
The next factor to note in determining how much compensation for whiplash and back pain is the type of evidence. As mentioned earlier, you need to prove your claim, which requires documentary evidence.
While there’s no definitive list and the accident determines the proof you need, we share some evidence you must have:
Photographs: If possible and safe, take pictures of the accident scene before the investigators clear it. Suppose it’s a car crash, snap the point of contact, the damage to your car, tire marks, etc. If it’s a slip and fall, take photos of the floor where you fell and photograph your injuries.
Camera Footage: Most cars now use dash cams, so ensure you secure the footage immediately after an accident. If it was caught on a traffic or CCTV camera, obtain a video copy. Do this as soon as possible as some cameras only save the footage for 24 hours.
Medical Records: Getting treated for whiplash and back pain is crucial. First, you get treatment, which helps you recover. Second, you obtain evidence linking your wound to the accident and proof of the bills paid. Finally, your doctor could also serve as a witness during the claims process.
Witness Details: If anyone witnessed the occurrence that led to the whiplash and back pain, you’d need them to testify. So, ensure you get their contact information. However, note that you can’t force witnesses to testify, so be cordial when approaching them.
Accident Report: Another crucial piece of evidence is the accident report. Police keep records of traffic collisions, and businesses must have records of any accident on their premises.
What Type of Compensation is Available for Whiplash and Back Pain?
When seeking compensation, you are entitled to compensatory damages. It covers financial losses (special damages) and non-financial losses (general damages).
Special damages cover the monetary losses from the whiplash injury and back pain. It manifests as medical bills, lost income, travel costs, and out-of-pocket expenses relating to the injury. Calculating economic damages is not hard as it has a fixed dollar value.
General damages focus on what you lost, or the pain suffered because of the injury. As a result, it has no fixed dollar value and is hard to calculate. It also covers mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc.
How Much Compensation for Whiplash and Back Pain
Accident victims often want to know how much they can get for whiplash and back pain. Unfortunately, there is no fixed number for the settlement sum you can receive. You can get thousands of pounds while another person gets tens of thousands. What matters are the factors that affect your case.
Therefore, each case is decided on its merits, doing away with a one fit-all-approach. However, some factors always play a role. One crucial element is the severity of the whiplash and back pain.
Some whiplash injuries and back pain heal with over-the-counter medications and bed rest, lasting for only a few days. But some last for months, accompanied by chronic pain. In such cases, you may need chiropractic care and other non-invasive treatment.
As a result, you pay more money for treatment than if you only needed over-the-counter medications. Another factor is your role in the accident. Were you slightly to blame for the occurrence? Or is your fault the same as the defendant?
The answers to these questions also determine how much you’ll get. Below, we share what your compensation may look like:
|Whiplash and a minor back injury||up to £12,510|
|Whiplash and moderate back injury||between £12,510 and £38,780|
|Whiplash and a severe back injury||between £38,780 and £160,980|
Now, suppose you suffered only whiplash without a back injury. This is what the settlement will look like based on duration:
|Not more than three months||£240|
|More than three months but not more than six months||£494|
|More than six months but not more than nine months||£840|
|More than nine months but not more than 12 months||£1,320|
|More than 12 months but not more than 15 months||£2,040|
|More than 15 months but not more than 18 months||£3,005|
|More than 18 months but not more than 24 months||£4,215|
In exceptional circumstances, you can claim an additional 20%. First, however, find out from a personal injury solicitor what amounts to ‘exceptional circumstances.’
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Every claim is unique so it’s impossible to say how much your claim is worth. You can find out more about typical payouts on our Personal Injuries page or discover more by reading our personal injury blog articles.
For a personal estimation on how much your claim is worth please complete our enquiry form and one of our specialist legal partners will contact you.