Here at Whiplash Claims we realise that people are quite keen to know how much their whiplash compensation claim is worth once they’ve decided to instruct an injury lawyer to pursue their potential claim for compensation. We know that the vast majority of people who have suffered a whiplash injury resulted from some sort of road traffic accident. It therefore seems to make sense to write a quick guide as to the potential value of whiplash claims.
As I have said, many whiplash injuries often stem from road traffic accidents – for instance, where a negligent third party driver collides with the rear of a stationary vehicle. That said, whiplash can also be sustained from playing sports or from slipping or falling, but it is fair to say that most of the whiplash injuries do stem from road traffic accidents.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that normally affects your neck, shoulders and back area when it suffers a sudden and forceful jolt. So, what is your whiplash claim worth then? Unfortuantely, that is a tricky question; especially at the outset of the injury. It is near impossible to give you an accurate valuation right from the start, because no whiplash injury is the same, and we do not know yet how it is going to affect you. What we can, however, is give you is a rough valuation.
Being expert whiplash lawyers we have dealt successfully with thousands of whiplash claims. Personal injury is the area of law we solely focus and develop our expertise. Because we have dealt with so many whiplash claims we’re able to look at the facts of your case and see if they are similar to any of the many others we have dealt with, and this way we give you a rough estimate on the value of your whiplash claim. We also use what are known as the Judicial Studies Board guidelines which also provide brackets for the value of certain injuries. For instance, it is suggested that a minor whiplash injury is statistically worth £2,500.
What you have to understand is that, in valuing a whiplash claim, you have to take each person’s circumstances in to consideration. No one claim is the same as the next, and we genuinely do not know at the start of your claim how your whiplash injury will affect you. Here are a few things we consider when we value your whiplash claim:
Pain and suffering
The general rule is that the greater amount of pain and suffering you experience, the greater the value of your whiplash claim. A moderate whiplash injury lasting 9 months will probably be worth more than a minor whiplash injury lasting 6 months.
Loss of earnings
If your whiplash injury has meant that you have had to take time off work, and have consequentially lost out on some of your income, you can try and reclaim the lost earnings as part of your claim. Your whiplash claim can be worth more if you’re on a high salary and were off work longer than someone on a lower salary who was only off work for a few days due to the obvious greater loss of earnings which you have incurred.
The tricky thing with whiplash is that the symptoms may not be apparent for a few days after the accident, and they affect people in different ways. In one person the whiplash symptoms may disappear after a couple of weeks, but in the next person they may persist for months. In valuing your claim an injury lawyer has to take into account the severity of your injury, the length of time your pain and suffering has lasted, and whether there were any other losses, such as a loss of earnings, that were a result of your whiplash injury.
This is how they will value your whiplash claim and this is why, at the start of your claim, it is often highly difficult to put a precise value on your claim. That said, an injury lawyer should be able to give you a ball park figure – but again, this will not necessarily be correct and your injury could be worth a lot more, or even slightly less, than first thought.