Whiplash Recovery Time And Claims Guide – How Long Does It Take To Recover From Whiplash?

Whiplash recovery time

Whiplash recovery time

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 10th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on whiplash recovery time. Are you wondering how long the average recovery time for whiplash is because you have suffered this kind of injury and haven’t yet recovered? Or are you looking at claiming for a previous whiplash injury and want to know how the recovery time frame may affect your whiplash injury claim payout?

This whiplash recovery guide provides useful information and guidance on what you need to know about making a personal injury claim of this nature and also explains how long it may take to recover, the personal injury claims time limit, and why No Win No Fee solicitors could provide assistance when filing a whiplash injury claim.

Should you have any further questions about whiplash recovery time, or you’re ready to begin a claim with a personal injury lawyer from our panel, please call us on 0800 073 8801.

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A Guide To Whiplash Recovery Times

If you suffered whiplash in a road accident or another accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering how your whiplash recovery time could affect the amount of compensation you could receive. This whiplash recovery guide offers information on the length of time it may take you to recover from this type of neck injury and provides information on how the causes, whether the injury could heal on its own, and the amount of whiplash injury compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim.

Accident Claims UK can provide advice and assistance with making whiplash claims and could introduce you to a personal injury solicitor to act on your behalf.

What Are The Causes Of Whiplash?

Whiplash is, essentially, a soft tissue injury to the neck, which happens when the head moves suddenly and violently forward and back, or sideways, in a jerking movement. It is the ligaments and tendons that support your neck, and if these are stretched and put under strain, soft tissue damage could occur.

Whiplash could be caused in a number of different accidents, which includes the following:

  • An assault
  • Sporting activity
  • A road accident

The most common cause of this type of injury occurs in road traffic accidents which a high-impact rear accident or low-speed collision. If an accident caused your whiplash and it was someone else’s fault, you may be able to claim compensation for your pain, your suffering, and any costs that you had to bear as a direct result of the injury.

Whiplash Symptoms And Recovery

Whiplash symptoms and recovery can vary depending on the severity of damage done. With this said, some people suffer immediately after an accident, while in others, the symptoms of whiplash come on over a period of time. It is also worth noting that some people suffer more pain than others, and some may suffer more than one of the following commonly seen symptoms:

  • Stiffness of the neck, back and/or shoulders
  • A headache
  • Tingling in the arms or legs
  • Numbness in the arms or legs
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In mild cases of whiplash, recovery time may be only a few days, but with others who suffer more serious damage, the symptoms can last for years. However long your whiplash recovery time happens to be, you could look into making a whiplash claim if the accident was someone else’s fault. Simply give us a call, and we could assess your case. We could also introduce you to a No Win No Fee solicitor who would act on your behalf.

What May Be The Short Or Long-Term Effects Of Whiplash?

A sprain injury to the neck, like whiplash, could result in short or long-term damage. As such, whiplash recovery time can vary, but there are some short and long-term effects that are worth noting:

In The Short Term

If you were involved in a low or moderate speed collision, you might find you suffer a milder form of whiplash. The more common symptoms for this could include the following:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Pain in the upper back
  • Headaches

In The Long Term

If you were in a particularly high speed or violent collision, there could be a higher chance of you experiencing more of the symptoms we listed above, and you may have more difficulty moving your neck. It is also worth noting that your whiplash recovery time may be longer if you did not experience any symptoms straight away and only manifesting anything from 6 to 12 hours after the accident happened.

The full effects may only be felt after a few days have passed. Headaches in such cases may be more severe, and you may also experience visual disturbances, as well as insomnia, if certain nerves were negatively impacted.

Whiplash Recovery – Can Symptoms Get Worse Over Time?

The stiffness and neck pain associated with whiplash often gets worse over the few days following an accident. While many whiplash injuries resolve by themselves over a short period of time, in some cases, symptoms could get worse as time passes, which could extend your whiplash recovery time to months or even, in extreme cases, years.

Whiplash recovering time is not predictable, but risk factors that could be linked to a longer whiplash recovery time may include:

  • A previous whiplash injury
  • Age
  • Pre-existing back or neck pain

Does Diagnosis And Treatment Affect Whiplash Recovery Times?

You may wish to see a doctor after a car accident or sporting injury regardless of the injuries you received. As mentioned previously, worsening symptoms may come on over time, and your doctor may need to rule out other injuries such as a torn ligament or disk injury.

A doctor would listen to you describe your symptoms if they are present and could examine your neck to see if there is any pain over the neck area. They could offer useful whiplash recovery tips. According to NICE guidelines, you should be discouraged from immobilising your neck and encouraged to return to usual activities that would not cause strain to the existing injury as soon as you are able.

You may be referred for physiotherapy if it is deemed appropriate, and you could be advised to take over-the-counter painkillers if you are in pain. Some people who suffer from depression because of the pain in long-term cases of whiplash, or chronic whiplash, could be referred to a psychologist. They may also be referred to psychologists if they have developed PTSD.

The way you treat your injury could potentially have some effect on your whiplash recovery time. For example, if you return to contact sports too quickly after you have suffered whiplash, you may aggravate the injury. Inactivity may also lead to a longer whiplash recovery time. As such, it is prudent to follow your doctor’s advice and ask any questions about activities you undertake to determine what the best course of action could be for the most appropriate whiplash injury treatment and recovery advice.

Will Whiplash Heal On Its Own?

While in most cases, whiplash is a self-limiting condition that does not require invasive treatment, you should still see a doctor if you suspect you might have whiplash in order to get the most accurate advice and to rule out any other injuries you may have sustained.

However, if your symptoms do not appear to be healing and you feel that the pain is lasting longer than you thought it should, you should go back to your doctor for further advice and perhaps a referral to a physiotherapist or osteopath, if appropriate. If you make a whiplash injury claim, you may even be able to include the cost of any treatment not covered by the NHS in your whiplash claim.

Predicting Whiplash Recovery Times

Research has shown that while an exact prediction of whiplash recovery time would not be possible as no two cases are exactly the same, there are ways of predicting whether whiplash could cause long-term pain or whether it could resolve quite quickly. A study of over 3000 whiplash cases in Canada showed that those suffering from whiplash pain level was less than 5 on a scale from one to ten after three weeks, and the prognosis was that they would recover more quickly than those who rated it higher than this. Other factors that could affect recovery also included the patient’s expectations of recovery, according to another study from Sweden.

Compensation Calculator When Recovering After Whiplash

Whatever your whiplash recovery time, you may be wondering how much compensation you could receive if you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. The table below provides an indication of payout brackets. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines for specific injury types and could prove a good alternative to using a personal injury claims calculator.

While we have included those injuries that may be relevant to readers of this guide, alongside whiplash, you may have suffered other injuries, and you might wish to know more about how much compensation could be claimed for these too.

Neck injury/ies - Moderate£23,460 to £36,120Chronic injuries, fractures and dislocations could be included here. There could be a higher level of vulnerability for future trauma, or long term loss of function.
Neck injury/ies - Moderate£12,900 to £23,460Wrenching injuries and disc lesions could be included here. Long periods of pain and suffering may deem your injury moderate enough to be included in this bracket
Neck injury/ies - Moderate£7,410 to £12,900If your injury has aggravated another condition, or you’ve suffered a longer recovery period, or if your injuries could leave you vulnerable to future harm, this bracket could be appropriate for your claim.
Neck injury/ies - MinorUp to £7,410Payouts under this bracket would depend on how much the injury has affected your ability to work, whether there was back pain involved and how much pain you might have suffered. Usually injuries within this bracket will heal within 2 years.

If you do not see the injury you have suffered above, or you’ve experienced multiple injuries, then you may wish to call the Accident Claims UK team to find out the guidelines amounts for the injuries you’ve suffered. We would also be able to provide you with a solicitor to help you build a whiplash claim against a liable party if you were eligible to do so.

Special Damages You Could Claim For Whiplash Injuries

Claims for this type of injury, no matter what your whiplash recovery time happens to be, may not just include the pain and the suffering that you experienced because of your injury. If you have lost money because you were off work recovering from your injury and could not perform your usual tasks, you could claim for these losses. Likewise, if you have incurred extra costs because of your whiplash injury, you might find that these could be covered by your claim. This could include the following:

  • Travel expenses (including parking charges, bus/taxi fares)
  • Medical expenses such as private physiotherapy or prescription costs

If you incurred a cost for anything directly connected to your injury, you would need to provide receipts to support your expenditure.

No Win No Fee Whiplash Damages Calculator

When you are considering making a whiplash claim, you may want to retain the services of a personal injury solicitor who offers No Win No Fee terms. Payment is not required until the end of your claim when you receive a final settlement. The CFA you sign established that you agree to pay your lawyer in the event of a successful claim. The payment would be a percentage of the payout amount and could be referred to within the agreement as a ‘success fee’.

If the No Win No Fee solicitor fails to win you a settlement, you wouldn’t be liable to pay the aforementioned ‘success fee’ for your claim.

The main benefits of making no win no fee claims would include the following:

  • Not being required to fund your claim out of your own pocket
  • Having less financial risk of further losses
  • Knowing your solicitor would only be likely to take on claims they felt were strong enough to secure compensation

In some cases, your solicitor may speak to you about taking out an insurance policy to cover you in the event of an unsuccessful claim. If you’d like to know more about this and the costs involved, please do give us a call, and we could explain further.

Talk To Accident Claims UK About Your Whiplash Injury

Do you think you might be ready to begin a claim with us, or would you like further advice on making a claim for pain, suffering and losses you’ve had to bear throughout your whiplash recovery time?

When you talk to our team of advisers, we will go through all the details of what has happened to you. We may ask you numerous questions relating to your case, so we can be sure we have all of the details needed to assess your case. Once we have all this, we’ll offer some advice and guidance on what you could do next. If we think it may be possible for you to claim compensation, we could offer to provide a solicitor to you in order to build a claim against the liable party.

If you don’t want a lawyer at this point and are not ready to claim, then we will not pressure you into doing so. All our advice is free of charge, and we do not hold you under any obligation to use our services.

If, however, you do decide to allow us to help with your claim, we could provide you with a lawyer working on a No Win No Fee basis. We are proud of the services we and our lawyers offer and will work with you in any way we can to offer you guidance and support with your whiplash injury claim.

We can be reached in a number of ways:

By phone – 0800 073 8801 – you can call our team at any time, and we’ll go through your case and offer essential legal advice.

By email – office@accidentclaims.co.uk – Feel free to send over any queries or details about what has happened to you, and we’ll aim to get back to you as quickly as we can.

Via live chat – If you see a popup with our live chat option, then simply type in the box, and someone will answer your query.

Whichever way you prefer to get in touch, our panel of personal injury lawyers is here to offer assistance.

Whiplash recovery time- FAQs

What are the symptoms of whiplash? 

If you’ve been in a road traffic accident and found that the impact of the crash has jolted your head forwards, then you may be suffering from whiplash. Sometimes, it can take a couple of hours for the symptoms of whiplash to become evident. You can experience symptoms of whiplash from a read end collision, a head-on crash or if someone has hit you from the side.

The most common symptom of whiplash that most of us are familiar with is pain and stiffness in the neck, headaches, and pain in the muscles of your arms and shoulders. If you’re suffering from whiplash, then you may also experience blurred vision and pain when you swallow, as well as dizziness. You might find that your whiplash causes you difficulty concentrating.

Should I take medication for whiplash? 

If you find that the pain caused by your whiplash is interfering with your ability to do everyday activities, then you can take paracetamol and ibuprofen to ease the pain. If you visit your GP because of your whiplash symptoms, then they may prescribe you a stronger painkiller like codeine. You can also use an ice pack to relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms.

Essential Links

Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims -Were you injured when driving or as a passenger in an emergency services vehicle?  Here, we look at how accident claims for this type of injury work.

Accidents In Public Places – If your whiplash injury happened because of an accident in a public place, this guide might offer some assistance.

HGV Accident Claims – Did your whiplash injury occur because of an accident with an HGV or lorry? This advice guide could be useful to you if it did.

MIB Claims – If the driver that caused the accident you were in wasn’t insured, or was unable to be traced, then the MIB could pay out on your claim.

Whiplash- NHS – an NHS guide to whiplash injuries

MIB claims– Government advice on claiming against an untraced or uninsured driver

Drivers and riders: legal obligations- Find out what your legal obligations are while on the road in this government guide.

Thank you for reading our guide on whiplash recovery time.

Editor Honey