A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Back Injury After A Car Accident

By Marlon Redding. Last Updated 19th July 2023. If you have suffered a back injury from a car accident that was not your fault, it may be possible for you to claim compensation. In this guide, we explain what you may need to know about making a personal injury claim after such an accident.

In the sections below, you will find guidance on the eligibility criteria for claiming compensation. We have also included information about how long you might have to claim for back pain after a car accident, and how compensation payouts are calculated. Furthermore, we explain how a solicitor from our panel could help under a No Win No Fee arrangement and how to get started with your claim.

If you’d like to check your eligibility to make a claim or have questions about this guide, you can contact our advisors at any time:

Back injury after a car accident

Back injury after a car accident claims guide

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An Overview On Claiming For A Back Injury After A Car Accident

If you have injured your back in a car accident, then this guide is aimed at you. It will provide you with the basic knowledge you need to know to pursue compensation for a back injury after a car accident. In the sections below, you will learn why you might have a valid claim, and how to proceed with one if you do.

We must mention that since the middle of 2021 if injuries to passengers and drivers over the age of 18 are valued at less than £5000 you will make your personal injury claim in a different way. This will be through the government portal as part of the Whiplash Reform Programme.

The first few sections of the page is related to reasons to claim. We begin with a general overview of what a car accident back injury claim is. Including a look into the time limit to start a claim. We then cover some specific types of back injuries. This includes lower back pain, spinal cord injuries, lumbar injuries, herniated discs and thoracic spine injuries.

The next part of the guide provides information about the claims process itself, including financial information. You will learn about the types of evidence you can provide to support your claim. We have added an example compensation table, and also an explanation of some of the more common types of damages. No Win No Fee agreements are covered, and we explain how the fee structure works. Lastly, this guide ends with some useful resource links, a look into some key statistics, and a short FAQ section.

Is There A Claim Time Limit?

There will be a claims deadline that your claim for car accident injuries has to be started within. As long as it is begun before this personal injury claims time limit is up, it won’t matter how long it takes to resolve. Your unique set of circumstances will drive this time limit.

In general, you have three years to start your claim. With this time limit starting on the date of the accident or the date you become knowledgeable your injuries were the result of negligence. Which in most instances of a car accident will be the same day the accident took place. However, some things can affect this time limit. As an example, if the claimant is under the age of 18, or is covered by the Mental Health Act 1983.

If you want to find out exactly what time limit is going to be in place for your own claim, we can help. Call and explain your claim to a member of our team of advisors. They will then tell you what the deadline will be.

What Is A Back Injury After A Car Accident?

Why might you need to pursue compensation for a back injury after a car accident? Firstly, you would need to have a valid reason to make a claim. This means proving that another road user was responsible for causing the accident that your back was hurt in. If you can show the actions of a third party directly or indirectly lead to the accident, you might have a valid claim.

When accidents happen on the roads sometimes they are not the fault of anyone but others times they can be caused through a breach in the duty of care other road users have for one another, due to roads being of a poor condition or maybe because of hazards left on the road.

To make a valid personal injury claim it must be proven that those who have a responsibility to your safety failed in this regard. Meaning the duty of care was breached. And because of this negligence, you suffered harm.

If your claim is valid you can try to pursue compensation for two reasons. Firstly, physical (or psychological) harm. For example, a spinal injury or a herniated disc. It is important to understand that a back injury from a car accident symptoms might not manifest straight away. You could discover some time later on that you were hurt quite badly, even though you did not realise it at first. Secondly, you can try to pursue compensation for any monetary loss caused by your injuries.

My Spinal Cord Was Injured, Could I Claim?

The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae. It consists of a column of tissues and nerves and is part of the central nervous system. Technically it runs from the bottom of the skull to near the end of the spine and is instrumental in the functioning of the body. Injuries to the spinal cord are life-changing and can hinder many actions the body needs to perform.

Below we look at the types of injuries that can be suffered at the spinal cord;

  • Tetraplegia.
  • Paraplegia.
  • Triplegia

Even a minor spinal cord injury can have serious consequences. Symptoms range from numbness or pins and needles to total paralysis. Furthermore, if you are the victim of a spinal injury, you are at greater risk of other medical conditions.

What Evidence Do I Need To Win My Claim?

To help you to claim compensation for a back injury after a car accident, you can submit evidence in support of your claim. Your solicitor will be able to tell you more about the types of evidence that might be appropriate. However, here are some examples below.

  • Photographs of the scene of the road traffic accident and the cause. However, only take photographs at the scene of the accident if it is safe to do so.
  • Details of all other road users, drivers and vehicles involved in the accident. Driving licence numbers, car registration numbers, insurance details, etc.
  • The name and contact details of anyone who saw the accident happen. These witnesses may be needed at a later stage, to provide testimony.
  • Details of your injuries, and the results of a medical examination that proves the extent of your injuries. Also, any medical evidence of long term health problems due to the accident or injuries. This might include psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, for example.
  • Information that proves any monetary loss accrued by your injuries. You should keep all receipts, bills, invoices, etc. to help with this. Also, details of any predicted financial loss you will suffer in the future. For example, loss of earnings due to reduced working potential.

If you want some general help and advice about what types of evidence you could gather, please call our team. Our advisors will be able to provide you with some help.

Compensation Payouts For A Back Injury After A Car Accident

The figures in the table below have been taken from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Last updated in 2022, this publication is used by legal professionals as part of the valuation process of your general damages payment. This is the portion of your settlement that addresses the pain and suffering your injuries cause you.

The amount you receive can often depend on how severe your injuries are. For example, lower back pain that eventually subsides would likely be worth less than lasting paralysis. Factors such as the overall effect that your injuries have on your life are also considered during the process of arriving at an appropriate figure.

The figures in the table below are based on past court cases for similar injuries. However, each claim is unique. Therefore, your own circumstances need to be assessed before an accurate estimate can be made. If you’ve sustained a back injury after a car accident, get in touch with our advisors today.

We can take you through the process of working out how much you could receive in compensation and even give you a bespoke estimation.

Damage TypeLevel of SeverityPossible CompensationInformation
Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia)(a)£324,600 to £403,990The middle ranges of this brackets will be awarded for those who have the ability to speak, can see, and hearing life expectancy of more than 25 years but needs help with bodily functions.
Paraplegia(b)£219,070 to £284,260The award will depend on varying aspects of life expectancy, to what extent the person is independent, mental health issues and sexual function.
BackSevere (i -iii)£38,780 to £160,980Fractures, dislocations, severe soft tissue damage will all be awarded near the lower end of the bracket. Towards the top end damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots and incomplete paralysis and significantly impaired digestive organs.
BackModerate (i - iii)£12,510 to £38,730Crush or compression fractures, risk of osteoarthritis, with constant pain and discomfort, prolapsed discs as well as reduced mobility will play a role in this bracket award.
BackMinor (i)£7,890 to £12,510Full recovery, or a recovery to a nuisance level within 2-5 years.

You may also be able to use a personal injury compensation claims calculator to get a general idea of how much compensation you might receive. Another option, is to have a personal injury solicitor evaluate your claim accurately for you. If you call and speak to our team, they can tell you how to organise this.

Back Injury Compensation Payouts – What Else Can You Claim?

The back injury compensation examples you see above are only relevant to general damages. As explained, this is the compensation awarded for pain or suffering.

Back injury compensation payouts in the UK can also comprise of special damages – which is compensation for any financial losses relating to your injury.

For example, you could claim compensation for:

  • Income loss
  • Spending towards treatment or care
  • Aids for mobility

Please reach out to one of our advisers to learn about what you could claim for under special damages and the car accident claims process.

Claiming Back Injury Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you wish to enlist legal representation to assist you with your claim, you may be concerned about affording their services. However, the lawyers on our panel have worked with many of their past clients on a No Win No Fee basis. This means they could work with you in this way too.

When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor for a car accident claim, you only pay them a portion of your settlement if your case is successful. The percentage they are able to take is capped by law. Additionally, you are not obliged to pay this figure to them if your claim does not succeed.

There are also no upfront fees. Paying for legal representation in this way can help reduce the financial risk to you.

If you’d like to claim for a back injury and finance legal help in this way, get in touch with our advisors today. If we think you could have a legitimate claim, we may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

To reach our team you can:

Useful Links

Here are some other claims guides.

And here are some other useful web pages.

The Whiplash Reform Programme

Whiplash Injury Regulations

Get Emergency Help With Back Pain