How Long Should I Be Off Work For Whiplash?

    By Cat Stardew. Last Updated 20th May 2022. If you’ve been injured in the likes of a road traffic accident, you may have asked yourself the question “how long should I be off work for whiplash?” The answer is that it would depend on the severity of the injury you sustained.

    Our guide to whiplash claims provides information on how this type of injury can be debilitating. We cover the symptoms of whiplash and what treatments are typically provided. We explain the length of time it may take you to recover from a whiplash injury, and we go into how long you may have to be off work.

    We also look at the time you should take off work in order to fully recover and provide an idea of how much personal injury compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim against a party deemed responsible.

    We then explain how a solicitor could represent you without asking you to pay a retainer (upfront fee) or ongoing fees once it is established you have a strong case against a responsible party.

    To find out more on how long you should be off work for whiplash, please continue reading our guide by clicking on the sections below. Alternatively, if you want to discuss your case with a member of our Legal Helpline team, please do so by telephoning us on 0161 696 9685.

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    A Guide On How Long Should I Be Off Work For Whiplash

    If you were involved in a car accident, at work or were injured during a sporting event, you may suffer a whiplash injury. The symptoms you experience may only be mild, but you could suffer symptoms that are a lot more severe. You may not be aware of the damage you sustained straight away, because the symptoms may only manifest themselves later on.

    How long should I be off work for whiplash guide

    How long should I be off work for whiplash guide

    Our guide to whiplash injuries offers information on how whiplash can negatively impact your overall health as well as your ability to work. We answer a question that many injured parties ask which is “how long will I be off work with whiplash?”

    We explain the symptoms you could experience if you sustain a whiplash injury, and how even minor symptoms should be taken seriously. The guide provides essential reading on how whiplash should be treated, and how long it may take you to fully recover from the injury you sustained. We then offer advice on how long you should take off work.

    Our guide also provides a general idea of the amount of personal injury compensation you could be awarded in a successful whiplash claim. We explain how a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor could offer to represent you when making a claim.

    We also explain how Conditional Fee Agreements work. These are often referred to as No Win No Fee agreements, and we offer valuable advice on how a solicitor from our panel would assess your case by offering you a no-obligation, initial consultation which is completely free of charge.

    To find out more on how long you should be off work with whiplash, and to establish whether you have a valid case against a third party, please get in touch today.

    What Is Whiplash?

    You could suffer a whiplash injury in several ways whether in a car accident, or some other type of incident that causes your head to jerk back and forward violently, such as in an assault at work.

    It would be fair to say that it is the type of injury that people sustain in car accidents where a vehicle is rear-ended. However, you could sustain whiplash through the following too:

    • Physical attacks
    • Amusement park rides
    • Sports injuries

    The result of whiplash sees the muscles and ligaments (soft tissues) found in your neck being stretched (extended) beyond a natural range. You may not be aware of your injury because the symptoms associated with whiplash often do not become apparent immediately.

    As such it is essential that any physical changes must be noted following an incident that caused your head to move violently forwards and backwards, or sideways.

    Whiplash Symptoms

    As previously touched upon, you may not experience any symptoms straight away if you sustain a whiplash injury. The most commonly reported symptoms associated with this type of damage to your neck includes the following:

    • You could experience neck pain
    • You may have a headache
    • You could experience dizziness
    • You may have blurred vision
    • You could have low energy
    • You may have problems with memory
    • You may have problems with concentration
    • You could develop tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
    • You may suffer from irritability
    • You could experience chronic pain
    • You may have a painful shoulder
    • You could have a painful head
    • You may experience numbness

    If you experience any severe symptoms, you should seek medical attention as a matter of urgency.

    How To Check If You Have Whiplash

    If you are involved in an accident where your head is rocked back, forward, or sideways violently, and you suspect you may have sustained whiplash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can.

    If you feel any sort of pain in your neck area, shoulders, or you develop a headache and start feeling dizzy, the chances are you have suffered whiplash. As such, a doctor would examine you to establish the extent of the damage before putting a treatment plan in place to aid your recovery.


    One of the symptoms associated with whiplash is dizziness, which can negatively impact your ability to work or carry out normal daily chores. If you do feel dizzy after having been involved in an incident where you believe you may have suffered whiplash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can.

    Headaches And Tinnitus

    You could also experience headaches if you sustain a whiplash injury with the pain typically being at the base of your skull. Another symptom of whiplash is tinnitus which is a ringing in one or both ears.

    Again, if you start getting headaches or you develop ringing in your ears, you should see a doctor as soon as you can so they can diagnose your condition before treating you.

    To discuss a whiplash injury claim with a member of the Legal Helpline team, please get in touch today

    What Are The Whiplash Injury Regulations?

    If you’re seeking whiplash compensation, how you claim compensation has changed in some instances. The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 mean that you would need to claim through an alternative method if:

    • Your injury is worth £5,000 or less
    • You are over eighteen and were either a driver or a passenger
    • The injury occurred in either England or Wales

    If your injury matches the above three criteria, you will need to claim using the method as detailed in the regulations. You would use an online portal to seek whiplash compensation as opposed to using the standard method.

    However, you may be unsure how much your injury is worth. Our advisors can provide you with a second opinion regarding the potential value of your injury. This could help you understand the avenue you should take to seek compensation. To learn more, contact our team for free legal advice to see if you’re eligible to claim and to understand how much potential compensation you could receive.

    How Do I Find Out How Long I Should Be Off Work For Whiplash?

    There are many factors you need to consider after suffering a whiplash injury. The injury may affect you immediately or it could take weeks for the extent of the injury to be felt. Partly because of this, to determine how long you should be off work, you should always seek medical advice from a doctor or another medical professional.

    When assessing your injury, they could determine the best immediate course of action as well as create an appropriate treatment plan for you. They may also be able to advise whether you need time off work.

    If your injury was caused by third-party negligence, you don’t need to have had time off work to claim. If you can prove negligence, you can claim for any physical or psychological injury caused by the accident.

    Physio Whiplash Treatment

    If you sustain a whiplash injury, physiotherapy plays an essential role in aiding recovery.

    A doctor or physio may recommend you place ice or heat on the injured part of your body, and that you practice easy exercises with an end goal being to build up strength as well as flexibility in your neck area.

    You should also practice good posture and carry out relaxation techniques which help keep neck muscles from straining.

    Complications From Whiplash Injuries

    In some cases, people who sustain whiplash can experience headaches and chronic pain for some time after they suffered an injury of this type. Should this be the case, it may be possible for a medical professional to trace this back to past injuries sustained to neck joints, ligaments, and discs. However, if you experience chronic pain after a whiplash injury, all too often the cause can be difficult to determine.

    It is worth noting that few people suffer any sort of long-term complications after sustaining a whiplash injury with recovery time being anything from within a few days to several weeks, with the majority of people making a full recovery within 3 months of being injured.

    Living And Sleeping With Whiplash Injuries

    If you were injured in an incident and think you have sustained whiplash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can.

    The chances are the pain and discomfort you experience will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Should this be the case, you may find it easier to place a pillow that supports your neck while you are lying down. You may also find that changing your position when sleeping may make it more comfortable.

    Recovery Time For Whiplash Injuries

    The time it can take you to recover from whiplash would depend on the severity of your injury. It is also worth noting that every person’s recovery time is different.

    Recovery Times For Mild Cases Of Whiplash

    Many people who sustain a whiplash injury ask how long they would take to recover. As mentioned, this can vary from person to person because everyone is unique. For milder cases of whiplash, the symptoms may last a few days to several weeks.

    Recovery Times For Chronic Cases Of Whiplash

    If you suffer more serious symptoms associated with a whiplash injury, your recovery time could be anything from 2 to 3 months, or perhaps lasting up to 1 or 2 years. Some symptoms, which include chronic headaches, can last for much longer, going into several years.

    What Are The Long Term Symptoms And Problems Of Whiplash?

    In some instances, a person who sustains a whiplash injury may experience severe symptoms over a long period of time, which can last several years. Occasionally, a doctor may be able to trace the pain back to a previous injury to the neck that you suffered many years earlier, although it is worth noting that this is not always the case.

    In such cases, a whiplash claim is still possible. The law acknowledges that accidents and injuries can exacerbate existing injuries or accelerate the development of ones that you may already have been experiencing. Determining the contribution of the accident will be a matter of medical evidence.

    How Long Does A Whiplash Claim Take?

    The length of your claim will depend on your individual circumstances, so it can be hard to find an average time frame. However, you must start your claim within three years of connecting your injuries with negligence or the date the incident occurred, according to the Limitation Act 1980.

    Our advisors can give you more information on how long a whiplash claim might take, as well as provide free legal advice when you get in touch today.

    How Long Should You Be Off Work With Whiplash

    Because everyone is different and therefore, they may recover faster or slower from a whiplash injury, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how long you should be off work with whiplash.

    It would also depend on the severity of the injury you suffered and how severe your symptoms happen to be. In short, the length of time you would have to be off work would depend on the following:

    • The severity of the whiplash injury you sustained
    • The severity of the symptoms you experience

    To find out how long you should be off work with whiplash, seek medical attention. A doctor or medical professional can give you more information on the severity of your injuries, and how long it make take for you to recover.

    To discuss a whiplash claim with a member of the Legal Helpline team, please get in touch today.

    Whiplash Payout Scale In The UK 2022

    If you are interested in making a claim, you may be wondering what the whiplash payout scale in the UK is in 2022. In accordance with the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, drivers or passengers aged 18 or over with injuries valued at £5,000 or under must now make their claims through the Government portal. If you claim through the government portal, your compensation will be calculated as per the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

    However, if your injuries are valued over this amount, or if your accident occurred before May 31st 2021, you can still make your claim the traditional way. In which case, your claim may be calculated using other resources. The table below uses figures from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in 2022, to illustrate how much you could receive in general damages in England and Wales.

    Injury TypeCompensation BracketNotes
    Severe Neck Injuries (a) (iii)£45,470 to £55,990
    Fractures, discloations, soft tissues injuries and tendon injuries that lead to significant disability and chronic conditions.
    Moderate Neck Injuries (b) (i)£24,990 to £38,490
    Fractures and dislocations that may require spinal fusion.
    Moderate Neck Injuries (b) (ii)£13,740 to £24,990
    Cases of soft tissue injuries, wrenching-type injuries, and severe disc lesion.
    Severe Back Injuries (a) (ii)£74,160 to £88,430Nerve root damage with scarring, impairment of mobility, and loss of sensation.
    Severe Back Injuries (a) (iii)£38,780 to £69,730Disc lesions, fractures or soft tissue injuries leading to further chronic conditions.
    Minor Back Injuries (c) (i)£7,890 to £12,510Full recovery or almost full recovery within two to five years without surgery.
    Severe Shoulder Injuries (a) £19,200 to £48,030Damage to the brachial plexus resulting in significant disability.
    Serious Shoulder Injuries (b)£12,770 to £19,200Shoulder dislocation with damage to the brachial plexus.
    Moderate Shoulder Injuries (c)£7,890 to £12,770Frozen shoulder with limitation of movement lasting for about two years.

    Our advisors can provide a free estimation of what your claim could be worth when you get in touch today.

    Special Damages Awarded In Whiplash Claims

    When you win a personal injury claim against a party deemed responsible for the whiplash injury you sustained, you would be awarded compensation in two parts. General damages as explained in the table above, are awarded as a way of compensating you for your pain, loss of amenity and suffering.

    However, the second part is known as special damages which are awarded to compensate claimants for their financial losses and out of pocket expenses. The type of losses and expenses you could claim would typically include the following:

    • Your travel expenses connected to the injury sustained. This could be the cost of getting there and back to a medical facility for treatment or the cost of parking at a hospital
    • Your medical costs can include any prescription costs and the cost of private treatment, as well as over-the-counter medication
    • Any loss of income you incurred during the time it took you to recover from whiplash
    • Loss of future earnings should your whiplash injury be so severe, you are unable to work again
    • Care costs should you need help with daily chores around the home whilst you recover
    • Any other expenditure connected to the whiplash injury you suffered

    To discuss what expenses and losses you may be able to include in a whiplash injury claim, please get in touch today.

    Why Choose Our Team to Handle Your Claim?

    Legal Helpline offers all clients an initial consultation which is not only free of charge, but you would be under no obligation to continue with a whiplash injury claim should you decide not to.

    Our team of experts have vast experience in representing clients who sustained whiplash whether they were involved in a car accident, suffered a slip and fall in the workplace, or were injured during a sporting event.

    We always respect the time limit associated with personal injury claims and we always follow pre-action protocols to ensure that the legal process goes as smoothly as possible.

    Once it has been determined that your whiplash injury claim against a third party is valid and that it stands a better than average chance of success, you would be offered No Win No Fee terms from a personal injury solicitor on our panel.

    To discuss your claim today, please contact a member of our team.

    No Win No Fee Whiplash Injury Claims

    Once a solicitor has assessed your case and found that you have a valid and strong personal injury claim against a third party, you would be offered No Win No Fee terms.

    No Win No Fee whiplash injury claims allow you to pursue your case for compensation without having to worry about the money it costs to have legal representation. This means your solicitor can begin their investigations without requesting that you pay them any fees to do so.

    Your claim would be assessed during a no-obligation, initial consultation that is free of charge so you do not have to worry about paying for legal advice from the outset. No Win No Fee agreements are legal contracts drawn up between a solicitor and yourself that set out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement.

    Included in this contract is the agreed percentage that you would pay if your case is successful, which is called a ‘success fee’. This would only be payable to your No Win No Fee lawyer when you receive whiplash injury compensation. It’s used to cover their costs in representing you.

    Should your whiplash personal injury claim be unsuccessful, the ‘success fee’ would not be payable because of the No Win No Fee Agreement the solicitor signed, nor would you have to pay any of your lawyer’s fees.

    To speak to one of our expert advisers about No Win No Fee claims, please get in touch today.

    Contact Legal Helpline Today

    To discuss your whiplash injury claim, please get in touch with one Legal Helpline advisers. You can do so in the following ways:

    Quick Links

    The link below takes you to a guide on personal injury compensation and whiplash recovery time:

    Personal injury compensation and whiplash recovery time

    The link provided below takes you to a guide that explains the level of compensation you could be awarded in a successful whiplash injury claim:

    Compensation for whiplash injuries

    For more information on the symptoms associated with a whiplash injury, please follow the link provided below:

    NHS symptoms whiplash

    For more information on the treatment of a whiplash injury, please click on the link below:

    Whiplash treatments

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    Thank you for reading our guide. We hope it’s answered the question, “how long should I be off work for whiplash?”