Advice On Taking Time Off Work For Whiplash

By Cat Stardew. Last Updated 24th May 2023. 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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How long should I be off work for whiplash?

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How Long Should I Be Off Work For Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries can vary in nature and severity with some being minor and others being more severe. This, as well as other factors, can influence what the recommended leave duration for a neck injury involving whiplash could be.

As such, each person’s individual circumstances would determine how long they should be off work with whiplash, so we cannot give a definitive answer.

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.

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.

The Steps To Making A Whiplash Claim

An important step in the whiplash claims process is collecting evidence. Evidence can help support your claim as it could prove who was liable for the accident and the injuries you suffered.

Some examples of evidence that you could collect to support your claim include:

  • A copy of your medical records stating your injury and the treatment you required.
  • Witness contact details so that they can provide a statement about the accident at a later date.
  • Dashcam or CCTV footage of the accident.
  • Photographs of the accident scene.

There may be other kinds of evidence that could help support your claim for whiplash. If you choose to work with a solicitor, they can evaluate all areas of your claim and help ensure that you have adequate evidence.

For more information on how to claim for whiplash or to see if you could be eligible to work with a solicitor on our panel, contact our advisors today.

Whiplash Time Limits For Claims

When making a claim for whiplash, the time limit is generally 3-years from the date you were injured. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. If your symptoms manifest at a later date, then this is known as the date of knowledge. If you have the evidence to support this, then you could use this as the start of your 3-year time limit.

Additionally, the time limit can also be extended in some other cases. For instance, if the claimant is under 18, their time limit begins only once they reach adulthood. Before then, it must be made by an appointed litigation friend that is not subject to a time limit.

In some cases, the claimant may suffer from a reduced mental capacity. Unless they make a recovery to the point of being able to claim on their own behalf, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf, and the time limit is frozen indefinitely.

Get in touch for more information and answers to questions such as, “how long does it take whiplash to heal?” and “how long does it take to recover from whiplash?”

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 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 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 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.
Whiplash Tariff£4,345This is the appropriate tariff for a claimant suffering with symptoms of whiplash and a minor psychological injury for 18-24 months.
Whiplash Tariff£4,215This tariff is appropriate for claimants suffering with whiplash symptoms for 18-24 months.

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:

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you be off work with whiplash?

This can depend on what you do for work and the recommendations of your doctor. You may receive a recommendation to take longer time off work if you perform strenuous or manual work. If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, we would recommend that you speak to a medical professional for information on how long you may need to be off work.

How long does whiplash take to heal?

This depends on the severity of the injury. According to the NHS, whiplash injuries commonly take 2-3 months to heal, but if the injury is more severe, it could be longer. A medical professional could be able to give you a clearer time frame for recovery.

How long does whiplash take to show?

Symptoms of whiplash can start to present themselves within hours of the incident. However, sometimes it may take days. We would recommend seeking out a medical assessment if you were involved in an accident and are concerned you may have whiplash.

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

More Helpful Guides

Bus Accident Claims

Cycle Accident Claims

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