How Much Will A Child Receive For Whiplash?
Has your child been injured in a car accident and suffered a whiplash injury? Accidents can cause whiplash injuries in children that are easily missed, as children may be less likely to recognise the significance of their injuries.
If your child has been injured in a car accident, you should take them to a doctor or, in the case of head injuries or other serious injury, an A&E Department. If they seem relatively healthy, consider keeping a record of their symptoms. Children are, for obvious reasons, unlikely to realise that they feel sick all the time and have a pain in their neck because of the same cause.
Children are especially unlikely to realise that more subtle, psychological complications of whiplash exist. A child feeling increasingly depressed or anxious is hard for the child to detect themselves. Instead, psychological symptoms will usually be detected by a responsible adult through observing increased irritability or anger, decreased ability to concentrate, decreased ability to socialise, increased fatigue, and a generally low mood.
Here you will discover the answers to this question and also how a whiplash injury is caused, what symptoms your child may complain of if they are suffering from a whiplash injury and the process by which your child will obtain their compensation.
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Whiplash Injuries In Children
The following table briefly lays out the compensation a child might expect to receive for whiplash injuries of varying severity. Whiplash injuries may be accompanied by additional injuries, so this does not necessarily represent the complete range of total compensation you might expect to receive for your accident.
Minor child whiplash injuries where recovery takes place within one year
£750 – £2500
A minor child whiplash injury where recovery takes place within 2 years
£2500 – £4250
Moderate child whiplash injuries (where symptoms persist for more than two years and the future prognosis is uncertain)
£4250 – £7750
Severe children whiplash injuries where pain and suffering will continue indefinitely
£7750 – £13,750
Whiplash injuries can be sustained by children and adults alike and, no matter what the age of the accident victim, the whiplash injury is caused in exactly the same manner.
The impact of the collision can cause the head and neck of the children and adults in the vehicle to be suddenly and forcefully thrown back and forth causing the soft tissue and ligaments in the neck to be stretched beyond their normal range of movement.
A whiplash injury is often caused by one vehicle colliding with the rear of another vehicle. Alternatively, whiplash injuries can be sustained from side impacts, and are just as serious and painful to live with. In some cases, they can be more painful – a side impact involves motion from side to side as well as forwards and backwards, which can exacerbate a whiplash injury.
If your child is suffering from a whiplash injury the symptoms of the injury may not be present immediately after the accident but may take several hours, or even several days, to appear. Your child may begin complaining of stiffness in their neck, restricted movement, headaches, feeling sick, excessive tiredness and pins and needles. If you have any suspicion that your child is suffering from a whiplash injury – or any other injury – you should arrange for them to be seen by your GP or local A&E department as soon as possible. This will ensure that your child receives the right course of treatment for their injury and that anything more serious than whiplash is ruled out.
Why You Should Use A Specialist Solicitor
Many solicitors will take on whiplash cases without being specialists or particularly experienced in this area of law. This may lead to an amount that seems significant, but you should expect a lower quality of care and a lower amount of compensation from solicitors who are not specialists.
When you appoint a specialist solicitor to handle your child's whiplash injury claim they will arrange for your child to be seen by an independent medical expert. The medical expert will prepare a report documenting your child’s injuries and will provide a prognosis stating how long your child is likely to take to recover from their injuries. Your solicitor will use this prognosis to value your child's claim by comparing your child’s injuries with other child claimants whose cases have already been settled and who had suffered similar injuries to your child and taken a similar amount of time to recover.
The Legal Oracle only use specialist solicitors for this exact reason, and offer additional services based on many years of experience working with and helping whiplash sufferers. We know that whiplash sufferers can feel isolated and hurt when people don't believe or dismiss their injuries – that's why we're on your side!
Settlement And Compensation
The amount of compensation your child receives will depend on how serious their whiplash injury was and how long they took to recover from their injuries. As a guide, children who have suffered a 'minor' whiplash injury, where symptoms have fully resolved within one year of the accident, are likely to receive between £750 and £2500 for their injuries. Where recovery takes place between one and two years a child is likely to receive up to £4250 for their injuries and if your child is still suffering from their symptoms 2 years after the accident then they are likely to receive up to £7750 for their injuries.
When a settlement amount has been agreed between the parties the amount of compensation agreed will need to be approved by a judge at a court hearing. You and your child will be required to attend the hearing and the judge will decide whether to approve the settlement amount. They will then order the money to be placed into the court fund until your child reaches the age of 18. It may be possible to request that a small amount of your child's compensation be released immediately but this would need to be for some educational use for your child, i.e. money to fund a computer for homework.
If you think your child has sustained a whiplash injury as a result of a road traffic accident you should arrange for them to receive medical treatment as soon as possible. After your child has received treatment, you should seek legal advice from an expert child whiplash solicitor.
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