How much compensation can you claim for a neck injury at work?
"Neck injury" is the catch-all term for any injury to the spine, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons or bone between the head and back. Injuries range from minor numbness and pain to serious life-changing injuries that could permanently affect a claimants ability to work.
The compensation you receive will depend on the seriousness of the injury, and the prognosis for your recovery.
Common causes of neck injury at work
Neck injuries are often caused by avoidable accidents such as a fall from height, trip hazards, or lifting heavy objects without the proper safety training or equipment, resulting in a manual handling injury.
They are also caused by whiplash from vehicle collisions, direct blows to the head, perhaps from falling objects or flying debris, or spending long periods of time in the same position.
Your employer has a duty to make sure you are safe at work and that all work equipment is maintained to a safe condition. You should also receive safety training and protective equipment such as a hard hat where appropriate.
If you can show that the neck injury was caused by the employer's negligence, then you will likely have a legitimate claim for compensation
How is the compensation for a neck injury calculated?
Your solicitor will be able to put a value on your case by taking into account your specific circumstances.
First, they will review your medical report. The report will describe your injury and length of symptoms, and it will also describe the impact the injury has on your life.
Next, your solicitor will also consult the Judicial College Guidelines and recent, similar cases. The Guidelines recommend a maximum and minimum compensation amount for various types of injury. Most solicitors and insurance companies refer to the Guidelines as a starting point for settlement negotiations.
When it comes to calculating your compensation, your solicitor will also consider any out-of-pocket expenses such as medical costs and lost earnings and bonuses. In severe cases, where you require home adaptations or ongoing personal care, the amount of compensation can increase significantly.
How much compensation could you receive for a workplace neck injury?
The following sets out the compensation amount for various types of neck injury.
Severe neck injury
- Permanent severe neck injury resulting in, for example, partial paralysis and/or continuing severe pain: Approximately £112,750
- Neck fracture or dislocation which partially impairs function: £19,000 to £42,550
Moderate neck injury
- Injury resulting in spondylosis with limitation in movement and recurring pain; possibility of further surgery or vulnerability to additional trauma: £10,450 to £19,000
- Moderate injuries with a fairly protracted recovery period that reduce to "nuisance" level within five years: £6,600 to £10,450
Minor neck injury
Soft tissue neck injury i.e. whiplash where recovery is made:
- Within three months: £300 to £1,860
- Within one year: £1,860 to £3,300
- Within two years: £3,300 to £6,000
These are the recommendations laid down by the Guidelines. Your solicitor will also be able to take account of individual factors, such as loss of earnings or other expenses, when calculating your compensation.