By Marlon Wilkinson. Last Updated 25th January 2023. In this guide, we’ll explain the criteria for having a viable claim following a broken neck injury and how much compensation you could receive if your claim is successful. To help illustrate this, we have included an example case study of a neck injury victim who was awarded a £425,000 settlement. In addition, we’ll cover the various factors that could influence how a final payout is calculated, providing a compensation calculator table with some examples.
Alternatively, you may wish to get in touch with our team of specialist advisors for a free consultation about your case. What’s more, if you’d like legal help, our panel of personal injury lawyers could handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis if you have grounds to make a claim. To speak to an advisor, you can:
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Broken Neck Injury
- What Does A Broken Neck Look Like?
- How Can You Suffer A Broken Neck Injury At Work?
- Broken Neck Injury In A Public Place
- Can A Road Traffic Accident Cause A Broken Neck Injury?
- What’s Needed To Calculate Personal Injury Compensation?
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £425,000 For A Broken Neck Injury
- Neck Injury Claim – Do I Need Evidence?
- Who Is Eligible For No Win No Fee Claims?
- Get Free Legal Advice From Our Resourceful Team
- More Resources And Guides On Broken Neck Injuries
- Broken Neck Injury FAQs
The intention of this guide is to address any questions you may have about claiming for a broken neck injury.
So, we’ll begin by explaining what a broken neck technically is and how such an injury could impact you physically, mentally and even financially. Next, we’ll determine how you could have grounds to make a valid personal injury claim if third-party negligence was to blame.
In addition, we’ll explain how our panel of personal injury lawyers calculate settlement estimates and discuss how much you could be entitled to claim. What’s more, we’ll also explore the benefits of No Win No Fee agreements and explain how our panel could help you claim on this basis.
Personal Injury Claims Time Limit
Did you know that personal injury claims have time limits within which you can make them? As a result, many broken neck injury cases have a time limit of 3 years. In other words, claimants have up to 3 years to make a claim for their broken neck injury, starting from the date of the injury itself or the date of knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury.
That being said, there are some exceptions that can be made to this 3-year limitation period. For example, if a claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves or they’re yet to turn 18, the time limit doesn’t come into effect until they are able to make legal proceedings themselves.
Regarding a child, the 3-year time limit would begin from their 18th birthday. For a person who lacks the mental capacity to claim, the time limit would begin when they start recovery. However, certain people could claim on behalf of a child or person who lacks mental capacity. They would be a litigation friend.
If you wish to find out whether you could make a claim within the relevant time limit for your case, please get in touch today for a free consultation.
If third party negligence resulted in a neck injury, you might be able to claim neck injury compensation. However, you may be wondering, ‘what does a broken neck look like?’.
There are some symptoms you can watch out for if you’re concerned you’ve suffered a neck injury. According to the NHS, these include:
- Numbness, weakness or pins and needles in your arms
- Trouble balancing or walking
- Blurred vision, dizziness and ear ringing
Additionally, if you’ve broken a bone, the NHS lists the three most common signs:
Further into this guide, we look at different situations in which you could be injured due to a breach of duty of care. Alternatively, call our advisors at any time for more information on how to make a neck injury claim.
You may have suffered a broken neck injury in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. In such cases, you might have grounds to make a personal injury claim if you can prove that your employer or another third party owing you a duty of care was to blame for your suffering.
According to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to uphold the wellbeing of their employees as much as is reasonably possible. And yet, workplace accidents still happen.
One example of an accident at work could see an employee fall off a scaffolding tower and break their neck upon landing. If the employee can prove that their employer overlooked certain safety measures in constructing the scaffolding, which caused the accident and injuries, they could be able to claim.
Next, let’s take a look at how broken neck injuries can result from an accident in a public place.
These types of accidents fall under public liability, meaning those in control of public places have a duty of care to do as much as is reasonably possible to prevent accidents from happening. An accident in a public place shouldn’t happen if appropriate guidelines, such as the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, are followed to uphold the safety of others. However, accidents can happen, and if someone else’s negligence causes you injury, then you could be entitled to make a claim.
A public place could be a restaurant, pub, shop, zoo or playground to name a few examples. Anywhere that attracts customers, visitors or other users from the general public could be considered a public place.
An example of how you could suffer an injury that wasn’t your fault in a public place accident could be falling off a faulty bar stool in a pub and injuring your neck as you hit the ground. If such an injury was the result of the pub owners’ or operators’ negligence, you could be able to make a personal injury claim for your broken neck injury.
A road traffic accident (RTA) could also lead to a broken neck injury. The Highway Code sets out the duties that all road users owe one another. However, if a fellow road user fails to uphold their duty of care and you’re injured as a result, you could be able to hold them liable as part of a personal injury claim.
One example of how you could suffer a broken neck injury as a result of a road traffic accident is being involved in a rear-end collision. The impact could force you back with a jolt, causing whiplash or a fracture to the neck. The back-and-forth movement that happens so quickly from a crash could mean your neck sharply overextends past a position where it can comfortably move. It is this action that could lead to you suffering a neck fracture.
Calculating personal injury compensation for a broken neck injury requires a medical evaluation by an independent professional to help evidence your injuries. The assessment can also help evidence any psychological damage that you’ve experienced as a result of the accident, measuring the impact that it’s had on your current and future quality of life.
There will undoubtedly be differences in people’s injuries, meaning there will also be differences in the amount of compensation that they could receive. With this in mind, even a broken neck injury will have different compensation brackets depending on its severity.
For that reason, we don’t use an online personal injury claims calculator as they can provide a more generalised figure rather than an accurate estimate that considers the unique details of your case. The amount of compensation that claimants could receive could differ greatly for a whole host of reasons, not least their personal circumstances. So, a combination of evidence and the findings of a medical report can allow you to calculate a more accurate estimate.
What damages could I claim compensation for?
Personal injury claims can have two heads of claim: general damages and special damages. On the one hand, general damages cover physical injuries and psychological harm that you’ve suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. Compensation for general damages could be for the pain of your injuries and the anxiety you suffered in the wake of your accident, for example.
On the other hand, special damages cover financial losses resulting from your injury. Compensation could be for any loss of earnings you suffered after having to take time off work to recover, as well as medical expenses. Please read on to learn more about special damages.
For a broken neck injury, there could be numerous costs or even losses as a result of your incapacity. An obvious example is being unable to work during your recuperation if it means you had to lose out on earnings.
If the injury is severe enough to result in paralysis, and it means your career is no longer viable, you could be entitled to compensation to cover your future loss of earnings too.
We must also mention medical costs, which could be significant for a victim of a neck injury. Public transport may become a priority since driving is not an option for someone recovering from neck surgery. In such cases, journeys to and from hospital appointments could add up over the course of their recovery.
Similarly, perhaps the claimant paid for a carer to look after them at home, which could be necessary if they suffered paralysis. In addition, special damages could also be claimed to cover any gracious care given by friends and family, based on the time spent caring for you.
Mr Burton, 59, had worked as a painter and decorator since leaving school. As Mr Burton could occasionally be tasked with painting at a high level, covering areas like ceilings and picture rails, he was well-versed in what health and safety measures to follow. However, on this occasion, the task had tragic consequences.
One morning, Mr Burton was painting a vaulted ceiling, using scaffolding to reach the height. When he arrived on the job, the scaffolding tower was already set up by his employer. However, unbeknownst to Mr Burton, his employer had been called to another job immediately afterwards. Though one of his colleagues remained on the job with Mr Burton, it meant that the job of setting up the scaffolding had been rushed and subsequently, improperly executed.
The result was an unstable platform for Mr Burton. Therefore, at one point, the wooden beam he was standing on gave way, causing him to fall. Mr Burton landed 12 feet below. The fall initially left him unconscious, with his colleague rushing to his aid immediately and calling an ambulance to help him.
Why He Made A Personal Injury Claim
After being rushed to the hospital, Mr Burton was thankfully revived but there was some bad news to come. The fall had caused a serious fracture of the C3 and C4 bones of his neck. These breaks left him with very limited movement below his neck. In addition, Mr Burton had also suffered a fractured skull as a result of his fall, causing brain damage.
Even after emergency surgery, Mr Burton remained paralysed, a now permanent condition for him. This ended his career long before he was prepared to retire, resulting in serious depression, as his life had completely changed for the worse. To make matters worse, Mr Burton knew that he was in this situation through no fault of his own, but rather the carelessness of his employer who valued his own time over Mr Burton’s safety.
Acting as his litigation friend, Mr Burton’s wife spoke with a personal injury lawyer about making a claim on behalf of her husband. From there, she sued his employers for compensation after his broken neck injury. As a result, Mr Burton received £425,000 in compensation, with £373,620 to cover general damages and £51,380 to cover special damages.
|Type Of Special Damages
|A condition of being unable to move any limbs below the neck
|Moderate Brain Damage
|A loss of mental capacity due to trauma to the brain
|Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
|A psychological consequence of the accident
|Type Of Special Damages
|Lost earnings for an annual salary due to the injuries
|Costs of modifying the family home due to his injuries
|Costs of modifying the family car due to his injuries
|Costs of medication
|For family and professional care required.
This story is fictional and is just an example of what may happen after a broken neck injury.
Evidence plays an important role in personal injury claims. As we previously mentioned, the evidence you could provide could help determine your total compensation.
As part of your neck injury claim, you will also be required to present evidence of liability for your injuries. This is evidence that could show how you had broken your neck, and how the party you are claiming against was liable.
You could present this type of evidence in the form of:
- Pictures taken at the scene of the accident
- CCTV footage (or other recordings) of the incident
- Witnesses contact details
- Medical records
The evidence you should collect will likely depend on your specific claim. If you would like to receive personalised advice about the evidence you could collect to help you successfully claim neck injury compensation, then please reach out to one of our advisers. Consultations are free and they could be able to advise you on any matters relevant to your claim.
After having a consultation about your case with one of our specialist advisors, if they believe you have valid grounds to make a claim, they can connect you with our panel of No Win No Fee personal injury lawyers.
A No Win No Fee agreement can help claimants get legal help without having to worry about paying out of pocket for their solicitor’s fees. This is because there are no upfront fees to pay as well as no hidden fees involved, and you only have to pay your solicitor once they win you your compensation.
Therefore, any success fee that they charge will be deducted from your compensation award. This success fee is legally capped, so you don’t have to worry about losing much of your settlement either.
As part of this agreement, if your solicitor doesn’t win your claim, you won’t have to cover the cost of their services.
To learn more about how you could benefit from our panel’s No Win No Fee services, please get in touch today using the information provided in the next section.
If you’re wondering whether you could have grounds to make a claim for a broken neck injury, please get in touch with our advisors today for a free consultation.
If you’d like legal help, our panel of personal injury lawyers can begin building your case right away if you have a favourable, valid claim. All you need to do is get in touch with one of our specialist advisors. To do so, you can:
- Call 0161 696 9685
- Fill out a ‘contact us‘ form
- Message us using the live chat feature on your screen
Our specialist advisors are available 24/7 and you don’t need to move ahead with a claim after speaking with us if you don’t want to. So, what do you have to lose?
Hopefully, by reading this guide, you have learned more about how to claim compensation for a broken neck injury. In case you need to know more, though, please feel free to have a look at these additional links for further information:
- Passenger in a car accident claim
- Non-fault accident compensation claims guide
- NHS information on neck pain
- NHS guide to identifying neck problems
- NHS information on cervical spondylosis
Though we’ve answered the below questions using research, we recommend that you contact a medical professional for any medical advice. However, we can help you with any personal injury queries.
Could you break your neck and not even realise it?
This may be the case for a minor fracture and neck injuries that cause pain in other parts of the body.
What are the symptoms of a broken neck injury?
Intense pain and limited movement of the neck are clear symptoms. Bruising, tenderness, swelling and muscle weakness may also be symptoms. For severe neck breaks, you may experience numbness and/or paralysis in the lower body.
So, what is the typical recovery time for a broken neck?
For a minor break, you may recover within 6-8 weeks. If it’s a moderate fracture requiring surgery, it could take 3 months. For a serious neck break, you may be looking at almost a year of incapacity.
What happens if I do nothing about my neck fracture?
For a minor break, if you leave it untreated, the pain and bone deterioration may only become worse over time, resulting in more serious health issues down the line.
Thanks for reading our guide to a broken neck injury claim.
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Published by AS