Knowledge base

Neck Injury Compensation

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If you feel pressure or weakness in your neck, head or back, you may have suffered a neck injury. Your neck is an extremely vulnerable body part that is commonly injured, for example in a car accident or because of heavy lifting. If you have injured yourself at work or as a result of the negligent acts of another person, you may be able to claim compensation.

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Can I claim compensation for a neck injury?

Generally, if you have suffered a neck injury which results from the careless action or negligence of another person, you may be able to sustain a claim for compensation. It is typically the insurance company of the person at fault who will pay a compensation claim to you, rather than the person at fault themselves.  

Negligence by another person can occur in many situations. For example, at work, if your employer fails to implement policy and procedure to prevent injury, they may be liable to pay compensation for an injury caused at work. Injuries can also occur in public places, which may give rise to grounds for a public liability claim.

I injured my neck at work- can I claim compensation?

If you have sustained a neck injury at work, whether it is because of unsafe work conditions or otherwise, you may be able to claim compensation. Common causes of neck injury at work include:

Employers must provide proper and adequate means for employees to carry out their work. This includes:

Hi-vis vest and workplace safety practices
  • Maintaining a safe workplace; and
  • Providing employees with adequate training, supervision and instruction.

If you have sustained a neck injury while at work because your employer has neglected to provide a safe workplace, you may be able to sue for personal injury compensation. It is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible to be sure that you understand your rights.

Example: Susan is a primary school teacher at a local public school. As part of her responsibility as a teacher, she is required to clean up toys and other stationary and ensure the classroom is tidy at the end of each day.  While bending over to collect small toys that the kids had been playing with, Susan feels a sharp pain in her neck. The pain worsens the following day and Susan realises she has injured herself while bending over to tidy her classroom.

I injured my neck in a road accident - can I claim compensation?

If you suffer a neck injury in a motor vehicle and you are not at fault, you may be able to make a claim under compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme for compensation. As there are time limits within which injured persons may make a claim, you should see an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the various claim restrictions and help maximise the claim payable to you.

Example: Tony is a truck driver for a large mining company. One evening, while driving to deliver his final load for the day, Tony is in a car accident. He is not at fault as another truck driver ran a red light and smashed into the passenger side of Tony’s truck. As he steps out of his truck, Tony feels a sharp pain down the side of his neck and realises he may have injured himself.

I injured my neck in a public place - can I claim compensation?

Neck injury sustained in public place

If your neck injury has occurred in a public place due to the negligence of another person or organisation, you may have a public liability claim. To succeed in a public liability claim you will need to abide by statutory time limits and ensure you can identify the at fault person or organisation. Injuries which occur at work, during medical procedures or in a car accident, among other things, are not covered by public liability.

Gathering evidence to support a public liability claim is often difficult and the above is only a basic overview of the legal requirements to claim public liability compensation. We strongly suggest you consult with an expereinced lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Example: Jennifer is walking her dog around a local public sports oval on their designated walking and jogging track. She decides the would like to pick up the pace, and soon after she starts to jog, her foot falls into an unmarked pothole. Jennifer tumbles over, injuring her neck in the process. As the facility is a public place and Jennifer has sustained an injury, she may be able to sustain a claim for public liability compensation.

Professions at risk of neck injuries

Professions with higher incidence of neck injury are those which require lifting or frequent bending, including:

Construction workers at risk of suffering neck injury
  • Construction workers and tradesmen and women
  • Nursing home workers and nurses
  • Warehouse workers
  • Dentists and surgeons
  • Landscapes and gardeners
  • Retail workers
  • Airport baggage handlers

Common causes of neck injury

Neck injuries can occur in a variety of situations. Car accidents and performing repetitive motions at work or at home are primary causes. In addition, emotional stress or a slip and fall accident can often injure workers.

How much compensation for a neck injury?

Calculator icon and notes to calculate neck injury payout

The compensation payable to you will depend on the nature of the neck injury and the extent to which it has impacted your daily life. There are many factors that will impact your compensation, including:

  • Any loss and enjoyment of life you have experienced due to the injury;
  • Any lost past and future earnings;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Out of pocket expenses paid for home and nursing care; and
  • The expense of your hospital rehabilitation process.

What time limits apply to my neck injury claim?

Sand timer icon to show time limits for neck injury claims
  • If you are injured at work: Statutory worker’s compensation claims in Queensland must be filed within 6 months from the date of the accident or the date you become aware of your injury. If you intend to sue your employer for negligence, you must request an assessment of permanent impairment from the workers’ compensation insurer within 2.5 years of the injury.
  • If you are injured in an motor vehicle accident: Pre-court procedures require you to serve an official Notice of Claim on the party you believe to be at fault within 9 months of the injury, or within 1 month of your consultation with a solicitor in relation to your claim, whichever occurs first.
  • If your injuries are the subject of a public liability claim: If you are making a claim against an occupier, property owner or public authority, you must serve an official Notice of Claim on the party you believe to be at fault within 9 months of the injury, or within 1 month of your consultation with a solicitor in relation to your claim, whichever is first.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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