Neck Injury Compensation Claim Lawyers

We are expert compensation lawyers with offices across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major regional centres. Free initial advice and 100% risk-free claims with no upfront costs and our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.


If you've suffered a neck injury in Queensland due to someone else's fault or negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.

This page offers advice on what your rights to compensation are, common causes and types of neck injuries, how you go about lodging a claim, what the time limits for neck injury claims in Queensland are and some frequently asked questions.

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. We operate Queensland-wide and all claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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Understanding Your Rights after a Neck Injury in Queensland

In 2021–22, the head or neck was the body part most often identified as the main site of injury in hospitalisations. This indicates the typically severe nature of head and neck injuries, as well as how prevalent they are in Australia. Serious injuries are often costly in terms of medical treatment and unfortunately, this financial burden often falls on the families of the injured individual. 

This is why it's important to know your rights to compensation if you've suffered a neck injury due to someone else's negligence. Appropriate compensation may help to cover the costs of your injury treatment, loss of earnings, and any psychological distress caused as a result of this. 

Here's a brief look at some of the Queensland compensation schemes available to you: 

  • Road and Car Accidents: If your neck injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible for a claim under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims scheme. This covers negligent driving incidents whether you were in a car or on the road.
  • Work Accidents: In the event of a neck injury at work, compensation is typically available through two types of claims - statutory claims and common law claims. Statutory claims can be made through WorkCover Queensland and these are generally available regardless of fault. Common law claims (claims with a lawyer for lump sum payout), on the other hand, are typically for when an employer's negligence caused your neck injury.
  • Public Place Accidents: If your neck injury occurred in a public area like a shopping centre, park or on the street, you may have a claim against the public liability insurer for the area.
What is a Neck Injury?

A neck injury is a type of injury that affects the neck area, which includes the ligaments, muscles, vertebrae, and the spinal cord housed within them. The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and can be of short duration or last a long time, potentially affecting daily life and overall health. 

Neck injuries are common in Australia with the annual incidence of whiplash-associated disorders being 106 injuries per 100,000 people. While such injuries are often painful, their impact extends beyond physical pain. It can disrupt your quality of life significantly, leading to missed work or loss of capacity to earn, psychological distress, hefty medical bills, and possible long-term care needs.

Common Causes of Neck Injury

In Australia, the most common causes of work-related injuries, including neck injuries, are lifting, pulling, pushing or bending, and falls, accounting for 41% of work-related injuries. However, neck injuries can occur for many reasons, not just in the workplace, and can have long-lasting effects on your life. 

Here are some other common causes: 

Common Types of Neck Injury

Neck injuries can range from mild injuries which heal on their own to severe injuries which may require surgery or severely impact life including spinal injuries. 

Here are some of the common types of neck injuries:

  • Whiplash: Often the result of rear-end car accidents, whiplash is an injury that occurs from rapid movement, back-and-forth, of the neck. Soft tissue injuries like this can cause neck pain, stiffness and loss of range of motion.
  • Cervical Radiculopathy: Sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve, this occurs when a nerve root in the neck becomes damaged or inflamed, often because of repetitive strains at work. Symptoms might include numbness, weakness or tingling in the shoulder or arm.
  • Neck Fracture: A fall or collision can lead to a neck fracture, which is a break in one or more of the seven cervical bones. This is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Neck Sprain: A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament, the bands of tissue that connect two or more bones at a joint. A neck sprain can occur after a sudden impact like a car crash or awkwardly falling.
  • Herniated Disc: This condition occurs when the soft centre of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. It can cause pain, numbness or weakness in your neck, shoulders, chest, arms or hands.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can permanently damage the spinal cord, potentially leading to paralysis, loss of sensation, and other life-altering permanent disability.
Workers Most at Risk of Neck Injuries

Some jobs come with a heightened risk of workplace neck injury, largely due to particular occupational hazards, exposure to certain risks or the physical demands of the roles. 

These include:

  • Healthcare professionals: Tasks such as lifting patients and long periods of standing can put medical personnel, especially nurses and paramedics, at a higher risk of straining their necks.
  • Construction workers: The demand to frequently lift hefty objects and to continually bend over or look upward poses a significant hazard for builders, plumbers and other construction professionals.
  • Warehouse workers: Similar to construction workers, warehouse workers engage in physically demanding tasks like lifting boxes, reaching for high shelves, and twisting their bodies, creating a high risk of neck injuries.
  • Retail employees: Cashiers and shop assistants often have to contend with heavy lifting and repetitive movement, invariably leading to the potential for neck strains.
  • Office workers: Prolonged periods of sitting, especially with poor posture and frequent computer use can put a strain on the neck, making those who work from a desk susceptible to these injuries.
  • Drivers: Those within the transport industry, such as long-haul truck drivers, can be prone to neck injuries due to driving continually for hundreds of kilometres with the added risk of sudden movements all give a high likelihood of a neck injury.

It's essential to bear in mind, regardless of the industry, that if you have experienced a neck injury at your place of work or due to a work-related activity, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Seeking compensation isn't necessarily about blaming someone, but ensuring you have the financial peace of mind to recover from your injuries.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

It's critical to first seek advice from a medical professional who can diagnose and document your injury. Following this, the personal injury claims process can prove to be complex. We aim here to break down the general steps involved when seeking compensation for an injury caused by someone else's negligence in Queensland. 

If you've suffered a neck injury due to an accident at work, on the road, or in a public place in Queensland, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here are the usual steps in a neck injury claim. 

1. Seek free initial legal advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for neck injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage a personal injury lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates on. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather evidence to build your case

Once your compensation matter is opened you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical evidence, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File your claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives) such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate with the at-fault party's insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged to lead the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is not successful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you cannot not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred.

It is always recommended to seek legal advice as early on as possible to ensure you understand your hip injury claims rights. 

This is a general overview of how a claim could look. Your process may involve more or fewer steps depending on what's happened. You should seek professional advice from personal injury lawyers to better understand how your claim could look. A free case review from Smith's Lawyers could give you a clearer idea of what your claim could look like.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Neck Injury Compensation Claim?

Gathering the right evidence is fundamental to making a successful neck injury compensation claim in Queensland. Not only can it reinforce your case, but it can also potentially increase the amount of compensation that you may be eligible to receive.

Here are the key pieces of evidence that you should consider: 

  • Medical records: These can validate the extent and severity of your neck injury, as well as any ongoing treatments it may require.
  • Accident details: Information that suggests negligence led to your injury, like photographs from the accident scene, testimonials from witnesses or official incident reports, can strengthen your claim.
  • Financial impact: Documents that demonstrate financial loss caused by your neck injury (like lost wages or medical expenses) are critical for recovering these costs.
  • Impact on quality of life: Personal accounts, whether from you or those close to you, portraying how the injury has negatively impacted your daily life could sway the claim in your favour.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Calculating the amount you could receive for a neck injury claim involves considering a variety of factors. 

These may include but are not limited to: 

  • The severity of the injury: More severe injuries typically result in higher compensation amounts. This accounts for the pain and suffering endured, any permanent impairment and the impact on your quality of life.
  • Medical costs: This includes any expenses you have incurred from hospital visits, surgeries, medications, physiotherapy, counselling and any future medical expenses related to your injury.
  • Loss of earnings: This considers whether the injury has left you unable to work, both now and in the future. Any changes to your ability to earn or potential promotion opportunities would be factored into the compensation. This can also include lost super contributions.
  • Support and care needs: You may be entitled to compensation if you've required assistance (paid or unpaid) to perform ordinary tasks due to your injury.

It's important to realise that neck injury compensation claims do not have a set payout amount. The same injury can lead to different compensation amounts due to diverse circumstances.

For instance, a construction worker and an office employee could both suffer the same injury in an accident. If the construction worker's injury prevents them from returning to their physically demanding job, that's likely to entitle them to more compensation due to loss of earnings compared to the office employee who could potentially return quickly. 

In the same vein, a younger person with a neck injury who faces a lifetime of reduced income and ongoing care would likely receive a higher compensation payout than an older person with a similar injury but nearing retirement. 

This complexity is why, if you believe you have a valid claim, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Time Limits for Neck Injuries

In Australia, the law around how long you have to claim is set at the state level and strict time limits apply. In Queensland, you must submit a claim within three years of the date when the injury occurred. 

However, the state also has some rules for specific circumstances. 

For motor vehicle-related injuries, you have:

  • Nine months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the nine months, but must be within three years of the accident or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have one month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (one month vs nine months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within one month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run) or the vehicle was unregistered, you have three months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the three-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard nine-month limit otherwise you will be barred from making a claim
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have three years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

For injuries in a public place, the time frames are similar to motor-vehicle claims (nine months from the date of the accident or one month from when you contact a lawyer). However, instead of submitting a Notice of Accident Claim Form, you lodge a PIPA Notice of Claim with the negligent party. Your legal team can help with understanding this form.

For work-related injuries, in Queensland you have:

  • Six months from when the entitlement to compensation arises (this is usually when the injury occurs or the day on which the individual is assessed by a doctor) to lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's workers compensation insurer if self-insured). This is an essential first step for all cases regardless of fault.
  • Three years from the date of the accident/injury to start court proceedings for a common law claim. These claims can be run in addition to a standard WorkCover claim where the negligence of your employer or another party caused or contributed to your accident and injuries.

It's also worth noting there are exceptions. For instance, for victims who are minors (i.e. under 18), this three-year period doesn't start until their 18th birthday. 

These time frames might seem like a lot of time, but setting your claim into motion can be a complex process with many legal requirements to navigate. 

At Smith’s Lawyers, our team can help you understand these time limits and ensure you don't miss your chance for a claim. We offer Queensland-wide service with free and no-obligation case reviews. Our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise means you have nothing to lose in seeking your rightful compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I know if my neck injury is serious enough to make a claim?

If your neck injury has required medical treatment, caused pain and suffering, resulted in loss of income or interfered with your daily life, you may be entitled to compensation. It's important to note that these claims aren't limited to just severe or obvious injuries. Even effects that seem minor like stiffness, soreness or difficulty moving your neck could potentially be serious enough to warrant a claim. 

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How can neck injuries impact the ability to work?

A neck injury can significantly affect your capacity to perform regular tasks, particularly if your job involves physical labour or extended periods of sitting. Pain, stiffness and reduced mobility can pose serious challenges in carrying out everyday tasks and responsibilities at work. If you've experienced long-term discomfort, frequent headaches and difficulty concentrating you could be suffering from a neck injury that requires treatment. 

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How long do neck injuries take to settle?

Being involved in a road, work or public place accident that results in a neck injury can be a distressing and impactful event. On average, claims take around 12-18 months to settle, but this can vary based on several factors. If you want to make a claim you should speak to a neck injury compensation lawyer who can talk through your options. 

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No, our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court, and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to road accident injury claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 19, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.