The rules around claiming compensation for low value injuries are changing from 31st May 2021.
As a result, these changes will affect anyone needing to claim for whiplash injuries lasting less than 2 years or for injury claims up to £5,000.
From that date, if you are injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, you will only be able to get legal help if you are:
- A child
- Someone who struggles with managing financial affairs (a protected party)
- Injured as a pedestrian, while on a cycle, motorbike, mobility scooter or on a horse/horse & cart
- Injured by a vehicle registered outside the UK
- An undischarged bankrupt at the time of injury
For everyone else, you will need to do one of two things:
- Wait and see if you get better. If whiplash injuries continue for longer than two years, then you are entitled to get legal help. Remember though, your claim MUST be started within 3 years of the accident.
- Start the claim yourself using the Online Claim Portal
The Online Portal has been designed to help you manage your claim all the way through to the end, even if the insurer denies their driver was at fault.
What about medical reports?
You will be able to order your own medical reports to help you determine the level of compensation.
What can I claim for?
The level of compensation for pain and suffering has been fixed. However, you can also claim for loss of earnings, damaged clothing and personal belongings and other expenses, such as car hire costs etc – you will need to speak to your own insurer about these.
What damages will I recover for my whiplash injury?
Levels of damages for your pain and suffering have been fixed as follows:
Duration of injury
Uplift for travel anxiety
|Not more than 3 months||£240||£260|
|Between 3 and 6 months||£495||£520|
|Between 6 and 9 months||£840||£895|
|Between 9 and 12 months||£1320||£1390|
|Between 12 and 15 months||£2040||£2125|
|Between 15 and 18 months||£3005||£3100|
|Between 18 and 24 months||£4215||£4345|
These amounts can be increased by up to 20% in exceptional circumstances. If you cannot agree with the other party’s insurer what those are, you can ask a judge to make a ruling.
Circumstances where you may get legal help
You should contact a solicitor if any of these apply:
- The insurer alleges you or your claim is dishonest in some way
- The insurer states that no injury could have occurred because the collision was a “low velocity impact” or LVI
- The medical expert thinks your whiplash injury may last longer than 2 years
Legal help – an explanation
Solicitors generally act for injured clients on a “no win, no fee” basis, charging you, the client, a percentage of the compensation you recover. They also recover some legal costs from the defendant.
The changes being introduced have reduced the levels of compensation for whiplash so much that a percentage deduction will no longer cover the cost of running the claim and the opportunity to recover legal fees has been removed.
See our website for more information about personal injury claims.