A Guide to Making a Claim After a Road Traffic Accident

A Guide to Making a Claim After a Road Traffic Accident

A Guide to Making a Claim After a Road Traffic Accident

In this guide, we look at what you need to know when making a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident. We cover how the process of some personal injury claims for road traffic incidents has changed since 31 May 2021 due to the Whiplash Reforms. We explain what you need to know and who is exempt from these reforms.

In addition, we explore compensation. This includes the new tariffs for low value claims and also looks at the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) compensation brackets for personal injury claims. As well as looking at a few examples of what costs you could recover under special damages.

You might want to file your compensation claim using a No Win No Fee solicitor as this can make the whole process seem a lot more straightforward. We’ll also explain how a No Win No Fee Agreement works and why it could be advantageous to use one.

To speak to one of our expert advisors:

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident
  2. What Should I Do When Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
  3. Changes To Low Value And Whiplash Claims
  4. How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claim Process Work?
  5. What Can You Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
  6. Contact Our Advisors To See If A No Win No Fee Solicitor Can Represent You

A Guide To Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident

In the year ending June 2021, there were 119,850 estimated casualties on roads in Great Britain.23,140 of those were seriously injured and 95,320 were slightly injured.

The Whiplash Reform Program came into effect on 31st May 2021, changing how drivers and passengers over the age of 18 files a personal injury compensation claim. This means that under the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 if you have a low-value injury (£5000 or less) you claim through an online portal for a set tariff amount.

Your claim might be worth more once all your injuries and the special damages are considered. Because of this, it could be helpful to contact our team of advisors to find out more.

What Should I Do When Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?

There are steps you can take following a car accident that could help strengthen your case if you choose to make a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident.

For example, provided it is safe to do so, you could:

  • Report the accident. You could report the accident to the police.
  • Collect evidence. This could mean noting the contact details of witnesses so they could make a statement at a later date. Or even photographing the scene of the accident.
  • Seek medical attention. Your medical records could be submitted as evidence when making a claim after a road traffic accident. You may also be invited to an independent medical assessment as part of a claim.

Our advisors are available to discuss what evidence you could submit to strengthen your claim.

Changes To Low Value And Whiplash Claims

On 31 May 2021 new rules for some road traffic accident personal injury claims, known as the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 (WIR) came into place to reduce insurance premiums and cut down on fraudulent claims. If your injury occurred prior to 31 May 2021 you could go about making a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident in the usual manner. This is detailed later on in this article.

If your whiplash injury is valued at £5,000 or below you may need to make your claim using the Official Injury Claim Service. Medical evidence is mandatory when making a claim after a road traffic accident.

The Whiplash Reforms do not apply to:

  • Cyclists
  • Motorbike users and their passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Anyone under the age of 18

You might have higher value injuries that you could claim for, but once your claim is settled, you cannot add damages to it. Contact our advisors to go through a complete head-to-toe assessment.

What Could You Claim For Whiplash?

Once you prove you have whiplash you may receive compensation through the online portal. The table below provides compensation figures for low-value personal injuries from the WIR. These are different to the compensation brackets in the JCG, which are for a traditional claim, which we discuss later on in this article.

Edit
Duration in months without psychological damage with psychological damage
less than 3 £240 £260
longer than 3, less than 6 £495 £520
longer than 6, less than 9 £840 £895
longer than 9, less than 12 £1320 £1390
longer than 12, less than 15 £2040 £2125
longer than 15, less than 18 £3005 £3100
longer than 18, less than 24 £4215 £4345

How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claim Process Work?

There are guidelines in place when making a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident. These are the Civil Procedure Rules, and include the Pre-Action Protocols. These are steps to be taken by both parties to avoid going to court as this could become time consuming and costly. We’ve explained these steps to you below.

  • Notification. Send a Claim Notification Form (CNF) to the other party’s insurer.
  • Rehabilitation. Addressing immediate medical needs.
  • Claim. The letter of claim establishes the details of the traffic accident and injuries incurred.
  • Response. The insurer must complete the CNF and return it to the other party.
  • Evidence. Submit evidence.
  • Experts. Opinions sought
  • Negotiations. This is where both parties argue their case.

If you get injured and would like to make a claim after a road traffic accident, our advisors are available 24/7 to discuss the steps involved in claiming compensation.

What Can You Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?

If you are making a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident, your claim might come with two heads; general damages and special damages.

General Damages

To cover your injuries and any related emotional distress, you claim under general damages. When estimating the value of your injuries, solicitors refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Injuries, along with the potential compensation bracket are listed in this document. We have provided a few examples from the JCG below.

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Injury Potential compensation Notes
Severe post traumatic stress disorder £56,180 to £94,470 Permanent impact which prevents functioning at pre-trauma level.
Traumatic injury to the digestive system (iii) £6,190 to £11,820 Serious seat-belt pressure.
Severe neck injuries (ii) £61,710 to £122,860 Serious fractures or damage to cervical spine with severe disability.
Minor back injuries (i) £7,410 to £11,730 Recovery without surgery within two to five years.
Serious shoulder injuries £11,980 to £18,020 Dislocation and nerve damage leading to sensory problems in arm and hand.
Amputation of both legs £225,960 to £264,650 Above knee amputation of both legs or one leg above knee and one below.
Multiple facial bone fractures £13,970 to £22,470 Results in permanent cosmetic disability.
Significant facial scarring £8,550 to £28,240 Surgery repairs some, but not all, of the damage and a lesser psychological reaction.

Special Damages

To recover costs related to your injuries when making a claim after a road traffic accident, you could claim under special damages. Evidence of these expenses must be provided, such as receipts. We’ve provided a few examples of what you could claim under this head below.

  • Loss or damage of property. If any of your property was damaged in the accident, you could recover costs to have it repaired or replaced.
  • Lost wages. If you miss work due to your injuries, even if you are eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) or are part of a sickness pay scheme, you could recover the rest of your loss of earnings.
  • Medical aids. If you need to rent or purchase any medical equipment, the cost of this could be covered by special damages.

Our advisors are waiting to discuss your car accident claim.

 Contact Our Advisors To See If A No Win No Fee Solicitor Can Represent You

It can be helpful to hire a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process. A No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could be used as a way to fund the services of your solicitor.

You won’t pay upfront solicitors fees under a  No Win No Fee agreement. If your claim proves successful, a legally capped success fee is taken from your award.

Free legal advice for making a claim after a road traffic accident is available from our advisors. They could estimate your general damages and advise on what special damages you could claim based on your circumstances. In addition, they could talk you through what evidence you could submit to strengthen your car accident injury claim or other type of road traffic accident claim. If your claim seems eligible, you may be passed onto our panel of solicitors.

To get in touch today:

Road Traffic Accident Claim Resources

We have provided a few links you might find helpful when making your claim after a road traffic accident:

And more guides:

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Published by AL.