Should I Claim After A Minor Car Accident?

This is a guide exploring the question ‘should I claim for a minor car accident?’. If you have experienced harm in a road traffic accident due to another road user’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation. We will explore what constitutes negligence further in this guide.

Should I claim after a minor car accident guide

Should I claim after a minor car accident?

The injuries you could sustain in a car accident can range in severity even if the accident was minor. As such, the impact your injuries have on your life could range from minor to severe.

If you are eligible to seek compensation, the amount you’re awarded will consider the ways in which your injuries have affected you physically, psychologically and financially. We will explore how compensation may be calculated later on in our guide.

Additionally, we will discuss what a minor car accident is, examples of the injuries you could sustain, when you could be eligible to seek compensation and the steps you could take to support your potential claim.

Furthermore, we will look at whether a car accident injury claim solicitor from our panel could represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Whilst we have aimed to provide the information you need, we understand you may have questions about how to make a claim after a car accident after reading. If so, you can get in touch with our team using the details below. They can provide free legal advice 24/7. To get in touch:

  • Call 0161 696 9685
  • Contact us online by filling out the form with your query
  • Use the live chat function below to speak with an advisor.

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What Is A Minor Car Accident?

A car accident can involve a car hitting another vehicle, person or object. Some accidents involving a car can be minor and some can be more severe. Examples of car accidents might include:

  • Rear-end collision: Another driver is using their phone and crashes into you at a low speed when stopping at a traffic lights. As a result, you experience minor soft tissue injuries to your neck and shoulder.
  • Head-on collision: Another driver is speeding down a narrow road and crashes into another driver head on. The other driver sustains a severe brain injury and damage to their spinal cord.
  • Side crash: A lorry driver fails to check their mirrors when overtaking. As a result, they crash into a car causing the driver to experience whiplash injuries.

As mentioned, if the car accident is minor, it doesn’t necessarily mean the injuries will be minor. However, in order to claim compensation, you must be able to prove that another road user:

  • Owed you a duty of care
  • Breached the duty of care they owed
  • Caused you to sustain physical or psychological harm as a result

Road users owe a duty of care under the Road Traffic Act 1988. As part of their duty of care, they are responsible for navigating the roads in a way that reduces the risk of other road users sustaining harm. Additionally, there are rules and guidance for different road users in the Highway Code. Some of the rules in the Highway Code are backed elsewhere in law.

If a road user breaches the duty of care, causing you harm, you may be able to seek compensation for the way in which your injuries have impacted you.

Minor Car Accident Statistics

According to the Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Provisional Results 2021, there were an estimated:

  • 127,967 casualties of all severities
  • 100,667 of these were slightly injured
  • 25,739 were seriously injured.

What Injuries Can You Claim For After A Car Accident?

There are various types of injuries that could be sustained in a car accident. Examples include:

  • Breaks and fractures: This can include a broken arm, broken elbow, broken leg or fractured foot.
  • Sprains and strains: For example, a sprained ankle or wrist.
  • Brain and head injuries: This can include concussion.
  • Soft tissue injuries: For example, a damaged nerve or damage to ligaments, muscles and tendons. This could include whiplash injuries to the neck and shoulder.
  • Lacerations: For example, scrapes, cuts and similar open wounds.

You could also experience psychological harm, such as travel anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder in more severe cases.

To find out whether you could claim for a minor car accident to receive compensation for the ways in which your injuries have impacted you, get in touch on the number above.

Should I Collect Evidence When I Claim For A Minor Car Accident?

There are several steps you could take before you claim for a minor car accident. For example:

  • Report the accident: In cases where an accident has caused damage or injury and you have not exchanged your details at the time, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. You must also inform your insurance company regardless of whether you’re planning to make a claim.
  • Seek medical attention: In doing so, you can ensure you receive a diagnosis and treatment for your injuries. This can also produce medical records that can be used to support your claim.
  • Collect evidence: This can include police reports, medical records, witness contact details, dashcam footage and pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident.
  • Seek legal advice: You may benefit from seeking free legal advice from one of our advisors. They can assess whether your claim is valid. If it is, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel who may be able to represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more information on the steps you could take following a minor car accident, get in touch with our team on the number above.

Should I Claim After A Minor Car Accident?

You may wonder if you should claim after a minor car accident. If you have been injured, you may have been impacted in a number of ways.

Firstly, you may have experience physical pain and suffering due to your injuries which could have had an affect on your daily routine. For example, you may be unable to carry on playing football on the weekends because you have broken your leg. This could also have an impact on your mental well being.

Additionally, you could experience a financial impact. For example, you may be unable to work while recovering from your injuries causing you to lose income. Alternatively, you may be unable to drive meaning you have to take taxis to and from medical appointments.

The compensation you’re awarded is meant to address the different ways your injuries have affected you. We have explored this in more detail below.

Payouts For Injuries Caused By A Minor Accident

After the introduction of the Whiplash Reform Programme, changes were made to the way low-value road traffic accident claims were made in England and Wales. As such, if you are a passenger or driver of a vehicle and are over the age of 18 with whiplash injuries that are valued at £5,000 or less, you must make your claim through the Official Injury Claims portal. This is the government portal.

This means that your whiplash injuries will be valued in accordance with the tariff of injuries outlined in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. However, these tariffs apply to all vehicle occupants so even if you do not claim through the Official Injury Claims portal, the tariff of injuries may still be used to value your whiplash or soft tissue injuries.

We have included a table using figures from the tariff of injuries. If you have any questions about seeking whiplash compensation, get in touch on the number above.

Injury duration Amount of damages for one or more whiplash injuries Amount of damages for both one or more whiplash injuries and one or more minor psychological injuries
3 months or less £240 £260
3-6 months £495 £520
6-9 months £840 £895
9-12 months £1,320 £1,390
12-15 months £2,040 £2,125
15-18 months £3,005 £3,100
18-24 months £4,215 £4,345

If you have other injuries that are not listed in the tariff, they will be valued in the traditional way.

Settlements following a successful road traffic accident claim could include general and special damages. General damages seek to compensate for the pain and suffering your injuries have caused you. When valuing your injuries, solicitors can use the Judicial College Guidelines to help them. This contains guideline compensation brackets that correspond to different types of injuries.

We have used figures from these guidelines in the table below. Please only use them as a guide.

Injury Guideline Payout Additional Information
Neck Injuries £24,990 to £38,490 (b) Moderate (i) A fracture or a dislocation affecting the neck. The injury may result in severe and immediate symptoms and the person could need a spinal fusion.
Neck Injuries £13,740 to £24,990 (b) Moderate (ii) The injury could have caused a severe lesion of a disc leading to seriously limited movement, recurring or permanent stiffness and pain as well as other issues.
Neck Injuries £7,890 to £13,740 (b) Moderate (iii) Injuries that have accelerated or exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
Back Injuries £27,760 to £38,780 (b) Moderate (i) Injuries could include crush or compression fractures and putting the person at risk of constant pain and discomfort.
Back Injuries £12,510 to £27,760 (b) Moderate (ii) Common injuries to the back affecting the ligaments and muscles. The injury could also have made existing conditions worse.
Shoulder Injuries £7,890 to £12,770 (c) Moderate: Frozen shoulder which limits the person’s movement and causes them discomfort for around two years.
Pelvic Injuries £12,590 to £26,590 (b) Moderate (ii) Cases that involve a hip replacement or another type of surgery.
Elbow Injuries Up to £12,590 (c) Moderate or Minor: Most injuries to the elbow such as lacerations or fractures fall into this category. There is no permanent damage or impact on function.
Wrist Injuries £6,080 to £10,350 (d) Where the person recovers after a year from a fracture or a soft tissue injury.
Wrist Injuries In the region of £7,430 (e) A Colles’ fracture that is uncomplicated in nature.

Special damages may also be included in your settlement. This head of claim seeks to compensate for the financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries. Financial losses can include:

You will need evidence to support your claim for these losses, such as receipts and payslips.

For more information on whether you should claim after a minor car accident for compensation and how much you could receive, get in touch on the number above.

Ask An Expert If You Should Claim After A Minor Car Accident

If you are still unsure whether or not you should claim after a minor car accident, you can get in touch with an advisor. They can help you understand whether you’re eligible to claim and whether a solicitor from our panel could represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. If they can, they might offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

As per a CFA, you won’t be required to pay for your solicitor’s services if the claim fails. If the claim is successful, your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation. This is known as a success fee.

To learn more, you can get in touch with our advisors by:

Learn More About Making Common Car Accident Claims

Below, we have provided further resources:

We hope this guide answered the question ‘should I claim after a minor car accident?’. If you require any other information, please get in touch on the number above.

Writer Hana Clarke

Editor Meg Miller