Are my car accident injuries serious enough to make a personal injury claim?

None of us ever wants to be in a car accident or any type of road traffic accident (RTA). When it happens, the accident itself and both the immediate and long-term aftermath can be a source of significant pain and stress, both physical and mentally.

Given what you’ll go through if you are unfortunate enough to be in an RTA, it’s only natural for you to consider whether you’ll be able to get compensation for your injuries.

How do I know if my injuries are serious enough?

The severity of your injuries will depend on the nature of your accident.

In general, a good rule of thumb is that if you need to visit your GP or attend hospital due to the injuries you suffer in an RTA, then they’re severe enough that you should at least explore whether you may be entitled to compensation.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely get compensation if you go to hospital. Instead, various factors will determine if you get compensation and how much you might get.

There’s a new way of making RTA claims

If you’ve been injured in an RTA after 31st May 2021, you might need to claim compensation via Official Injury Claim. Official Injury Claim is a platform that allows you to manage and make personal injury claims yourself following an RTA. We will cover some elements of the Official Injury Claim portal below, but you can also read our complete guide here.

Being aware of this is crucial, as it ties into how you make a claim and the potential compensation you might get.

What injuries and claims go through the Official Injury Claim portal?

Unsurprisingly, the most frequent injuries people suffer in RTAs are related to whiplash.

If you suffer whiplash or other soft-tissue injuries in an RTA, you’ll typically be directed to Official Injury Claim if you want to claim compensation for your injuries and reclaim monies relating to other losses.

You’ll be directed to Official Injury Claim if:

  • You were over 18 when you were in the RTA
  • The RTA occurred on or after 31st May 2021
  • You were the driver or passenger in a car
  • You suffered a whiplash or other soft tissue injury
  • Your injury claim doesn’t exceed £5,000, and the total value of your claim doesn’t exceed £10,000

The total value of your claim figure is higher as you can also claim for things like lost earnings or having to travel to medical appointments.

While you might not know if the total value of your claim will exceed £10,000 when you start your claim, you can start your claim but take it out of the Official Injury Claim portal if it later exceeds £10,000.

How much compensation can I get?

If your claim goes through Official Injury Claim, how much compensation you get will be determined by a fixed tariff. Generally speaking, the tariff is based on how long your injuries last, although other factors may come into play.

Official Injury Claim has a 64-page user guide you can read, which outlines the tariff and gives you an idea of what compensation you might get.

What about legal costs?

Good question! The purpose of Official Injury Claim is to manage your compensation claim yourself, which, theoretically at least, means you won’t incur any legal costs. However, even if you take legal advice before using Official Injury Claim, you’ll be unable to reclaim those costs.

What about other injuries?

If your claim isn’t eligible for the Official Injury Claim portal, you can take legal advice and proceed with a personal injury case via a personal injury specialist. In this case, you may be able to reclaim your legal expenses. However, many personal injury solicitors will take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis anyway.

You can also bring a claim if you suffered more severe injuries, like broken bones or head injuries, or if the RTA led to the development of chronic pain. In the latter case, you should be aware that you need to bring a claim within three years of the date of the RTA.

Finally, you can also claim personal injury compensation if you suffer injuries from an RTA while not in a car – for example, if you’re a cyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian.

Claiming personal injury compensation following an RTA

If your injuries are severe enough that you need to visit your GP or attend hospital, there’s a good chance that you’ll be entitled to personal injury compensation.

Read this guide to learn what to do after an RTA, or contact LawPlus now for a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim.

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