If you’ve recently been involved in a road traffic accident (RTA) and want to claim compensation, you might have been directed to the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal to submit your personal injury claim.
While the OIC portal is meant to make claiming personal injury compensation after an RTA straightforward and hassle-free, you might already have found that isn’t the case – especially if you’ve read the 64-page manual and don’t know where to start.
This guide aims to help you understand how to use the OIC portal and what you can do if you’re still struggling.
What is the OIC portal?
It’s a service you can use to claim compensation if you have suffered minor injuries in an RTA, if:
- The personal injury element of your claim doesn’t exceed £5,000
- The total damages you’re claiming don’t exceed £10,000
You can use the OIC portal to make and manage a claim yourself in its entirety. However, if you’re not clear on something in the 64-page manual, you’ll find yourself reading through another 102-page document for the answer.
You probably don’t have time for that, especially if you’re focusing on dealing with your injuries and getting on with your life.
LawPlus can help you avoid the hassle of working through the OIC portal yourself. Contact us here to tell us about your RTA and personal injury claim and take the first steps to getting the compensation you deserve.
Who can use the OIC portal?
Anyone, so long as all the below apply:
- You’re making a personal injury claim of up to £5,000
- The total injury-related damages you’re claiming don’t exceed £10,000
- You’re over 18
- The RTA in question occurred in England or Wales after 31st May 2021
- You were injured inside a vehicle – you can’t use the OIC portal if you were injured as a pedestrian or motorcyclist, for example
- You believe someone else was partially or fully responsible for the RTA that led to the injury
- You have the vehicle details of the person you believe was at fault
- The vehicle that caused the accident had a UK registration plate
If you’re unsure whether you can use the OIC portal or want to reclaim other damages, LawPlus can help. Contact us here to discuss your claim and take the first steps to getting the compensation you deserve.
Who can’t use the OIC portal?
You can’t use the OIC portal if:
- You want to claim personal injury compensation exceeding £5,000
- Your total claim for injury-related damages exceeds £10,000
- You’re under 18 or lack the capacity to conduct court proceedings
- You were a “vulnerable road user,” like a pedestrian or motorcyclist, when you were injured
- Your injuries weren’t exclusively due to an RTA
- You don’t know who was driving the other vehicle
- The other vehicle isn’t registered in the UK
- You’re claiming as the personal representative of a deceased person
- You’re currently bankrupt
While you can’t use the OIC portal under these circumstances, you can still potentially bring a personal injury claim.
Contact LawPlus for a free, no-obligation review of your RTA personal injury claim and to take the first steps in getting the compensation you deserve.
What injuries can I claim for using the OIC portal?
You can use the OIC portal to claim for:
- A whiplash injury alongside minor psychological injuries, like shock
- Non-whiplash injuries
If a medical report finds your injuries are “exceptional,” you might be eligible for up to 20% more compensation.
What other damages can I claim using the OIC portal?
In addition to the injury element of your claim, you can also claim:
- Injury-related special damages, like loss of earnings or travel costs for medical appointments
- Non-injury-related special damages, like vehicle repair costs
How much compensation can I claim using the OIC portal?
The 64-page OIC manual includes a tariff, which tells you how much you can claim for the personal injury elements of your claim. You can use your medical report, which will state the extent of your injuries and likely recovery time, to understand how much compensation you can claim.
You’ll then know whether your claim is eligible for the OIC portal, depending on whether your personal injury claim is under or above £5,000.
For all other damages, you should keep evidence of your expenditure so you can add these to your claim.
If your personal injury claim exceeds £5,000 or you’re unsure about claiming via the OIC portal, LawPlus can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us here to get started with a free, no-obligation review of your case.
What does the OIC portal claim process look like?
There are five stages to making your personal injury claim through the OIC portal.
Stage 1: Starting your claim
First, you need to answer several questions to determine whether your claim is eligible for the OIC portal. If it is, you’ll then create an account and start your claim.
When you start your claim, you’ll need to share your:
- Personal details
- Employment status
- National Insurance number
The OIC portal will perform identity checks and check any previous claims history when you submit these.
Next, you’ll need to provide details of the RTA, including:
- What, when, and where it happened
- Any dashcam or photographic evidence
- If the police were involved
- The vehicle you were in
- Witness details
- Details of the vehicle and driver you believe were at fault
- If any other vehicles were involved
Then, you’ll need to talk about your injuries and input:
- What injuries you suffered
- Any time you have had to take off work due to your injuries
- Any medical attention or treatment you received immediately following the accident or in the time since
Finally, you’ll need to provide some additional details, including:
- Any help you needed to repair your vehicle
- Whether you needed to use a temporary replacement vehicle while yours was being repaired
- If you’re claiming for possessions damaged in the accident
- Any documentation relating to or in support of your claim
Not sure where to start? Contact LawPlus for assistance in making your personal injury claim and getting the compensation you deserve.
Stage 2: Investigation
Going through stage one puts the ball in the other party’s court.
When you complete the submission of all the above information, the compensator – usually the person you believe to be at fault’s insurer – will receive a notification. They’ll then complete their own investigation.
The compensator must provide a liability response within 30 business days of you submitting the claim. If there isn’t a compensator, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) or its’ agents will deal with your case and provide a liability response within 40 business days.
While investigating your claim, either the other party’s car insurance company or the MIB might ask you to sign a form of assignment; this allows them to claim against the at-fault driver. Asking you to sign a form of assignment is standard practice; however, you may wish to seek legal advice before you sign, so you’re clear on what this entails.
When you receive a liability response, the compensator will:
- Admit full liability for the RTA and injury
- Admit partial liability for the RTA and injury
- Admit full or partial liability for the RTA, but dispute that the accident caused the injury
- Deny liability
At this point, you can:
- Challenge any liability decision you receive while waiting for a medical report
- Decide to wait until you receive a compensation offer before dealing with liability issues and disputes
- Admit partial liability yourself – if you agree an RTA was 50/50, for example, you can still claim personal injury compensation, but only at 50% of the compensation detailed in the OIC manual
If a compensator admits full or partial liability, you can request an interim compensation payment to cover expenses incurred since the accident, like travel to medical examinations, for example.
If you’re worried about the outcome of your RTA and personal injury claim, LawPlus can help you. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation of your claim and take the first step towards getting the compensation you deserve.
Stage 3: Medical
Depending on the nature of your claim, you might need to get a medical report.
- You must get a medical report if you’re claiming compensation for a whiplash injury.
- Non-whiplash injuries don’t require a mandatory medical report, but compensators can still request you get one before they’ll make a compensation offer, or you can choose to get one yourself
The OIC portal doesn’t cover compensation offers without a medical report, but you can message the compensator directly and request an offer for any non-whiplash injuries.
If your personal injury claim goes to court, you’ll need to get a medical report irrespective of your injuries.
If you get a medical report, you’ll need to confirm within the OIC portal that you agree with the medical report and that you believe the facts contained in it are correct. You can make corrections or challenge the content of your report if you wish.
At this point, several things may happen:
- You could choose to share the medical report with the compensator so they can make a compensation offer
- The severity of your injuries means your claim will exceed £5,000 and is no longer eligible for the OIC portal
- You arrange to attend future medical assessments if your initial medical report suggests further investigation, if additional time is needed to assess your condition, you’re receiving ongoing treatment, or you aren’t recovering as expected
Stage 4: Receiving a compensation offer
Before you receive a compensation offer, the OIC portal requires you to upload additional documentation, including:
- Any fixed-cost medical report
- Details of any challenges made to a medical report and any response you received
- Any other medical reports you want to use to support your claim
- Details supporting your claims for special damages, like travel expenses or lost income
- Photographs of your injuries, where applicable
- Invoices or receipts for any other expenses you wish to reclaim
You’ll also have to sign a Statement of Truth regarding your losses and subsequent claim.
Now, at last, you’ll get a compensation offer. The compensator will make their offer based on all the information you’ve provided and the extent of your injuries. Remember, their offer will reduce by the appropriate amount if you admit partial liability.
When you get your offer, you can:
- Accept it
- Reject it and either send a counter offer, ask for an updated offer, or start court proceedings
- Choose to wait out the prognosis for your injury – this means waiting until the time your medical assessor believes you will need to make a recovery from your injuries, with a view to claiming more should you not recover as expected
When using the OIC portal, you can only reject and send counter offers up to three times. After that, you have to accept or start court proceedings.
If you reject the first compensation offer, you’re essentially starting a negotiation with the compensator. However, compensators don’t have to improve their offer, so you may wish to seek legal advice upon receiving any compensation offer.
If you decide to wait out your prognosis, your claim won’t go further until:
- You choose to proceed to offer (because you’ve recovered from your injuries)
- You confirm you haven’t fully recovered at the end of the prognosis period and want the compensator to arrange a new medical assessment and report
You can add any further losses you incur while waiting out your prognosis to your claim, after which the compensator will provide you with a new first offer, restarting the process.
If updating your claim means the total value exceeds £10,000, it will become ineligible for the OIC portal. You’ll need to take legal advice to proceed with your claim.
Not sure what to do when you receive a compensation offer or how to proceed through the OIC portal? Contact LawPlus for a free, no-obligation review of your RTA and personal injury case.
Stage 5: Closing the process
The OIC portal shows your claim as closed if:
- You reach an agreement with the compensator
- The compensator rejects your claim and you accept the decision
- You choose to go to court – your claim remains “on hold” within the OIC portal until the court has made decisions on the relevant matters, and you can reopen the case in the portal and upload court documents later if you need to
When you accept or agree on a compensation figure, the compensator must pay within ten business days unless they need to get an updated Compensation Recovery Unit certificate. In this case, they have 30 days to pay.
While you can complete the claims process through the OIC portal, it doesn’t handle payments. Instead, the compensator will contact you to arrange payment.
If you’re initially using the OIC portal and your claim exceeds the applicable value limits, you can download all relevant documentation to enable you to continue your claim yourself.
Lastly, if you can’t complete your claim within three years of the RTA, you’ll need to start court proceedings before this deadline.
If this sounds like a hassle, get in touch!
While the OIC portal is meant to make your life easier after an RTA, you might be thinking it’s just another headache you could do without.
Contact LawPlus today and we’ll manage your RTA and personal injury claim on your behalf from start to finish, enabling you to focus on your recovery and getting on with your life.