Month: July 2021

Why Aren’t Solicitors Accepting Some Road Traffic Accident Claims Anymore?

not accepting RTA cases

You might have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident recently, and turned to a solicitor for their help. You’ve explained your circumstances and informed them of your injuries, only to be told they are unable to take on your case. But why? In this article we will answer all of your questions and explain the new process of making a claim for compensation after your accident.

What the new laws are

Previously, you would be able to instruct a solicitor to represent you for any small claim worth at least £1,000. If successful, you could also recover a portion of you legal costs from the defendants insurance company who you are claiming against. This meant that any upfront payment wasn’t necessary, and allowed solicitors to act on a No win No fee basis.

On the 31st May 2021, new claim guidelines and tariffs were introduced and now, solicitors will be unable to obtain costs from the third party insurers for taking on your case if it is projected to be worth less than £5,000.

You can still ask a solicitor to represent you if you feel you are unable to do this for yourself, but it will be your responsibility to pay legal fees.

Originally, these changes were scheduled for April 2020, but were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and have now come into force as of 31st May this year.

There are some types of claims that are exempt from from these changes, and the limit will remain at £1,000. This includes:

  • Claims brought by children under the age of 18 (at the time of bringing the claim)
  • Claims brought by protected parties (those who lack legal capacity)
  • Claims involving deceased parties

The changes also apply only to motor vehicle users only, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, scooter riders, horse riders and people using mobility scooters are all exempt.

Is it still possible to make a claim at all?

If you have been involved in an accident recently and suffered minor injuries, you will now be able to submit and manage your own claim online via the new OIC Portal. Once you have submitted your claim, you will then need to:

  • Ensure you have presented your claim information CLEARLY and CORRECTLY
  • Upon admission of liability, instruct a medical expert to prepare a report on your injuries
  • Interpret the medical evidence appropriately

The Official Injury Claims portal, or OIC Portal, is an online system where you can file a claim for whiplash injuries. Although it can assist with completing claim information, you may still require assistance outside of the portal for things like medical reports, or understanding tariffs for more complex injuries.

Will existing claims be affected by the changes?

The good news is that these reforms only apply to accidents that happened on or after the 31st May 2021. If you already have a case open or if you were involved in an accident before this date, your claim will not be affected and you will still be entitled to the previous higher compensation amount for small claims. You will also be able to recover some of the legal costs from the liable insurer.

How much will claims be worth under the new laws?

For example for whiplash injuries, which can be defined as an injury of “soft tissue in the neck, back or shoulder that is… a sprain, strain, tear, rupture, or lesser damage of a muscle, tendon, or ligament in the neck back or shoulder.” The amounts range from £240 for less than three months, to £4,215 for more than 18 months (but less than 24 months).

These amounts are fixed, but there is a possibility of an increased award for ‘exceptional circumstances’ – but this is limited to 20% of the fixed sums. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ are not yet defined, but it is likely that they will be difficult to prove and justify.

Can I still claim for financial losses?

You will still be able to claim compensation for any financial losses under the new process. It is important that you keep any invoices or receipts safe so that you are able to use these as evidence for your claim.

Can I still instruct a solicitor to take on my case?

Although legal costs aren’t attainable from at fault insurers under the new laws, you will still be able to seek help from a solicitor if you feel you are unable to handle the claim for yourself. It will be your own responsibility to pay legal fees or the amount will be deducted from your compensation.

If you have bene involved in a road traffic accident, we can advise you if we are able to assist and we are always just a call away if you have any questions or need advice on how to approach your claim. You can call us on 01744 612549, email or visit our website for more information.

Personal Injury Compensation Amounts Explained

compensation amounts explained

After an accident, you might be confused about how much compensation you’re entitled to for your injuries. You remember a friend of yours had an accident a few months ago, and suffered similar injuries – so you look to them for advice. You decide to pursue making a claim yourself with a figure in mind of what you’ll receive, only to find that the amount you’re quoted is less. You think to yourself “why did my friend get more than me? Surely that isn’t fair?”.

There are a multitude of reasons why compensation cases may seem very similar, but result in different award amounts. In this post we explain just some of the factors involved which can have an impact.

Compensation For Your Injuries

The award of compensation for your injuries themselves (aka ‘Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity’) will be tailored specifically to you, and reflects how you personally have been affected. This could be in relation to anything from your work to your lifestyle, hobbies and other personal interests.

For example, a case could be worth more for someone who’s accident led to them developing psychological conditions like depression and anxiety, or whose pre-existing mental illnesses were made worse. The same goes for any pre-existing physical conditions, arthritis for example, that have been made worse after the accident.

If two people suffer a similar physical injury, there can be other underlying factors which could make one claim worth more than the other.

Compensation For Loss of Earnings

The injuries you sustained after your accident might have left you unable to go to work. The amount you would have made at work during the time you spend recovering will be included in your compensation amount.

So, even if your injuries are the exact same as somebody else’s, their awards for loss of earnings could be different based solely on the rate of pay from their employer, or if they are unemployed they will not receive anything for these damages.

Care and Assistance Costs

If at any point you needed a friend or relative to take care of you after your accident, your compensation will include a sum to cover any unpaid work. For example, a person living alone may receive less care than someone living with a partner that is able to assist them in their recovery and therefore would be awarded a larger sum.

It can also cover any expenses you paid for others to carry out work that you normally could’ve done for yourself, like self-care, being driven to appointments and cleaning.

Future Expenses

If your accident leads to a permanent injury that requires ongoing medical treatment that you need to pay for, or you are left unable to attend work for an extended time period, the value of your case could increase even further.

These awards can vary, again depending on your work and lifestyle. Certain phsycial injuries will be worth less in a claim to people with sedentary lifestyles who work in office settings for example. They will receive a lower sum than someone who is more active working as a landscaper or bartender, as their work is less likely to have been severely affected.

Ruined Life Events

Maybe you had the holiday of a lifetime planned? Or maybe your wedding was coming up and you’ve had to cancel? You might be able to recover a portion of these costs if you were injured just prior to when these plans were due to happen, and if your injuries seriously affected your ability to enjoy yourself.

If you fully recovered before the event took place, you will not be able to recover anything under this head of damages. The amount you can recover also depends on the cost of the event. Take a holiday for example – someone visiting overseas will receive a larger sum than someone who’s trip is within the country, which is usually considerably cheaper.

Knowing what your claim is worth

These are just some of th emost common factors we take into consideration when estimating what a personal compensation claim is worth to you as an individual. To truly get the best and fairest award for you, we will need to gather as much information as we can, to ensure you aren’t losing out.

If you have been involved in an accident and are wondering how much compensation you could be entitled to, give us a call TODAY on 01744 612549 or email and one of our advisors will be happy to help.

Where to find us

89 Corporation Street
St Helens,
WA10 1SX
Call: 01744 612549

Mon to Fri – 9:00 to 17:00

Corporation Street, Saint Helens WA10 1SX, UK

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