Millie McDonagh

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.

Slips and Trips – What To Do If You’re Injured

It’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re browsing your favourite clothing store. As far as you’re aware, everything is perfectly normal, business as usual. You turn a corner, and all of a sudden find yourself in a heap on the ground. Wet floor, but no sign? Something left on the floor and not cleared away safely? You could have a claim.

Whether you’ve fallen victim to slippy surface, caught off guard by a crack in the pavement or had an accident falling over stock in an aisle, these types of accidents can be very embarrassing and have the potential to cause some nasty injuries.

How Common Are Slips and Trips?

According to HSE (Health and Safety Executive), in the UK slips and trips are on average responsible for a third of all reported major injuries, as well as two fatalities per year. They also account for 50% of accidents in the workplace involving members of the public and are the most common cause overall of major injuries there.

Slips and trips can happen almost everywhere, whether it be while you’re at work, using public transport, or shopping in your local supermarket, the injuries you suffer could turn your life upside down. The usual causes of day-to-day slips, trips and falls are as follows:

  • Wet floors
  • Wet or icy pavements
  • Uneven flooring or steps
  • Cracked or uneven pavements and kerbs
  • Unexpected obstacles
  • Poor lighting

Who Is To Blame For My Accident?

These types of accidents often occur as a result of business owners, local councils or building landlords for example, not taking the correct measures to keep you and others safe whilst you’re on their property.

Local Councils

Your local council is responsible for maintaining the safety of public spaces, steps and walkways, as well as identifying causes for concern like broken, cracked or raised surfaces, damaged or missing railings and inadequate lighting.

This can be hard for them to monitor at all times, but you can help your local council out by reporting a hazard if you see one in your area so that it is able to be fixed.

If you have had an accident in public, it is important to gather as much evidence as you can before you report anything to the council. This includes taking photos of the scene and any injuries you obtained, measuring the pothole or any other defects that contributed to your accident (with a ruler if possible), and gathering any details from witnesses that were present at the time or from emergency service teams that had to attend the scene of your accident.

Upon contacting us here at IMS Law and providing us with this evidence as well, we will send a letter of claim to the appropriate council. They have three months to investigate matters following which they should provide their stance on liability.

Business Owners

Shops, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants all share the responsibility to keep you safe from accidents like slips and trips while you are on their premises. They should be making sure that things like wet floors are clearly marked, spillages are cleaned up correctly and as quickly as possible, aisles or walkways are clear of any obstacles, ensuring that they have adequate lighting and that their steps and ramps are safe for public use.

Building Landlords

As previously mentioned, slips and trips can happen almost everywhere, including in your own home. If you currently rent a property and have had an accident, the responsibility lies with your landlord. Whether your landlord is a private individual, a property company, the local council or a housing association, it is their duty to keep you safe as their tenant by making sure their properties are properly maintained.

Do I Have A Claim?

If you recently have had an accident and are unsure if you are able to make a claim, be sure to contact us here at IMS Law on 01744 612549 or email for a FREE initial consultation with one of our specialist advisors! The value of you claim will be based upon your circumstances, the level of the injuries you sustained and the length of time for which you suffered from these injuries, the extent of the treatment you required and the impact your injuries had on your everyday life.

We understand that taking the first steps can feel daunting, but we are here to guide you through the process, answer any of your questions and most importantly, help you get back on your feet after your accident.

Busting common myths about making a personal injury claim

making a personal injury claim

Life after an accident can be a stressful time. You may be asking yourself: “how will I pay for the damages?”, “what happens with my car?”, “do I need to see a doctor?”. You also may be thinking of making a claim. Finding and contacting a solicitor can be daunting enough without the endless myths and misconceptions you’ll find online upon doing some research.

At IMS Law are here to debunk these myths, demystify the law and any answer all of your questions in YOUR language, so that making a claim isn’t any harder than it needs to be.

Myth #1: Making a claim is too expensive!

Here at IMS Law, we offer a no win no fee guarantee as well as a FREE initial consultation with one of our friendly advisors. Acting on a No Win, No Fee basis means that there are no legal fees for you to pay if your case isn’t successful.

If your case is successful, the contribution you make is capped at 25% from the award you receive for the personal injury claim. We always ensure that this is explained to our clients at the beginning of every case and we only charge our fee at the completion of the claim.

Myth #2: The claims process will be too complex

At first, the thought of starting a claim might seem daunting and confusing. There are so many options and you just want to be sure you’re doing what’s best.

Our friendly team here at IMS Law will always be available from the first point of call, right the way through your claim should you have any questions about the process, or even just for a chat! If you are unsure of anything, be sure to call us on 01744 612549 and we will be happy to help.

If you are unsure of anything, be sure to call us on 01744 612549 and we will be happy to help.

Myth #3: Solicitors aren’t needed because of insurance companies

Dealing with your insurance company following an accident may seem easier than contacting a solicitor, but they don’t always have your best interests in mind. Unlike solicitors, insurance companies don’t always consider the extent of any injuries you have sustained, or any other special damages you have incurred. If you instruct your own insurers to deal with the claim there can be a policy excess to pay. In the majority of cases if you instruct your own insurer to deal with your claim, they may not deal with your personal injury claim directly but will instruct a firm of solicitors to deal with the matter on your behalf. It is always in your best interests to instruct your own law firm independent of any insurance company.

Following a non fault accident you may also be contacted by the fault party drivers insurance company and they may to try and settle the claim with you directly. This is called third party capture or third party assistance. Insurers are legally allowed to do this. However, it’s important to know that you don’t have to settle the claim in this way, and that the other person’s insurer won’t be acting in your best interests. If you do accept an offer direct with the third party insurers it might be lower than the compensation you would have got if you’d instructed your own solicitor.

Our expert solicitors here at IMS Law will fight for your best interests and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Myth #4: People who claim who are just after free money

Living in the UK, you may have heard the term ‘claims culture’. This comes with the assumption that people who make a claim are just looking for a quick and easy way to make money, which can be damaging for those with genuine injuries and may make them feel guilty about making a claim.

The purpose of compensation is to help get you back on track and it can be extremely helpful for those suffering from not only financial, but physical and emotional difficulty following an accident. For example, it covers any medical bills, damages to your property, loss of earnings if you were left unable to go to work, etc.

At IMS Law we know how much an accident can be debilitating and distressing experience that has huge implications in many aspects of your life and we will always make sure that your claim is dealt with in an empathic and understanding manner.

Myth #5: We’ll share your details with other companies

Some claims companies use unethical marketing strategies, which unfortunately gives our industry a bad name. Unless we have your permission to do so, we will not under any circumstance share your details with any other companies or organisations

Myth #6: I’ll need to go to court

Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court and will only go to court if a settlement could not be agreed in the early stages of your claim, the other party is unresponsive or insurers respond and need the courts to intervene. If your case is taken to court you may need to attend and we will ensure that the possibility is discussed and agreed with you before we issue court proceedings on your case.

We hope this post has been helpful. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us on 01744 612549 or at and one of our advisors will be ready and happy to assist you.

Driving In Winter: Do You Know The Law?

Picture this. It’s a cold winters morning and you’re already running late for work. You rush outside to be greeted by your car roof and windows thick with ice. You give each of them a swift scraping; debating if it will be enough. You think to yourself ‘surely it’ll be fine, it’s only a 10 minute drive!’.

Here at IMS Law, we can say that it’s not worth the risk.

The possible dangers involved determine that spending those few extra minutes making sure you’re road-safe is a good investment. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know, from winter road laws to essential car checklists, so that you can ensure you are keeping yourself and other road users safe this winter!

What car maintenance checks do I need to do for winter?

Winter checks concentrate on the six main areas of your vehicle, this includes:

· Tyre Inspections
· Battery Tests
· Coolant and Anti Freeze Top-ups
· Windscreen Wiper Inspections
· Lights Assessments
· Oil Level Replenishments

Why are these important?


Your tyres need to be checked regularly, especially during the winter months, as they are more likely to slip on icy or wet roads. Check your tyres to ensure the tread depth and pressure is safe to drive on and legally compliant.

A low battery is more likely to be a major issue in winter when you’re trying to get started on those frosty mornings. Ensure it is healthy and holding a charge to avoid being stranded.

According to The AA, one of the most common causes of engine-related breakdowns in the winter is caused by cooling systems. Check your fluid levels regularly and refill your anti-freeze fluid if it is low.

Snow, ice fog and rain can all impair your vision when driving in the winter, potentially causing serious accidents. To avoid this, make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition and replace them if they are worn or smearing.

Not only is driving with broken lights dangerous, it is also against the law. Make sure that your front and rear lights are working properly at all times to help keep everyone safe and avoid receiving a fine.

Too little or too much oil can cause major problems and is another of the most common causes of vehicle breakdowns according to The AA. Check your oil levels regularly as it may need to be replaced during the winter months.

Spending a little bit of time doing these checks yourself, or if you prefer, booking an annual winter service with your local garage, can save you a lot of money and inconvenience in the long run.

What are the regulations I need to be aware of to be safe on the roads?

Although there are only a few UK laws that explicitly cover winter road use, there are guidelines set out within the Highway Code on the checks required by all motorists before making any journey. Winter driving raises several questions surrounding what you can and cannot do, such as “is it illegal to drive with snow on my car?” and “is it illegal to drive with a frozen windscreen?”.

The answer to both of these questions and more are covered in the Highway Code, which you should familiarise yourself with as a road user. Rule 229 states that BEFORE you set off you MUST:

· Be able to see, so clear snow and ice from all windows (including the roof of your car)
· Ensure that your lights are clean, and that number plates are clearly visible and legible.
· Make sure that your mirrors are clear and windows thoroughly de-misted.
· Remove all snow that might fall into the path of other road users.

So, should I drive with snow on my car or ice on my windscreen?

In short, no. Trust us when we tell you that those extra few minutes will be worth it and that it is essential you follow our advice, not only to keep yourself (and others) safe, but to avoid getting caught up in accidents in difficult and treacherous conditions.

Anything which can obstruct your view of the road or potentially fall into the path of other drivers should be removed. Otherwise, you could be potentially endangering yourself and other road users.

If you would like any further advice or have any questions relating to the guidelines in this post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on 01744 612549, chat with us now through our Live Chat system or request a callback through the tab on the right.

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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