The whiplash claims landscape has changed lately, with the introduction of the Official Injury Claim portal. Which sees litigants in person put in the driving seat when it comes to pursuing compensation. This new chapter sharpens the focus yet again on why you should turn to us to help guide you through the complexities of the whiplash claims process.
Most people have heard of them, however, unless you work in the claims management sector or indeed, have suffered from a whiplash injury you’ve pursued compensation for in the past, then the chances are you might not be that familiar with the basics.
Which is why we’ve decided to answer some of your biggest questions here and now. It’s safe to say we know pretty much all there is to know about personal injury claims. For over 18 years we have supported people who have suffered personally, physically and psychologically as a result of being involved in road traffic accidents where other parties have been responsible.
How Do Whiplash Claims Work?
If you’ve been involved in an RTA, there are a few things you can do at the scene that will help you further down the line. Evidence is hugely important to your claim. It’s imperative that you swap your insurance details with the other driver(s) at the scene and preferably ensure that you get photos of the vehicle damage, injuries, and anything else within the scene that you think may be relevant.
Of course, depending on the extent of your injuries, you must seek medical attention too. Not least because they’ll be able to examine you and pen a medical report which will be pivotal to your personal injury claim case thereafter.
Once you’ve followed the pointers above, you should facilitate the government’s new Official Injury Claim portal so as to begin your claims journey as a litigant in person. However, you should also get in touch with us, who in the capacity of an established claims management company will then start the whiplash compensation ball rolling for you, by way of reviewing your case. Providing you with the best actions to take, and offering free advice every step of the way.
This is the gist of how whiplash claims will work from now on, from the perspective of a claimant. Based on claimants approaching us with evidence that their injuries were caused by a particular accident, and said accident was caused by another party’s negligence or mistake. In tandem with completing the process via the OIC portal.
What Percentage of Whiplash Claims are Successful?
Claiming for whiplash injuries has been very fruitful in recent years, as claimants have received pay-outs topping some £2 billion. Recent reports suggest that more than 1,500 whiplash injury compensation claims are made every day here in the UK. According to these figures put together by the Association of British Insurers, that equates to almost 550,000 claims being received annually, with RTA’s cited as the cause in most cases.
These high-volume claims have been the driving force in the recent revision of compensation processes and the advent of well-documented whiplash reforms. The resultant creation of the Official Injury Claim portal has been set up to help clamp down on suspicious compensation claims, by sifting out those whose whiplash claims might potentially be fraudulent.
It’s been suggested that the rising cost of whiplash claims could be to blame for insurance prices skyrocketing in the last few years, the Ministry of Justice claims that the implementation of the portal could save drivers up to £35 annually on their insurance premiums.
In terms of success rates, once claimants can supply us and our whiplash injury solicitors with evidence, then we can quickly build a solid case. We will take into consideration the pain and suffering caused by your whiplash injury, factoring in lost earnings and medical expenses, together with the impact – both physically and psychologically – it has had on your life since. These elements will go a long way to determining how successful your whiplash claim as a litigant in person will be. Although the introduction of a new tariff – as explained later – will make a significant difference.
How Long Do Whiplash Claims Take to Settle?
This is a difficult question to answer, as each case is different and based on individual circumstances. That being said, and as a ball-park guide, the majority of whiplash claims should be settled in less than 6 months. Yet this needs to be referred to as an approximate time frame rather than an accurate yardstick.
In theory, a straightforward RTA could be settled in just weeks, whereas a more complex case might take months. Especially if the defendant denies liability for causing an accident, or if it takes time to establish which party is responsible for causing a claimant’s whiplash injuries. These key aspects need to always be taken into account, however 4 – 9 months is a realistic expectation in our experience.
Who Pays Whiplash Compensation?
When the driver of another vehicle is found responsible for causing a road traffic accident which led to you suffering a whiplash injury, then ultimately compensation will be paid out by the other driver’s motor insurance policy provider.
Essentially it is this party who has ‘assumed the risk factors’ involved in covering the other driver for all eventualities, and therefore is culpable from a financial compensation viewpoint in the event of another person claiming off said insurance at any time during the lifecycle of that policy agreement.
Anything Else I Need to Be Made Aware Of?
Yes. The rules for making small personal injury claims if you’re involved in a road accident which led to a whiplash injury changed as of the 31st of May this year. The ramifications of these amendments to existing practices sees an increase in the small claims general damages limit for an RTA, up from £1,000 to £5,000. This new tariff system introduced by the government is designed to link compensation payouts to whiplash injury durations.
Grouped by severity and lower than previous amounts, compensation for whiplash injuries is now fixed, while the roll-out of the new system actively encourages claimants to make small road traffic accident claims themselves via the online portal. This negates the more central role whiplash injury solicitors play in the claims process, however doesn’t stop claimants reaching out to us to lend our experience and advice, and to guide you on your OIC portal journey going forward.
For more information, get in touch with us today on 0800 0488 896.