On 31st May 2021 the law changed for a large number of people injured as the result of a road traffic accident that happened on or after 31st May 2021.
If you have suffered a whiplash or any other injury, and the value of the claim falls below £5,000, and you wish to make a personal injury claim, the claim will need to be processed through a new Government supported ‘portal’ called the ‘Official Injury Claim’ service. The new claims process means that you will not be able to recover legal costs, but can pursue the claim yourself through this new free-to-use portal. You can still seek legal assistance if you do not wish to do the claim yourself, but you will have to pay your lawyer’s costs unless you have legal expenses insurance as part of your car insurance policy.
The new Portal for processing your claim can be found here.
Further information about this new law and process can be found in the ‘Official Injury Claim Information Toolkit’.
An official consumer-focused ‘Guide to Making a Claim’ has been produced to help you and can be found here.
If you need further support in how to process your claim – then you can contact the Portal’s Customer Support Centre on 0800 1181631 or visit www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk/contact-us.
There are exceptions to the new Rules. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident but come under any of the following categories, you can seek legal assistance and your lawyer will handle your claim under the process that existed prior to 31st May 2021:
- you are a minor (under the age of 18 years)
- you are a pedestrian
- you are a cyclist
- you are a motorcyclist.
The new Rules will also mean that the level of injury damages will be significantly reduced for a whiplash injury and will be paid according to a tariff based on how long you suffer the injury, set by the Government.
You may be entitled to legal advice if you have Legal Expenses Cover. You should check with your motor insurer if this cover is included in your policy and if it is, your insurers should assign you legal support and cover your legal costs.
Prior to 31st May 2021, a claim for injuries exceeding £1,000 right up to £25,000 was dealt with under a different ‘Claims Portal’ which is still operating. This Portal remains for claims valued over £5,000 and for those categories listed above, and for claims pursued in this Portal, you can still recover legal costs.
How can MASS help you?
If you fall into the category of one of the exceptions detailed above, have sustained injuries that you consider are not minor, and may be valued in excess of £5,000 in compensation, or do not wish to pursue your claim yourself, we may be able to help you. MASS Members are based across the UK and are specialist road traffic accident solicitors, experts in claiming compensation for motor accident victims.
If you would like to contact a MASS Member, you can find contact details of our members within your area via our postcode search.