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Personal Injury

Official Injury Claims: Don’t Get Shortchanged

Injured in an accident? You may not get full compensation if you try claiming through the government’s Official Injury Claim website. Read more…

cycle accident

Don’t Claim Injury Compensation Without First Getting Legal Advice

Injured in an accident? You could miss out on the full compensation if you try claiming yourself through the government’s Official Injury Claim website.

That’s because your injuries may be more serious than you realise. You may be entitled to more money than you think. So phone a personal injury lawyer first.

Injured In An Accident? Book A Chat With A Personal Injury Lawyer

What Is The Official Injury Claim Website?

The Official Injury Claim website is operated on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. It sounds official because it is…but always stop and think before using it!

This OIC website deals with so-called ‘minor’ injury claims under £5,000 from vehicle drivers and passengers aged 18+ in England and Wales.

But importantly, the OIC site does not accept claims from cyclists or pedestrians. So they’re free to claim more money for their injuries.

If you’re a cyclist or pedestrian who’s been injured in an accident – no matter how small – you should definitely phone a personal injury lawyer.

Here’s why…

How We Helped A Cyclist To Claim £4,500 For Minor Injuries

We helped a 65-year-old Poole cyclist to claim £4,500 after he was injured in a collision with a 4x4. Our client suffered soft tissue injuries to his face and body.

He had been cycling along Dorchester Road, Oakdale. It was 7:20am. He was on his way to work.

Without warning, a Honda CR-V SUV turned right across his path – causing an unavoidable collision. The victim was thrown off his bike and on to the road.

Fortunately, there were no fractures but our client suffered:

  • bruising on his face and legs
  • trauma to his jaw
  • a cut lower lip
  • a neck injury
  • general soft tissue injuries to his body.

There was concern he may also have sustained a concussion so an ambulance took him to Poole Hospital. He had to take a day’s sick leave from his job as a design engineer.

The SUV driver’s insurer offered to settle out of court. On our advice, the client turned down their low initial offer of compensation.

The insurer upped the offer. Six weeks after the crash, our client agreed to a £4,500 settlement.

Beware Small Claims Pitfalls

As an injury victim, you may not realise just how much compensation you can claim.

You may assume that your claim is worth less than £5,000 or £10,000 – but it may not be. Not when you’ve added up the true cost of the accident.

This matters because the full cost of compensation may exceed £10,000 – which takes it out of the realm of the small claims track.

This small claims procedure can mean:

  • limited legal representation
  • the risk of inadequate compensation
  • legal complexities (despite the fact that it’s supposed to be a simpler process)
  • a limited appeals procedure.
Remember – an injury claim for £10,001 avoids the issues associated with a £999 small claims track case.

Could My Claim Be Worth More Than £10,000?

When making a claim, always make sure you’ve considered all the losses you’ve suffered. You could be entitled to compensation for:

Pain and Suffering – even minor injuries can cause significant discomfort. You could be entitled to compensation for physical and emotional distress.

Loss of Earnings – if the injury has caused you to miss work, you may be able to claim for lost wages. This includes any bonuses or other benefits you would have received if not for the injury.

Medical Expenses – including any costs associated with medical treatment (such as GP appointments), prescriptions, physiotherapy or rehabilitation. Even minor injuries can incur medical expenses. These should be reimbursed through the compensation claim.

Travel Expenses – you may also be able to claim for the cost of travel to and from medical appointments or therapy sessions related to your injury.

Care and Assistance – you may need extra help with tasks you would normally be able to do yourself, such as household chores or personal care. You may be able to claim for the cost of hiring assistance.

Psychological Trauma – even minor injuries can lead to anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may be entitled to compensation for the psychological impact of your injuries.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life – if the injury has affected your ability to participate in activities you enjoy (such as sports, hobbies or social events), you may be able to claim compensation.

Future Losses – you may be able to claim for this if the injury is likely to have long-term consequences, such as ongoing medical treatment or a reduction in earning capacity.

Damaged Possessions And Clothing – you may be able to claim if personal belongings such as clothing, bags or electronic devices were damaged in the accident. Always keep receipts as proof.

Bicycle Damage – for cyclists, damage to their bicycle is a significant concern. The cost of repairs/replacement can include visible damages and also any underlying issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Minor Injuries To Vehicle Drivers And Passengers

As stated previously, the government is pushing vehicle drivers and passengers with injury claims under £5,000 towards the Official Injury Claim website. It is doing so after lobbying by the insurance industry.

That’s hardly surprising: both government and insurers are keen to reduce the number of whiplash and similar cases going to court. Put bluntly, they are cutting costs at the expense of justice for victims.

Drivers and passengers with injuries worth less than £5,000 now face a tariff-based system that limits compensation to between £240 and £4,345 depending on:

  • the duration of the injury
  • whether the victim sustained psychological injuries.

Should drivers or car passengers with minor injuries phone a personal injury lawyer? Yes, if the claim is likely to be worth more than £5,000. Definitely, if it is likely to exceed £10,000. 

Get Expert Legal Advice On Injury Compensation Claims

For more information, contact Serious Injury Paralegal Crispin Cormack. He specialises in personal injury cases, notably: road traffic accidents; injuries at work; slips, trips and falls; public liability claims, and criminal injuries.

Crispin provides the media with expert legal comment on personal injury litigation. He has been interviewed by ITV News and BBC Radio 5 Live.

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