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Road traffic accident claims

How do we value compensation for injuries following road traffic accidents?

The Civil Liability Act 2018 came into force on 31 May 2021. This means that if an accident happened on or after this date, then the claim for injuries will be valued in a new way.

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Where the claim includes a claim for a whiplash injury (described as a soft tissue injury to the neck, back or shoulder, including any strains, sprains or tears) then this whiplash part of the claim will be valued according to a matrix. This matrix is set by law and has been made by Parliament.

There are two parts to the matrix. The first part relates to where there is a physical injury only. The second part relates to where there is a minor psychiatric injury in addition to the physical injury. A minor psychiatric injury would include conditions such as travel anxiety.

Compensation amounts are based on the duration of injury, i.e. the length of time your symptoms lasted:

No more than 3 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £240
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £260

More than 3 months, but not more than 6 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £495
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £520

More than 6 months, but not more than 9 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £840
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £895

More than 9 months, but not more than 12 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £1,320
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £1,390

More than 12 months, but not more than 15 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £2,040
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £2,125

More than 15 months, but not more than 18 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £3,005
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £3,100

More than 18 months, but not more than 24 months

  • Amount whiplash only = £4,215
  • Amount whiplash + psychiatric injury = £4,345

Uplift for serious injuries

If the medical expert states that they believe that the injuries are severe, or where the impact on the injured person’s lifestyle has been exceptional, then the value of the compensation may be increased by up to 20%. The amount of the uplift is not set in stone and is open to negotiation between the parties. If there is no agreement, then it would ultimately be for a judge to decide what percentage figure to apply to the uplift.

Additional, non-whiplash injuries

Where there are other, non-whiplash injuries, or where your claim does not have any whiplash injuries, then these other injuries will continue to be valued in the same way as before 31 May 2021. This means that these injuries will be valued by reference to similar cases and to guidelines published by a body called the Judicial College.

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