If a low-velocity road injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Low-velocity or low-speed road accidents often result in whiplash, soft tissue strains, or psychological trauma even from seemingly minor traffic collisions.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a road accident, we can help. If your injuries were caused by another driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other road user, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With nearly 75,000 car occupant injuries every year, you are not alone

In 2022, there were 788 car occupant fatalities and 74,379 casualties (gov.uk).

Low-velocity or "low speed" road accidents happen when two cars collide at slow speed, generally around 5mph.

Low velocity accidents often happen when a stationary vehicle is rear-ended by another vehicle that has failed to stop in time, for example in queuing traffic.

If you have been involved in a non-fault low-velocity impact (LVI) collision, and suffered an injury as a result, you may be able to make a claim.

Do I qualify for low-velocity road accident compensation?

If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for low-velocity road accident.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

Compensation claims with shared fault

It's not unusual for personal injury claims to involve fault on both sides.

In our 2024 Road Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 5.24% of injured road users felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.

Even if your actions or negligence played a role in the accident, you could still be eligible for compensation. Cases with shared fault (contributory negligence) frequently settle through a split liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long after a low-velocity road accident do I have to start a claim?

For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) (mib.org.uk).

The MIB is an independent that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more:

MIB claims

How much compensation can I claim for a low-velocity road injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Low-velocity road accident injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your road injury. Compensation can include loss of earnings, including lost overtime, holiday pay, benefits and pension contributions,damage and repairs to your car, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.

These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication and physical therapy.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

What is a "low-velocity" collision claim?

Low-velocity road accident claims have long been an difficult issue for the courts.

Compared to most road accidents, it can be harder to prove which driver was responsible for a low velocity collision.

It can also be hard to prove that the accident was forceful enough to cause your injury.

What if the insurer won't agree I've been injured?

In crashes at moderate or high speeds, the damage to vehicles and injury to those involved is often obvious.

If you have suffered a cut, sprain, fracture or more serious injury, you will know it almost immediately.

By comparison, vehicle damage in collisions at low speeds tends to be minimal, and soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash, are unlikely to be felt until after both parties have left the scene of the accident.

When you make a low-velocity claim, the defendant's insurance company is often reluctant to agree that you have suffered an injury.

The insurer's defence is often based on the Delta Velocity (or Delta V) principle. Delta V measures the severity of a road traffic collision.

How does the Delta V principle work?

Using engineer reports based on the Delta V principle, the insurer can argue that the speed of the collision was not significant to exert enough force to cause the injury in question.

For example, they may argue that whiplash can only be sustained at speeds over 10mph.

However, this scientific data is not conclusive.

Other research shows that the body, in particular the head and neck, sustains more g-force than the car in low-speed impacts. Therefore, as it is not impossible for injuries to occur at lower speeds, the Courts do not rely on such evidence.

As set out in the case of Armstrong and O'Connor v First York (2005), the decision often rests on the credibility of the claimant in validating their injuries.

How do I prove I have been injured in a low-speed collision?

It has been shown that impacts of as little as 5mph can cause significant injury.

However, if you have suffered an injury in a low-velocity road accident your symptoms may not be immediately apparent. In the case of whiplash, for example, pain in the neck, back and arms may only manifest a few days later.

Because of this, a defendant and their insurers will often use this delay in symptoms to argue that the claim is false.

To challenge this argument, you must have evidence to prove your injuries exist and that they were the result of the accident in question.

Do I need a medical assessment?

Your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment to confirm your injuries. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident to confirm authenticity.

The assessment can also:

  • Confirm whether the symptoms are likely to have been the result of the accident.
  • Offer a prognosis for recovery which will help in decisions over the final compensation settlement.

What else should I do to make a stronger case?

It is essential that you also divulge any previous accidents or other injuries.

In addition, it is important that your version of events is consistent and not embellished in order to prove your injuries.

If the medical evidence proves that your injuries were caused by the accident, then the at-fault driver will be liable for the accident, and their insurance company must pay compensation.

Making a successful low-velocity claim

Although the process for low-velocity claims is not as straightforward as in other road traffic accident claims, seeking the advice of an experienced solicitor can offer the best possible chance of success for genuine claimants.

The compensation amount awarded in low-velocity claims should reflect the extent of the injuries, covering any physical and financial losses.

How did your injury happen?

Claiming compensation depends on the cause of your low-velocity road accident. Click the icons below for read more:

No win, no fee low-velocity road accident injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim low-velocity road accident injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a road accident specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director