How to use the Official Injury Claim portal to claim compensation

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On 31 May 2021, the Official Injury Claim portal was launched for certain low value personal injury claims. This article explains whether you, as an injured claimant, will need to use the portal and how to make a claim.

Do I need to use the Official Injury Claim portal?

You can use the portal if the following apply:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • Your accident happened in England or Wales
  • Your accident happened on or after 31st May 2021
  • You were injured as the driver or passenger within a road vehicle
  • Someone else was responsible for the accident

You should use the Official Injury Claim portal if the general damages for your injury claim are likely to be less than £5,000, or the total value of your claim (including general damages and special damages) is likely to be less than £10,000.

Are there any exceptions when I should not use the portal?

There are a small number of situations where the portal should not be used, including:

  • If you were injured by a foreign-registered vehicle (see how to claim for this).
  • You were injured in a hit and run (see how to claim for this).
  • You were not injured by another road vehicle (e.g. by an animal or road conditions).
  • The accident was caused by a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

How do I work out how much my claim is worth before I start my claim?

Calculating the value of a claim is complicated. The compensation you receive is made up of two parts, general damages and special damages.

General damages are paid for each injury you have suffered. Solicitors work this out using a table of guideline amounts called the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition published by the Judicial College.

You can use our online compensation calculator to get an idea of the amount of general damages you could claim for through the portal.

Special damages are added to your general damages, and includes financial losses you have incurred, and also expenses caused by the accident.

What losses and expenses can I claim for?

Through the portal, you can claim for most of the direct financial losses and expenses you have incurred due to the accident. Examples include:

  • Lost earnings, if you have had to take time off work
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Treatment costs
  • Care costs
  • Prescription costs
  • Travel expenses

What do I need to start a claim using the portal?

Whether you use a solicitor or not, starting a claim using the Official Injury Claim service is straightforward - if you have all the correct information ready.

Using the portal, you will be prompted to answer questions and provide information and supporting evidence about you, your accident, your injuries and your losses.

Before starting the online process, it will help to gather the following information (where relevant):

  • Your national insurance (NI) number
  • The Crime Reference Number for the accident (if police were called), and details of the attending police officers
  • How and where the accident happened
  • About the vehicle you were riding in and information about who owns the vehicle
  • Names and contact details of other passengers
  • Names and contact details of any witnesses
  • About the party who caused the accident, including vehicle details and the driver’s name, basic description and contact information
  • About your injuries, including details of any GP or Hospital visit
  • Any other losses or expenses caused by the accident, with copies of invoices or receipts

How does the Official Injury Claim service work?

If you meet the criteria for your claim to be processed through the Official Injury Claim online portal, you can choose to use the service on your own, as an unrepresented claimant, or with the help of a claimant representative. Claimant representatives include both solicitors, claims management companies (CMCs) and legal advisors who have been trained to use the portal.

If you start the process as an unrepresented claimant, and later decide you need specialist help, you can instruct a solicitor or other claimant representative to assist you with your claim.

How long does the Official Injury Claim process take?

There is no set timeframe for the whole process to complete. There are, however, fixed timeframes for certain stages of the process.

Step 1 - Starting a claim on the Official Injury Claim portal

Timeframe: 20 to 30 minutes to complete

The online service takes you through the process of starting a claim, step by step. The process is broken down into several sections, and if you wish you can instruct a solicitor to complete the online process and calculate the total value of your injury claim and losses for you.

About you

The first step is to enter some information about you, including your National Insurance number. This information is then used to carry out an identity verification check.

About the accident

You will be asked to enter details about the accident. This includes answering questions about how the accident happened, such as how the vehicles collided, and where the accident occurred.

If the police attended the scene of the accident, you will need to provide the Crime Reference Number and details of the officer(s) who attended the scene of the accident.

About the vehicle

You will need to provide details about the vehicle you were riding in, including:

  • Registration, make, model and colour
  • Whether you were wearing a seatbelt
  • Details about any other passengers

If you do not own the vehicle, you will also need to provide information about the owner.

About witnesses

If you have this information, you will be asked to provide details of any witnesses to the accident, including names and contact details.

About the responsible party

The portal will ask you to enter the registration, make, model and colour of the vehicle that caused the accident.

You will also need to provide the name, contact details and a description of the driver (if you have it).

You will also be asked to provide details of any other vehicles involved in the accident.

About your injuries

Providing details about the seriousness and likely prognosis of your injuries is usually the most complex part of the process. Without any training, it can be difficult for a layperson to correctly work out how severe their injuries are, and how long their symptoms could last.

You will be asked specifically if you have suffered any soft tissue injuries, like whiplash, and you can also claim for psychological issues caused by the accident, such as post-traumatic stress.

On the portal you can add each injury you have suffered, including details of how serious the injury was (or is). Your injuries don’t need to have fully healed to make a claim. If your symptoms are ongoing, you can choose to wait and update this section before you finally submit your claim and accept an offer.

You will also be asked:

  • Did you have any time of work, and how many days off work?
  • Did you receive medical attention and was further treatment recommended?
  • Did you attend hospital, and if so which hospital? How many nights did you spend in hospital?

About vehicle damage

You will be asked to give details of whether help was needed to repair any damage to your vehicle, and whether you need a temporary vehicle while yours is being repaired.

About other losses

Calculating all the losses and expenses you are entitled to recover can be complex. In theory, you can claim for most losses you have directly suffered as a result of the accident and your injury.

You will be asked to give details of losses including treatment costs, prescription costs, care costs, and any travel expenses to and from medical appointments.

You may also be able to claim for costs to repair damage to your vehicle, and any loss in the value of the vehicle as a result of the damage (called diminution of value).

You can confirm whether any losses are ongoing.

You will be asked to provide a total value of all your losses and costs, and to provide evidence to prove your losses. If you instruct a solicitor or other claimant representative to manage your claim, they will calculate this on your behalf.

Supporting documentation

Finally, you will be asked to provide the evidence and documents you have to support your claim. The supporting documentation could include:

  • Photos or videos of the accident, including dashcam footage
  • Receipts for travel expenses and prescriptions
  • Invoices for care and treatment costs
  • Correspondence from police, the car mechanic or any other relevant parties

When you submit your claim information, you will then be given a Claim Reference Number, and details about the next steps of the process. You can confirm how you would like to be notified about updates to your case.

Your claim is then sent to the insurance company, or compensator, to review and respond.

Step 2 - Investigation

Timeframe: The compensator has 30 business days to respond

Your claim is assessed by the compensator to determine whether they accept the claim. You may be asked to provide additional information at this stage, if required. You can provide this further information through the portal.

Step 3 - Medical evidence

Timeframe: Unknown

Once the compensator accepts your claim, an accredited medical expert must examine your injuries and write a medical report. This will be used to value your claim.

You will be asked where you would like the medical exam to take place, and if you have any other special requirements for the appointment.

Based on your location and how far you are able to travel, you can select from a list of medical experts. However, you should contact them first to confirm an appointment, before you proceed.

After the exam, you will be notified when your medical report is ready to view on the portal. You must review the report carefully and approve the report if you agree with all the contents. You can give details of any factual errors.

After you have checked the report, you can then decide to proceed to an offer, wait to see how your symptoms progress, or get another report.

In ‘exceptional circumstances’, where your injuries have had a particularly severe impact on your life, you can ask for the compensation award to be raised (referred to as an ‘uplift’). You will be asked to confirm that your medical report supports this uplift, and to confirm what % uplift you are claiming. If a solicitor is handling your claim, they will calculate what this % should be.

Once the report is approved, a copy will be sent to the compensator so they can review the medical evidence and make an offer of compensation.

At this stage you can also review the financial losses you are claiming for, and add to them, if for example the medical report recommends additional treatment.

Step 4 - Receiving an offer

Timeframe: The compensator has 15 business days to respond

After they have received the full details of the claim and the medical report, the compensator will review all the documentation and will make an offer of compensation.

If you are working with a solicitor, your solicitor will discuss with you whether the offer is reasonable, or too low.

Using the portal, you can accept the offer, wait to see how your symptoms progress, or challenge the offer. If you challenge the offer, you will need to explain why. The compensator may accept your reasons, and increase their offer, or refuse.

At this stage, you will also need to review and accept a breakdown of the fees for making a claim through the service, including for the medical report.

Step 5 - Ending the process and next steps

If you accept an offer

Timeframe: 10 business days

The compensator is notified that you accept their offer. They then have 10 business days to pay out your compensation.

If you do not accept any offer

Timeframe: Unknown

If you have challenged the compensator’s decision and are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you can start formal legal proceedings. This process happens outside the portal, and could mean going to court.

The portal will notify you if there is the option to start court proceedings.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Official Injury Claim portal FAQ’s

Do I need to pay anything to use the portal?

There is no charge for using the Official Injury Claim portal itself, but there may be associated costs to pay. Some claimant representatives will charge for their services, and may not offer No Win, No Fee.

Our partners at National Accident Law will handle your claim through the portal on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Call 0800 376 1001 to discuss your options in more detail and get your questions answered.

Do I need a medical appointment?

Yes. You cannot complete the portal process without a medical report from an accredited medical expert.

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Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director