In October 2021, the UK government launched the creation of a new Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB) to investigate road accidents more thoroughly. The Department for Transport has chosen now to enact these changes to account for the developments in transport systems, such as the roll-out of automated and electrical vehicles. As well as this, the new branch can be seen as an attempt to keep road collisions at an all-time low as the national lockdown of 2020 saw a 25% decrease in road casualties since 2019.

Today, we’re seeing more individuals returning to offices for the winter period as the furlough scheme comes to an end. With more vehicles on the road during inclement weather conditions and the governments’ new concerns for road safety, it’s important to be aware of the serious injuries compensation claims process for drivers.

Here is some useful information on legislation changes regarding road incidents, the claims process, and the types of injuries that warrant claims.

How to start a serious injury claim

To start the compensation claim process, it’s recommended that you recruit the help of an experienced solicitor to discuss your options. They can advise you on whether you have probable cause by obtaining the following information:

  • The details of the accident
  • Your registration details
  • Details of the third party
  • Location of the accident

If the other driver has fled the scene and you’re unable to supply third-party information, you may be able to make a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

A solicitor then uses this information to assess what type of serious injuries compensation claim you’re eligible for. For example, you may be able to claim for general damages. This covers the impact injuries have had on the claimants’ quality of life by taking into account physical pain and psychological suffering.

The amount you receive is dependent on the severity of your injuries. The most common form of injury sustained through car accidents is whiplash, for which the government issued a change in legislation in May 2021.

The Whiplash Reform Programme

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden movement that can cause physical suffering and severe symptoms. There were several changes to whiplash legislation in May 2021, with the primary reform being that individuals can now claim up to £5,000 on claims pertaining to this injury.

The introduction of a tariff for whiplash claims can be seen as an attempt to prevent arguments over the amount to be awarded since the tariff will be fixed in law. However, it’s important to note that this tariff is only in place for whiplash claims exclusively and doesn’t limit your serious injuries claim if you have other long-standing physical or emotional concerns.

Common serious car injuries that result in compensation claims

Serious car accidents can lead to several types of injuries – all of which you can file a compensation claim for. Some of these include:

  • Back injuries: This is the most common type of car injury and includes everything from strains to herniated discs.
  • Internal injuries: These injuries usually occur from the impact of a car crash, and include damages to the lungs, heart, bowels, and kidneys.
  • Psychological injuries: This includes depression, PST, or emotional distress which may occur as a result of trauma.
  • Facial injuries: These injuries can range from minor to severe, and are usually caused by shattered glass or from hitting the steering wheel.
  • Brain and head injuries: This is considered one of the most severe injuries that occur when the head hits an object violently.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord arise from bruising or a tear in the spinal cord tissue. This often results in a loss of feeling or function, making it the most severe type of injury.