Personal injury

From 31 May 2021, the personal injury claims process changed for people who suffer from low-value injuries in road traffic accidents (RTAs).

The government shelved plans for further reform in March 2022.

In February 2023, the Justice Committee announced an inquiry on the impact of the changes, and whether the reforms are on track to successfully reduce insurance premiums for motorists, while ensuring injured claimants can still access justice.

Find out more about the inquiry

This page covers:

The changes affect the amount of compensation claimants receive and include:

  • tariffs for whiplash injuries that last up to two years from RTAs
  • the small claims limit increasing from £1,000 to £5,000 for RTAs not involving vulnerable road-users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders
  • a new online portal called the Official Injury Claim service

Claims for children will not have to go through the Official Injury Claim service. Usually, these claims will be fast tracked, regardless of the value of the claim.

The reforms are partly the result of the Civil Liability Act 2018. The regulations underpinning these reforms include:

There is also a Pre-action Protocol for personal injury claims below the small claims limit in RTAs.

What this means for claimants

The small claims limit increase, along with new tariffs, will lead to more cases being processed as small claims.

Claimants are therefore unlikely to be able to recover their legal costs. For many, the only option may be to use the Official Injury Claim portal and in some cases represent themselves in court. The MoJ has published a guide on making a claim, for people without representation.

What this means for solicitors

More personal injury cases will be treated as small claims. Claimants may decide not to be represented by a solicitor, as they will not be able to recover their costs.

Some firms working in low-value personal injury RTA claims may struggle to stay in the market.

Solicitors working in this area may benefit from revising their business models to adapt to the changes.

If you represent claimants for claims under £10,000, your organisation needs to register on the online portal.

Find out how to register

Using the online claims portal

The Official Injury Claim service is for personal injury claims worth less than £5,000 or £10,000 collectively.

Claims that go over the £10,000 limit will need to be managed outside the portal.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau runs the portal and has made toolkits to support those using the service, including an overview for claims professionals and specific guides on:

You can also watch video walkthroughs:


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