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Your first step is to estimate the value of your claim to see if you should be making your claim through Official Injury Claim.

The vast majority of whiplash claims and most other soft tissue injuries (such as cuts and bruises) will be valued at less than £5,000 and are suitable for Official Injury Claim. If your injury is severe (such as head injury, broken arms and injuries affecting internal organs), you will need to follow a different route, and may benefit from seeking the advice of a legal adviser who can explain your options to you.

You will need to be able to prove each item claimed for via a medical report for your injury, which will be arranged as part of the claims process through Official Injury Claim. You can use the following information to help you estimate the value of minor injuries:



If you have suffered a whiplash injury (or injuries) to your neck, back or shoulder this will be valued by reference to a whiplash-only tariff set by law and shown in the Appendix of the Guide to Making a Claim. The medical expert will set out in the medical report how long you have suffered, will suffer or are likely to suffer with your injury; you can cross reference that information against the tariff. You won’t know exactly how long you are likely to have your injury (or injuries) until you have your medical report, but you will be able to provide an approximate indication of the value of your claim by considering the tariff.

Whiplash and minor psychological injury

If as well as a whiplash injury (or injuries) you believe you may have had a minor psychological injury, such as shock or travel anxiety, your claim is still valued by reference to a whiplash and minor psychological injury tariff. Otherwise the same points made in the whiplash section above apply.

Uplift in exceptional circumstances

Where you have a whiplash injury or whiplash injury with minor psychological injury and the injury/injuries you have sustained is/are exceptional, you may be entitled to an uplift of up to 20% of the tariff sum. You should explain why you think your injury is exceptional to your medical expert, who will comment on the issue. To be exceptional the injury must be exceptionally severe and/or your circumstances have increased your suffering as a result of the whiplash injury (and those circumstances are exceptional).

Non-whiplash injury

If you have suffered an injury that is not whiplash related (for example a broken finger), then the tariff will not apply to your injury claim, or that part of your injury claim if you have suffered a whiplash injury in addition. You should review the relevant sections of the Judicial College Guidelines which will give you an indication of the likely value of this part of your claim. These are shown in the appendix of the Guide to Making a Claim. As there is no tariff for non-whiplash injury, you will need to negotiate the value of the non-whiplash injury with the compensator once you have requested an offer. The JCG provides you with a starting point for that negotiation and for valuing your claim at the outset.

Other protocol damages – injury related

You may have incurred losses as a result of your injury (for example loss of earnings, travel costs for attending medical appointments, prescriptions, physiotherapy). You should keep receipts for these items where possible or obtain proof for other items (for example loss of earnings).

Other protocol damages – property damage

You may have incurred losses as a result of the accident (for example the cost of repairs that you have paid yourself, damage to property that was in the car at the time of the accident, loss of earnings because you need your damaged car to work). You should keep receipts for these items where possible or obtain proof for other items (for example loss of earnings).