The new ‘Whiplash Portal’ and what it means to claimants

A new website for the Official Injury Claim service went live on 31st May 2021.

This free, independent and online service is operated on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. It offers those with minor injuries from road traffic accidents the opportunity to claim compensation without the need for legal help. The Official Injury Claims website covers accidents after 31st May that happened in England or Wales. As the most common injury in vehicle accidents is whiplash, it has been dubbed the “Whiplash Portal.”

The new portal can be used to claim up to £5,000 in relation to personal injuries and up to a total of £10,000 to cover other losses related to the accident. These may include loss of earnings, insurance excess, damage to the vehicle and any other fees incurred in submitting the claim.

Anyone over 18, who was the driver or passenger at the time of a road accident where they believe they were not at fault can use the platform to claim. It is advised that pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, should still seek independent legal advice following any accident as before.

Joanne Copeland, our litigation specialist and member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, believes claimants will suffer as a result of these changes. 'This website has great intentions but unfortunately, despite the website being referred to as the People’s Portal, it is not a straightforward process”, she explains. “The 64 page support guide offered is complex. This leads to concerns that only a minority of potential claimants will take the time required to pursue a claim via the portal. Instead victims will seek legal advice to complete the process, despite the requirement for these to be reimbursed by the defendants insurers being removed. “

Will claimants be fully compensated for their injuries
Naturally no small claim can be settled without a medical report to support. However, the portal is only designed to be used for soft tissue injuries, with others such as small fractures or travel anxiety unlikely to be covered. As yet, there has also been no official guidance on how claimants with multiple injuries can claim via the Portal.

Despite being designed to make the personal injury claim process simple, secure and unbiased, we believe that claimants will be under compensated for their injuries as most will not have the benefit of legal advice.

At Poole Townsend we operate a free initial consultation, which can act as a ‘reality check’ to determine whether you have a claim. We’re honest about what we can achieve and what that involves so you can make the best informed decision. The majority of our cases operate on a no win, no fee basis so if we can help, contact Joanne and the team.

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