Back in June we posted a blog about the government’s new online claims system for people injured in road traffic accidents, known as OIC (Official Injury Claims). There were two main changes. The first was that legal costs would not be recoverable from the defendants in cases where compensation for injuries wasn’t more than £5,000. This is because the system is meant to be user friendly for someone without legal training. The second change was that a tariff system was introduced for whiplash injuries, meaning that the amount of compensation would be a set figure depending on how long your whiplash lasts.

We now have some statistics for the first three months of the system and very broadly these show that, compared with the same period in 2019 (for obvious reasons a comparison with 2020 isn’t very useful), the number of claims has dropped by about two thirds.

The introduction of OIC was hailed as a win for the consumer who could expect to see car insurance premiums reduced by about £40 a year. But if you have been injured it’s not such good news. The figures suggest that claimants are finding the system too complicated to navigate or not worth the trouble because the amount for whiplash injuries, which last just a few months – painful and inconvenient though they can be – is so low. 

It’s worth remembering that if you are classed as a vulnerable road user – for example, a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, horse rider or mobility scooter user – you do not have to use this system and so may well be able to recover the cost of legal advice from the defendant’s insurers. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you have other injuries apart from or as well as a whiplash injury the OIC system may not apply to you either.

If you need advice about this, get in touch. We are happy to have an initial chat with you and we won’t charge you for doing so. 

The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only