A claim is classified as a ‘small claim’ by the courts if the value of your non-injury losses and expenses is £10,000 or less, or if the value of your injuries is £1000 or less. The value of your injuries is decided by how long you are predicted to suffer from them by a doctor (or if you have already recovered, how long they lasted), which means that we have to obtain a medical report saying how long they have lasted and how long the symptoms are likely to last.However, the way in which your claim is dealt with (and what you can claim for) is different in each case. This limit is set to change from 31st May 2021, from £1,000.00 up to £5,000.00. Additionally there will be other changes affecting the occupants of motor vehicles, where their injuries consist of whiplash and/or minor psychological harm, as tariffs of award for those types of injury are being introduced. This advice page will be updated closer to the time when more information becomes available, although it is understood that vulnerable persons, such as children, pedestrians and two wheeled road users will not be subject to the fixed compensation tariffs when they are introduced. These changes will affect anyone who has an accident on or after 31st May 2021.
Although every type of injury is different, if your symptoms have lasted, or are likely to last, less than 3 or 4 weeks, then your injury claim will probably be a small claim. However, if they last longer than this (even if they seem minor), then your claim may not be a small claim.
Unfortunately, it does not matter how serious your injuries could have been: it is the actual injuries that you have suffered which determines the value of your claim.
How this affects your claim
In cases where injuries are valued at over £1000, or if the value of your non-injury losses/expenses exceeds £10,000, if you win, the other party has to pay something towards the legal costs.
However, for injury claims worth less than £1000, then you are only entitled to recover limited legal fees for pursuing your claim. The figure is usually a maximum of £80 if court proceedings have been issued. This would not cover the usual costs of us representing you and any amount of our fees over this amount would have to be paid by you out of your compensation.
In some cases, if liability has been admitted, or your case is straightforward (and thus we can keep the legal fees within a lower range), then we can agree to handle your claim for a fixed amount, so that you know how much will be deducted from your compensation and decide whether it is worth while us acting for you.
Please contact us for further information.