By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 9th August 2023. Welcome to our guide which explains the pre-action protocol for personal injury claims. It describes the low value RTA protocol for compensation for personal injury suffered in car accidents, explains when a solicitor should sent a personal injury claim letter, and answers FAQs such as “What evidence can I gather as part of low value personal injury protocol claims. Pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims apply to cases where the value of a claim is up to £25,000 and where an accident happened on or after 31st July 2013. They are designed to speed up decision making so a dispute is resolved as quickly as possible. In short, these protocols aim to prevent claimants from taking out legal proceedings. Here, we provide insight that includes a list of compensation payouts for such claims, as an alternative to a personal claim injury calculator.
What are pre-action protocols?
The main goal of pre-action protocols are:
- To encourage a claimant and defendant to exchange as much information as they can as quickly as possible
- To encourage early settlement and avoid claims from going to court
These protocols set out a timescale that both parties need to abide by. If these protocols aren’t adhered to, then the responsible party might be penalised by the court.
To find out more about how pre-action protocols could affect your case, please speak to a member of our team. If you have a valid claim, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor.
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Select A Section
- A Guide About Understanding The Pre-Action Protocol For Low Value Personal Injury Claims
- Pre-Action Protocols For Low Value Personal Injury Claims – Gathering Evidence
- Are The Pre-Action Protocols Always The Same?
- Pre Action Protocol For Personal Injury Claims
- Filling In A Claim Notification Form?
- Rehabilitating Your Injury And Health
- When To Send A Letter Of Claim
- Giving The Defendant Time To Respond
- Disclosing Relevant Documentation
- Obtaining Reports From Relevant Experts
- Alternative Steps In Dispute Resolution
- Stages Of A Personal Injury Claim In The UK – How Long You Have To Start The Process
- Calculating Compensation For Personal Injury Claims
- Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help With The Pre-Action Protocols For Low Value Personal Injury Claims?
- Start Your Pre-Action Protocols For Low Value Personal Injury Claims Today
- Learn More
- FAQs About Pre-Action Protocol For Low Value Personal Injury Claims
When you are injured in an accident, whether a workplace accident or an accident in a public place, you may be able to seek damages. However, you need to prove that your injury was caused by negligence. Please be aware that the pre-action protocol for a low-value road traffic accident claim will differ from the ones mentioned in this guide.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, there are certain things to consider. Because of this, we recommend that you seek legal advice before you start proceedings against the party responsible.
Our guide provides essential advice and information about pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims. We explain the different stages of the protocols and what each of them consists of. Included in our guide you will find a table that provides compensation payouts for specific injuries. The figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a publication that legal professionals refer to when valuing claims.
Please call an adviser today if you have any questions about making a low value personal injury claim. A member of our team can tell you if your claim is valid and whether or not a solicitor could offer you a No Win No Fee agreement.
The personal injury pre-action protocol for low value claims can involve gathering evidence to support your case. However, you must firstly consider who is responsible for your injuries. For a personal injury claim to be valid, you need to prove that:
- A third party owed you a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care they owed you
- This caused you to sustain harm in an accident caused by their negligence.
In order to prove negligence occurred, you could gather evidence, such as CCTV footage, pictures of your injuries and the accident, witness contact details and medical evidence. Medical evidence could include hospital or doctor reports that show the diagnosis and treatment you received.
You may also need to undergo an independent medical assessment. This allows an independent medical professional to produce a report on the full extent of your injuries.
One of our solicitors could represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you wouldn’t have to pay upfront for the services they provide you. They could help you gather evidence and arrange for you to attend a medical appointment. Furthermore, they could help you through each stage of the personal injury claims process.
For more information, please get in touch with our team. They can assess whether one of our solicitors could handle your claim on this basis.
The pre-action protocols that we will be discussing in this article are ones that relate to low value personal injury claims relating to public liability or employer liability. They apply to claims made for personal injury relating to an accident that occurred on or after 31st July 2013,
There can be some differences in the pre-action protocols for different kinds of low-value personal injury claims. For example, the protocols for road traffic accident (RTA) claims might vary from the ones for employer liability or public liability.
Pre-action protocols for low-value personal injury claims- road accidents
For road traffic accidents where the injuries are valued at £5,000 or less, the process of claiming has changed according to the Whiplash Reform Programme. This means that RTA claims of this nature where the claimant is a driver or passenger over the age of 18 must be made through an online portal.
Call today and speak to a member of the Accident Claims team who can provide you with free legal advice. They can also review your case and explain which of the pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims must be followed.
The objective of a pre-action protocol for personal injury claims is to avoid a claim needing to go to court. One example of a pre action personal injury protocol is that a letter of claim must be sent to the liable party.
This is to inform them that you intend to claim against them and can include information such as how much compensation you are seeking and the details of the accident and your injury.
Our solicitors have years of experience and can assist you through every step of the claims process. Get in touch with our advisors to find out more.
When you want to file a personal injury claim you must complete and register a Claim Notification Form (CNF). This should be sent through an online portal. The CNF should be sent to the defendant’s insurer, and then a Defendant Only Claim Notification Form (Defendant Only CNF) should be sent to the defendant.
You must complete all mandatory fields in the CNF. Some boxes are not mandatory; however, you should make a reasonable attempt to fill out these fields.
In some cases, the part that each of these forms should be directed to might vary, Speak with an advisor for more information.
What happens if the letter is not sent?
If there has been inadequate information included in a CNF, then this could be considered a valid reason for the defendant to consider that the claim shouldn’t continue as per this protocol. Furthermore, there may be some sanctions payable to the court if they consider that the claimant’s CNF contained insufficient information.
Rehabilitation should be included in the CNF by the claimant. For example, they will be expected to include information about the injuries that they have sustained as well as any professional recommendation for rehabilitation.
As such, both parties are encouraged to use the ‘Rehabilitation Code’ which helps them identify a claimant’s urgent requirements. Moreover, the Code also helps address how funding for rehabilitation would be met. This Code should be considered by both parties at all stages of the claim.
If you need advice on how to file a personal injury claim, we can help. A member of our team can offer free legal advice about pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims; they may also be able to connect you with a solicitor if you have a valid claim.
A letter of claim is sent to the defendant or their representatives to notify them that proceedings may be brought against them. The letter should contain a detailed and clear summary of the facts of the claim. In addition, the letter should detail the nature of a claimant’s injuries and their rehabilitation needs.
In some cases, a CNF can serve as a letter of claim. This might happen if the defendant denies liability, or if they admit liability but claim contributory negligence led to the accident.
A letter of claim should also provide adequate information so insurers can launch an investigation into their potential liability. Moreover, the letter should also provide insurers with an idea of the claim’s value.
If you need advice on how to file a personal injury claim, we can help. A member of our claims team can also tell you more about pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims.
A defendant (or their insurers or legal representatives) has 21 days to acknowledge they have received a letter of claim. They should send a preliminary response within this timeline. After this, they have 3 months to provide a fuller more detailed response.
However, if liability is denied, then valid reasons must be provided which can include an alternative version of the events the defendant wishes to put forward. Furthermore, supporting evidence must also be provided. A claimant can issue court proceedings against a defendant who does not respond to a letter of claim.
At this point in the claim, the claimant will be asked to send the documents to the defendant and to the court that would be included in the letter of claim. This could include records of special damages or information relating to the defendant’s liability.
For instance, if you were claiming for injuries sustained in a machinery accident, then you might include records of the machinery’s maintenance or training schedules.
For more information on what documents might be relevant at this point in the claim, speak with us today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor.
Obtaining reports from relevant experts is essential when you file a personal injury claim for compensation. This will usually be a report from a medical expert. However, in some cases, another kind of expert’s report could also be used, such as an engineer’s report on a particular piece of machinery.
The procedural rules regarding expert evidence are set out in CPR 35 and it is an expert’s duty to help a Court on matters within their area of expertise. In addition, the duty an expert owes the Court overrides any obligations they may have to parties that instructed them or paid them for their services.
Reports from medical experts
We may be able to help you arrange an appointment with an independent medical professional who is local to you. Their report could provide essential evidence when it comes to working out the value of the injuries or mental harm you suffered, and so could influence the value of your claim for compensation.
Call today and find out if your claim is valid; if so, we could connect you to a No Win No Fee lawyer. Your initial consultation is free of charge and you can ask any questions you may have about the pre-action protocols that might apply to your case.
When a case involves a moderate value claim, the protocol specifies that starting legal proceedings should be a last resort. Because of this, both the claimant and defendant should consider some type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve the dispute. They include:
- Mediation. This is where an independent third party is brought in to help facilitate a discussion between the claimant and defendant to help them come to a conclusion.
- Arbitration. This is where a third-party arbitrator is asked to make a decision on the case. Unlike in mediation, their decision is legally binding.
Do you need advice regarding the steps you should take in pursuing a claim? If so, just call one of our advisers today and they can answer any questions you have. Furthermore, they can review the details of your case before advising you accordingly. If we find you have good cause to seek compensation, we can provide you with a No Win No Fee lawyer.
A member of our team can explain the importance of abiding by the pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims and whether or not you have grounds to sue.
As we discussed above, one of the stages of a personal injury claim in the UK includes sending a letter of claim. The defendant is given a certain amount of time to respond. However, this is different to the limitation period in which you have to start legal proceedings.
The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as being typically three years from the date of the accident that caused your injuries. This means that you must start the pre action personal injury protocol within three years of the accident.
However, there are circumstances that can lead to exceptions for the time limit. This effectively suspends the limitation period for certain injured parties who cannot start legal proceedings themselves. These include:
- Children below the age of 18: the time limit is frozen until their 18th From turning 18, they have three years to claim. However, a litigation friend can begin the process on their behalf at any point before this.
- Those who lack the mental capacity to start a claim themselves have the time limit suspended indefinitely. However, a litigation friend can start legal proceedings at any point during this time. Should the injured party regain their capacity, they will have three years from that date to start a claim.
Call our advisors to learn more about the personal injury pre action protocol. If your claim is eligible, they can help you get started right away.
If you are wondering how much of a compensation payout you could receive, we can help. That said, every claim is unique and as such providing an exact amount is not possible.
With this in mind, we have included a table that offers amounts taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Personal injury lawyers, insurance providers, and courts refer to the JCG to value a claimant’s general damages head of claim, which is the part that relates to the pain and suffering caused by the injury.
|Type of injury
|Severity of injury
|Potential General Damages Awarded
|£9,110 to £14,080
|Simple femur fracture with no articular surface damage
|£6,610 to £19,200
|Simple forearm fracture
|Up to £5,150
|Mild asthma, bronchitis, colds and chest problem.
|Hand, Finger and Thumb
|Up to £4,750
|Fractures recovered within 6 months, scarring, tenderness and reaction to the cold with full recovery.
|£4,350 to £7,890
|Full recovery within a period of one to two years.
|£4,350 to £7,890
|Soft tissue injury causing pain with almost complete recovery in less than 2 years.
|Up to £3,950
|Rib fractures and soft tissue injuries causing serious disability and pain.
|Pelvis and Hips
|Up to £3,950
|Minor soft tissue injury with complete recovery.
|£3,390 to £7,230
|Without associated abdominal injury or damage.
|£2,200 to £3,950
|Recovery within a few weeks
Low Value Personal Injury Claims – Can They Include Special Damages
Compensation settlements for low value personal injury claims can include special damages. This head of claim compensates you for the financial losses you have experienced due to your injuries. If you are making your claim in line with the Whiplash Reform Programme, this head of claim may be referred to as “other protocol damages”.
Under this head of claim, you could be compensated for:
- Loss of income.
- Travel costs.
- Prescription costs.
- Physiotherapy and other necessary medical expenses.
You will need to keep evidence for such costs or losses in order to submit them as part of your claim. Receipts, payslips and bank statements could all help to support your claim.
We should mention that if your personal injury claim is worth over £5,000 (or £10,000 inclusive of other protocol damages) that you may need to make your claim via the traditional route.
To find out which avenue you should take when making your claim, or for more information regarding the road traffic accident (RTA) protocol, you can get in touch with our advisors.
List Of Compensation Payouts For Low-Value Whiplash Claims
As we mentioned previously in this guide, there is a protocol for low-value road traffic accident claims. In instances where an adult passenger or driver sustained a whiplash or soft tissue injury that is worth £5,000 or less, a claim would need to be made via the government’s Official Injury Claims portal.
In these instances, the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 would be used to value claims for whiplash and soft tissue injuries. However, even if the claim is not made via the government’s portal, it may still be valued in line with the tariff. This is because the tariff applies to all occupants inside a vehicle.
We have created a table using the tariff below to provide a list of compensation payouts for whiplash injuries. This can be used as an alternative to a personal injury claim calculator.
|Whiplash Reforms Minor Injuries – Table B amount
|Where the claimant makes or had made a full recovery in more than 12 months, but not more than 15 months
|Whiplash Reforms Minor Injuries – Table B amount
|Where the claimant makes (or had made) a full recovery in a period more than 15 months, but not more than 18 months
|Whiplash Reforms Minor Injuries – Table B amount
|Where the person recovers fully (or already has recovered) Within more than 18 months, but not more than 24 months
To learn more about claiming compensation for a personal injury, get in touch with our advisors.
Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help With The Pre-Action Protocols For Low Value Personal Injury Claims?
Many people worry about the cost of hiring a solicitor to represent them but you could have a No Win No Fee solicitor work on your claim. This takes out all the worry about paying a solicitor upfront for their services, without any guarantee that you will be receive compensation.
Once you sign a No Win No Fee agreement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement), the solicitor can immediately start work on your case. Furthermore, they won’t ask you to pay upfront or ongoing fees.
You pay a No Win No Fee lawyer in the event that you win your claim; they’ll deduct a success fee from your compensation. If your case fails, you won’t have to pay your solicitor, or any court costs either.
Call today and find out more about how to follow the pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims. Your first consultation is free, and you would be under no obligation to continue with a claim if you don’t want to. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please call an adviser to find out more about pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims. A member of our team can also let you know if you have a valid case.
If we determine you have a strong case, we can connect you to a No Win No Fee lawyer. You can reach one of our friendly advisers by:
- Calling us on 0800 073 8801 our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Requesting a callback
- Fill out our contact form
Call today and speak to one of our friendly and supportive advisers. Your first consultation is free of charge. You are under no obligation to pursue your personal injury claim if you decide not to.
We’ve also included the links below which you might find useful:
- Claiming for a fall from a ladder
- Claiming for a wrist injury
- Making a broken chair accident claim
- Pre-action protocols for road traffic accident claims
- Statutory sick pay (SSP)
- Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957
- Learn how to prove a claim for a cycle accident with our informative guide.
What happens if I do not follow the pre-action protocol?
The courts could issue penalties to parties that do not follow pre-action protocols.
How long do you have to respond to a pre-action letter?
Normally, the defendant has 21 days to respond to a pre-action letter to provide a preliminary response. After this, you have 3 months in which to provide a fuller, more detailed response.
What should be included in a pre-action letter?
A pre-action letter should contain a detailed summary of the facts with information regarding the injuries a claimant sustained. It should also include details of the claimant’s monetary losses and their rehabilitation needs.
How do you respond to a pre-action protocol letter?
If the defendant denies liability, they should provide reasons why they do and must provide their version of events. They should also have evidence to support their case.
For more information on the pre-action protocols for low value personal injury claims, get in touch today.
What Evidence Can I Gather As Part Of Low Value Personal Injury Protocol?
The pre action protocol for low value personal injury claims is a set of actions your solicitor can take to avoid the claim going to court. This could involve ensuring you have sufficient evidence to support your claim.
In general terms, there are various pieces of evidence that could be useful. Some of these could be sent with the personal injury claim letter initially. Others could be provided if requested.
- Witness statements. If anybody witnessed the accident that caused your personal injury, it would be useful to get their contact details. They could be asked to give a witness statement to corroborate your claim.
- Medical evidence. This could include a report from an independent medical assessment to support your claim.
- Evidence of costs. You must evidence any costs and losses incurred as a result of your personal injury. It is vital that you keep documentation relating to loss of income, medical and rehabilitation costs.
If you would like to speak to us in further detail about the pre action protocol for low value personal injury claims, we would be delighted to speak to you. Not only could we help you assess whether your claim could be considered low value, but we could also give you case-specific advice you can rely on. We provide free legal advice over the phone, and could help you get started with a claim too.
Guide by HW
Edited by FS