Car Accident Compensation

Car Accident Compensation: Financial Loss And Expense You Can Claim And Whiplash Reforms

Car accident compensation solicitor describes – the most common expenses and financial losses that form part of your car accident compensation claim; when you can claim for injury; how payments for whiplash changed in 2021 with links to up-to-date payout amounts for whiplash injuries in accidents prior to and after the legal reforms.

What are common types of loss and expense you can claim in a car accident compensation?

The most common financial loss and expense (known as special damages) you can claim as part of your car accident compensation, include:

1. Compensation for vehicle collision damage

It is likely that the vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident will have been damaged or written off. You are entitled to claim the cost of repair to your vehicle. If your vehicle was beyond economic repair (written off) – you are entitled to claim the sum of money that your vehicle was worth given its age, mileage and condition, so you can buy a replacement.

2. Cost of a hire vehicle

Whilst your vehicle is being repaired you may claim the expense of a hire vehicle.

3. Loss of use of vehicle

If you choose not to hire a vehicle whilst yours is being repaired – you are entitled to claim a sum of money known as the “loss of use of vehicle” calculated on a daily rate.

4. Vehicle credit repair and hire

Vehicle repair and hire expenses can be quite large, so if you enter into a legal credit agreement to pay them you can claim this additional expense.

5. Vehicle recovery expense

Your vehicle will often have to be towed from the scene of the accident to a repair garage or to a storage unit. There will be a cost associated with this and you are entitled to claim this sum within your car accident compensation.

6. Vehicle storage expenses

Your vehicle may be stored whilst it is awaiting repair. You are entitled to claim the storage expense so long as it is reasonable. If it is stored for too long the cost of storage can be greater than the cost of the vehicle itself, which might be considered unreasonable.

7. Loss of fuel in the tank car accident compensation

When your vehicle is beyond economic repair you are entitled to claim the expense of the fuel that was in the tank at the time of your traffic accident. If you are involved in a trucking accident this sum of money can run into the thousands.

8. Travel expenses

You are entitled to claim any travel expenses relating to your road accident, including those to and from hospital and your GP. You will need receipts or if you used a friend’s vehicle you could claim a mileage rate – typically £0.45 per mile.

9. Cost of medical treatment for your injuries

You are entitled to claim all your medical expenses in treating your trauma – you will need to supply receipts in support.

10. Lost income

If you were unable to work as a result of your road accident you are entitled to claim lost income as a net amount – income after tax and national insurance is deducted. You can normally prove this amount with a letter from your employer or 13 weeks payslips prior to your accident. If you are self employed – you will need to show your lost income from your accounts.

Lost income often forms a large part of your car accident compensation.

11. Nursing expense

If your injuries were so bad that you required professional nursing assistance – you are entitled to claim this expense.

12. Care and assistance expense

If family members or friends provided you with care and assistance following your car accident – you are entitled to claim an hourly rate for their time. Statements from the individuals who supplied the assistance would be necessary to support this expense.

13. Loss of holiday

If you had a holiday booked which you were unable to go on as a result of your road accident – you are entitled to claim the cost of the holiday. If you were able to go on the holiday, but due to your injuries you were unable to enjoy the holiday – you are entitled to claim for loss of enjoyment.

Can you claim compensation for injuries in a car accident?

“Yes” – so long as someone other than yourself is considered legally at fault for your car accident, you can claim for injury. You are compensated for your pain and suffering – known as general damages.

The financial losses and expenses (as described earlier in this article) are considered special damages.

To determine how much you can claim – your solicitor will add together the general and special damages.

car accident whiplash neck injury compensation
Car Accident Whiplash Neck Injury Compensation

Has the law changed for whiplash compensation in car accidents?

“Yes” – the law changed on the 31 May 2023 for whiplash injuries in certain types of road accidents on or after this date.

Whiplash is perhaps the most common type of injury experience by a driver and passengers in a car accident.

Prior to 31 May 2021 – whiplash was the medical name given to a neck or upper (cervical) spine injury caused when your head is jolted forward and then backwards (or sideways) in a violent manner. Your neck being forced to act like a whip.

In a collision your seat belt stops your body from moving forward, not your head, so whiplash will often form part of your car accident compensation claim.

On the 31 May 2021 the law was reformed to limit the amount of compensation you could claim for whiplash lasting up to two years sustained in certain types of car accident on or after this date. Also – the definition of what would be considered as whiplash was broadened to include neck, back and shoulder injury.

Does the amount of compensation you claim for whiplash injuries in a car accident depend on when your accident happened?

The amount of compensation for whiplash depends on when your car accident happened.

If your accident occurred on or after the 31 May 2021 you may be subject to new tariff limiting how much compensation you can claim.

For up-to-date car accident compensation settlements – see our whiplash payout article for accidents on or after 31 May 2021 or, if your accident occurred before 31.05.2021, see our neck injury payout article.

Remember – the value of your whiplash injuries in a car accident claim is heavily influenced by how much pain it causes you and how long your symptoms last.

Car Accident Compensation Summary & Next Steps

You now know what whiplash is and how much money you can claim for it as well as the expenses and financial losses you can claim as part of your car accident compensation.

We recommend you see how car accident insurance pays your compensation for financial loss and injury in a RTA.

Specialist Solicitors Free Online Help

Using our specialist road accident solicitor online help – you can select from a number of free online and telephone help services we offer.

You can ask an online question, have your claim assessed or speak direct to our solicitors about you car accident compensation claim.