The most important things to remember when claiming compensation for a car accident:
- You can claim compensation if you’ve been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. You can claim against another car, a motorcyclist, a cyclist or a pedestrian.
- In some cases, you may be able to claim compensation even if you were partly to blame for the accident
- You do not need to be driving the car to claim compensation. You can claim if you were a passenger or were travelling in a vehicle such as a taxi
- You can claim compensation if the accident was caused by poor road conditions
- The amount of compensation you may receive for a car accident claim will depend on how serious your injuries are and the impact they may have on your life
- In most cases, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to start your claim for a car accident.
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How much compensation can I claim for a car accident?
The amount of compensation you may receive for a car accident claim will depend on how serious your injuries are and the impact they may have on your life.
How is compensation calculated when claiming for a car accident?
Compensation amounts for injuries suffered in a car accident are calculated by combining the compensation you may be legally entitled to for both general and special damages.
General damages amounts relate to the severity of your injuries, while special damages relate to the effects the injuries may have on your life.
The Judicial College Guidelines from the Ministry of Justice provide guidance on the amount of compensation you can claim for general damages. These amounts relate to the part of the body injured, how severe the injury is, and if any ongoing symptoms may develop.
Car accident compensation claims calculator
Our car accident compensation claims calculator below provides an approximate guide to the compensation amount you may be able to claim for non-whiplash related injuries.
The calculator considers the part of your body you have injured and the severity of your injuries and provides an approximate compensation payout based on recent case law.
Alternatively, see our table of car accident compensation amounts at the bottom of this page.
Find out how much you could claim
Compensation amounts are estimated based on the level of injury below
These amounts only consider the compensation you could claim for your injuries, known as General Damages. In addition, to this amount, you can also claim for Special damages.
Compensation for Special damages can be claimed to cover expenses you may have already incurred or will incur because of your accident.
Compensation could be claimed for expenses that may include, but would not be limited to;
- Any loss of income or pension
- Any medical treatment to date or medical treatment associated with your rehabilitation
- Any costs for the care you may have or will need to receive, even if provided by a family member
- Any out-of-pocket expenses you or anyone who has cared for you may have incurred
- Any out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred because of your injuries
Our experienced road traffic accident claims solicitors recognise that no amount of money can make up for what you may have suffered, so we take the utmost consideration into ensuring you are compensated correctly in relation to the severity of your injuries, the effects the injury has had on your life, loss of earnings and changes to your lifestyle.
You’ll claim more with us.
We have recovered an additional £21.2m more in compensation for clients who switched to us from their previous firm.
Contact us now to discover the real value of your claim.
How is compensation for whiplash in car accident claims calculated?
The introduction of the Civil Liability Act 2018 and the Whiplash Reforms Program has changed how Whiplash injuries suffered in car accidents are valued.
Due to the changes, if you were involved in a car accident on or after May 31st, 2021, and suffered whiplash injuries, the amount of compensation you may be able to claim may be between £240 and £4,345.
How much compensation you may receive for whiplash will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, the length of time it may take to recover and if you suffered any psychological injuries. Please read our guide to claiming for whiplash for more information.
How long after a car accident can I make a claim?
The time limit to make a car accident claim is usually three years. You can start your claim for compensation up to three years from the accident date or three years from the date a medical professional diagnosed your injuries.
The three-year time limit to claim compensation is known as the statute of limitations and applies to all road traffic accident claims. However, the three-year time limit does not apply if you claim for someone with limited mental capacity or if the injuries prevented them from claiming within three years – they can claim after their cognitive capacity has been restored, or someone can claim on their behalf at any time.
If your child was involved in a car accident, you can claim on their behalf as a “litigation friend.” The three-year time period only starts from the date of your child’s eighteenth birthday.
However, we recommend starting your claim as soon as possible, as this can help our solicitors prepare your case by having access to vital evidence before it may be lost and when the incident will be fresh in your mind.
Can I make a no win no fee car accident claim?
When you make a car accident compensation claim with us, your claim will be handled on a no win, no fee basis. This means you do not need to pay anything upfront. You’re completely free from financial risk and will only pay an agreed amount if you win the case.
In many successful cases, your opponent (a driver or whoever is at fault, such as a local council) will contribute to your legal fees. We’ll always be totally transparent with you about what you can claim based on your individual circumstances.
No win no fee agreements are also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). This agreement means that there is only a fee on the condition that your claim is successful. The fee amount will be agreed upon when you enter into the agreement at the start of the claim process.
It means you are safe to pursue a compensation claim knowing that you have no financial risk if it’s unsuccessful.
When a no win no fee agreement is set up, your solicitor will take an insurance policy out on your behalf. The policy covers any costs incurred relating to your claim. These costs could include legal fees, medical reports, court, and other expenses.
The insurance policy, known as after-the-event insurance, fully protects the person claiming if the claim is unsuccessful and from any costs during the compensation claim process, meaning you can make a claim without paying a penny.
What evidence will I need to start a car accident claim?
To successfully claim compensation for a car accident, you will need to prove that someone else was either partly or wholly responsible for your injuries.
The more evidence you can provide, the easier and quicker it may be to claim the compensation you deserve for your injuries
The type of evidence that would be most useful when claiming for a car crash may include the following:
- The date and time, and location of the accident
- Any details you can remember about the accident and who you think is to blame
- Contact details, including registration number and insurance details of all vehicles involved in the accident
- Police reports of the accident
- Any footage you may have of the accident, such as dash cam footage
- Any photographs or video you may have taken at the scene of the accident
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident who may be able to provide a statement on your behalf
- Details of the medical treatment you received either at the scene or at a hospital or GP
- Details of any repairs you may have already carried out to your vehicle
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information. Our specialist road accident claims solicitors will help compile evidence on your behalf.
We understand the financial impact of an accident.
In 99% of cases, we recovered more compensation than the insurer’s first offer. We’ll provide financial security with our interim payments wherever possible, meaning you don’t need to rush into an offer that is lower than you’re legally entitled to.
How long does a car accident compensation claim take?
The time your case may take to settle will depend on how complex your claim may be and how quickly the person or persons at fault admits liability.
After the introduction of the Civil Liabilities Act in May 2021, the length of time it may take for your claim to settle will depend on how your claim is valued and processed.
For car accident claims valued between £5,000 and £25,000, claims may be settled within four weeks when the person at fault has admitted liability.
These types of claims are processed through a system called the Claims Portal set up by the Ministry of Justice to increase the speed at which claims can be settled. These types of claims are sometimes known as “single track” or “fast track” claims.
If liability for the accident isn’t agreed upon within four weeks, the claim “drops out” of the portal, and the length of time it may take to settle will depend on the two sides coming to an agreement on liability.
The time frame for car accident claims valued over £25,000 is typically longer as the injuries suffered may be more severe and the cases more complex. Such claims are known as “multi track” claims.
Speak to our specialist road accident claims solicitors today about your claim. We can advise you on how much your claim may be worth and how long it may take for you to receive your compensation.
The claim process
We are completely transparent with our clients. Not only do you know exactly how we’re representing you, you’ll also know exactly where you are in the claim process.
Get impartial no win no fee legal guidance with a free initial no-obligation consultation.
On your side
We’ll use our experience and expertise to build the strongest legal argument for your claim.
Supporting your claim
Including medical assessments to ensure your claim is valued correctly.
We negotiate the maximum amount of compensation for you, representing you in court if needed.
What to do after a car accident
At the time of the accident, you will likely feel anxious, angry, or in pain. Remember to stay calm and avoid entering into any conflict with any other road users who may have been at fault for the accident. This will go against you in any insurance claims. Likewise, do not apologise or admit fault.
Your first priority is to stay safe. Move out of the road and call an ambulance if you have sustained severe injuries. Seek medical attention if you need it – don’t be tempted to leave the scene without examining any injuries.
Notify the Police of the accident. If you fail to do this, you may not be able to make a claim. Ask for a copy of the police report they will create for your accident.
You should ask any other road users involved for their personal details and insurance records, as well as vehicle details. You may also wish to ask any witnesses if they’d be willing to provide evidence.
How do the police classify car accidents and injuries?
The majority of UK police constabularies classify injuries from car accidents into five categories.
- Slight – covering shock, cuts, bruises and soft tissue injuries such as whiplash
- Less serious – injuries, such as minor head injuries, less serious fractures to the hand, arm, foot, or lower leg
- Moderately serious – injuries, including chest injuries, deep penetrating wounds, or fractures to the pelvis
- Very serious – Serious injuries such as a broken neck, severe head injuries or crush injuries. These may also include injuries that cause difficulty in breathing or when the person loses consciousness
- Fatal – Injuries that unfortunately result in the loss of life
Client story: Lindsay
We helped Lindsay get compensation after being involved in a car accident while attending a driving lesson.
Can I claim for a car accident if the accident was partly my fault?
Yes, if it can be proven that you were only partly to blame for the car accident, you may be able to claim compensation.
These cases are known as “split liability”, and the amount of compensation you may receive will relate to your percentage of liability. For example, if you were 50% at fault for the car accident, you would receive 50% of the compensation you may have received if you were not at fault at all.
Can I claim for a car accident compensation if I was a passenger?
Yes, you can claim for car accident compensation if you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident. To receive compensation, you will need to prove that the accident was the fault of the person driving the car or a separate vehicle that caused your injuries.
Can I claim for a car accident compensation against an uninsured driver?
Yes, you can still claim for your injuries even if the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. These claims are handled by the Motor Insurance Bureau.
The MIB helps victims of road traffic accidents when the party at fault cannot be traced or doesn’t have insurance.
The MIB will ask you for as much information as you can provide, and they will look for supporting evidence, such as CCTV footage, to support your claim.
Can I claim for a hit-and-run car accident?
Yes, similarly to claims against uninsured drivers, hit-and-run car accident claims can be made with the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).
Hit-and-run drivers are classified as drivers who left the scene, and you could not identify them.
Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a driver must stop, report the accident and provide their contact and insurance details whenever a driver is involved in an accident. If the driver does not give their name and address at the time of the accident, they must report it to the Police within 24 hours.
Can I claim for a car accident compensation if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
While UK law states that wearing a seatbelt is a legal requirement, you may still be able to claim compensation for a car accident.
In these cases, the amount of compensation you may be able to claim would be reduced based on how much not wearing a seatbelt contributed to your injuries.
Can I claim compensation for a car accident caused by poor road conditions?
Yes, you can claim for car accidents caused by poorly maintained roads. Car accidents can be caused by potholes, cracks in the road, poorly maintained road signs or unsafe road surfaces.
Claims can be brought against the local council or Highways England, depending on whose responsibility it is to maintain the road surface where you had your accident.
Can I claim compensation for a car accident caused by an animal?
Yes, you may be able to claim compensation for a car accident if your accident was caused by swerving out of the way to avoid hitting an animal that may have run into the road.
Can I claim for a car accident abroad?
Yes, you may be able to claim for a car accident while on holiday abroad. The time frame you have to start your claim may differ from the three years you have in the UK, and in many countries is shorter. Please speak to our specialist holiday accident claims solicitors about your accident abroad, and we can advise you of your legal rights to claiming compensation.
Unlimited legal support.
That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.
Will I have to go to court to claim car accident compensation?
With over 95% of claims settled without going to court, your claim is unlikely to end up in court. Even when liability is disputed, the vast majority of these claims are settled without needing to go to court.
However, even if your car accident claim goes to court, you may not need to attend.
Do I need to have a medical exam to claim compensation for a car accident?
Yes, you will need a medical examination from an independent medical practitioner to establish the extent of your injuries and how long it may take for you to recover.
We can arrange medical examinations for you at a time and place that is convenient to you.
Average compensation claim amounts for injuries caused by car accidents
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Head||Minor||£1,880.00 to £10,890.00||Covers head injury with recovery within a few weeks. Higher compensation if symptoms include headaches.|
|Head||Moderate||£13,430.00 to £112,130.00||Symptoms ranging from poor concentration, lower and higher risk of epileptic attacks, minor personality changes, depression, more severe intellectual impairment, or injuries/symptoms leading to a vegetative state.|
|Head||Serious||£186,890.00 £240,590.00||Covers reduced life expectancy, serious physical symptoms, serious changes to personality or intellect, large dependence on others due to paralysis or otherwise.|
|Head||Severe||£240,590.00 to £344,640.00||Covers minimally conscious state (life expectancy less than 15 years), severe disability, brain damage with little/no response, vegetative states needing full-time nursing.|
|Eye||Severe||£56,080.00to £229,260.00||Complete blindness on one/both eyes or severe visual impairment on one/both eyes.|
|Face||Minor||£1,460.00 to £7,460.00||Light or no scarring on the face, but no fractures, loss/damage of one/two front teeth, simple fractures of the jaw or nose, but with a possibility of complete recovery.|
|Face||Serious||£15,320.00 to £26,010.00||More serious fractures such as a broken jaw or nose, breaking/damage/loss of several teeth.|
|Face||Severe||£26,010.00 to £38,850.00||Severe injuries resulting in facial disfigurement, several jaw fractures, chronic tooth pain, and scarring. May lead to eating restrictions or higher risk of joint arthritis. Covers negative effects on mental health.|
|Ear/ hearing||Minor||Up to £5,980.00||Possible Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), slight/occasional tinnitus.|
|Ear/ hearing||Moderate||£12,700.00 to £25,350.00||Partial hearing loss or mild to severe tinnitus.|
|Ear/ hearing||Serious||£25,350.00 to £38,850.00||Complete deafness in one ear. Severity varies based on additional symptoms (e.g. dizziness, tinnitus, etc.).|
|Ear/ hearing||Severe||£77,430.00 to £120,040.00||Complete deafness in both ears. Higher compensation for child injuries also resulting in a loss of speech.|
Car accident and injury compensation amounts for back, neck, shoulders and upper body injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Neck||Minor||Up to £6,680.00||Soft tissue injuries or whiplash with recovery within 3 – 24 months. Compensation factors include severity of pain and amount of negative effects on everyday life.|
|Neck||Moderate||£7,410.00 to £47,760.00||Covers injuries that accelerated a pre-existing condition, disc lesions, cervical spondylosis, serious limitation of movement, permanent and/or recurring pain, all caused by fractures or dislocations.|
|Neck||Severe||£56,100.00 to £139,210.00||Serious fractures, severe soft tissue damage, chronic pain conditions, disc damage, partial paraplegia, or significant, permanent disability.|
|Back||Minor||£2,090.00 to £10,670.00||Includes lighter strains, sprains, disc prolapses, and soft tissue injuries. Recovery between 3 months and 5 years.|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £26,050.00||Includes: spinal fusion, compressed or fractured lumbar spine (possibly resulting in higher risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain), prolapsed discs and other injuries that may require surgery and a continued acceleration/worsening of a pre-existing back condition.|
|Back||Severe||£36,390.00 to £151,070.00||Typically requires surgery. Injuries include: damaged spinal cord and partial paralysis, psychological issues, loss of bladder and/or bowel function, disc lesions, impaired movement, arthritis, etc.|
|Shoulder||Minor||Up to £6,730.00||Soft tissue injury resulting in pain. Full recovery between 3 – 24 months.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£10,890.00 to £16,380.00||Fractured humerus, clavicle or rotator cuff needing surgery.|
|Shoulder||Severe||£16,380.00 to £40,970.00||Significant disability caused by severe damage to the neck or brachial plexus.|
|Pelvis & hips||Minor||£3,370.00 to £10,750.00||Complete recovery after minor soft tissue injuries. Little or no disability within 2 years.|
|Pelvis & hips||Moderate||£10,750.00 to £33,430.00||No serious disability, but covers injuries requiring hip operations, replacement of hips (or the need for either in the future).|
|Pelvis & hips||Severe||£33,430.00 to £111,690.00||Severe hip/pelvis fractures resulting in bowel damage or spinal fusion, childbirth complications, hip replacement, and/or leading to higher likelihood of future surgery.|
|Scarring (not facial)||Minor||£2,020.00 to £7,380.00||One noticeable scar or several superficial, unsightly scars on the legs, arms, or hands.|
|Scarring (not facial||Moderate||Up to £7,380.00||Full recovery within 2 years, up to a partial recovery with symptoms that are not largely debilitating.|
|Scarring (not facial||Severe||£6,680.00 to £19,390.00||Several noticeable laceration scars or a single disfiguring scar.|
Car accident and injury compensation amounts for arm, hand, and finger injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Arm||Mild||£5,630.00 to £16,380.00||Fractured forearm.|
|Arm||Moderate||£16,380.00 to £33,430.00||Serious arm injury leading to long-lasting symptoms.|
|Arm||Serious||£33,430.00 to £111,690.00||Serious injury resulting in an inability to use the arm(s) to some extent. Does not result in amputation.|
|Arm||Severe||£82,040.00 to £255,930.00||Results may include the amputation of one/both arms. Compensation amount will depends on amputated area, whether phantom pain is experienced, and on other effects on the quality of life.|
|Elbow||Moderate||Up to £10,750.00||Includes: tennis elbow, deep cuts, simple fractures, no permanent damage.|
|Elbow||Serious||£13,360.00 to £27,320.00||Results in restricted movement but does not require surgery or cause disability.|
|Elbow||Severe||£33,430.00 to £46,780.00||Injury causes severe disability or requires surgery.|
|Wrist||Moderate||Up to £8,740.00||Uncomplicated Colles fracture or minor undisplaced fractures with recovery between 1 – 2 years. May include use of plasters.|
|Wrist||Serious||£10,750.00 to £20,900.00||Soft tissue damage or broken wrist causing some permanent disability.|
|Wrist||Severe||£20,900.00to £51,070.00.||Significant permanent disability or complete loss of wrist function.|
|Hand||Minor||Up to £4,050.00||Covers lacerations and crush injuries, and soft tissue injuries (recovery within 6 months).|
|Hand||Moderate||£4,780.00 to £11,330.00||Covers penetrating wounds and crush injuries resulting in permanent but non-intrusive symptoms, or soft tissue damage and deeper cuts resulting in impairment of the hand (may require surgery).|
|Hand||Severe||£24,740.00 to £171,920.00||Covers amputation and rejoining of several fingers, resulting in a clawed, impaired, or unsightly hand, amputation of one/both hands (alternatively, amputation of several fingers rendering the hand almost useless).|
|Finger||Minor||Up to £4,055.00||Includes: full-healed fractured finger bones (healed within 1 year) with/without minor scarring.|
|Finger||Moderate||£3,370.00 to £5,000.00||Includes: complete (or almost complete) recovery after broken finger, amputation or loss of a part of the little finger.|
|Finger||Severe||£10,380.00 to £31,350.00||Includes: complete amputation of one/more fingers, fractures of the index finger. Compensation depends on level of disability and suffering.|
|Thumb||Minor||Up to £4,055.00||Short-term, severe pain gone within 3 months.|
|Thumb||Moderate||£3,370.00 to £10,750.00||Covers fractures with recovery within 6 months, damage to nerves or tendons resulting in partial loss of sensation, and cosmetic thumb deformities.|
|Thumb||Severe||£10,750.00 to £46,780.00||Partial/complete amputation of the thumb, surgical wire insertions, nerve damage, fractures, inability to grip.|
Car accident and injury compensation amounts for leg and foot injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Leg||Minor||£7,780.00 to £12,010.00||Minor injuries with recovery within a few months (e.g. soft-tissue injuries, bruising, cuts, and contusions). Slightly more severe injuries such as simple fractures of the femur, tibia, or fibula.|
|Leg||Moderate||£15,320.00 to £46,780.00||Minor fractures with partial recovery, serious soft tissue injury, injuries to one leg (e.g. broken bones, crushing injuries), ligament injuries, compound fractures leading to near certainty of arthritis or instability.|
|Leg||Severe||£46,780.00 to £240,590.00||Severe injuries resulting in extensive degloving, bone grafting, permanently reduced mobility, or amputation of one/both legs (above/below the knee).|
|Knee||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Includes soft tissue injuries (recovery within a few months), a twisted knee, lacerations, or bruising resulting in discomfort or pain.|
|Knee||Moderate||£22,340.00 to £37,070.00||Includes: seriously damaged kneecaps, ligaments, or muscles, dislocation, a torn meniscus, acceleration injuries (over several years), resulting in ongoing discomfort or pain.|
|Knee||Severe||£44,470.00 to £82,080.00||Covers constant pain, severe disability, or muscle wastage. Higher compensation if need for surgery or injury effects quality of life.|
|Ankle||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Smaller fractures, but bone has not been displaced. May include sprains, injured ligaments (likely leads to scarring). Smaller injuries can allow for full recovery within a year, without any scarring.|
|Ankle||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £42,710.00||Includes ligament tears, fractures, leading to smaller disabilities while standing/moving. Increased risk of osteoarthritis. Operation/cast needed. May lead to inability to work or call for special footwear.|
|Ankle||Severe||£42,710.00 to £59,480.00||Severe injury resulting in deformities, disabilities, or even amputation of the body part down the line.|
|Achilles||Minor||£6,200.00 to £10,750.00||Minor instability due to tendon damage around the ankle. Some more severe cases might involve scarring.|
|Achilles||Moderate||£10,750.00 to £17,970.00||More serious injury and partially ruptured tendon. More severe cases tend to involve disability and/or permanent scarring.|
|Achilles||Severe||£21,320.00to £32,780.00||Restricted movement of the ankle due to severed muscle tissue. Small likelihood of further improvement of limp and residual scarring.|
|Foot||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Includes: minor fractures, lacerations or contusions (with complete recovery within 2 years), ruptured ligaments or other puncture wounds that result in chronic pain or a permanent limp.|
|Foot||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £59,730.00||Includes: metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity and ongoing symptoms, fractured heels (both), restricted mobility, degloving and heel fusion.|
|Foot||Severe||£71,640.00 to £171,920.00||Injury needing amputation of one/both feet or traumatic amputation of the forefoot (to prevent need for complete amputation).|
|Toe||Minor||Up to £8,190.00||One or more broken toes with a varying recovery period. Compensation depends on presence of long-term symptoms and speed of recovery.|
|Toe||Moderate||£8,190.00 to £11,730.00||Multiple fractures, crush injuries to two/more toes, permanent disability. May have involved unsuccessful past operations.|
|Toe||Severe||£11,730.00 to £47,830.00||Severe crush injuries leading to less/surgical amputation of one or two toes (not including the big toe), amputation of all toes or the big toe.|
Why claim with Express Solicitors
Express Solicitors offers more than 1,000 years of combined legal experience processing car accident claims like yours. In particular, we take on the cases that other firms cannot – which has led to a record 21,000 claimants and £160 million in compensation.
Our expert teams are fully regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We’re also known for going above and beyond the remit of other personal injury solicitors. We’ll leave no stone unturned, ensuring you get compensation for every facet of your case – whether that’s loss of earnings, injury, or property damage. We’ll also do our utmost to secure your interim payments while you wait.
Every claimant is entitled to our unique Service Pledge – honest, transparent claims processes with no legal jargon. If you’ve been let down by other solicitors or want to start a new claim, we’re here to help.