What Is Personal Injury Protection?

emily gordon brown
Emily Gordon BrownLegal Assessment Specialist @ Lawhive
Updated on 7th July 2024
what-is-personal-injury-protection

Accidents happen, and when they do, the injuries you sustain can significantly impact your life from lost wages to emotional distress.

This is where personal injury protection comes into play. It's designed to provide financial and legal support to those who are injured, particularly in road traffic accidents.

This article will explore the various aspects of personal injury protection in the UK. We'll cover what personal protection is and why it's important, as well as the kinds of injuries and accidents that qualify for personal injury protection.

Table of Contents

What is personal injury protection?

Personal injury protection is a type of insurance that helps people who have been injured in road traffic accidents.

It covers:

  1. Expenses related to medical treatment, rehabilitation, and any ongoing care needed due to the injury;

  2. Compensation for lost wages if the injured person can't work during recovery.

How does personal injury protection work?

If you're involved in an accident, personal injury protection coverage kicks in immediately to cover your medical expenses and, if your injuries prevent you from working, compensation for lost wages.

The coverage amount is predetermined by the policy and this limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for your medical bills and related expenses.

In many cases, the insurance company will pay medical providers directly or, if you have paid any medical expenses out of pocket, personal injury protection can reimburse you for these costs.

What types of accidents are covered by personal injury protection?

Personal injury protection in the UK primarily covers injuries resulting from road traffic accidents.

Workplace accidents can be covered under employers' liability insurance, which is often integrated with personal injury protection.

What are the benefits of personal injury protection?

Immediate medical coverage

Personal injury protection ensures you get medical treatment right away after an accident, without having to wait to see who was at fault. It also covers a wide range of expenses, including rehabilitation services like physical therapy to help you get back on your feet.

Replaces lost income

It can be a real worry if you can't work because of your injuries.

Personal injury protection can help by replacing part or all of your income depending on your policy, and helping you pay your bills while you recover.

No fault benefits

Personal injury protection provides coverage regardless of who caused the accident, so you get the help you need right away.

Furthermore, if you're hit by an uninsured driver, personal injury protection still covers you.

In short, personal injury protection can be a valuable part of your car insurance that helps you get medical care and financial support if you're injured in an accident, so you can focus on recovery without worrying about money.

What types of injuries does personal injury protection cover?

Personal injury protection typically covers a wide range of common injuries that can be sustained in road traffic accidents, including:

  • Fractures and broken bones;

  • Sprains, strains, and whiplash;

  • Cuts and bruises;

  • Head injuries such as concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries;

  • Back and spinal injuries.

That being said, different policies can vary, so it's always a good idea to check with your provider to confirm.

What types of medical care are covered by personal injury protection?

Personal injury protection typically covers a wide range of medical care including:

  • Emergency medical services;

  • Inpatient care;

  • Operations;

  • Doctor visits;

  • Physical therapy;

  • Occupational therapy;

  • Chiropractic care;

  • Medications;

  • Diagnostic tests.

It's important to check your specific policy to understand the scope of your coverage.

Does personal injury protection cover passengers?

If you're a passenger in a car and involved in a car accident, the driver's personal injury protection won't cover you as a passenger. However, if you have your own personal injury protection policy, you may be covered by that as a passenger.

Do I need personal injury protection?

No one can predict if they are going to be involved in a road traffic accident and subsequently require medical care or time off work. Therefore, it's impossible to say with certainty that you need personal injury protection, as you may get it and never need it.

Having said that, if an accident would significantly impact your financial stability, it may be worth considering adding personal injury protection to your insurance coverage. You might also consider it if you drive often (such as commuting to work every day in the car).

Does personal injury protection cover me if I'm hit by an uninsured driver?

Personal injury protection can provide coverage if you're involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

How do I file a personal injury protection claim?

To file a personal injury protection claim, you should:

  1. Notify your insurance company about the accident;

  2. Provide documentation such as medical bills, proof of lost wages, and any other relevant expenses;

  3. Follow the insurance company's procedure for claims submission.

Can I use personal injury protection coverage if the accident wasn't my fault?

Usually, personal injury protection provides coverage regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

Is personal injury protection compulsory in the UK?

Personal injury protection is not compulsory, however, it is highly recommended for the additional protection it offers.

How much does personal injury protection cost?

For a basic personal injury protection policy, you might be looking at an additional £50 to £100 per year on top of your standard car insurance premium. However, if you opt for higher limits and additional benefits, this can increase to around £100 to £300 per year.

Costs can vary based on the insurance provider, coverage amount, your driving history, where you live, and the make and model of your car.

Will personal injury protection affect my no-claims discount?

Generally, claiming under your personal injury protection coverage does not affect your no-claims discount because these claims are often considered separate from the main car insurance claims.

However, you should check the specific terms and conditions of your insurance to be sure of the specific rules regarding the impact of personal injury protection claims on your no-claims discount.

Are there any limitations to personal injury protection coverage?

Like any insurance coverage, personal injury protection comes with certain limitations.

Coverage limits

Personal injury policies typically have a maximum payout limit. Once this cap is reached, any additional expenses must be covered out-of-pocket or by other insurance.

There may also be sub-limits for specific types of expenses which restrict the amount payable under each category.

Specific exclusions

Personal injury protection policies may also not provide cover for injuries sustained while committing a crime or intentionally harming oneself.

It also may not cover other costs like pain and suffering or property damage.

Duration of benefits

Some personal injury protection policies impose time limits on how long you can receive benefits after an accident, typically a few years.

After this period, coverage for ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation may stop.

Primary vs secondary coverage

Personal injury protection might act as primary coverage, meaning it pays first, or secondary, meaning it pays after other applicable insurance has been exhausted.

Can I increase my personal injury protection coverage?

You can generally increase your personal injury protection coverage to provide greater financial protection in the event of an accident.

Increasing your coverage, however, will result in higher premiums.

How does personal injury protection interact with my health insurance?

In most cases, personal injury protection pays for your medical expenses before your health insurance.

Then, once your personal injury protection coverage limits are exhausted, your heat insurance can kick in to cover additional medical expenses.

What should I do if my personal injury protection claim is denied?

If your personal injury claim is denied and you believe the denial was incorrect, you have the right to appeal the decision.

You should follow the appeal process outlined by your insurance provider, which usually involves submitting a written appeal and providing evidence to support your claim.

If your appeal is denied, consider consulting a personal injury solicitor who will help you understand your rights and the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

You can also file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service and ask for an independent review of disputes between consumers and financial service providers.

Key takeaways

This article explored various aspects of personal injury protection in the UK, including what it is and why it's important. We also discussed the types of injuries and accidents that qualify for personal injury protection, how they work, and their benefits.

Additionally, we covered the limitations and exclusions of personal injury protection, how it interacts with health insurance, and steps to take if your claim is denied.

Key takeaways:

  • Personal injury protection can help you get medical treatment and financial support following a car accident, regardless of who is at fault;

  • It covers a wide range of medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages during recovery;

  • Personal injury protection covers you without the need to establish fault, which can speed up the process of getting help.

If you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, our network of personal injury solicitors is here to help. We offer:

  • Expert legal help without breaking the bank;

  • Fixed price quotes, no hidden fees;

  • Fully regulated and vetted solicitors;

  • Fast responses.

If you need assistance with a personal injury claim, contact us for a free case evaluation and see how our network of specialist lawyers can help you.

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