Last updated on March 19th, 2022 at 07:59 am
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA), this article will show you when you might be entitled to compensation. Whether you’ve been injured in your car, on a bike or motorbike, on public transport or as a pedestrian, you might be entitled to damages if you were injured through no fault of your own.
Our road traffic accident claims team can help if you decide to take action. When you get in touch, your case will be reviewed by a specialist for free. You’ll be offered legal advice about your chances of being compensated. If your RTA compensation claim is strong enough, we could pass it to one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors. If they accept you as a client, you won’t need to pay them for their work unless you are compensated. As there are no upfront solicitors fees to pay, they can begin working for your right away.
To discuss your road traffic accident claim with us today, call us on 0800 652 1345. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about how the claims process works.
Can I claim compensation for a road traffic accident?
In all injury claims, the first thing that needs to be established is that the party you’re claiming against owed you a duty of care. In RTA claims, this is usually straightforward because all road users must try to keep each other safe by driving appropriately by following the Highway Code for example. The Road Traffic Act 1988 establishes this duty of care. If you ask one of our lawyers to accept your case, they’ll also check whether:
- The defendant’s negligence meant they breached their duty of care and caused a road traffic accident; and
- Your injuries were sustained during the accident.
There are several forms of evidence that could be used to support road traffic accident claims so we’ll look at these later in this article.
How much compensation could I be entitled to for an RTA?
If your RTA compensation claim is successful, you’ll be awarded compensation by the defendant. Usually, this will be paid by their insurance policy. It’s important to realise that compensation isn’t a fine or a form of penalty. Instead, it aims to restore you (as much as possible) to the position you were in before the accident occurred. Road traffic accident claims are usually based on general damages (to cover any pain and suffering) and special damages (where any costs or expenses are considered).
No two RTA claims are the same but any settlement could be based on:
- The pain and suffering that your injuries caused. Importantly, this could include a payment to cover any mental harm as well.
- Any impact your injuries have on your social or domestic life (loss of amenity).
- The cost of a carer if needed.
- Private medical and rehabilitation costs.
- Loss of income and future lost earnings too.
- The cost of modifying your home, if needed, to help you cope with a disability.
- Travel expenses.
If liability is accepted by the defendant, their insurer may offer a settlement offer to tempt you into settling early. However, we’d advise you to check any offer carefully to ensure it covers all aspects of your suffering because you can only claim once. If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll work with you you try and ensure everything is considered before your claim is sent to the defendant.
Common injuries in RTA compensation claims
There are many ways in which you could be injured following an RTA. The list would probably be too long to include here. As such, if you don’t see your injury in the list below, don’t worry, we could still help you to get compensated. Some of the most common road traffic accident claims are for the following injuries:
- Brain damage and other head injuries.
- Ligament and tendon damage.
- Penetrating wounds.
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations.
- Fractured or broken bones.
- Back and shoulder injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Hip, pelvis and leg injuries.
Remember, road traffic accident claims may be made if the accident that caused your injuries were caused by somebody else.
Common types of RTA claims
To give you some idea of the types of claims our personal injury lawyers can help with, we’ve included the list below:
- Head-on collisions.
- Multiple-vehicle pile-ups.
- Rear-end collisions.
- Roundabout accidents.
- Accidents at junctions.
- Motorway accidents.
If you believe you are entitled to compensation following an RTA, call today on 0800 652 1345 to review your options.
Negligence leading to road traffic accident claims
So, as we pointed out earlier, your accident will need to have been caused by the other road user’s negligence. Some examples of what this means include:
- Accidents caused by road rage.
- Collisions that happen because a driver was distracted by their phone or satnav.
- Being hit by a driver that pulled out of a junction without noticing you.
- Where the other driver was under the influence of drink or drugs.
- If your collision was caused by a dangerous road surface because the council hadn’t maintained it properly.
- Where a pedestrian was hit by a bus that mounted the kerb.
- Collisions caused by vehicles driven in excess of the speed limit.
If you call our team, they can review your case with you for free to see if you’ve got the grounds to proceed to a road traffic accident claim.
Road traffic accidents caused by uninsured drivers
Our solicitors could help you if it turns out the defendant in your case is uninsured. There is a scheme called the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) that handles such claims. It is paid for by a levy on those of us who do pay for our insurance policies. While this might not seem fair, it does provide a route for claiming compensation that you might not otherwise have been possible.
Please call to find out more.
Recent reforms on whiplash claims
Since May 2021, new rules control how whiplash claims relating to road traffic accidents are managed. These rules aim to make low-value claims faster and easier. If your injuries are valued at less than £5,000, you could claim directly through a government claims portal.
In the first instance, our advice would be to speak to one of our advisors. If it appears your claim is likely to be worth less than the £5,000 threshold, we’ll direct you to the claims portal. Otherwise, we could ask one of our solicitors to represent you.
Providing proof to strengthen a road traffic accident compensation claim
If you decide to take action and claim compensation for your injuries following an RTA, you’ll need to provide as much proof as possible to show what caused the accident to happen and how you suffered. This can include:
- Details from the other driver. Without saying anything that could be seen as an admission of guilt, you should swap details with the other party involved in the accident. Try to get their contact details, insurance details and vehicle registration number.
- If you’re able to do so safely, try to take pictures of the accident scene before any vehicle is removed.
- Dashcam footage. Where your accident was caught on camera, request a copy of the footage from the owner. If the defendant’s vehicle was fitted with a dashcam, your solicitor might help you to obtain footage. CCTV footage could be requested if your accident was recorded by security cameras too.
- Witness information. Details of any witnesses can help if liability for the accident is denied. For that reason, ask anybody who saw what happened to provide you with their contact details.
- Medical records. Proving what injuries you sustained will be easier if you attended A&E, a GP surgery or a minor injuries treatment. You can request a copy of your medical records relating to the incident at a later date.
Our team will look through your evidence when you call for a free case review. If anything else is required, they’ll let you know or they may refer you to one of our solicitors who specialises in road traffic accident claims.
Do I need a medical assessment?
The personal injury claims process may require you to provide an independent medical report. As such, during your claim, you might be asked to visit a medical specialist (usually arranged for you locally by our solicitors).
During the meeting, you’ll be examined by the specialist and you’ll explain how your injuries have affected you. Your medical notes may also be referred to as well. Once the meeting has concluded, a report will be sent to all parties. This will show a list of your injuries and explain your prognosis.
Time limits for making an RTA claim
When you call to discuss your RTA claim, one of the first things we’ll check is whether you’re claiming within the personal injury claims time limit. For most road traffic accidents, this is a 3-year period from the date of the accident.
If your child has been injured, the 3-year limitation period will not apply. As a litigation friend, you can claim compensation on their behalf whenever you like so long as you begin before their 18th birthday.
Our advice is to get in touch sooner rather than later so that your claim can begin quickly. The first reason for that is so that your solicitor has enough time to collate evidence and arrange for medical reports. Secondly, if needed, they could also request an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment if it will help you to recover more quickly.
Do road accident claims go to court?
In our experience, most RTA claims can be settled out of court. That’s partly because our solicitors vet claims before they are accepted and only take on cases with a reasonable chance of success.
In most cases, the claim will be settled amicably one way or another. However, if an agreement can’t be reached over liability or the amount of compensation to be paid, a court hearing may be necessary.
No Win No Fee claims
Don’t be put off by claiming for a road traffic accident because you’re worried about losing money on solicitor’s fees. If your claim is accepted, you’ll get legal representation from one of our solicitors on a No Win No Fee basis.
That means there won’t be any need to pay for your solicitor’s work upfront and you don’t have to pay them unless you are compensated. All of this will be explained in a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) that you’ll be sent if your case is taken on.
Should your claim be won, you’ll pay a success fee to cover your solicitor’s time and expenses. This is where an agreed percentage of your compensation is deducted before you are paid. Legally, when using a CFA, success fees can’t be higher than 25% of your settlement amount.
To check if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis following a road traffic collision, please call today.
Start a road traffic accident claim today
We’re ready to help if you’ve decided to seek damages following a road traffic accident. If you’d like us to review your chances of being compensated, please call on 0800 652 1345.
Whatever happens, we’ll provide free legal advice and explain your options on a no-obligation basis. As such, you’ve got nothing to lose by calling. Your solicitor will do all they can to obtain the highest possible compensation amount for you if your claim is accepted.
Thanks for reading our article on road traffic accident claims, and if you’ve got any remaining questions, please use live chat or call to speak with an advisor.