We’re sometimes asked, “Can I claim against a learner driver?” when contacted about road traffic accidents. The simple answer is yes you can make a personal injury claim against a learner driver or their instructor if they caused an accident in which you were injured. In this article on learner driver accident claims, we’ll show you when might be entitled to compensation and the types of accidents and injuries that might be covered. We’ll also show you how to claim if you were injured during a driving lesson because of another driver’s negligence.
Our team is here to help if you have any questions about learner driver accident claims. You can contact them on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your claim right away or carry on reading to find out more before getting in touch.
Can I claim compensation for a learner driver accident?
Road users, including learner drivers, have a duty of care to drive in a safe manner to try and keep others safe. This duty is legally established by the Road Traffic Act 1988. As a result, you could be entitled to compensation for a learner driver accident if:
- The learner driver (or their instructor) was negligent; and
- A Road Traffic Accident (RTA) occurred as a result; and
- You were injured during that accident.
Whether the instructor or learner driver was negligent is somewhat irrelevant. So long as the accident was not your fault, one of our solicitors could help you to claim for your injuries.
What laws apply specifically to learner drivers?
According to the UK government, laws that apply specifically to learner drivers require them to:
- Be aged over 17 years old.
- Hold a valid provisional driver’s licence.
- Display learner (L) plates on the front and back of their car.
- Be supervised by a driving instructor or someone else who meets these rules.
These rules exist to allow learner drivers to practise on public roads as safely as possible. Take note that the learner driver MUST BE INSURED to drive the vehicle through a valid motor insurance policy. This can be held by the learner, their supervisor or a driving instructor. In most cases, learner driver accident claims are made against an insurance policy.
What types of negligence could lead to a learner driver accident claim?
As explained previously, learner driver accident claims must be based on some form of negligence. This could include:
- If the instructor was distracted by their phone and failed to spot that the learner was driving dangerously.
- Where the learner failed to act upon the orders of their instructor such as being told to slow down or brake.
- If the vehicle provided by the instructor did not have a valid MOT certificate or was not safe to drive.
- Where the learner driver caused a car accident because they were not wearing their glasses.
These are just some examples of the types of negligence that could allow you to start a learner driver accident claim. Essentially, learner drivers must adhere to the rules of the road in the same way as other drivers do. At the same time, instructors must guide the learner and consider their experience, the road conditions and the safety of others at all times.
If you have been involved in a learner driver accident and would like us to check if you should be compensated, please call today.
What injuries could I be compensated for?
A learner driver accident claim can be based on virtually any type of injury but some of the most common from RTAs include:
Claims against learner drivers can be made by any other road user including:
Whether your injury is listed above or not, please contact us if you believe that you should be compensated for your suffering.
An update on whiplash claims
In 2021, the rules regarding whiplash claims changed to try and reduce their impact on the rising cost of insurance premiums. Claiming for whiplash is still possible but it may not be cost-effective for our solicitors to help with lower-value claims. Instead, these claims can be self-managed via an online government portal.
The easiest way to check which path is best for you is to speak to one of our specialists. They’ll review what proof you may already have for your learner driver accident claim and explain which route you should take to proceed with your claim.
Can I claim compensation as the learner driver?
If you’ve been injured whilst learning to drive, you could claim compensation if the accident was caused by a third party’s negligence. For example, you might be entitled to compensation if:
- An impatient driver caused an accident while trying to overtake you when it was not safe to do so.
- If you were distracted by another driver who kept flashing their lights or sounding their horn.
- Where another vehicle pulled out at a junction at a roundabout and hit you because they were rushing to get ahead of you.
- If another driver caused a crash because they were affected by road rage, alcohol or drugs.
- Your instructor gave you poor instructions or did not use their dual controls to prevent an accident.
As part of our free consultation, we’ll review how your learner driver accident happened and let you know if there’s a chance that you’ll be compensated for the injuries you sustained.
What to do after a learner driver accident
If you need to claim for damage to your vehicle or for injuries you have sustained following a learner driver accident, there are several steps you could take that will help your claim. They include:
- Taking photographs. If you can do so safely, get out of your vehicle and take pictures of the accident scene. If possible, do this before any vehicles are removed from the scene.
- Swap details with the other driver. It is a legal obligation to swap details with anybody else involved in the accident. This should involve contact details and insurance details. The police should be informed about the accident if somebody fails to provide details.
- Write down details about the other vehicle. Make a note of the car model, colour and registration number. Also, write down the name of the driving school if the vehicle was owned by one.
- Seek medical treatment. To help you recover properly, you should seek a proper diagnosis of your injuries at a hospital or minor injuries unit. Medical records could be requested later on to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Speak to witnesses. Ask anybody else who saw your accident for their contact details. They may be asked to provide a statement of events later on if necessary.
- Gather dashcam footage. If the vehicle you were driving in or any others that stopped had a dashcam, secure footage of your accident before it is deleted.
While these steps might take a little time, they can really help if you decide to claim compensation for your injuries. If you’ve secured any proof already, let us know when you call and we’ll consider it during your free claims consultation.
How much compensation for a learner driver accident?
A compensation payout for a learner driver accident claim will typically depend on what you’d be entitled to for general damages (pain, suffering etc) and special damages (financial losses and costs). While no two claims are exactly the same, in principle, a claimant could be compensated for:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of your usual hobbies and activities.
- Loss of earnings.
- Mental harm caused by anxiety, distress other conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder compensation.
- The cost of a carer (or the time somebody else spent caring for you).
- Replacement costs for property damaged during the accident.
- Medical costs (physiotherapy, prescriptions, private hospital treatment).
- Travel expenses.
- Making adaptations to your vehicle or home if you’ve suffered a permanent disability and changes will improve your quality of life.
There is a lot to think about when seeking damages as you can see. If you’re represented by one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll try to find out exactly how you’ve suffered so that they can try and secure the highest compensation amount possible.
Proving the extent of your injuries for a learner driver accident claim
When claiming compensation following a learner driver accident, you’ll need to prove how badly you’ve suffered. This isn’t something you can just state as fact so all claimants should have an independent medical assessment.
This is not something to be concerned about as it’s simply a meeting (one that your solicitor can normally book locally) with a medical expert who’ll examine your injuries. They’ll also talk with you about the impact your injuries have had on you.
The report from the meeting will explain your prognosis and your solicitor will use it to calculate the level of compensation they’ll seek on your behalf.
Learner driver accident claim time limits
If you were involved in an accident involving a learner driver or you were injured during a driving lesson, there is a 3-year time limit to make a personal injury claim. In the majority of cases, this will start from the date of your accident.
The process of gathering proof and medical reports is usually easier if you begin the claims process sooner rather than later. Also, if you start a claim early and liability is accepted by the defendant’s insurers, your solicitor might be able to secure interim payments to cover lost earnings, medical expenses or other immediate costs before the claim is finalised.
You might be compensated in around 6 to 9 months for straightforward claims whereas the process could take over a year in more complex cases.
No Win, No Fee claims
Many people worry about the cost of hiring a solicitor for personal injury claims. However, our team of solicitors try to provide access to justice for as many people as possible by offering a No Win, No Fee service.
If your learner driver accident claim is accepted, you won’t need to pay your solicitor’s fees up front but they will:
- Start working on your claim right away.
- Collect proof to support your claim.
- File the claim with the defendant.
- Manage all communication with the insurance company so you don’t need to answer any complex questions.
- Negotiate on your behalf and try to counter any arguments or objections raised.
- Try to ensure that any compensation offer is fair and adequate.
If you agree to work with your solicitor, they’ll ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will show you that you won’t need to pay any legal fees if the claim fails.
The only time you will pay for your solicitor’s work is if you are compensated. If that happens, a success fee will be deducted from your settlement amount. The CFA will detail the success fee you’ll pay which, legally, is capped at no more than 25% of any compensation.
Start a learner driver accident claim today
If you would like to find out if you could start a learner driver claim today, the easiest way to get the ball rolling is to call us on 0800 652 1345. Your advisor will answer all of your questions and review your claim for free.
If one of our personal injury lawyers agrees to represent you, they’ll act on a No Win, No Fee basis. In our experience, that will usually make the claims process less stressful for you.
Our live chat service is available now if you have any more queries about learner driver accident claims.