Compensation for Injuries in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA)
Making a road traffic accident claim
Unfortunately, road accidents are increasingly common. With more and more vehicles on the road each year, the numbers of injuries and fatalities are on the rise.
Although everybody accepts some level of risk when they get in a car or vehicle, a lot of accidents can be avoided by driving safely and following the rules of the road. If you’ve been injured in a road accident which was caused by somebody else’s negligence or dangerous driving, it’s likely we’ll be able to help you make a compensation claim.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries to passengers and drivers. But all road users are at risk – especially cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, who have very little protection from the traffic around them.
To make a claim, your road accident needs to be someone else’s fault. We know it can sometimes be difficult to tell who’s at fault, but our advisors will let you know whether you’re likely to be able to make a successful claim. You can reach them for free on 0800 234 6438.
They’ll then be able to pass you on to a specialist solicitor, who can answer any more questions you might have before getting in touch with the other party and starting your case.
Road traffic accidents can cause painful injuries
The consequences of road accidents can be devastating – you might be facing a long recovery time, or your injuries might even be permanently life-changing.
Whiplash is very common after a road accident. Although it usually heals on its own, it can be extremely painful and can limit your movement, affecting your quality of life and ability to go to work. Other neck injuries, such as fractures, can happen at the same time as a whiplash injury.
No matter what type of injury you’ve suffered, our specialist solicitors look at the effects it’s had on your life and make sure you receive the right amount of compensation to cover this. For example, they’ll take into consideration:
- Any costs or expenses, such as private medical treatment, lost earnings, and the costs of travel while your car is being fixed
- Your physical pain and the emotional impacts on you and your family
For a guideline figure of how much compensation you might be able to receive for your type of injury, you can visit our compensation calculator.
Who pays for your compensation?
In most cases your compensation will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company, as all drivers are legally required to take out insurance before they’re allowed to drive a vehicle.
This means you won’t be putting anyone under financial pressure by making a compensation claim. Simply put, everyone who’s been unfairly injured in a road accident deserves to receive the support they need to move on with their life.
Claiming against uninsured or untraced drivers
If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, you might be worried that you’ll be unable to make a claim because you don’t have the other driver’s insurance details. Or maybe the other driver has been identified, but doesn’t have any insurance.
It might sometimes be possible to track the driver down using their registration number. But if they’re completely untraceable, then you can still make a claim – in these cases, your compensation will be paid by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).
All insurance companies have to pay money into the MIB each year so that victims of car accidents (such as hit and runs) can receive the compensation they need.
Claiming against the council or Highways Agency
All roads and pavements should be properly maintained and safe for vehicles and pedestrians to use. Potholes, cracks in road surfaces or poorly planned junctions and road markings can be dangerous for road users.
If your accident was caused by poor road conditions, then your claim will be made against whoever is responsible for that stretch of road – usually the local council or Highways Agency.
This video gives a basic over of the claims process for road traffic accidents, and information on the fast-track system.
The other party is saying they weren’t to blame, can I still make a claim?
Quite often, it’s difficult for you to tell straight away who’s fault a road accident was, because the two parties involved can have completely different versions of how the accident happened.
The shock and trauma of being involved in a road accident can make it difficult for you to give a balanced judgement on what happened, but our specialist solicitors will sift through the evidence and come to an honest decision as to who was at fault and whether you’re likely to be able to make a claim.
What to do after a road accident
Being in a road accident is shocking, so it can be difficult to remember the best steps to take. But if it’s possible for you to do so, collecting some details can make things easier when it comes to making a compensation claim.
If possible, you should try to gather:
- Witness accounts and details as proof of what happened
- Photographs of the scene of the accident and damage to the vehicles. If it helps you remember what happened, draw a sketch of the position of the vehicles and direction of travel
- The name, address, insurance details and registrations numbers of everyone involved
It might also be necessary for you to notify the police. Under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, you need to report an accident to the police if:
- Someone has been injured
- Damage has been caused but the other party didn’t stop
- Damage has been done and the other driver stopped but names and addresses weren’t exchanged
No win no fee
All claims with us are made on a no win no fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money if your claim isn’t successful. The benefit of no win no fee is that there’s no financial risk involved – if you don’t’ receive any compensation, then you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket.
If your claim is successful, then your solicitor will charge a ‘success fee’ out of your compensation. This amount will have been agreed before starting your case, but you can feel sure that this will be a relatively small portion of the money you receive.
If you have any questions, or are interested in starting a claim and want to find out whether you might have a case, you can speak to us for free on 0800 234 6438.