I Had A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault – Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation?

Car accident

Car accident

By Max Morris. Last Updated 20th June 2022. You may be asking yourself ‘I had a car accident that wasn’t my fault, can I claim personal injury compensation? And how do I go about proving another person was to blame for the incident?’

Our guide on claims for a car accident that was not your fault provides information on how to prove liability. We offer an idea of how much your claim could be worth, and we provide information on how general damages, as well as special damages, are calculated. We explain how being at fault may affect you financially, and how an insurance policy may be affected by a car accident for which you were not to blame.

If you were in a car accident that was not your fault and you suffered an injury as a consequence you may be wondering how to go about making a personal injury claim. If you have any questions about your case and would like to speak to a member of the Public Interest Lawyer’s team, please call us on 0800 408 7825.

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A Guide On Claims For A Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault

This guide has been provided to discuss how to go about claiming for an injury caused in a non-fault car accident. We explain what a non-fault car accident is, who may be responsible and how to value your case, both in general damages and special damages.

Our guide also covers how a car accident for which you were at fault may affect you financially, and we explain how this may negatively impact your insurance. We offer information on why rear-end accidents are not always perceived as being the fault of the car that drove into the vehicle ahead of them.

We also provide essential information on reporting a crash, collision, or car accident, and we offer advice on the steps you could take as soon as possible following a road traffic accident. We cover the time limits associated with car and other vehicle accident claims, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor could represent you. We provide advice on how a Conditional Fee Agreement works when a solicitor who offers these terms acts on your behalf.

To discuss a car accident that was not your fault claim with an adviser, please call a member of the team today.

What Are Car Accidents That Were Not Your Fault?

If you were not to blame for a road traffic accident happening, then you would be the non-fault party. It basically means that another party was at fault for the car accident which is, typically the ‘other’ driver. With this said, a no-fault car accident could also involve pedestrians, or animals although more challenging to prove. For a non-fault claim to be valid, it would have to be proven that a third party was at fault and they would be responsible for any injuries you sustained, and damage to your car/vehicle.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 And Faults In Car Accidents

The Road Traffic Act 1988 lays out some rules. These are as follows:

  • “Anyone driving a motorised vehicle who is involved in a road traffic accident where damage or injury is caused to another person, property, or animal is obliged to stop so they can provide details of vehicle registration, name and address to any person who has reasonable grounds to ask for these details”

In most instances, the person who has reasonable grounds to request these details would be another driver. Should you fail to exchange details at the scene of a road traffic accident, you should always ensure you report it to the police which must be done within 24 hours after the car accident occurred.

Failure to exchange details at the scene of a car accident and failing to report the incident to the authorities could be construed as a ‘failure to stop’ as well as a ‘failure to report an accident’. This carries severe penalties.

To talk to an adviser about a personal injury claim, please get in touch today.

What Is My Claim Worth? – Car Accident Settlement Calculator

We have put together a table in our guide to car accident claims that were not your fault which provides an idea on how much certain injuries could be compensated. However, the amounts indicated in the table are for general damages and do not include special damages which are awarded for losses and expenses to claimants. The amounts we have provided are based on the Judicial College Guidelines.

InjuryDetailsCompensation awarded in General Damages based on Judicial College Guidelines
Severe hip and pelvis injuries (i)Extensive fractures to the pelvis with complications may include ruptured bladder, dislocation of lower back or hip injury£78,400 to £130,930
Severe hip and pelvis injuries (ii)Less serious than above£61,910 to £78,400
Moderate hip and pelvis injuries (i)Significant injuries with minor disabilities£26,590 to £39,170
Neck injuries – deemed severe (ii)Damage to discs, serious fractures resulting in severe disability£65,740 to £130,930
Neck injuries – deemed moderate (ii)Severe damage to the soft tissue may result in cervical spondylosis£13,740 to £24,990
Neck injuries – deemed minor (i)Minor soft tissue injuries with recovery in 1 to 2 years£4,350 to £7,890
Ankle injuries – deemed very severeExtremely severe - resulting in deformity may require below knee amputation£50,060 to £69,700
Ankle injuries - deemed severeTreatment over long period, extensive time with leg in plaster. Plates and pins may be required to stabilise joint, disability may still be present£31,310 to £50,060
Ankle injuries - deemed moderateFractures and ligament damage which could leave the injured party with problems when walking£13,740 to £26,590
Less severe brain damageGood recovery may have been achieved but minor problems with memory or concentration could be present£15,320 to £43,060

To discuss how much your personal injury claim may be worth and to get a more accurate idea, please contact a member of our team today.

How Much Can I Claim For A Car Accident That Was Not My Fault?

If you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, also known as a non-fault claim, you could be eligible to claim compensation. However, you would need to show that your injury occurred because of third-party negligence. Some third parties possess a duty of care and if their actions have breached this, causing your injury, you might be able to claim. If you are eligible to claim, this section looks at what could potentially be included in your final payout.

However, it is important to note that you wouldn’t receive compensation during an at-fault claim. As the name suggests, this type of claim means that you’ve been deemed to be wholly responsible for the injury and damage caused.

As part of the claims process, you can also receive special damages compensation. This is regarding the losses you’ve suffered financially because of the injury. Examples of what you could claim for include:

  • Medical costs, which could include prescription costs, physiotherapy and private treatment.
  • Loss of earnings if, for instance, you need time off work to recover from the injury.
  • Loss of future earnings. This is the same as the above. However, in this instance, the injury would be long-term or permanent.
  • Home adjustments, which could include a stairlift or care bed.
  • Travel costs if, for instance, you’re unable to drive because of the injury.

To discuss what you can claim for special damages, please contact us for free at a time that’s convenient for you.

How Do I Know Who Was At Fault In My Car Accident?

Establishing who is ‘at fault’ in a car accident is crucial because if you are found to be the one responsible, it could affect you when it comes to your insurance premiums. Sometimes the fault driver or party is identified straight away. For occasions when it is not always clear who may be at fault, the police may either investigate or your insurance company to establish who is liable for the accident. Witnesses can often help determine who may have been at fault when they provide statements as well as CCTV. If there is a question around liability collecting as much evidence as possible is key. Multiple collisions are more challenging when it comes to proving responsibility.

If you would like to talk to a member of our team about a car accident that was not your fault, please contact a member of the team today.

What If I’ve Had A Car Accident That Was My Fault?

If you’ve had a car accident that you know was your fault, or you discover you were to blame while the accident is being investigated, then this can affect your ability to claim compensation. It may still be possible to claim for a car accident if you were partially responsible for it.

If at least one other party shares the blame for the accident, then you may be able to start a split liability claim. Such claims usually lead to reduced compensation payouts if they are successful. The amount you may be offered will be reduced by a certain percentage to reflect how much responsibility you hold for the accident. For example, if you’re considered 40% responsible for a car accident that you can claim on, then the total compensation you’ll receive will be reduced by 40% compared to the amount that would have been given if you were considered blameless.

In scenarios where you are considered fully to blame for a car accident, it will not be possible to make a compensation claim. A car accident claim is only possible when there is another party you can bring such a claim against.

How Could Fault Affect Me Financially?

If it is found that you are responsible for a car accident, it could negatively impact you financially in the following ways:

  • Your annual car insurance premiums may rise because you would be deemed a higher risk to your insurance provider
  • If you are deemed responsible for a car accident, you would not be able to claim back your ‘policy excess’ which you could do in a non-fault car accident claim
  • Your no claims discount would be reduced. You may even lose your entire no claims discount if you failed to take out an optional fee to protect it on taking out your car insurance policy

To discuss your car accident claim with our team, please get in touch with Public Interest Lawyers today.

How Insurance Policies Could Be Affected By A Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault

In reality, some car insurance policies and premiums are negatively impacted by an accident which is not your fault. It is seen that even though the accident was not your fault you may be likely to be involved in an accident in the future. Very often drivers will see their next year premiums go up when they have been involved in an accident even if it was not their fault. It will usually not affect it as much as if the accident was your fault but nonetheless, you may still see an increase.

Are Rear-End Accidents Always Your Fault?

The Highway Code’s Rule 126 provides information regarding stopping distances and stipulates that you should drive at a speed that would allow you to come to a stop well within a distance that is clearly visible. As such, you should do the following:

  • To ensure you leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you so that you are able to pull up safely should the vehicle in front slow down or stop. When it comes to the ‘safe’ rule, it is recommended that a vehicle should never get closer than the overall stopping distance
  • To allow a minimum of a 2-second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you on roads where traffic moves faster, and in tunnels which could mean visibility is reduced. This gap should be doubled on wet road surfaces and increased even more in icy conditions
  • To bear in mind that large vehicles, as well as motorcycles, require a greater distance to come to a halt. Large vehicles in tunnels should allow a 4-second gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front
  • If you have to come to a stop in a tunnel, you must leave a minimum of a 5-metre gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you

If you are rear-ended by another vehicle even though you did all in your power to abide by Rule 126 of the Highway Code, the other driver could be deemed responsible and therefore you may be able to seek compensation for the damages, injuries and losses you suffered in a car accident that was not your fault.

To find out whether you have a strong claim for a car accident that was not your fault, please speak to a member of our team today.

How To Report A Crash, Collision Or Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident many insurers require you to inform them no matter how minor. Some motorists state they do not intend making a claim at the scene when they have a minor car accident, but later on decide they want to. The reason being they believe the damage done to a vehicle is minor only to find out further down the line that the repairs required are more extensive and therefore more expensive than first thought.

If you do not exchange details with the other driver and the Police did not attend the car accident, you must report the incident to the Police within 24 hours.

If you fail to exchange details with the other driver at the scene of the car accident, or you do not report the road traffic accident to the Police within 24 hours, it could be construed that you committed the following offences:

  • Failure to stop
  • Failure to report an accident

To discuss a claim for compensation for a car accident that was not your fault, please contact Public Interest Lawyers today.

Steps To Take If Involved In A Car Crash, Collision Or Accident

If you are involved in a road traffic accident there are steps you could take straight away. These are as follows:

  • Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so – it is an offence not to stop
  • Turn your engine off
  • Make sure your hazards lights are turned on
  • Check if anyone in the car has suffered injuries including yourself
  • If you are involved in a minor car accident and nobody has been injured, make a record of the incident to cover yourself in case someone tries to claim they were injured in the incident later on
  • If anyone is injured, call an ambulance. You could also call the Police if the road is blocked by the car accident you were involved in.
  • Stay calm and try not to lose your temper while at the same time taking stock of the situation
  • Do not offer any sort of apology or admit you could be at fault for the car accident
  • Take images of the scene any injuries and documentation the other drivers provide
  • get the name and contact details of the other drivers
  • Get the name and contact details of any witnesses

To find out whether you have a valid claim for an injury suffered in a car accident, please contact an adviser today.

Car And Other Vehicle Accident Claim Time Limits

There are time limits associated with personal injury claims which must be respected. Failure to make a personal injury claim within the stipulated time limit could mean your case would be ‘time-barred’.

As stated in section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to making a personal injury claim are as follows:

  • 3 years from when the accident occurred

However, this 3 year time limit can also start at different times as explained below:

  • 3 years from the date of knowledge

However, there are exceptions to this time limit for a child, or somebody with a diminished mental capacity. The same can be said in cases where someone who wanted to claim compensation has passed away in the 3 year time limit.

To discuss the time limit associated with a personal injury in a car accident that was not your fault, please get in touch today.

No Win No Fee Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault Claims

Many people hesitate when it comes to hiring a solicitor for claiming compensation for a car accident that was not their fault because they believe having legal representation would be too expensive. There is a solution which is to have a No Win No Fee solicitor act on your behalf. Once a solicitor has assessed your claim and believes there is a better than average chance of a personal injury claim being successful, you could be offered No Win No Fee terms.

There is no law that stipulates that you must have a solicitor represent your case but they can bring knowledge and experience that may be needed to successfully win the compensation you deserve.

With a No Win No Fee solicitor you sign a CFA – Conditional Fee Agreement – the solicitor can begin their investigations without you having to pay any fees whether upfront or ongoing.

The only time you pay a ‘success fee’ to the No Win No Fee solicitor is when you receive compensation in a successful car accident claim. If you lose your case, there would be nothing to pay your solicitor because of the Conditional Fee Agreement you signed.

Speak To Our Experts

If you are ready to make a car accident claim to seek compensation for injuries, damages and losses you suffered, you can contact an adviser at Public Interest Lawyers in the following ways:

  • By telephone by calling us on 0800 408 7825
  • By using our online chat line
  • By filling out our online contact form by clicking here

Car Accident Claim References

For more information on the Highway Code, please click on the link provided below:

The Highway Code

If you would like to find out more on how to claim compensation for a crash on a public road, please read our guide by clicking on the link below:

A guide to claiming compensation for a crash on a public road

For more information on how a car accident lawyer could assist you in claiming compensation, please follow the link below:

Car accident lawyer guide

If you would like more information on when the Police must be called to a road traffic accident, please follow the link below:

When to report a car accident to the Police

We hope this guide, which addresses queries such as ‘I had a car accident that was not my fault, can I claim?’, has proven useful to you. If you would like to speak to an adviser about road traffic accident claims or other types of claims, then you can contact Public Interest Lawyers using the contact details featured within this guide.