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

By Lewis Houston. Last Updated 31st August 2023. Have you had a car accident that wasn’t your fault? If another road user has breached their duty of care to you, resulting in you getting injured in a car accident, you could have grounds for a valid road traffic accident claim.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the duty of care that road users owe one another and the eligibility criteria you must meet in order to have a valid personal injury claim. Additionally, we’ll explore what evidence you could gather to help support your case and the time limits that may apply to your claim. We will also share the different heads of claim that could be awarded, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could assist you with claiming compensation.

If you have any specific questions that this guide may not have covered, you can contact our friendly advisory team. They are available 24/7 to help you and offer free advice.

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Car Accident Compensation Claims – How Do They Work?

If you suffered injuries in a road traffic accident, you might be eligible for compensation. However, you will need to prove that you were injured in a car accident due to another driver breaching their duty of care. A breach of duty of care that results in an injury is known as negligence.

The duty of care road users owe each other is set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988. Pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists are all classed as road users. Per their duty of care, all road users need to navigate the roads in a way that prevents injury to themselves and others. Additionally, they must adhere to the rules and regulations set out for them in the Highway Code. If another road user were to breach their duty of care, this could result in you becoming injured in a road traffic accident.

Examples of how you could be injured in a car accident include:

  • Another driver fails to stop at a give way sign or red light, causing them to crash into the side of your car and you suffer an arm injury.
  • A drunk driver is driving down the wrong side of the road, causing a head-on collision where you suffer a head injury.
  • The driver behind you is texting while driving and fails to notice you have come to a stop at a red light, causing a rear-end collision, and you suffer whiplash and a leg injury.

If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and would like more information about how to start a personal injury claim, you can contact our advisors. They can offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have.

What To Do After A Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault 

Let’s take a look at what to do after a car accident that was not your fault.

Firstly, if you would like to make a personal injury claim, you will need evidence that proves another road user owed you a duty of care and that they breached this duty, causing you to suffer an injury.  

Road users must navigate the roads in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. This is known as their duty of care. As part of this duty, they are expected to adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. If you had an accident, you must be able to prove that your injuries occurred because another road user failed to adhere to these rules and regulations.  

If you find yourself saying, ‘this accident was not my fault’, you can contact an advisor from our team. They can assess whether you have feasible grounds for a claim and if you do, we can connect you with one of the specialist No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.

Injured In A Car Accident – See How Much Compensation You Could Be Owed

As well as wondering what to do after a car accident in the UK, you may also want to know how much compensation you could be owed if you can make a successful claim following being injured in a car accident.

In this section, we have included a table with some bracketed figures. They’ve been taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Last updated in 2022, the JCG is used as part of the process of valuing your general damages payment. This is the figure awarded to you for the pain and suffering experienced due to an injury sustained in a car accident. A personal injury claim varies in value due to factors such as the overall impact on your life, and the extent to which you have suffered.

The figures shown should only be used as a rough guide. This is because each claim is unique.

Injury Details Compensation awarded in General Damages based on Judicial College Guidelines
Brain Damage – Moderate (ii) The person will suffer with a moderate to modest intellectual deficit and will be at risk of developing epilepsy. £90,720 to £150,110
Brain Damage – Less Severe Good recovery may have been achieved but minor problems with memory or concentration could be present £15,320 to £43,060
Hip and Pelvis Injuries – Severe (i) Extensive fractures to the pelvis with complications may include ruptured bladder, dislocation of lower back and severe pain. £78,400 to £130,930
Hip and Pelvis Injuries – Moderate (i) Significant injuries with minor disabilities. £26,590 to £39,170
Neck Injuries – Severe (ii) Damage to discs, serious fractures resulting in a severe disability. £65,740 to £130,930
Neck Injuries – Moderate (ii) Severe damage to the soft tissue may result in cervical spondylosis with limited neck movement. £13,740 to £24,990
Ankle injuries – Very Severe Injuries include transmalleolar fractures that result in a deformity and may require amputation in the future. £50,060 to £69,700
Ankle injuries – Severe Treatment 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
Arm Injuries One or both forearms have suffered serious fractures which results in a function or cosmetic disability. £39,170 to £59,860
Arm Injuries Simple forearm fractures. £6,610 to £19,200
Whiplash Tariff A whiplash injury with a minor psychological injury lasting 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash Tariff A whiplash injury lasting 18-24 months. £4,215

Get in touch with our advisors today and we can provide free legal advice, and even give you a bespoke valuation of how much you could claim.

Will The Whiplash Reforms Affect My Claim?

If you suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident in England or Wales on or after the 31st of May 2021, your claim might be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme

If you were 18 or older at the time of the accident, were a passenger or driver of a vehicle, and your injuries are valued at £5,000 or less, the way you make your claim has changed. Your whiplash injuries will be valued in line with the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. In the table above, we have listed some examples of the amounts stated in this tariff.

Any additional injuries you suffered that are not covered by this tariff will be valued traditionally.

You can get in touch with our advisors today if you are unsure which avenue you should take when making your claim.

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?

It’s important to establish who was at fault for an accident ahead of making a claim. Several factors can be accounted for when determining liability in a road accident, such as:

  • If a driver was speeding, driving carelessly or under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • The road conditions i.e. the road may have been poorly lit or undergoing maintenance
  • The weather conditions, for example, if it was snowing or heavy raining

There are ways you can prove who was at fault ahead of claiming compensation for a car accident, for example:

  • If anyone witnessed your accident, ask for their contact details so that a statement can be taken at a later date.
  • Dash cam or CCTV footage, which you can request, may be able to show who was involved in the car accident and who was responsible.
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Medical evidence

You might be unsure who was responsible if you were injured in a car accident, however our advisors are available 24/7 to answer your questions. They can offer you free, friendly advice and you won’t be obligated to continue using our services afterwards. 

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.

Compensation From A Car Accident – Claim With A No Win No Fee Lawyer

You may be wondering, ‘I was in an accident that was not my fault – can No Win No Fee solicitors help me?’. If you’ve been harmed due to another’s negligence, a solicitor from our panel could help you under a No Win No Fee arrangement as long as you have a valid claim.

A No Win No Fee agreement could mean:

If you think you would benefit from working with No Win No Fee solicitors to help you win compensation from a car accident, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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.