Public Road Accident Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Personal Injury In A Public Road

Public Road Accident Claims Guide

Public Road Accident Claims Guide

By Stephen Anderson. Last Updated 4th October 2022. Have you been involved in an accident in a public road? Sadly, road traffic accidents happen every day.

If, however, you have been hurt in a road accident and it was caused at least partially by the negligent behaviour of someone who owed you a duty of care, then you may be able to claim for your injuries.

Here at Public Interest Lawyers, our team can provide advice on making a claim for a road accident. Read on to learn more about claiming compensation for this type of incident.

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A Guide To Claiming Compensation For An Accident In A Public Road

Anyone who has been involved in an accident in a public road, this guide is for you! We will reveal everything you need to know in order to make a road accident claim. We will answer all of your pressing questions, including:

  • What is an accident claim?
  • Do you have to report a minor car accident to the police?
  • How do I claim for a road accident?
  • What to do in the event of a road accident
  • How to find road traffic accident solicitors
  • What are the common accidents in public places?

If you still have any queries by the time you get to the end of this guide about making a claim for road accidents, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our advisors. You can call our team on 0800 408 7825 or you can reach us online using our contact form or our 24/7 live chat service.

What Is An Accident In A Public Road

This is any type of incident that has happened on a public road and was not your fault, whether this is a crash caused by careless driving on the behalf of another driver, poor maintenance, or anything else. If this has happened to you, some steps to take include…

  • Get medical assistance – There is only one place to begin and this is with the fact that you should see a doctor if you want to make a claim. If you don’t, how are you going to prove that you were injured in the first place? The medical professional you see should put together a report once they have seen you, and this should state the extent of your injuries and the treatment plan you need to follow, which should then be used to determine how much compensation you may get.
  • Get contact details – You are advised to get the contact details of the person that caused the incident, if they have not fled the scene. You may need their name, address, telephone number and the details of their insurer. It is also worth jotting down the make and the model of their vehicle as well as the registration number. Did anyone witness the accident? If so, get their contact details too, as witness statements can really help to strengthen your case.
  • Contact the police – It may be necessary to call the police in some instances. If the perpetrator has fled the scene, you should go ahead and report this to the police, as a hit and run is a criminal offence. Is the crash posing a threat to oncoming traffic? If so, you need to report it to the police too.
  • Keep proof of expenses – If you have been injured, it may be that you are going to be subject to some expenses, such as medical costs, loss of earnings, travel costs, counselling expenses and vehicle repair costs. You may be able to claim for these when you make your claim so long as you have proof.

Road Accident Claims – Examples of Compensation Payouts

Whether you’ve been injured on a public road or private land, the road user would still need to adhere to their duty of care as outlined in The Highway Code. If they have not done so, and you have been hurt as a result, you may want more information about the amount of road accident compensation you could receive from a successful claim.

Every claim is different, meaning that it’s impossible to provide you with an average compensation amount for road accident claims. However, the Judicial College Guidelines can provide you with a better idea of your potential compensation for general damages.

These figures have been taken from the latest guidelines, published in April 2022, and relate to previous successful claims in England and Wales. Please remember that these figures are not guaranteed. This is because there are many factors that can determine what you could receive, such as:

  • The severity of the injury
  • Whether any permanent side effects were created as a result of the injury
  • The general negative impact on the injured person’s life
What injury have you suffered? Any extra notes What sort of payout is the guideline for an injury like this?
Psychological Injuries Severe £54,830 to £115,730
Psychological Injuries Moderately severe £19,070 to £54,830
Psychological Injuries Moderate £5,860 to £19,070
Psychological Injuries Less severe £1,540 to £5,860
Arm Injuries Less Severe £19,200 to £39,170
Neck Injuries Moderate (i) £24,990 to £38,490
Wrist Injuries (c) £12,590 to £24,500
Hand Injury Moderate £5,720 to £13,280
Shoulder Injuries Moderate £7,890 to £12,770
Minor injuries A three-month recovery period £1,370 to £2,450
Minor injuries A 28-day recovery period £690 to £1,370

If you would like an estimate that specifically relates to your injury, call us for a free consultation today to learn more about what your potential road accident compensation could be.

What Else You Can Claim Damages For?

An accident in a public road happens in an array of different ways, and so some people may recover within a few weeks, whilst others suffer more severe consequences. Because of this, it is impossible to put an exact figure on the amount of compensation you could receive without knowing the specifics of your road traffic accident claim. Nonetheless, read on to discover six things you could be compensated for if you have experienced an accident in a public road…

  • Pain / Suffering – There is only one place to begin when it comes to compensation for being injured in a public place, and this is indeed with the pain and suffering you have had to experience because of the injury. The amount may be determined based on the severity and the impact it is going to have on your everyday life.
  • Transport Costs – Have you been left unable to drive because of your injury? If so, you could claim for this. You could also claim for any of the costs associated with parking while visiting the hospital.
  • Price of Adapting Your Home or Vehicle – This could often arise in instances of permanent disabilities or injuries.
  • Childcare Costs – Have you needed to hire a childminder to look after your little ones whilst you recover from your injuries? If so, you could claim for this when working with the best accident claims company.
  • Loss of Earnings – Unfortunately, such accidents can leave people in a position whereby they are unable to work. This may be ok for those that are in traditional employment, as these individuals are often covered by sick pay. However, those that are self-employed may be unable to make any money, and thus should receive compensation for this.
  • Medical Expenses – Last but not least, medical costs – such as the expense of prescriptions – could also be covered in your public accident claim.

My car was damaged during the process, would I be able to claim for this? Possibly! Repair costs may count as special damages. Special damages could form part of the compensation you could receive for your accident in a public road. This type of compensation essentially makes sure you receive money to cover you for any expenses you have experienced because of the injuries you have suffered and the incident in question – examples of which you’ve seen above. Therefore, the cost of repairing your vehicle could be covered. However, you need to make sure you keep the receipts, as proof is pivotal!

How Could The 1980 Highways Act Relate To My Claim?

The Highway Act 1980 supplies information regarding the creation, maintenance, and improvement of roads in the United Kingdom. It can be used to help you launch a claim if you have been injured on a public road because of problems in terms of the state of the road or roadworks being carried out.

What Parts Of The Act Relate To Claims Accidents For Accidents In A Public Road?

The main part of the act that can help you in terms of making a claim is Section 41. This part of the act states that it is the duty of the local authority/highway agent to ensure that the road is kept in good condition. According to the Act, if a road is not reasonably safe and passable, it is deemed poorly maintained, which would give you grounds for compensation. Common shortcomings in terms of road maintenance include:

  • Roadway construction
  • Insufficient salting of icy roads
  • Defects and potholes
  • Obscured or damaged road signs
  • Road debris

Common Causes Of Accidents On The Road

There are many incidents that occur on the road and, unfortunately, they happen on a daily basis. Here are some examples…

  • –       Car crashes
  • –       Motorbike accidents
  • –       Hit and runs
  • –       Insured driver incidents
  • –       Pedestrian accidents
  • –       Passenger accidents
  • –       Incidents involving cyclists

Public Road Traffic Accidents Caused By A Lack Of Maintenance

In the UK, there are many roads that are in bad condition, with potholes and other problems. If a road has not been maintained to an acceptable level, and you have been injured as a consequence, there is a chance you could be entitled to accident in a public road compensation.

Accidents Caused By Negligence

This could range from someone consuming alcohol or drugs while driving, to someone changing music in their car, drinking or eating, or using their mobile phone. All of these actions are negligent and dangerous and could cause someone to lose their focus and crash.

Potential Injuries Caused By Accidents On The Road

There are so many different accidents and injuries that could happen on the roads. This ranges from minor injuries, like bruises, to major injuries, such as brain damage. Of course, whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained. Whiplash is one of those injuries that differ from person to person. If you have suffered a whiplash injury you may be lucky enough to only have minor injuries, whereas someone else may have the misfortune of suffering from injuries that are going to affect them on a long-term basis. There are many different symptoms people could experience  in an accident in a public road as well. This includes everything from pain and lack of movement, to nausea and dizziness, and much, much more.

Nonetheless, no matter what type of injury you have sustained, one thing is for sure – if it was not your fault, there is a chance you will be entitled to compensation. However, you should go and see a doctor straight after the incident occurs. A lot of people may make the error of believing they do not need to do this. When someone has suffered a minor whiplash injury especially, it may often be tempting to cope with it yourself. This may especially be the case if the person is one that does not like visiting hospitals and such like. But, if you do not see a medical professional you may find it harder to claim, as there will be no proof of your injuries. So, we advise you to make sure you go to the doctors. Sometimes your lawyer may be able to make an appointment for you should you not already have sought medical attention.

Eligibility To Claim Compensation For An Accident On The Road

It is important to discover your chances of getting compensation for an accident in a public road before committing to making a claim. After all, you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a solicitor if you don’t have a strong case. You will end up in a worse off position than you were to begin with, and we are sure no one wants this, especially when they are already dealing with an injury.

To determine whether you have the basis for a claim you need to ensure the accident in a public road was through no fault of your own. Aside from this, you will usually have also received medical attention as a result of your injuries. This may be stumbling block for many people that may have suffered minor injuries, like whiplash. Why? Well in a lot of instances whiplash is a minor injury. Therefore, a lot of people may elect to cope with it instead of seeing a doctor. If you do this, you may find it more difficult to claim, as there may be no proof that you have indeed experienced a whiplash injury or any other sort of minor injury. So, make sure you get medical attention! It is not too late to do so now.

Aside from this, you will also need to ensure the injury has occurred within the time limit required. Sadly there is a personal injury claims time limit when it comes to making a personal injury claim. Court proceedings must be ordered within three years of the incident in most cases. Therefore, if you were involved in a road traffic accident on September 15th 2018, you could only have until September 15th of 2021 to make a claim. So, the sooner you get the process started, the better. Of course, there could be exceptions, so give us a call if you would like some advice on this.

How Liability is Determined

There are a number of different rules and regulations in place to protect you when making a claim. When it comes to cases involving other drivers, you would need to show their fault, for example, were they speeding? Were they under the influence? If you are claiming against the local authority or the highway agent, you would need to show that the roads were unsafe or dangerous in accordance with the Highway Act 1980.

Could I Claim Compensation If I Was Partially Responsible?

In a lot of cases, it was evident who is to blame for a road traffic accident. However, it is not uncommon for both parties to be to blame. If you think that you may be partially responsible, you could still explore the possibility of claiming. These claims could be settled with a split liability agreement. This means that the court could determine how much responsibility you hold, and then your payout could be adjusted accordingly. Therefore, if it is deemed you were 30% responsible for the accident, you could receive 30% less compensation.

Could I Claim If Injured In An Accident With An Untraced Driver

If the other driver has fled the scene, you will still be able to make a claim. This is because of the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), which was set up exactly for this purpose. The MIB provides compensation for victims and their families in cases of accidents on the roads incorporating drivers who are uninsured or cannot be traced.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For An Accident In A Public Road

Finding a no win no fee solicitor is something that is very much recommended. After all, if they happen to lose your road traffic accident compensation claim then you will not have lost anything. You won’t pay any money and so you will be no worse off then you were to begin. This means that you only have everything to gain and nothing to lose. After all, if you were to opt for a traditional personal injury solicitor then you may find yourself investing a lot of money and then it backfiring. What else do you need in a personal injury lawyer?


It is of the utmost importance that you seek to discover the reputation and the history of the solicitor that you are considering. This should be readily available on the company’s website. Take the time and effort to read over what people have to say. You would be wise to remember that those people who have written the comments were in your position at one time and thus what they have to say may prove to be extremely useful to you. You should be very wary if the company only has a select number of reviews – such as three or four. This may show that they may have picked the review themselves and thus they are likely to have only picked the positive ones. Nevertheless, if there are a huge number of reviews then it is likely that they may be genuine.

­Success rate

When you seek to find a solicitor you should ask for their success rate. After all, you may need to ensure that they have a reliable reputation. Make sure that you seek to discover their success rates in personal injuries specifically. You may find a solicitor has a fantastic reputation but that they rarely deal with road traffic accidents and therefore this may make you want to seek someone else to handle your public road traffic accident claim.

How much of the money do you get in return?

Make sure that you are clear from the offset of approximately how much compensation you are likely to get out of your payout for the accident in a public road you were involved in. There could be nothing worse than filing a personal injury claim to only discover that you have actually got to pay a substantial amount to your solicitor and you did not even realise. Be clear of everything from the get-go in order to avoid any disappointment.

How To Begin A Compensation Claim

Click here if you would like to get in touch with us about the accident in a public road you experienced. We can help you to be aligned with the best lawyer for your case. We know you are probably feeling a bit stressed and worried at the moment, but we are here to take the weight off your shoulders! We will answer any queries you have if you have experienced an accident in a public road. We can even go ahead and recommend some lawyers for you, as per some of the below.

Or, you can contact us directly and we’ll help connect you with one for your specific case.


Public Liability Claims – Our guide covering public liability.

Pothole Claimants – Information concerning pothole claims.

Motorcycle Accident Claims – An overview of claiming for a motorcycle accident.

Everything You Need To Know About Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims – A general guide to road traffic accident claims.

How Long After A Road Traffic Accident Do You Have To Claim? – Time limits for RTA claims explained.

My Child Got Hit By A Car, Can I Claim Compensation? – Road traffic accident claims involving children explained.

Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident – More information on the requirements for RTA claims.

Hit And Run Compensation Claims – A guide focusing on hit and run compensation claims.

How to Claim Motorcycle Accident Compensation – A detailed look at how compensation payments work for motorcycle accidents.

Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims – This guide looks in-depth at road traffic passenger accident claims.

Will The New Whiplash Claim Rules Affect My Claim? – At in-depth look at how the latest rules affect whiplash claims.

Is There A Minimum Speed For A Whiplash Claim? – This guide talks about one of the most commonly asked questions regarding whiplash claims.

Can I Make A Pedestrian Claim After Being Run Over? – This guide discusses your options if you’re looking to claim after being run over.

Problems with roads and streets – Information on public roads frequently asked questions.

Report a Pothole on A Road – This government website shows you how to report a pothole on a road.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

We hope that this guide about making public road accident claims has been helpful for you. You are more than welcome to contact Public Interest Lawyers by using the contact information included within this guide if you would like to speak to our advisors about these types of claims. Our advisors can also provide advice and potentially other support for other kinds of road traffic accident claims, as well as numerous types of injury claims that are unrelated to road accidents, such as injury at work claims.