Car Accident Claims – The Complete Guide

Are you looking to make car accident claims? Were you injured in a road traffic accident that was not your fault? When another motorist collides with you it’s possible to suffer serious injury and you might need intensive medical attention to recover. Are you looking to find out whether you could make a personal injury claim after a car accident? This guide aims to help.

Car accident claims guide

Car accident claims guide

Our article offers a complete guide to the car accident compensation claim process and how a personal injury car accident lawyer could help. If you are able to prove the accident was not your fault, and show how another party that owed you a duty of care was liable it can be possible to seek compensation. Find out more by.

Select A Section

  1. The Complete Guide To Car Accident Claims
  2. What Should You Do After The Accident?
  3. Check You Are Eligible To Claim
  4. Car Accident Claims Time Limits
  5. Car Accident Claim Calculator
  6. Why Choose A No Win No Fee Service?

The Complete Guide To Car Accident Claims

Government statistics show that 24,530 people were killed or seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads in the year ending June 2021. There were 119,850 injuries of all severities which includes less serious injuries.

To make a personal injury claim following a car accident you must be able to show how another party that owed you a duty of care was at least partially responsible for the accident happening. Every road user including pedestrians, cyclists, motorbike users and vehicle drivers all owe each other a duty of care via the Highway Code and Road Traffic Act 1988. This is not to cause avoidable accidents on the road.

Collecting evidence to show how a party was liable for the accident and subsequent injuries is vital. We discuss how to obtain this, as well as other proof of associated losses you could be eligible to claim back. We conclude by explaining how a No Win No Fee agreement can enable you to hire legal representation.

Causes and Injuries

Road traffic accidents can be defined in some of the following general ways:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-impact or ‘T-bone’ collisions
  • Rear-end impacts
  • Low-impact or slow speed collision
  • Multiple car pile-ups.
  • Road surface or weather-related scenarios

Some road traffic accidents are unavoidable and may still happen even if all drivers concerned are driving carefully and lawfully. Some typically encountered road traffic accident injuries can include:

  • Whiplash and neck issues
  • Head injuries (from minor to severe)
  • Soft tissue wounds
  • Chest injuries and breathing issues
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Burns or skin abrasions
  • Internal injuries

The injuries sustained from accidents such as these can range from minor to life-threatening. They can happen to the driver, their passengers or pedestrians. As the person affected, you can initiate a claim if you are able to demonstrate that the other driver failed in upholding their duty of care. 

Reckless driving, failure to pay due care and attention and driving under the influence of drink or drugs can all be possible causes of another road user crashing into you. If you can prove that another party was liable for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries you may be eligible to make a personal injury car accident claim.

What Should You Do After The Accident?

In the immediate aftermath of the road traffic accident, the most important thing to do is have your injuries properly attended to. Depending on their severity, the emergency services may need to be called and you might be taken to an Accident and Emergency or hospital for urgent treatment. Having your injuries fully diagnosed and treated is both vital for your recovery and to avoid any long term health problems.

At The Scene Of The Crash.

If you are not so seriously injured as to require hospital attention, there are practical steps you can take after an accident. Whilst still at the scene it is advisable to:

  • Immediately stop your car or move it to a place of safety
  • Carefully check yourself or other passengers for injury
  • Call the ambulance service using 999 if necessary
  • Exchange name and address details with the other road users
  • Report the accident within 24 hours if the other driver refuses to provide details
  • If a person (not the driver) was injured an insurance certificate must be produced.

Evidence

After a collision, the information you exchange with the other driver is essential for correctly sorting out the respective insurance claims for car damage that can arise. Other pieces of evidence that are important include:

  • Photographic evidence (which you could take on your phone)
  • Video footage
  • Police documentation
  • Witness details so reports from other motorists or bystanders can be taken later
  • CCTV or dashcam footage
  • Diary entries that detail your car accident and injury status over the coming days and weeks
  • Medical or hospital admission notes

Whilst it’s unlikely that making a claim for compensation would be the first thing you think about after an accident, it can be useful to be as mindful as possible as to all eventualities. It can also be possible to re-visit the scene of the accident and gather any supporting evidence you can.

Seeking Medical Care

It is important to seek medical attention after a road traffic accident. You can call an ambulance or visit an NHS minor injuries unit or make an appointment with your GP. Even if you feel unhurt, injuries such as whiplash can have a later onset and worsen over time. Always try to have any health problems attended to as soon as you can.

Check You Are Eligible To Claim

Before you commence a car accident claim, it’s important to check that you are eligible. In cases of road traffic accidents, there can be a fault on both sides. Whilst being partly at fault may not disqualify your claim entirely, it’s vital to be as clear as possible about who was to blame for the accident. This can save much time and disappointment in the long run. Who could make a personal injury claim after a car accident:

  • Vehicle drivers
  • Passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorcycle or bicycle riders
  • Those using public transport such as buses or coaches.

The Highway Code requires all road users to display a duty of care to each other and anyone else using Britain’s roads and highways. Motorists must adhere to standards of skill and care typical of the average motorist, regardless of age or experience. Proving a claim against another driver needs to show how they breached this expectation and harmed you as a result.

The Whiplash Reform Programme

As of May 31st 2021, the way in which personal injury claims after a road traffic accident can be dealt with was changed. However, this only affects drivers and passengers over the age of 18. Injury claims of this type must now be processed through a government official injury claim online portal. This is applied to injuries that are valued at £5000 or less minus any financial losses or expenses.

Obviously, it can be difficult to know how bad your injuries are straight away and they may worsen over time. The service aims to guide applicants appropriately and uses a tariff of amounts that are different to the traditional route of claiming compensation. Medical evidence will be used to come to a value of your suffering.

Car Accident Claims Time Limits

Under the Limitation Act 1980,personal injury claim can be started up to three years from the date of the accident or the date you became aware of the injuries (date of knowledge).

In addition to this, injured young people can have until age 18 before the three year limitation period starts (giving the claimant up until 21 years old to claim). Or alternatively, the parent or guardian of a minor can act as a ‘litigation friend‘ and launch a personal injury claim on their behalf while they are still under 18.

Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB)

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau is an organisation that can offer compensation to the victims of road traffic accidents that involved uninsured or untraceable drivers. These awards are funded by a small amount included in the insurance premiums of all drivers.

This method of claiming would also be an option for victims of hit and run injuries. The time limit for starting a MIB claim is also three years.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-funded scheme that administers compensation awards for victims of serious crime with no other recourse for damages. Compensation can be awarded with or without an apprehended suspect or a conviction and are based on a tariff of set amounts.

In the context of a car accident claim, you could apply for compensation this way if another person deliberately sought to injure you with a vehicle. Applications must be submitted within 2 years for claims of this nature.

Car Accident Claim Calculator

Personal injury claims use two types of damages to calculate a final figure. After a serious car collision, you may suffer negative impacts on your finances as well as on your health. Below are examples of what can be included in the special damages part of your claim:

  • Lost income
  • Funds to pay for medical procedures not available on the NHS (such as scar treatment procedures)
  • Travel costs to hospital or work whilst unable to drive
  • Funds for damaged personal items such as mobile phones, clothing, eyewear etc
  • Extra childcare provision
  • Adaptations you might need to make to the way you live or work
  • Physiotherapy or other long-term remedial needs

With all these potential expenses It’s essential to keep any receipts, bills or invoices which prove amounts that you needed to payout.

General Damages Payouts

General damages calculate amounts based on your specific physical or psychological injuries. You will be invited to a medical appointment with an independent medical expert. They will create a report detailing aspects of your injury and prognosis. This will be used in conjunction with other evidence to come to a value for your suffering.

Your injuries can be cross-referenced with those listed in a publication called the Judicial College guidelines. This publication provides award brackets amounts to acknowledge pain, suffering and impact on quality of life after the injury. The chart below illustrates a small excerpt:

injuryseverityJCG award bracketnotes
head(d) less severe£14,380 to £40,410the injured person can resume work but might still suffer from concentration or mood problems that disrupt normal activities.
neck(a) severe (iii)£42,680 to £52,540this can include tissue damage and dislocations to the vertebrae. Also tendon damage that can create serious, permanent disability
chest(c)£29,380 to £51,460any impact that effects the chest and lungs, causing disability.
wrist(e)In the region of
£6,970
an uncomplicated Colle's fracture possible the result of a sudden evasive manoeuvre
pelvis(a) severe (i)£73,580 to £122,860a serious injury to the pelvis joint that can cause ruptured bladder and the need for surgical intervention. Residual issues such as deformity, incontinence issues and impaired sexual function
knee(a) severe (i)£65,440 to £90,290a lengthy recovery time with the risk of a disruption in joint alignment or gross damage to the ligaments.
ankle(b) severe£29,380 to £46,980the need for plaster, pins or plates and ongoing disability or stability issues. Injuries like this can cause osteoarthritis and scarring.
penetrative wound(d)£11,820 to £16,860single injury to the chest caused by a sharp object like wreckage for example

A car accident claim calculator could be used as an alternative to our table above or you could call our advisors who could provide a more accurate estimate once they know more about your case.

Why Choose A No Win No Fee Service?

The car accident claim process can be complex and it can help to have an expert working on your behalf. You may be looking for legal representation to help you calculate the right amount to request?

It’s important that you do not settle for too little or fail to include expenses that may result in the future. You can only make one claim for damages, so it’s essential to include everything the first time. A No Win No Fee agreement could help you fund the work of your solicitor.

When a personal injury solicitor works with you under an agreement like this they can take up your case immediately with no upfront charge. You enter into an agreement with them whereby you only pay a small amount if your case wins.

This can offer the financial flexibility needed to start a case well within the time limits and at no upfront costs to you. Speak to our team about how our panel of personal injury solicitors could help you with a car accident claim today:

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