By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 4th July 2023. Were you impacted by another road user in a way that caused you injury? Even if the accident was not entirely their fault, you could still be owed a proportion of compensation for your damages. This article explains the steps you need to take to successfully launch road traffic accident claims after a car crash.
When you are injured in a road accident, a whole array of problems can present themselves. A road traffic accident claim can help you put together the necessary proof that you suffered due to the substandard driving or conduct of another road user. Whether it was a car or bike crash, our advisors could help connect you with personal injury specialists with the expertise to help. Connect now by:
- Calling us on 0800 408 7825
- Contact us via our website
- Use the ‘live support’ option for immediate help and advice
Find out how much your road traffic accident claim could really be worth by talking to experts today.
Select A Section
- When Could You Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- Types Of Road Traffic Accident Claims We Handle
- Causes Of Accidents On The Road
- Road Safety Statistics
- Documents And Evidence Which Can Help You Make A Claim
- What To Do If You Have A Road Traffic Accident
- Road Traffic Accident Claims Calculator
- Contact No Win No Fee Lawyers Handling Road Traffic Accident Claims
- Related Road Traffic Accident Claims Guides
A road traffic accident is any form of collision or incident that involves motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, or any other type of road user, such as a horse rider.
Under The Highway Code, all road users have a duty of care to ensure that they use standard acre and skill to uphold the safety of themselves and others. If you can demonstrate how another party failed to uphold this duty of care and caused your injuries, you could claim compensation.
A personal injury claim can take into account two types of damages (compensation): general and special. General damages relate to the pain and suffering your actual physical or mental injuries have caused.
Special damages can be drawn from evidence that demonstrates the financial losses the accident caused you.
Time Limits In Road Traffic Accident Claims
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a 3-year time limit to start personal injury claims. With this in mind, it’s important to start a claim as soon as you feel ready. Once you have begun, there are no timescales regarding the duration of a claim. Working with a personal injury solicitor could also help you understand the best time to settle and for the right amount.
Road traffic accident claims can be made on behalf of a minor. If your child was injured crossing the road by reckless or careless drivers and suffered injuries, you could claim on their behalf. Litigation friends can include:
- The parent
These adults can undertake the duties associated with making the personal injury claim. Any sum that is ultimately awarded as compensation can be held in a safe account until the minor reaches the age of maturity.
If the child reaches 18 and nobody has claimed on their behalf yet, they can do so themselves. They’d have 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday to claim.
Should you lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend could do so on your behalf. However, if you recover mental capacity, you’d have 3 years from the date of recovery to claim.
After the shock and trauma of your road traffic accident, it may seem unclear whether you have a legitimate or provable claim. It can be useful to clearly identify the type of accident you suffered as a starting point. Below is a brief list of some of the type of accident scenarios that we could help you with:
- Car or bicycle crashes
- Electric scooter collisions
- Hit and run scenarios
- Multiple pile-up accidents
- Rear-end or side-impact collisions
- Car park accidents
- Uninsured driver accidents
- Taxi accidents
- Public transport-related injuries
- Lorry/HGV collisions
Some of these scenarios may come under the scope of legislation called the Highways Act 1980 as it could be the local authority’s responsibility to ensure road surfaces are safe and free of the debris that caused the accident. However, you could still claim in this event.
There are reasonable limits as to what others can be held accountable for and we look at actual causes below. Whatever the exact circumstances of your accident, speak with our advisors and they can help you to best navigate your road traffic accident claim.
The Highway Code has specific guidance for motorists and road users that are designed to limit as many hazardous situations as possible. There are some obvious examples of negligent breaches such as drinking and driving or taking drugs or medication that may impair your ability behind the wheel. Other issues that can create accidents could be:
- Poor eyesight, but driving regardless
- Failing to pay due care and attention to the roads
- Loss of control
The Highway Code does not discriminate in its expectations of drivers. All motorists are expected to be competent and display a minimum standard of requisite skill behind the wheel, regardless of age. Furthermore, all drivers must:
- Have at least third-party insurance
- Have a current, valid licence and MOT
- Ensure the vehicle is registered with the DVLA
- Drive a roadworthy vehicle
In the heat of an accident, it can be impossible to recall clearly what happened so it is a good idea to request the police report (if there was one) as part of your evidence for making a claim.
Uninsured Drivers and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
In certain road traffic accidents, the other party fails to have insurance at all. Some motorists fail to even stop at the scene. With this in mind, an organisation called the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) can offer some compensation.
Drawing from the insurance paid by other motorists, the MIB tries to extend some sort of compensation to the victims of hit and run or uninsured accidents. Each case is looked at individually and their website offers a wealth of resources for situations like this.
Anyone can request compensation from the MIB, but it can be more helpful to do so with the help of a personal injury specialist. They can offer crucial advice on how much to request and explain what evidence can best support your claim. Thanks to the MIB, uninsured or untraceable drivers do not have to bring your search for compensation to a halt.
Below is a snapshot of road accident statistics from the Department of Transport. It shows the provisional results of road casualties reported in Great Britain in 2020 by age and gender.
For all age groups, there were more reports of males being injured than females.
At the time of your accident, you may be too injured to think of collecting evidence. It may be possible to re-visit the scene and gather details that you think may help your claim at a later date. This could be fundamental evidence in your claim and can include:
- Witness contact details (for statements at a later date)
- CCTV footage
- Photos or mobile phone video
- Dashcam or speed camera footage
- Emergency first responder reports
- Police reports
It’s important to note that anything that supports your side of what happened can help. It’s essential that you gather as much strong evidence as you can that the other party was at fault. A personal injury lawyer can help with this.
As we have previously stated, to be eligible to make a car accident claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered your injuries due to another road user breaching their duty of care. However, you may also be wondering what to do if you have a road traffic accident.
Rule 286 of the Highway Code states that if you are involved in an incident on the road, you must stop. When possible, this should be in a place of relative safety, such as a hard shoulder. This is also a legal requirement found in section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
You must also give your name and address, as well as that of the vehicle owner, to anyone who has reasonable grounds for needing them. Additionally, you must also give the vehicle registration number. You should also collect this information from the other driver.
If someone is injured, you suspect a driving offence caused the collision, or you were unable to exchange details, you need to report the incident to the police. You should make the report within 24 hours of the collision. A police report could be submitted as evidence for your potential claim.
If you have any questions about road traffic accident claims, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.
Evidence is central to your road traffic accident claim. It’s the basis for up to two types of compensation that can form your settlement:
- General damages compensate you for the injury (mental and physical).
- Special damages compensate you for financial losses the accident causes.
To prove general damages, you’d attend an independent medical assessment. This can be arranged by a personal injury lawyer at a time and place convenient to you.
The independent GP or specialist who conducts the assessment would provide a medical/legal report that
- assesses the severity of your injuries.
- establishes whether your injuries could have been exacerbated or caused by the accident.
The report also gives a lawyer acting on your behalf the chance to compare your injuries with those listed in a guide for personal injury compensation called the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a way they can value your injuries. We’ve used figures from these guidelines in the compensation table below.
|Injury||Severity||Judicial College Guideline award bracket||notes|
|head injury||(b) moderately severe brain damage||£219,070 to £282,010||Claimants would be suffering injuries that required substantial dependence on others and limb paralysis or marked cognitive impairment, for example.|
|neck||(a) severe (i)||in the region of £148,330||Cases of incomplete paraplegia, little or no neck movement and severe headaches.|
|leg||(b) severe (i)||£96,250 to £135,920||Extensive soft tissue de-gloving, gross shortening of the leg and permanent disability.|
|pelvis/hip||(a) severe (i)||£78,400 to £130,930||Fractures or dislocation of lower back joint, intolerable pain and spinal fusion surgery required.|
|knee||(a) severe (i)||£69,730 to £96,210||Gross damage to the ligament, disruption of natural joint alignment resulting in loss of function and increased risk of osteoarthritis.|
|wrist||(a) complete loss of function||£47,620 to £59,860||Injuries that result in a complete loss of function to one wrist even after surgery.|
|ankle||(b) severe||£31,310 to £50,060||Extensive period required in plaster or with insertion of steel pins/rods. Residual disability.|
|shoulder||(a) severe||£19,200 to £48,030||Damage to the brachial plexus|
|facial injury||(b) multiple facial fracture bones||£14,900 to £23,950||Facial deformity that is permanent in nature.|
|traumatic injury in the chest/stomach||chest injuries (d)||£12,590 to £17,960||Single penetrating wound.|
|Whiplash Tariff||Whiplash with a minor psychological injury||£4,345||Claimants suffer with the symptoms of whiplash along with minor psychological injuries for between 18-24 months.|
|Whiplash Tariff||Whiplash injuries||£4,215||Claimants suffer with whiplash symptoms, but not with psychological injuries for between 18-24 months.|
These amounts may vary depending on the severity of the injury and the evidence presented. The award bracket amounts provided aim to give an amount to reflect the pain, suffering and loss of amenity the injuries have caused you.
If you can’t see your injuries in the compensation table above, why not reach out to our advisors? They can value your claim for free.
With the right evidence, you can request special damages too. Bills, bank statements, receipts and other financial documentation can help to prove the financial losses you suffered because of a road traffic accident. This can include a surprising range of expenses, such as:
- Lost income (while taking time off work to recover, for example)
- Medical procedures not available on the NHS
- Counselling for the shock or trauma (if the NHS was unable to cover it)
- Impact on your pension or attendance bonus
- Extra child care payments
- Adaptations to your home or lifestyle created by the injuries
- Lost deposits for special occasions you could not attend
- Travel costs (to the hospital, for example)
In short, financial loss that is caused by the accident or injuries can be considered.
Sometimes in road traffic accident claims, there can be back and forth negotiations on what the other party will pay. A personal injury lawyer can help you settle for the right amount that includes expenses now and any that may occur in the future. This is vital, as you can only make one claim for a personal injury incident. It’s not possible to appeal for more damages after the case has been settled.
The Whiplash Reform Programme
Recent changes in May 2021 (the Whiplash Reform Programme) were made to the way that you can claim for injuries valued at below £5,000 (including whiplash). The government has introduced an online portal for claims of this nature. It was recognised that the volume of trivial neck injury claims was pushing insurance premiums too high and this was creating an unfair burden on motorists’ insurance premiums.
Despite this much lower threshold, you are still able to make a personal injury claim for whiplash. But, solid medical evidence is required to prove it is a serious injury, likely to be awarded more than the £5,000 threshold limit of most minor neck injury claims.
Why not speak to our advisors now to see if you could have a valid whiplash injury compensation claim? They can also help you determine whether you’d need to go through the online portal process, or whether your injuries are worth more than £5,000.
It’s important to note that there is no formal requirement to have legal representation in a personal injury case. If you wish, you are perfectly free to represent yourself. However, we believe that personal injury solicitors can provide vital support.
Under an arrangement like a No Win No Fee agreement, you do not need to pay your lawyer any fees unless your claim is successful. If it is successful, a small, legally capped percentage goes to them as their ‘success fee’.
Speak to our advisors to see how a No Win No Fee agreement could help your road traffic accident claim. The advice is free, there’s absolutely no obligation to proceed unless you wish to and it only takes a few minutes to establish the validity of your claim.
If you have a valid claim, our advisors can connect you with No Win No Fee specialists who can work for you from anywhere in the country. You could benefit from their expertise and insights.
If you want to find out more or are ready to start your claim now, you can:
In conclusion, thank you for reading this guide about road traffic accident claims. We hope that it has provided a clearer picture as to how you can construct your case and work with the best legal representation to win it.
As well as details about road traffic accident claims, we can offer advice and information on other forms of personal injury such as workplace accidents.
We also have a guide on slip and trip accidents in a public place.
Perhaps you have been affected by a data breach caused by human error? We can advise on how to proceed in all these areas too.
Read more about options for paying for your self-care from the NHS.
Also, you find out how to access your GP medical notes to use as evidence.
In addition to this, the government offer advice on road safety.
Other useful guides that could help:
- Cycling accident claims
- What is the average payout for a car accident in the UK?
- Car accident claims
- Examples of bicycle accident payouts
- What to do after a motorcycle crash
- Cycle accident compensation
- Pedestrian injury compensation
- Pedestrian accident claims
- Road accident solicitors
- How to make a car accident injury claim
- Car insurance claim
- Fatal car accident claims
- MIB untraced driver claims
- Pavement accident claims
- What happens when a car accident is 50/50?
- Hit and run pedestrian accident claims
- Vulnerable road user accident claims
- What to do when you have a car accident on public property
- Claims For Accidents On Public Roads And Pavements
- How to claim compensation from a public school for a personal injury
- Car Accident Claims Solicitors
- Pedestrian Accident Claims Against Drivers
- How Long Does A Car Accident Claim Take?
- How Do You Claim After A Car Crash?
- What Are The Average Amounts For MIB Claims Payouts?
- Can I Claim For A One-Way Street Crash?
- Car Accident Compensation Claim Calculator
- What Is The Average Taxi Cab Accident Settlement?
As you research road traffic accident claims, please know you can contact us at any time for simple advice and help.