Road traffic accidents happen on the road every day, with over 25,000 drivers being involved in serious road traffic accidents within the last year. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation. Having a road traffic accident can cause severe and long-term consequences, causing disabling injuries, loss of income, and sometimes, the inability to look after yourself and others becomes impossible.
If you have been injured in an accident on the road, there are many pieces of legislation that have been put into place to ensure your rights are protected. One of the most important laws, the Road Traffic Act 1998, covers details of what you should do following an accident and the safety precautions you should take.
If you have sustained injuries in a road traffic accident and are thinking of making a claim, it is likely that you will have many questions. Below is a summary of what you can make a road traffic accident claim for and the amount of compensation you may be eligible for:
Types of road traffic accident claims
You may be eligible to make a road traffic accident claim if you are injured on the road for a variety of reasons. Below are just a few of the main causes of road traffic accidents. You could be able to make an accident claim for any type of incident on the road if you were not 100% responsible for the accident.
Car accidents – The vast majority of car accidents are typically caused by one or more other road users. Drivers of other motor vehicles, such as cars, motorcyclists, cyclists, buses and taxis, can all make errors on the road, which could potentially cause an accident involving you.
Motorcycle accidents – Motorcycle accidents can be very severe as motorcycle riders are more likely to be exposed to dangerous circumstances on the road due to the fact that motorcycles provide much less protection than a car, which can have serious implications.
Cycling accidents – Cyclists on the road are particularly vulnerable as they are often disregarded on the road and, as a result, can be forced into dangerous situations. Accidents on bikes often happen because of a drivers mistake or negligence from others.
Scooter accidents – Similar to motorbike accidents, scooter accidents also have the potential to lead to severe injuries, even at relatively low speeds. Additionally, there are now new types of scooters that must be taken into consideration, such as electronic scooters.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident as a result of any of the accidents listed, please contact our team at Wildwood Legal for more legal advice and to find out if you are eligible to claim for compensation for your injuries.
Common road traffic accident injuries
Road traffic accidents can result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The severity of the injury typically depends on the nature of the accident. The most common types of injuries sustained after an accident on the road include the following:
Head injuries – Trauma to the head can be very serious and can result in concussion or even long-lasting brain damage depending on the force of the accident.
Spinal injuries – Spinal injuries can be particularly severe as they can cause life-changing injuries, including loss of mobility or even paralysis.
Broken bones – Broken legs, arms, shoulders and even hips are common as the result of road traffic accidents. A road traffic accident can put a huge amount of force on your body that your bones cannot withstand, resulting in painful bone breaks.
Whiplash – A whiplash injury is one of the more common injuries that are sustained in accidents involving cars. Whiplash happens during the impact of a collision causing your head to quickly move in a direction that can be painful and can last a while after the incident has happened.
Internal bleeding – Internal bleeding can be suffered after a road traffic accident and can have serious implications. It can be fatal if it is not treated immediately after the accident has occurred.
Cuts and scrapes – You may endure cuts and scrapes as a result of your accident. These may be caused by the impact of the accident or from debris such as broken glass. The seriousness of these cuts can vary depending on where on your body they are located.
In addition to these physical injuries, you may also endure mental and emotional injuries, which can be just as debilitating.
An example of this type of injury is post-traumatic stress disorder which can make getting back onto the road after an accident extremely hard and sometimes impossible as it can bring back emotions that you felt after an accident. Another example of this type of psychological injury is feelings of guilt; you may suffer from feelings of guilt even if the accident was not your fault.
If you are suffering from one of these injuries due to any of the reasons listed above or a large number of others, you may wish to consider making a road traffic accident claim for compensation for your injuries.
Road Traffic Accident Claims: What should I do after a road traffic accident?
At the scene of the road traffic accident, you should stop immediately regardless of who was at fault. No matter how minor the damage to yourself or your vehicle is, you should always stop and exchange motor insurance company details and contact numbers with anyone involved in the accident. If you are able to, take photographs of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles involved and the damage to all vehicles.
If you have sustained injuries in a road traffic accident, you should do is seek medical attention straight away as your health takes priority over everything else.
You should then report the accident to the authorities within 24 hours if you do not give your details at the time of the incident in order to receive an official record of what happened to cause the incident.
After this, you should then contact your insurance company to report the accident so that they also have the incident on record.
If the accident involved an uninsured driver or a hit and run incident, you could still be able to claim compensation as the motor insurers bureau (MIB) may be able to assist you. The MIB aids where the normal routes to compensation might be difficult to trace or do not exist.
Road Traffic Accident Claims: What compensation can be recovered?
There are a variety of losses that can be recovered following an accident on the road that was not your fault. Below are just a few examples of the different types of compensation that can be recovered:
Loss of income – If you were required to take time off work due to your injuries, you should be able to recover your loss of earnings for the full period of time you were unable to work.
Pain and suffering – The law considers the fact that there is a certain amount of trauma and pain that can be associated with road traffic accidents. Therefore, it has made a provision for those injured to obtain compensation for the amount of suffering they endured.
Loss of amenity – You may be able to claim an amount of compensation for your loss of amenity. This refers to instances when your injuries have prevented you from participating in activities that you had previously taken part in and enjoyed.
A loss of enjoyment can directly affect your life and can lead to long term effects such as mental health issues like frustration and depression. There is a provision in the law that covers any loss of amenity resulting from an accident.
Other financial losses – Other financial losses which were directly caused by the accident, such as medical costs and travel costs, can also be recovered as part of a personal injury claim.
How will my compensation be calculated?
Personal injury compensation amounts are made up of two types of compensation; in legal terms, we call these general damages and special damages.
General Damages – This is the amount you will receive for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. To calculate this amount, we look at previous cases which are similar to yours, together with guidelines that are issued to Judges who decide the outcome of such claims if they go to Court. Your case will be valued on the basis of your injuries as described by suitably qualified medical professionals.
Special Damages – These are any direct financial losses that you may have suffered as a result of your injuries. Typically, these may include loss of earnings up to the settlement, loss of earnings in the future or the costs of care provided to you.
What evidence is required for road traffic accident claims?
Road traffic accident claims may require evidence to support them; therefore, you should try to get as much evidence as possible to help prove the injuries you endured and that the road traffic accident was not your fault. Below are some of the pieces of evidence that you should attempt to collect to support your claim:
· Photographs of the damage that was done to your vehicle
· Photographs of the accident scene
· Any receipts of costs that you have had to pay due to the accident
· Photographs of injuries that you have sustained, these photographs should be taken as soon as possible
· A letter from work that verifies the number of hours that you have been unable to work and how much income has been lost/pay slips showing your time off work
· CCTV/ dashcam evidence of the accident occurring (if possible)
· A medical report following a medical examination – this will be arranged by us when liability has been established
All of the evidence listed above could be required to strengthen your case; therefore, the more pieces of evidence you collect, the stronger your claim for compensation becomes.
Time limits for making a claim
The general rule on time limits for making a road traffic accident claim is that you have three years from the date of the injury to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings once the accident on the road has happened.
The three-year deadline begins on the date that the accident occurred or from the date on which you realised that your injuries were associated with your accident on the road.
How much do road traffic accident claims cost?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are, and if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a no win, no fee basis).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
How can Wildwood Legal help?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in assisting claimants with car accident claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.
We can provide you with legal representation and advice about the personal injury claim that you may be entitled to.
We have acted for people from all walks of life who have been injured in road traffic accidents. We deal with insurance companies every day, and we know the tactics they use to reduce their financial outlay. We don’t fall for it and will never advise settlement of your claim until we feel that we are at the best possible figure.
The law relating to road traffic accidents is complicated and can be a minefield for the unwary. We will guide you professionally through every step of the journey and make sure that your claim is presented in the best possible way to ensure you gain the compensation you deserve.
Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards, meaning that we are a trusted law firm. We offer services to individuals located in England and Wales and have registered offices in Harrogate and London.
With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with your claim. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side.
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