Car accidents happen on the road every day, with more than 25,000 drivers being involved in serious road traffic accidents within the last year. If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation. Having a car accident can have severe and long-term consequences, causing disabling injuries, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after others.
If you have been injured in a car accident, there are many laws in 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 after a car accident and the safety measures you should take.
If you have been injured in a car accident and would like to make a claim, it is likely that you will have many questions. Below is a summary of what you can make a car accident claim for and what compensation you may be eligible for:
Types of car accident claims
You may be able to make a car 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 might be able to make a claim for any type of car accident if you were not 100% responsible for the accident.
Other vehicle drivers– Car accidents that were not your fault are typically caused by 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. This also includes hit and run incidents.
Pedestrians– Pedestrians can also cause car accidents even though it may not be direct. A pedestrian could step out onto the road, resulting in you swerving away from them to avoid hitting them. This sudden, quick movement can sometimes lead you to crash into another vehicle or cause an accident. It is unlikely that you will be able to make a claim for this type of accident.
Road Conditions– Another reason for car accidents is poor road conditions. Over time, road conditions can deteriorate, and they can become damaged, making driving on them a lot less safe. It is the local authority’s job to get the damaged roads fixed. When roads are not properly maintained, damage, such as potholes, can lead to road traffic accidents and can cause you to sustain injuries.
Weather Conditions– Bad weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, can affect a driver’s visibility, which will increase the chances of drivers getting into car accidents.
Health and Medication– Some health conditions and medications have been known to cause car accidents. Many types of medications can cause affect a driver’s concentration leading to poor decisions, and in some cases, fatal accidents. Most medicines will state on the bottle or packet that they can cause fatigue; however, if the symptoms are not displayed, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.
Car Accident Claims: common injuries that can result from car accidents
Car accidents can result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The severity of the injury typically depends on the nature of the car accident. The most common types of injuries that you may suffer after a car accident 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.
Broken bones – Broken legs, arms, shoulders and even hips are common in car accidents. A car accident can put a huge amount of force on your body that bones cannot withstand, resulting in painful bone breaks.
Internal bleeding – Internal bleeding can occur after a car accident and can have serious implications. It can be fatal if it is not treated immediately after the car crash.
Cuts and scrapes – You may endure cuts and scrapes as a result of your car 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.
Whiplash – This is one of the most common injuries that occur in car accidents. Whiplash happens during the impact of a collision causing your head to quickly move in a direction that can be painful and last a while after the incident has happened.
Spinal Injuries – Spinal injuries can be very severe as they can cause life-changing injuries, including loss of mobility or paralysis.
In addition to these physical injuries, you can 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 into a car 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. This is when you may feel as though the accident was your fault even if it wasn’t and can lead to stress.
If you are suffering from one of these injuries due to any of the reasons listed above or a large amount of others, you should consider making a claim for compensation.
What should I do after a car accident?
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, the very first thing that you should do is seek medical attention as your health takes priority over anything else.
No matter how minor the damage to yourself or your vehicle is, you should always stop and exchange your car insurance company details and numbers with anyone involved in the car accident. You should report the accident to authorities within 24 hours if you do not give your details at the time of the incident to get an official record of what happened.
Following this, you should then contact your insurance company to report the accident so that they also have it on record.
If the car accident involved an uninsured driver or a driver that left the scene of the incident, you might still be able to claim compensation as the motor insurers bureau (MIB) may be able to help you. The MIB assist where the normal routes to compensation might be difficult to trace or do not exist.
Car Accident Claims: what 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 car accidents. Therefore, it has made a provision for injured workers to obtain compensation for the same.
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 a car accident.
Other financial losses – Other financial losses which were directly caused by the car 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 will I need to provide for my claim?
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 sustained 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
- CCTV/ dashcam evidence of the accident occurring (if possible)
All of the evidence listed above could be required for your case; therefore, the more pieces of evidence you collect, the stronger your claim for compensation becomes.
Car Accident claims: how much will it 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.
Car Accident Claims: 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 give you legal 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 car accidents. We deal with insurance companies every day, and we know the tricks they will try and pull 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 car 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 maximum possible compensation.
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.
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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