Road traffic accident compensation claims

Statistically, one in five of us will be involved in a road traffic accident in any one year.  One in five of those will suffer injury. Injuries can range from the very minor to the catastrophic.

Claims for compensation arising out of accidents on our roads account for roughly 75% of all personal injury claims pursued in any one year.

Aside from the inconvenience and disruption road accidents cause, the pain and suffering you endure and the financial consequences of being injured can be a considerable and frustrating burden.

 

How do I make a road accident compensation claim?

During your free, no obligation consultation, our specialist road accident solicitors will discuss whether you are entitled to make a claim. If negligence is established, we will discuss the various options with you, including the no win, no fee element of your personal injury claim. You will be provided with a step-by-step breakdown of how we will proceed with your accident compensation claim without obligation to proceed.

 

What evidence will I need to provide to support my road traffic accident claim?

You will be asked to give evidence of any medical appointments you have attended and details of any prescribed medication.  As part of your claim you will be asked to attend an independent medical exam in order to collect evidence for your claim.

In addition, if you have collected evidence at the scene of the accident, we will ask if you have the following information:

  • Details of the person at fault / the other driver and any witnesses
  • Photographs of the accident scene and damage to any property
  • Photographic evidence of any injuries you have sustained as a result of the road accident.

 

How do I fund a road accident claim?

In the vast majority of cases, our road traffic accident claims are funded Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is more commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement. This means that you will only have to pay if your claim is successful. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything. We will only take on your case if, after assessing your claim, we decide that there is a reasonable chance of success. Our initial consultation is free so you won’t pay a penny if we don’t accept your case.

 

Are you able to claim on behalf of someone who has died as a result of a road traffic accident?

If a member of your family has died as a result of a road traffic accident you may be entitled to claim compensation. Claims are often brought on behalf of someone who has passed away, usually by their widow/widower or partner, or other executor named in the deceased’s will.

Our fatal accident specialist solicitors, through years of experience, understand the devastating effect both emotionally and financially that an unexpected death can have on loved ones; especially when it has been caused by a preventable accident.

 

If I was injured in a road traffic accident but was not wearing a seatbelt, can I claim compensation?

If the road traffic accident was not your fault you will be able to make a claim for compensation.  If your injuries were worsened because you were not wearing a seatbelt, then you will be considered partially at fault and this will affect the compensation you will receive.

 

How can road traffic accident solicitors help?

We have helped thousands of motorists, drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians who have suffered injury as a result of accidents on the road.

Our specialist solicitors provide expert assistance in claiming and recovering the right amount of compensation, accessing the right rehabilitation treatment. Our team can also provide the right financial and benefits advice you may need in the aftermath of your accident.

We assist those who have been involved in road accidents in the UK or abroad; those involved in road traffic accidents in the course of their work; those involved in road traffic accidents where the driver at fault cannot be traced or is uninsured; and in representing dependents of persons involved in a fatal road traffic accidents.

We work with most UK insurers and we offer no win no fee arrangements so there is no need for you to pay hefty legal bills.

Key contact

Iain Scott is a partner at Hugh James. A Fellow of APIL he has in excess of 20 years experience in representing injured clients. He undertakes a broad range of high value claims including fatal accidents, accidents at work, public liability and serious road traffic accidents.

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Your questions answered

Will I have to go to court?

 

Only a small percentage of personal injury claims will actually proceed to trial though we do prepare every case in depth to make sure we are ready should it go to court. The personal injury procedural system is geared towards encouraging parties to be open with each other so that any claims for compensation can be settled without the need for going to court, which can save both time and cost. Many people are naturally nervous and uncomfortable about going to court. We understand this and will advise you every step of the way, should your case reach a trial.

What are the time limits in respect of bringing a personal injury claim?

 

There are strict time limits in personal injury claims. The usual rule is that a potential claimant has three years from the date of an accident within which to bring a claim for compensation. The court does have the discretion to override the three year period, but it is not regularly exercised. Although there is a three year period within which to bring court proceedings, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible should you believe you might have a claim.

What can I claim for?

 

As a result of an accident that was not your fault you can claim compensation for:

  • pain, injury or illness;
  • lost earnings or if it has affected your ability to carry on working in the role you were working in;
  • incurred expenditure you would not otherwise have incurred to replace or repair damaged property;
  • medical bills; or
  • adaptations made to your home.

What does the claims process involve?

 

Fast-Track Claims

For claims worth between £1,000 and £25,000, these are dealt with in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Portal. 

This is a 3 stage process.

Stage 1 – Investigation:  Your lawyer will send a Claim Notification Form (CNF) to the defendant and this must be acknowledged within 1 working day.  The defendant then has 15 working days to respond (or 40 working days for a public liability claim) giving their liability stance.  The claim will remain in the Portal if the defendant admits liability in full. If liability is not admitted the Defendant has a 3 month period in which to make their further enquiries and to respond to us.

Stage 2 – Negotiation:  Once liability has been admitted We will obtain medical evidence and advise you on the value of your claim.  The claim is presented to the defendant insurer via the Portal ( a process known as presenting the stage 2 pack). A first offer must be made by the Defendant in 15 working days and, if this is not agreed, given a further 20 days – a total of 35 working days.

Stage 3 – Litigation: If agreement cannot be reached then the claim has to proceed through the court process.

Multi-Track Claims

Multi-track cases are claims worth in excess of £25,000.  The claim is initiated by a Letter of Claim. The defendant should acknowledge safe receipt within 21 days and then has a further 90 days to investigate the claim and make a substantive response.  This is called the ‘personal injury protocol period’.  Medical evidence is obtained and the claimant’s losses are calculated and set out in the Schedule of Loss.  Many cases settle without the need to issue court proceedings.  If the parties cannot reach agreement on the value of the claim (this is called ‘quantum’) or on liability, then it is necessary to issue court proceedings.

Only a small percentage of cases proceed all the way to trial. Claims usually settle after a formal ‘Part 36 Offer’ has been made or at a ‘Joint Settlement Meeting’.

In cases involving serious injury, it can often take 3 or 4 years to reach a resolution as it is important to fully assess the impact of the injuries. A case cannot be reopened if any complications arise.

If I was abroad when injured in a road traffic collision, can I still claim compensation?

 

Yes, as long as the accident was not your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.  We have a dedicated team that will be able to assist you.

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