A Guide On Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident
By Jo Duggard. Last updated 16th June 2023. Have you been thinking about making a claim after a road traffic accident? This guide explains how you could claim compensation after being harmed in a road traffic accident caused by another road user’s negligence.
All road users have an equal duty of care to one another when on the roads. This means they must adhere to the standards of skill of the average motorist.
Road user groups not in a vehicle, such as pedestrians and cyclists, can refer to The Highway Code to determine how they should behave on the roads. If road users breach this duty of care, they could cause an accident, and people could be hurt.
Read on to find out more about claiming. Also, if you call our team of advisors, they can offer free legal advice about your case. They can also pass you on to a solicitor from our panel, who could help you start a road traffic accident claim today.
Select A Section
- What Should I Do When Making A Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
- Eligibility Criteria For Road Traffic Accident Claims
- How Long Do I Have To Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
- What Are Common Injuries From Road Traffic Accidents?
- How Much Is The Average Claim After A Road Traffic Accident Worth?
- What Other Damages Could I Claim?
- Why Claim With UK Law?
This section looks at the steps you can take before making a claim after a road traffic accident.
If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident, the first thing we recommend doing is seeking medical attention. Not only will this ensure that you get the medical attention that you need, but it will also ensure that you get the treatment that you need for your condition.
It’s important to know which party you’re claiming against for your injuries. If the person who caused the accident does not have insurance, for example, a pedestrian or a cyclist, you may not be able to claim. This is because they may not have insurance for you to claim against.
Your local council could also be at fault for a road traffic accident. The Highways Act 1980 outlines the responsibility that councils have to maintain B roads, and for Highways England to maintain motorways and major A roads in England. If you’ve been injured because of a defect on the road, you could claim against the responsible party.
There are other types of evidence you could gather before starting a claim. You don’t need a solicitor to help you with this, but we recommend that you hire one.
They have the experience to understand what evidence types will give your case the best chances of success. They can also guide you through the rest of the claims process to make it as easy for you as possible. Types of evidence could include:
- Medical reports
- The contact details of any witnesses to the accident
- CCTV footage
- Photographs of the accident or your injuries
However, this section is not exhaustive. If you work with a solicitor from our panel, they could help you figure out which evidence would work best for your specific case. Contact our advisors to find out more.
An important part of the road traffic accident claims process is proving that negligence occurred. For an incident to be classed as negligence, it must meet the following criteria:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- As a result of this, you suffered an injury.
Road users owe each other a duty of care under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They must take reasonable care when using the roads to avoid causing harm to themselves or others. They must also adhere to the guidance and rules set out in the Highway Code. If another road user were to breach their duty of care, and this caused you to become injured in a road traffic accident, you could be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim.
If you have any questions regarding road traffic accident claims, or if you would like to check your eligibility, you can contact our team of advisors.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, you must start a claim after a road traffic accident within a certain time period. Please see below for some examples of what time limitations could apply to your circumstances.
- General personal injury claim – 3 years from the date of the accident
- A minor – the time limit is suspended while the claimant is underage. The three years begins when they turn 18.
- Claiming on behalf of someone with diminished mental capacity – the time limit is suspended while they cannot pursue their own claim. In the event that they recover, it begins again.
- Fatal accident claim – 3 years from the date of death
- Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) Claims – 3 years from the accident date
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claims – 2 years from the accident date
It is important to note that a minor or person with diminished mental capacity to make a personal injury claim needs a litigation friend to represent them while they’re unable to do so themselves. Any responsible adult can apply to be a litigation friend.
As you can see, we have also included information about making a road traffic accident claim through the CICA or the MIB.
The CICA aims to compensate those who have been victims of violent crimes, which may be the case if someone used their vehicle as a weapon to injure you. The amount you receive from the CICA is set in a tariff of injuries that can be found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
The MIB is a body that compensates people if the party at fault for their road traffic accident is untraceable or uninsured. In these instances, you may think you could not claim, but the MIB can still compensate you for any damage or injuries.
For more guidance on making a claim after a road traffic accident, you can get in touch with an advisor from our team today.
Road traffic accident causes can vary, and injuries may range from incredibly severe to fairly minor. However, some common examples of road traffic accident injuries could include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Facial injuries
- Laceration injuries
This section is not exhaustive. You could have suffered some other injury after a road traffic accident. Call our advisors today to find out more about claiming.
This section includes a table of potential compensation amounts you could receive when making a claim after a road traffic accident. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document that helps legal professionals value general damages in personal injury claims. General damages are the part of your compensation that aims to compensate you for the suffering your injury caused.
It is important to note that the figures shown are just estimates and are therefore not guaranteed for your case. You will be invited to an independent medical appointment for a more accurate evaluation of your injuries.
A medical professional will assess the severity of your injuries and collate their findings into a report. This will be used as key evidence for evaluating your claim.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Brain Moderately Severe (b) £219,070 to £282,010 The person is seriously disabled and there is a requirement for professional care.
Neck Severe (a) (ii) £65,740 to £130,930 Serious damage or fractures to the cervical spine, causing disabilities such as loss of movement in the neck.
Jaw Fractures of Jaws (e) (i) £30,490 to £45,540 Multiple fractures that are serious and require prolonged treatment.
Back Moderate (b) (i) £27,760 to £38,780 Compression or crush fractures of the lumbar vertebrae causing a substantial risk of osteoarthritis.
Leg Less Serious (c) (i) £17,960 to £27,760 An incomplete recovery has been made, a metal implant may be left. Soft tissue injuries that are serious and causing cosmetic deficit.
Wrist Less Severe (c) £12,590 to £24,500 Less severe injuries resulting in some form of disability, such as a persistent pain and stiffness.
Nose Fractures of Nose or Nasal Complex (c) (i) £10,640 to £23,130 Multiple or serious fractures that need a number or surgeries or result in damage to the airways that is permanent.
Shoulder Serious (b) £12,770 to £19,200 Shoulder is dislocated and thee is damage to the lower brachial plexus resulting in shoulder and neck pain.
Whiplash One or more whiplash injuries with one or more psychological injuries. 2(1)(b) £4,345 Longer than 18 months but no more than 24 months.
Whiplash One or more whiplash injuries with one or more psychological injuries. 2(1)(b) £3,100 Longer than 15 months but no more than 18 months.
Please note, the JCG figures in the table are a guide. However, the last two entries are taken from the tariff outlined in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 and these are fixed amounts.
It is also possible to claim compensation for specific financial losses directly resulting from your injuries. This is known as special damages. This may also include calculable losses in the future. For example, you could claim for:
- Loss of earnings
- Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
- The cost of travel
- Independence aids, such as glasses
- Adaptions to the home, such as a wheelchair ramp
- Property damage, such as to clothing
To claim special damages, you need to prove that your losses were caused by your accident or injury. You could provide receipts for taxi fares or an invoice for medical treatments such as cosmetic surgery.
To find out more about what you could receive in special damages in a claim after a road traffic accident, get in touch with our team of advisors today. They could offer you free legal advice and connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
How Are Whiplash Claims Affected By The Reforms?
With car accident claims, you may also wonder how you would go forward in making a claim for whiplash injuries.
The Whiplash Reform Programme changed the way that whiplash claims are made. As such, adult drivers and passengers who have soft tissue injuries valued at below £5,000 need to claim in a different way.
The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 contains a tariff that is used to value whiplash injuries. Injuries that are not included in this tariff will be valued in the traditional way.
As well as this, if you have additional injuries that increase the total value of your claim above £5,000, you will claim in the traditional way. However, the tariff will still apply to whiplash injuries.
For more information on road traffic accident claims and how much compensation you could be entitled to claim, please continue to read our guide. We provide further guidance on the payout you could receive for your whiplash injury.
The solicitors on our panel offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. This form of agreement means your solicitor will not request payment for their services if your claim does not succeed. You also don’t need to pay anything upfront or ongoing during your claim.
Your solicitor will deduct a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation from the settlement you receive in the event that your claim is successful. This is known as a success fee and is legally capped so that you get to keep the majority of your compensation.
Our team of advisors can offer free and personalised legal advice. If they think you have a good chance of success, they could even pass you on to an expert solicitor from our panel who can help you make a road traffic accident claim today.
Road Traffic Accident Claims
Thank you for reading our guide about making a claim after a road traffic accident. We hope you found it helpful. For further related guides, please see below.
Claims for Car Accidents with Pre-Existing Conditions – Learn how to claim if a car accident has exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
How to Claim as a Cyclist Hit by a Car Door – Have you been hit by a car door as a cyclist and injured? Our guide can help you figure out how to claim.
How to Claim for a Motorcycle Accident Without Insurance – This article explains how to claim compensation after a motorcycle accident without insurance.
After an Accident– Government information on what you can do if you’ve been involved in an accident.
Think!– This is the government’s road safety campaign.
Department for Transport Road Accident and Safety Statistics – Government statistics on road traffic accidents.
Thank you for reading our guide about making a claim after a road traffic accident.
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