What Are Car Accident Victims’ Rights?

By Danielle Fletcher. Last Updated 16th August 2023. Have you been injured in a car accident and are unsure what car accident victims’ rights you have? Car accidents can be a stressful experience, not to mention traumatising. Especially if you suffer injuries through no fault of your own. Errors made by drivers account for many car accidents, such as a driver pulling out of a junction too soon and crashing into another car.                              

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What are the rights of car accident victims?

A road traffic accident can cause significant injuries to drivers. This guide will address your rights after being injured in a car accident. It will also explore how you can file a personal injury claim to receive personal injury compensation for your injuries. 


Car Accident Victims’ Rights – Your Questions Answered

Before reading this guide, you may have some questions:

  • I was injured in a car accident, what are my rights?
  • I was a passenger in a car accident, what are my rights?

This guide will answer questions you may have regarding making a personal injury claim after suffering a car accident that wasn’t your fault. It will explore the rights you have to make a claim and whether you should report the road traffic accident to the police. If you’d like to make a claim, UK lawyers could help with your personal injury claim as they have knowledge and experience in this field.

Get In Touch With Our Team If You’re The Victim Of An Accident

If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim and receive compensation. 

You can have a chat with our friendly team of advisers to learn more about personal injury claims and whether you can file one. Once someone from our advisers has had a chat with you, they can answer any questions you may still have remaining. To be connected to an expert solicitor from our panel, the advisors will check your case is valid first.

If you’ve been a victim of an accident, they can also provide you with a compensation estimate. Any claims the solicitors take on will be conducted on a No Win No Fee basis. 

To receive free legal advice from our advisers, we recommend you:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868. One of our advisers will be happy to chat with you about your situation.
  • Start your claim online
  • Chat with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply.

Services And Information

  1. Important Information About Car Accident Victims’ Rights
  2. What Is A Car Accident Victim?
  3. What Should You Do If You Are The Victim Of A Car Accident?
  4. I Was The Victim Of An Accident – How Is Compensation Calculated?
  5. What Is The Whiplash Reform Programme?
  6. Car Accident Victims’ Rights To Information About The Other Driver
  7. Do Car Crash Victims Have A Right To The Other Driver’s Insurance Information?
  8. What Other Information Should Car Accident Victims Collect?
  9. What Are Your Rights If Injured By An Uninsured Driver?
  10. Car Accident Victims – Examples Of Injuries
  11. Should You Report Your Car Accident?
  12. No Win No Fee Car Accident Injury Claims
  13. Other Information About Car Accident Victims’ Rights
  14. FAQs About Car Accident Victim Injury Claims

Important Information About Car Accident Victims’ Rights

This guide will discuss your rights after suffering a car accident. Firstly, it will look at what a car accident victim is, including some statistics on road traffic accidents. There will then be a section exploring what you should do if you’re the victim of a car accident, such as collecting evidence for a claim. Additionally, there is a personal injury claims calculator table providing compensation figures for different injuries. 

There is also information on whether car accident victims have the right to receive the other drivers’ information, such as insurance details. Moreover, the guide will look at your rights if you’ve suffered a car accident with an uninsured driver. This guide explores what a car accident victims’ rights are by highlighting if you are able to claim in different circumstances.  

Additionally, there is a section exploring how to report car accidents and whether you need to report them. There will also be information regarding No Win No Fee agreements. No Win No Fee Agreements are a good way to fund a solicitor.  If you’d like to get straight to the personal injury claims process today, you can reach our team 24/7 for free legal advice.

What Is A Car Accident Victim?

There is a range of different car accidents that can occur due to driver error, such as:

  • T-Bone: This is where one car strikes the side of another car. This often occurs if one driver ignores a red light or stop sign and drives through it.
  • Sideswipe: This is where the side of two cars collide. Often this occurs when both cars pull out of a lane at the same time.
  • Rear-end collision: this car accident happens when a car crashes into the one in front of it. Rear end collisions usually happen because the driver behind does not leave enough stopping distance. 
  • Head-on collision: typically, this car accident takes place when one car on the incorrect side of the road drives into the front of another car. 

If you’ve been in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re a car accident victim and you could make a personal injury claim to receive compensation for any injuries you’ve suffered. To hold a valid claim you need to prove three areas:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • This duty was breached by a negligent action
  • You suffer preventable injuries.

All road users owe each other a duty of care not to cause accidents and injuries. This duty of care is applied by the Road Traffic Act 1988. If you’re asking questions like “I’ve been injured in a car accident, what are my rights?”, these rights are partly established by legislation such as this.

Road Traffic Accident Statistics

Government statistics on reported road traffic accidents for Great Britain reveal a number of things about the causes and outcomes of the resultant casualties. Amongst these, there are figures available for the kinds of accidents caused by injudicious actions taken by road users.

Every road user has the right to travel as safely as possible. This right to the safe use of the road is intended to be upheld by all road users obeying the Highway Code. This is a set of rules and guidelines that have been written to decrease the possibility of accidents and injuries occurring on the road.

Drivers, cyclists, and even pedestrians are all expected to follow the Highway Code. If they are not aware of or flagrantly ignore the rules, then they can put themselves, any passengers they may have, and other road users at risk of injury or even death.

This responsibility that all road users have to one another is known as a duty of care. This duty of care is breached when they travel or act in an unsafe way and accidents that cause injuries take place as a result. If you’re the victim of an accident caused by another road user’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation.

As you can see from the graph below, the figures have been divided into three categories regarding the severity of injury caused by each injudicious action:

  • Slight
  • Serious
  • Fatal

The graph shows that exceeding the speed limit was the leading cause of all three categories of accident. The second most common cause was travelling too fast for the conditions. Again, this is true across all three severities of injury.

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Car accident victims’ rights statistics graph

What Should You Do If You Are The Victim Of A Car Accident?

After being involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is stop the car, as failing to do so is an offence if there has been injury or damage to property to someone other than yourself.  Next, you should switch the car engine off and switch your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware of why you’ve stopped.

You should also check to see if you or any other drivers, pedestrians or, vulnerable road users or passengers are injured. If they are, for example a pedestrian is hit by a car, then immediate medical assistance may be required. You can dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service.

If needed, you can also call 999 or 101 if you require police assistance. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, a particular road may need to be closed for other people’s safety. The police can help with this. You also have the right to ask for information from the other drivers, such as their name, address, phone numbers, and insurance company details. You also must give your details to them. 

Additionally, gathering any evidence you can from the scene of the accident can help you during your claim. For example, taking photographs of the damage caused by the accident. If you are unable to do this yourself, you could ask someone else to do so for you if there aren’t more immediate concerns.

Another good way of proving you were not at fault for the accident is CCTV footage. If your accident was captured by a CCTV camera, you have a right to request the footage if you appear in it. Written witness statements from anyone who saw the accident can also come in useful; you can collect contact details so that one can be taken at a later date.

I Was The Victim Of An Accident – How Is Compensation Calculated?

If your road traffic accident claim is successful, your settlement may consist of two heads of claim: general and special damages.

General damages compensate the victim of an accident for their physical pain and mental suffering caused by the injuries. When assigning value to personal injury claims, legal professionals can refer to the compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This document provides guideline compensation figures for various types of injuries.

In our table below, we look at a few figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. It is only intended as guidance.

Part of Body: Level of Injury: Compensation Amount: Injuries may Include:
Amputation of Both Legs Loss of both legs £240,790 to £282,010 Both legs amputated above the knee or one leg above the knee and the other leg below.
Other Leg Injuries Severe (i) £96,250 to £135,920 The most serious injuries just short of amputation.
Amputation of One Arm Loss of one arm (i) Not less than £137,160 Arm amputated at the shoulder.
Other Arm Injuries Severe £96,160 to £130,930 Injuries which fall short of amputation but which are extremely serious and leave the injured person little better off than if the arm had been lost.
Foot Injuries Very Severe £83,960 to £109,650 The injury must produce permanent and severe pain or really serious permanent disability.
Neck Severe (iii) £45,470 to

Chronic conditions with a significant permanent disability from fractures, dislocation, severe soft tissue injuries or ruptured tendons.
Shoulder Serious £12,770 to £19,200 Sensory problems in hand and forearm along with movement restrictions in the shoulder and pain in shoulder and neck from a shoulder dislocation along with lower brachial plexus.
Whiplash Tariff With psychological damage £4,345 The claimant suffers with a whiplash injury along with a minor psychological injury. The symptoms are expected to last between 18-24 months.
Whiplash Tariff Without psychological damage £4,215 The claimant suffers with a whiplash injury. The symptoms are expected to last between 18-24 months.

Special Damages

Some accident victims may also be able to recover special damages as part of their claim. This head of a claim reimburses expenses incurred as a result of your injuries.

Here are a few examples of special damages that could be included in a claim for a car accident:

  • Medical expenses, including prescription costs and therapy.
  • Travel costs, such as taxi fares to medical appointments.
  • Loss of earnings for time spent off work to recover from your injuries.

If you would like a free personalised valuation of your potential accident compensation, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

What Is The Whiplash Reform Programme?

The Whiplash Reform Programme changed the process of how certain road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales.

If you were injured as a driver or passenger of a vehicle and are over the age of 18, with injuries valued at £5,000 or less, you will now make your claim via a different avenue. This includes claims being made for whiplash or minor soft-tissue injuries.

Your whiplash injury will be valued in line with the tariff set in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. We’ve included a few of the amounts listed in the tariff in our table above. If the victim of an accident suffered additional injuries that are not covered by the tariff, they will be valued in the traditional manner.

If you are a car accident victim and would like to discuss your potential claim, please get in touch with one of our advisors. They can also give you free advice regarding which avenue you should take when making your claim.

Car Accident Victims’ Rights To Information About The Other Driver

If you are involved in a car accident that causes injury or damage you have the right to the contact information of those involved. This is so that you can make a personal injury claim against them/their insurance if you suffer injuries or damage to your car due to the accident. If anyone fails to provide their contact information they need to report the accident to the police within 24 hours. 

You could ask for the following details: their name, phone number, address, and insurance details. If you think someone may be uninsured or under the influence of drink or drugs it may be a good idea to call the police. 

Do Car Crash Victims Have A Right To The Other Driver’s Insurance Information?

As a car crash victim, you have a right to request the other driver’s insurance details. By doing this, you could make a road traffic accident claim through the driver’s insurance company. It’s worth noting that car crash victims can request the insurance details of the other driver at a later time, so don’t worry if you didn’t immediately after the car accident.

Additionally, under car accidents laws such as Section 70 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a driver has a duty to stop and give information or documentation upon request.

We would always advise that you make a request for the other driver’s insurance information whether you have been injured or not.

What Other Information Should Car Accident Victims Collect?

It’s recommended that you make a note of as many details as you can about the incident. If you do decide to go ahead with a personal injury claim, this information will give your claim a higher chance of success. Examples of some information you can collect from the car accident are:

  • Registration numbers of vehicles involved in the accident, as well as the colours and models of the cars.
  • Time and date of the accident.
  • A drawing of the crash and how the cars are positioned.
  • A note of the weather conditions and any road quality issues you notice.
  • Damage to the vehicles and any injuries you, other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians have sustained.

The more information you collect from the accident, the better chance your claim has of succeeding. This is because the information allows you to provide more evidence of exactly how the crash happened, who was at fault, what damage has happened to your car, and what injuries people involved may have suffered.

What Are Your Rights If Injured By An Uninsured Driver?

Sometimes when car accidents take place the person at fault is uninsured. Also, other times the person at fault may leave the scene of an accident before you are able to exchange any details. If they are not found later on this could be classed as a Hit and Run. If you suffer injuries in a car accident with an uninsured driver, the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) may be able to compensate you for your injuries.

You may need to provide the following information: the date and time of the accident, other vehicles involved in the accident, and your name, address, and phone number. The MIB works to allow those who suffer a vehicle accident with the means to be compensated if hit by an uninsured driver. Uninsured vehicles are an issue as victims can’t claim against their insurance if they suffer a road traffic accident.

If you decide to make a claim against a driver who is not insured, our advisors can offer free advice on how to do this through the MIB.. Also if you do not want to claim alone you may be connected to our panel of solicitors. If they agree to take your case on it will be on a No Win No Fee basis. 

Car Accident Victims – Examples Of Injuries

A car crash victim could experience various types of injuries. There are a lot of different factors that can impact this, such as how the crash occurred. A victim of an accident may have different injuries to other car accident victims involved in the same crash. This could be dependent on where they were seated, whether they were wearing a seatbelt and where the other vehicle hit.

Injuries that a car accident victim may suffer include:

These are just a few examples of injuries car accident victims could suffer. If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by negligence, you could potentially claim compensation. Call our advisors to find out more.

Should You Report Your Car Accident?

If a car is blocking the road at the scene of the accident, you should call 999 to alert them of this as it could cause another car accident. The police can then proceed to corner off this part of the road, preventing a potential car crash. Moreover, you could report the car crash to the police if you believe the other driver caused the incident on purpose in order to claim compensation.

If the car doesn’t stop, you should attempt to get their vehicle registration number so the police can track them down. You can also alert the police of the incident if you think the other driver may have been drinking or taking drugs. On the other hand, if the incident isn’t urgent, you can contact the police through their non-emergency number 101.

Please note that you must report the incident within 24 hours if there has been an injury or damages to someone other than yourself and you fail to leave any details with others involved.  If the incident isn’t urgent you can report the car accident online via the police accident report form.

No Win No Fee Car Accident Injury Claims

The solicitors on our panel are happy to work with claimants on a No Win No Fee basis. No Win No Fee agreements are a useful way of being able to afford legal representation as you aren’t obligated to cover your solicitor’s fees unless your claim is successful.

If your claim is not successful, you aren’t obligated to pay any of the fees your solicitor has worked for. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct a small percentage of your final settlement amount. This percentage is kept small so that most of your compensation is protected. You will also be made aware of this beforehand. We present no extra hidden fees.

You can contact our friendly team of advisers today to discuss your claim, what car accident victims’ rights you have, and how much compensation you could receive. Once an adviser has learned more about your situation, they can connect you with our panel of personal injury solicitors. They can discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.

To learn more about your legal rights in a car accident, you can:

Other Information About Car Accident Victims’ Rights

Is There A Time Limit To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?: If you’d like to make a medical negligence claim, our guide explores how much time you have to do this.

Can You Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else? – A Complete Guide For Claiming Compensation For Someone Else: If you’d like to sue on behalf of someone else, this article tells you how you can do this.

How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident?: Have you suffered a car accident? Our guide discusses how much time you have to report it. 

Broken Leg: this NHS article includes the signs treatment and recovery process of a leg fracture.

Broken Arm or Wrist: Have you suffered a broken arm or wrist injury? This NHS guide contains the symptoms of a wrist/arm fracture, and more.

Information On Signs Of A Broken Bone: If you think you may be suffering from a fracture, this NHS article discusses the signs and treatment of a fracture.

FAQs About Car Accident Victim Injury Claims

Time limits to make a car accident claims

The general personal injury claim time limit is three years. That’s three years from the date you suffer the accident or three years from when you gain knowledge that the injuries were due to someone else’s negligence. 

If you’re under 18, the three-year personal injury claims time limit begins on your 18th birthday. However, a friend/family member can act as a litigation friend to pursue the claim for you before you turn 18. 

Similarly, if you’re mentally incapacitated, the three-year time limit begins from when you commence your recovery. On the other hand, someone you trust can become a litigation friend to file the personal injury claim on your behalf.

Should I accept the first offer of compensation?

Sometimes insurers will offer you a pre-med offer. We advise claimants that without knowing the full extent of their injury they may be short-changed. As you cannot go back and ask for more once the claim is settled this may not be the best idea. 

Do insurance companies automatically pay pain and suffering?

If you suffer injuries due to a car accident that isn’t your fault, the insurance company will compensate you for the pain and suffering you experience. As long as it is an honest claim and you can prove with medical evidence the injuries you have suffered. 

Who is at fault for a right-turn collision in the UK?

This is when someone is injured due to an incident involving someone turning right at a junction. It can lead to accidents such as a T-bone collision.

At a junction, drivers should give way to any traffic on the main road. If they do not, then their emergence onto the road could result in a car crash. Victims could be seriously injured or even killed in such instances.

This is an example of negligence if the driver at the junction does not give way. They would often be the ones at fault if a right or left turn resulted in another road user being injured. Therefore, if you have been a victim of an accident such as this, you could potentially claim.

Rear End Collision Fault – Who Is To Blame?

As stated in rule 126 of the Highway Code, motorists are required to leave enough space between themselves and the vehicle ahead in order to safely pull up should it halt. Therefore, there is often a presumption that a rear end collision fault lies with the driver of the rear vehicle.

However, either party can potentially be at fault and it is important to gather evidence to prove liability.

If you would like assistance with gathering evidence, our panel of experienced solicitors could help you. They could help you figure out liability and answer other questions you may have, such as about hit and run charges in the UK.

How old do car accident victims need to be in order to claim?

Individuals of any age have the right to compensation if they are injured due to negligence. However, only those aged 18 and over are eligible to make a claim by themselves.

Before the injured party reaches adulthood, a litigation friend must claim on their behalf. If successful, the money is paid into a legally protected account that the injured party can access when they turn 18.

We hope you have found this guide on car accident victims’ rights useful and informative. To learn more about claiming if you’ve been the victim of an accident, contact us for free legal advice at a time that works for you.

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