What Do I Need To Know About Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims?

This guide will explain how road traffic accident compensation claims work.

Road traffic accident

A guide to claiming after a road traffic accident

Have you recently been injured in a road accident that was caused by the other driver’s negligence? It can be horrible to think that someone else’s careless driving can cause you untold pain and suffering. Road traffic accidents are still a major cause of avoidable deaths and injuries. Last year 24,530 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads. Although you can’t change what has happened, you could seek compensation.

If you are able to make a road traffic accident claim, UK Law could help. A solicitor from our panel could take on your claim if you have favourable grounds for one. To see if they can, get in touch with our advisors. They’re available 24/7 and give free legal advice.

To see if you can begin your road traffic accident compensation claim, please contact us today. Call UK Law on 0800 408 7825. Or you can use our online claims form to reach us.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Road Traffic Accident?
  2. Who Could Make Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims?
  3. Why Could You Need To Make Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims?
  4. How Long After A Road Traffic Accident Could You Make A Claim?
  5. How Much Is Your Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim Worth?
  6. Can I Claim With A No Win No Fee Road Traffic Accident Solicitor?

What Is A Road Traffic Accident?

Most road traffic accidents are collisions between two or more vehicles. However, a vehicle can hit a pedestrian as they cross over the road. Or a car can crash into a static object, such as a lamp post or tree. People involved in a road accident often make road traffic accident compensation claims.

These sorts of motor vehicle accidents can happen on the roads

  • Car accidents
  • Lorries and HGV accidents
  • Van accidents
  • Taxi accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents

Motor vehicles protect their drivers and passengers because they have an outer shell. However, motorbike riders and cyclists are not protected on the road. Pedestrians are also a vulnerable group of road users.

Road traffic accidents such as car accidents can be caused by reckless behaviour. For example, a driver may be using their mobile phone whilst driving. Moreover, a road traffic accident is sometimes caused by poor road conditions or faulty traffic lights.

Road Safety In Great Britain

Road traffic accidents are not uncommon in Great Britain. Indeed, every 22 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on UK roads.

These are the estimated casualties and fatalities in Great Britain for the year ending June 2021:

  • There were 1,390 fatalities from road traffic accidents
  • And 23,140 people were seriously injured because of road accidents
  • In addition, 95,320 people were slightly injured because of road traffic accidents

Who Could Make A Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 outlines that drivers are responsible for driving safely. So what happens if a driver acts negligently and subsequently causes a road traffic accident? The driver may be held liable for any injuries caused. The local council or other authority in control of the road may be responsible for a road traffic accident in other cases. For example, a car crash could be caused by disrepair on the road that they were aware of but didn’t fix.

Anyone who has been injured in a road accident that was another party’s fault could claim compensation for their injuries. Moreover, the injured person would claim compensation from the party responsible for the accident or their insurance. The claimant could be the driver or passenger of a vehicle. Or the claimant could be a pedestrian, cyclist or motorbike rider.

The injured person may be partially responsible for the accident in some cases. If both parties admit partial fault, the claimant can make a split liability claim. If the split liability claim is successful, the claimant would receive a portion of the compensation their injuries are worth. For example, if the claimant is 25% responsible for the accident, they would receive 75% of what their compensation is worth.

What If The Victim Is Under 18?

If the road traffic accident victim is under 18, a parent or guardian can act as a litigation friend. A litigation friend manages a compensation claim for a person who cannot claim for themselves. If the road accident claim is successful, the child’s compensation will be held in trust until 18.

Alternatively, the child can claim compensation after they turn eighteen. There is a 3-year time limit to begin the accident claim, which will begin on the claimant’s 18th birthday.

Why Could You Need To Make Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims?

If you were involved in a road accident, you might wish to claim compensation for your injuries. People make road traffic accident compensation claims for varying injuries. Let’s look at some examples of the types of injuries a road traffic accident can cause:

  • Whiplash injuries and soft tissue injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Back injuries, such as a slipped disc
  • Traumatic head injuries and brain damage
  • Burns to the skin and tissues
  • Cuts or lacerations

How Long After A Road Traffic Accident Could You Make A Claim?

The Limitation Act 1980 outlines the general time limit for making a personal injury claim. The general time limit for making a road traffic accident compensation claim is three years. The time limit can begin on the day the accident took place. Alternatively, the time limit begins when you gain knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injuries. If an uninsured driver hits you, you could make your claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Is The Time Limit Always Three Years?

As we have already explained, children injured in a road accident could start a claim for compensation starting from their 18th birthday. They’d have until their 21st birthday. Alternatively, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf before they turn 18.

If you lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend could do this on your behalf. The time limit would be frozen. However, if you recover capacity, you’d need to claim within 3 years of the date of recovery.

How Much Is Your Road Traffic Accident Claim Worth?

If your car accident injury claim is successful, you could receive up to two heads of claim. These are general damages and special damages. General damages compensate you for your injuries and their impact on you. And special damages is compensation for any financial losses associated with your injuries.

Here are some examples of special damages you could claim:

  • Medical expenses
  • Care expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Reimbursement for the cost of adapting your home or car if you were left with a disability

You may be curious to know how much compensation your road traffic accident compensation claim is worth. You can use the table below as a car accident compensation calculator. The table lists how much compensation you could seek for different injuries. The compensation amounts in this table are based on guidelines from the Judicial College.

InjuryCompensation GuidelinesAbout This Injury
Very Severe Brain Damage£264,650 to £379,100Damages are calculated on factors such as their life expectancy, what sensory impairment they have, if they can communicate (via assistive equipment or without it) and if they have epilepsy. Other factors may also affect compensation levels.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage (ii)£85,150 to £140,870(ii) Intellectual deficits are moderate to modest. The person faces a reduced ability to work, or no ability. They may also develop epilepsy in the future.
Chest Injury (b)£61,710 to £94,470A traumatic injury affecting the lungs or chest and which causes permanent injury. This may also impair function, reduce life expectancy and cause physical disabilities.
Serious Shoulder Injury£11,980 to £18,020Injuries could include damage to the brachial plexus, a fracture of the humerus, a rotator cuff injury or other soft tissue injuries.
Moderate Shoulder Injury£7,410 to £11,980A frozen shoulder limiting movement through the joint. Symptoms of the injury could last for around two years.
Moderate Pelvic or Hip Injury (i)£24,950 to £36,770A significant hip or pelvic injury which does not cause major disability over the long-term.
Moderate Pelvic Injury (ii)£11,820 to £24,950Surgery such as a hip replacement may have had to be carried out on the person.
Less Severe Arm Injury£18,020 to £36,770Whilst significant disability could have been experienced, there has already been a substantial level of recovery or if it has not happened it is expected to do so.
Less Severe Elbow Injury£14,690 to £30,050The injury will have impaired function of the elbow but it will not have required major surgery. The person should not be left with any significant level of disability.
Less Severe Wrist Injury (c)£11,820 to £22,990Whilst the injuries are less severe they may still have resulted in a degree of permanent disability. The person could also experience stiffness and pain in the joint.

Depending on several factors, how much car accident compensation you receive can vary. So, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we can give you a personalised quote.

Will The Whiplash Reforms Programme Affect Me?

The Whiplash Reforms Programme will affect some people who wish to claim compensation for a car accident. If you meet the following criteria, your road traffic accident claim could be affected:

  • Your accident took place on or after May 31st 2021
  • Your injury is valued at less than £5,000
  • You were 18 or over and were the driver or passenger of a vehicle at the time of the accident

If the above criteria apply to you, you may have to claim compensation through the government’s official injury claims portal. Please feel free to call UK Law today; we can value your claim and advise you on which course of action you could take.

Can I Claim With A No Win No Fee Road Traffic Accident Solicitor?

If you wish to make a road traffic accident compensation claim, we could help. Our panel of accident solicitors could handle your claim. They’d offer their services under a No Win No Fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).

You wouldn’t need to pay an upfront or ongoing solicitor’s fee. Instead, you would pay a success fee if you win your No Win No Fee claim. This success fee is capped by law.

If your claim doesn’t win, you don’t have to pay the solicitor’s fee at all.

To see if you can begin your No Win No Fee claim, please contact UK Law today.

  • Call us on 0800 408 7825.
  • Use our car accident claim online form.
  • Or you can ask us a question online. Just type your question into our Live Chat widget for an answer.


These guides could help you if you wish to claim compensation for a road traffic accident.

Car Accident Claims

Tinnitus After A Car Accident Compensation Claims In The UK

How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident?

The Highway Code

Compensation For Victims Of Uninsured Or Hit And Run Drivers

Safety Advice For Road Users From THINK!

Thank you for reading our guide to road traffic accident compensation claims.

Writer AL

Checked by HT