A Guide To Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims

By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 13th October 2023. This guide will explain how road traffic accident compensation claims work.

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.

If you want 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. 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.

Road traffic accident

A guide to claiming after a road traffic accident

Select A Section

  1. Who Could Make A Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?
  2. What Is A Road Traffic Accident?
  3. Why Make A Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Road Accident?
  5. Can I Claim With A No Win No Fee Road Traffic Accident Solicitor?

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.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?

With all types of personal injury claims, including those involving a road traffic accident, the claim time limits are set in the Limitation Act 1980. Typically, you have until three years from the date of the accident. However, if you only become aware that another road user’s negligence contributed to your injuries at a later date, you could have three years from this date.

There are exceptions to the time limit for personal injury claims. For example, if a child is injured in a road traffic accident, the time limit is frozen and they would have three years once they turn 18 to start their claim. However, a litigation friend could begin the process on their behalf at any time before this point.

A litigation friend could also represent someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim. The claim time limit is frozen unless the person regains the capacity to make decisions on their own. If a person recovers their mental capacity, they have three years from the date of recovery to make a claim.

If you have further questions about the time limit for personal injury claims, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for free legal advice.

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.

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.

Why Make A Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?

When making a road traffic accident claim, there are plenty of injuries you might seek compensation for. For example, you might sustain a whiplash injury. Additionally, the trauma of the accident might leave you suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Other types of injuries that you might claim for following a road accident include:

  •     Fractured or broken bones.
  •     A traumatic head injury.
  •     Soft tissue injuries.
  •     Cuts or lacerations.
  •     Multiple injuries, i.e. you suffer both a physical and a mental health injury.

Additionally, if you have suffered damage to your property, you could include this in your road traffic accident compensation claim. For example, your car might be damaged following a crash, or your bike might be broken if you are a cyclist that was hit by a car.

A road accident solicitor from our panel could help you put together your claim using their wealth of experience and knowledge. They can also help ensure that your claim is fully submitted within the limitation period.

To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of the solicitors on our panel, contact our advisors.

How Can I Prove My Road Traffic Accident Claim?

When pursuing compensation for road accidents it is necessary for you to gather evidence to support your claim. Without any evidence, it will be difficult to determine an appropriate payout amount. This section addresses what evidence to collect.

After a road traffic accident, under law in the UK, all drivers involved must stop driving and exchange details. For example, any contact information and details of the vehicle and insurance.  If you are involved in a hit and run accident and you can’t get the driver’s details, you can claim through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that if you are involved in a road traffic accident, by law, you have a duty to report the incident to the police if insurance details are not swapped or the accident has caused some form of hazard that could put others at risk. This should be done as soon as possible.

Evidence you could collect could include:

  • CCTV footage of the incident that clearly depicts what caused the accident
  • Witnesses contact details
  • Photographs of the accident scene, your injuries and any damage to your vehicle
  • Receipts that can prove any financial expenses
  • Medical evidence to prove the extent of your injuries

We could help you organise a medical assessment in order to collect a professional diagnosis. All you need to do is speak to an advisor using our free online chat service. They’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

How Much Compensation For A Road Accident?

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.

Injury Compensation Guidelines About This Injury
Very Severe Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990

Damages 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) £90,720 to £150,110

(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) £65,740 to £100,670

A 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 £12,770 to £19,200

Injuries could include damage to the brachial plexus, a fracture of the humerus, a rotator cuff injury or other soft tissue injuries.
Moderate Shoulder Injury £7,890 to £12,770

A frozen shoulder limiting movement through the joint. Symptoms of the injury could last for around two years.
Moderate Pelvic or Hip Injury (i) £26,590 to £39,170 A significant hip or pelvic injury which does not cause major disability over the long-term.
Moderate Pelvic Injury (ii) £12,590 to £26,590

Surgery such as a hip replacement may have had to be carried out on the person.
Less Severe Arm Injury £19,200 to £39,170

Whilst 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.
Whiplash Tariff 2(1)(a) £4,215 A whiplash injury lasting more than 18 months but less than 2 years.
Whiplash Tariff 2(1)(b) £4,345 A whiplash and psychological injury lasting more than 18 months but less than 2 years.

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.

Learn More About Road Traffic Accidents

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

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