How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Work?

The road traffic accident claims process may seem complex. If you wish to claim compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, you may not know where to start. This guide will explain how to make a road traffic accident claim from start to finish. We will also look at when you could claim compensation for a car accident. Also, we’ll look at what your settlement may comprise should your claim succeed.

Road traffic accident claims process

A guide on the road traffic accident claims process

In the UK, someone is killed or seriously injured on the road every 22 minutes. Despite the legislation in place to protect all road users, accidents could still occur. If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, we could help.

If your accident was caused by another road users negligence, you may be eligible to claim. Our panel of solicitors could handle your compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis if it has a chance of success.

For more information about beginning your claim with a solicitor from our panel, please get in touch on the details below:

  • Telephone: 020 3870 4868.
  • Contact form: Begin your claim online via our website.
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the function below.

Select A Section

How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Work?

All road users owe each other a duty of care to prevent each other from experiencing harm while navigating the roads. The Highway Code sets out guidelines and rules for each road user to follow. Generally, road users should ensure they do everything they reasonably can to prevent each other from sustaining harm in an accident.

If you have been injured because of another road user breaching the duty of care they owed you, you may be eligible to claim compensation. In some cases, you will make your claim against the liable party. However, in other cases, you may make your claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). For instance, if you had an accident with a driver that wasn’t insured or was untraceable, you could still seek compensation through the MIB.

You could claim compensation for a road traffic accident involving any of these motor vehicles, provided someone acted negligently:

You could make your claim independently or with the help of a solicitor. If you choose to hire a solicitor, they could help you through the different steps involved in making a claim.

The road traffic accident claims process includes both parties entering into negotiations regarding the claim. The defendant’s solicitor may make an initial offer, which you could accept or reject. If you reject the offer, your solicitor can ensure you receive a settlement that’s appropriate for your specific case.

It’s important to note that you could claim compensation for minor car accident injuries or more serious injuries such as a back injury after a car accident. However, the process of claiming may differ. We will explore this more throughout our guide.

What Are The Pre-Action Protocols?

The Pre-Action Protocols are a process of negotiation when a personal injury claim is made. The purpose of the pre-action protocols is to settle the claim early to avoid the expense of a claim going to court. If you hire a solicitor to represent your claim, they will follow these pre-action protocols when working on your case.

For road traffic accident claims valued below £25,000, a solicitor would follow the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents. However, if the claim is valued below £5,000 it may have to be submitted through the government online portal. If the claim doesn’t meet the criteria of the government portal, it may proceed through the standard Pre-Action Protocol.

If you have any questions regarding the steps your solicitor will take when handling your claim, call our team on the number above.

Does The Whiplash Reform Programme Affect The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process?

The government introduced the Whiplash Reform Programme on 31st May 2021. The reforms apply to drivers or passengers over the age of 18 who suffer injuries that are valued at less than £5,000.

If the changes apply to you, you will make your claim through the government online portal. However, we would encourage you to get in touch with our team for a free assessment of your injuries. A member of our team could provide an accurate valuation of your injuries to help you understand the road accident claims process you need to follow.

You may be except from making your claim through the online portal if your case meets certain criteria, such as:

  • The person who was injured is under 18.
  • The guilty party cannot be traced, in which case your claim would be made through the MIB.
  • You were a pedestrian, motorcyclist, pillion or sidecar passenger or horse rider.

For any further information on the Whiplash Reform Programme, please get in touch with our team on the number above.

Will I Get An Offer To Settle?

The defendant’s representative may make you an offer of settlement as part of the Pre-Action Protocol involved in the road traffic accident claims process. You and your solicitor can also put forward an offer once your injuries have been valued.

There is no obligation on the part of either party to accept an offer. However, a failure to agree a settlement during the Protocol period may see the claim progress to court.

If you choose to hire a solicitor, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.

Will My Claim Need To Go To Court?

Only a small percentage of claims go to court and there are several factors that may affect whether your claim reaches court proceedings.

For instance, if the defendant denies liability, a settlement can’t be reached or the claim is for more complex and severe injuries, it may need to go to court.

However, the Pre-Action Protocols are followed to reach a settlement and prevent claims from reaching this stage.

If you’d like to learn about how often personal injury claims go to court, please get in touch with our team. They can provide further guidance.

Estimating Damages For Road Traffic Accident Claims

As part of the road traffic accident claims process, you may receive a settlement if your claim is successful. The settlement you receive might include general damages which compensate for your physical and psychological injuries.

The amount you receive will vary depending on how severe your injuries are and how badly they’ve impacted your quality of life. Medical evidence may be used to assess the full extent of your injuries. Alongside this, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that might also be considered when helping to value your claim.

The table below has compensation amounts based on guidelines set out in the JCG. You should use the table as a guide only.

Award BracketLevel Of InjuryAbout The Injury
£40,410 to £85,150Moderate Brain Damage(iii) Instances where memory and concentration have been affected. The persons ability to work is reduced and there is a small chance of epilepsy.
£14,380 to £40,410Less Severe Brain DamageThe person can recover to a good degree and can return to work and social activities. Not all normal function may have been restored and there could be problems with memory, concentration and mood.
£11,820 to £16,860Chest Injury (d)Simpler chest injuries such as single penetrating wounds. The injury could cause permanent tissue damage but there should not be any long-term effects on the persons lung function.
£22,990 to £36,770Wrist Injury (b)Whilst this injury will cause some permanent and significant disability there will still be some useful movement.
£11,820 to £22,990Wrist Injury (c)Injuries that are less severe though they will still result in a permanent disability such as ongoing pain.
Around £6,970Wrist Injury (e)Single type of injury - uncomplicated Colles' fracture of the radius bone.
£23,460 to £36,790Serious Foot Injury (e)The injury could cause ongoing pain due to traumatic arthritis. It could also put the person at risk of developing arthritis in the future.
£12,900 to £23,460Moderate Foot Injury (f)The person could experience ongoing symptoms and permanent deformity due to displaced metatarsal fractures.
£12,900 to £24,950Moderate Ankle Injury (c)Injuries such as torn ligaments and fractures which cause the person to suffer a less serious disability.
Up to £12,900Modest Ankle Injury (d)Undisplaced, less serious or minor fractures as well as ligament injuries could fall into this bracket.

If your injury isn’t listed in the table, please contact our team. An advisor can provide a free valuation and provide an estimate of how much you could claim for your injuries.

What Other Costs Could I Claim Under Special Damages?

In addition to general damages, your claim might include special damages. Special damages repay you for any expenses associated with your injuries, such as:

  • You can claim medical expenses, including the cost of physiotherapy or rehabilitative treatments.
  • Travel expenses, such as the cost of travelling to and from doctor’s appointments.
  • Mobility equipment expenses. For example, if you become paralysed because of a road traffic accident, you can claim back the cost of the wheelchair.
  • Home adaptation expenses, such as the cost of putting a ramp or a stairlift in your home.
  • Funds to pay for any specialist care you may need.
  • Reimbursement for loss of earnings if you were unable to work after your accident.

You must provide evidence to prove any losses, such as receipts, invoices or payslips.

How Could UK Law Help You Navigate The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process?

Our panel of experienced solicitors can help you through the road traffic accident claims process. The solicitors on our panel offer No Win No Fee services, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA can provide you with a way to fund representation from a solicitor.

Under a CFA, you aren’t charged a cost upfront or other ongoing costs during the process of your claim. Also, you won’t pay the success fee if the claim is unsuccessful.

However, if your claim is successful, you’ll pay the success fee. The fee is subject to a legal cap and is deducted from your compensation as a percentage.

Please get in touch on the following details to learn more about making a No Win No Fee claim with our panel of solicitors:

  • Telephone: 020 3870 4868.
  • Contact form: Begin your claim online via our website.
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the function below.

Additional Resources

We appreciate you taking the time to read our guide. Please see the following resources exploring different types of road traffic accident claims.

We have also provided some external resources you may find beneficial.

  • Visit the NHS website for any medical advice.
  • See the government guide on claiming compensation from your local council after sustaining injuries on the roads or pavements.
  • For cycle safety advice see this guide from Think.

We hope this guide on the road traffic accident claims process has helped. However, if you have any additional questions, please get in touch with our team on the number above.