How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Work?

By Danielle Fletcher. Last Updated 1st December 2023. 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.

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.
Road traffic accident claims process

A Guide On The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

Select A Section

How Does The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Work?

If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident or other incident on the roads, you may like to know more about road traffic accident claims in the UK. Some of the steps you take following the accident may help support your case through the claims process. These include:

  • Seeking medical attention. If you are injured, you may need to seek medical attention. This ensures you get the help you need, and can also provide useful evidence for your case in the form of medical records.
  • Report the incident. According to Rules 286 and 287 of the Highway Code, if a crash that you are involved in causes damage or injury to another person or property, you must exchange details with the other driver. 
  • Obtain evidence. In addition to copies of your medical records and police statements, you can collect other evidence to support your claim for compensation for a road traffic accident. This may include the contact details of people who witnessed the incident, dashcam footage and/or photographs. 
  • Contact UK Law. We can advise you on what evidence could be submitted to strengthen your case and how to obtain it, as well as provide a valuation of your claim. 

Please direct any questions regarding road accident claims to us. We’re here to help you 24/7, and can offer further guidance surrounding the road traffic accident claims process.

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.

When Am I Eligible To Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?

Part of the personal injury compensation claim process for a road traffic accident involves proving that negligence occurred. Negligence is when a relevant third party, such as another road user, breaches their duty of care, and this causes you to become injured.

Road users owe each other a duty of care, as stated under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Per their duty of care, they must navigate the roads in a way that avoids causing harm to themselves and others. Furthermore, they are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations set out by the Highway Code. If another road user were to breach this duty of care, and this resulted in you being injured, you may be eligible to make a road traffic accident claim.

If you have any questions about the car accident claim process, please contact one of the advisors from our team. Additionally, they can assess whether you have valid grounds for a claim, and if it seems like you do, they can put you in contact with one of the No Win No Fee lawyers from our panel.

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.

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 exempt 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 fault 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.

Compensation For A Road Traffic Accident – Claim Time Limits

A road traffic accident compensation claim must be started within a certain time limit. According to the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to start a claim would generally be 3 years from the date of your accident.

You can be eligible for an exception to this time limit if you only connected your injuries to negligence at a later date. You may be able to use your date of knowledge as the start of your time limit.

People under the age of 18 are not able to pursue a claim, so their time limit will only begin when they are able to do so – on their 18th birthday. A litigation friend can be appointed to start a claim on their behalf before this point.

A similar exception exists for people mentally unable to pursue a claim. A claim can be made on their behalf at any point by an appointed litigation friend unless the claimant recovers.

Please reach out to one of our advisers for more information about how to claim compensation for a road traffic accident or the road traffic accident laws in the UK.

Road Traffic Accident Compensation

Personal injury compensation for road accident claims can typically be split into two parts: general damages and special damages. General damages cover your injuries and the pain and suffering they cause, as well as loss of amenity.

When solicitors calculate this head of road accident compensation, they often use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that provides guideline brackets for various illnesses and injuries. In the table below, we’ve included some examples of these entries that could be relevant to a road traffic accident claim. Please note that these figures are only guidelines and are not guarantees of what you could receive. The first figure in this table is not reflected in the JCG.

Award Bracket Level Of Injury About The Injury
Up to £1,000,000+ Multiple severe injuries along with special damages Compensation awards may include payments for multiple injuries of a severe nature and the incurred expenses, such as home adaptations, nursing care and lost earnings.
£282,010 to £403,990 Very Severe Brain Damage The injured party demonstrates little to no responses of any meaning towards their environment, lack language function, are doubly incontinent and need a nurse full-time.
£15,320 to £43,060 Less Severe Brain Damage The 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.
£24,990 to £39,200 Serious 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.
£24,500 to £39,170 Wrist Injury (b) Whilst this injury will cause some permanent and significant disability there will still be some useful movement.
£12,590 to £24,500 Wrist Injury (c) Injuries that are less severe though they will still result in a permanent disability such as ongoing pain.
£13,740 to £26,590 Moderate Ankle Injury (c) Injuries such as torn ligaments and fractures which cause the person to suffer a less serious disability.
£12,590 to £17,960 Chest 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.
£4,345 Whiplash with psychological injuries A whiplash injury alongside a psychological injury that lasts longer than 18 months, but not any longer than two years.
£4,215 Whiplash A whiplash injury requiring at least 18 months to recover, but with symptoms that last no longer than 24 months.

The second head of personal injury road accident compensation, special damages, helps you claim back the financial losses that you endured because of your injuries. For example, if your injuries prevent you from going back to work, then you may be able to claim back your lost earnings.

Special damages can also cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescriptions
  • Travel expenses
  • Mobility aids

To learn more about road traffic accident compensation or the personal injury claims process, contact our advisors today. An advisor from our team can give you a free consultation, through which they can offer more information.

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.