Typical road users include pedestrians, cyclists, people travelling on public transport, vehicle drivers and passengers. If you are any one of these and you have suffered injury or loss then you may have a claim for compensation.
Due to the nature of accidents that occur on the roads, injuries are often serious, sometimes not immediately obvious and can also involve a period of rehabilitation in order to get back to your full state of normal health.
In order to make a compensation claim for injuries suffered in a road traffic accident, the claim needs to fall into one of two categories; Non Fault, where a third party or other person is solely responsible for the accident and or injuries and Partial Fault, where both yourself and another person have shared responsibility for the accident or injury.
Non-fault cases tend to be more straightforward, and partial fault cases tend to be a bit more complex. In either case, it is always best to get in touch with us so that we can give you the best advice for your particular situation.
The first step in starting a compensation claim for road traffic accidents is to get in touch with a solicitor. This can be done over the phone, using our online form or in person, whichever you are most comfortable with and whichever is most convenient to you.
Once you have got in touch, your solicitor will need to gather some information about your specific case. This information will help to establish some key facts about the accident as well as helping to determine the best approach for your individual case.
The information gathered will include your details, third party details (who you are claiming against), the circumstances of the accident including the time, date and location.
Once we have gathered all the relevant information, we will formulate a claim for you and submit this to the third party insurers. They will have 15 working days (3 weeks) in which to respond to the claim. There are a few ways that they can do this in relation to the claim we submit.
The third party insurers can give one of the following responses:
Admit fault: If they do this then your claim is more straightforward and we will obtain medical evidence for the injuries you have suffered so that we can determine fair compensation for you. We can also assist and advise in arranging treatment for any injuries that you have suffered.
Once your injuries and rehabilitation have been assessed, we will value your claim and make an offer to settle with the third-party insurer.
Admit Partial Fault: If there is a partial fault admission we will then begin negotiations on your behalf so that we can agree on a fair level of compensation for you
Deny Fault With Reasons: Denying fault by the third party will most likely, but not necessarily, result in a longer process.
If a third party denies fault they must provide sound reasons for doing so. We will then take further instruction from you and prepare your case as well as gather any further medical evidence.
The third party will also have a fixed amount of time to investigate further as well to build the case for their denial. This period is 3 months so your claim should be in a position to be drawing to a conclusion at the end of this period unless we need to issue court proceedings.
If the claim is admitted, once we submit the medical evidence to the third party, there is a 35 working day negotiation period within which the claim needs to be agreed.
This negotiation period may or may not last the full 35 days, depending on the response of the third party, however, within this period, most compensation claims are settled in a lot less time.
If a compensation claim has been agreed during the negotiation period, then the third party insurers will usually make payment within 21 days.
If a settlement is not made within the appropriate time frame we can issue proceedings on your instruction to do so. This means that we will take the case to court, and let a judge make a decision on the claim based on the evidence presented to them by all parties.
Most third parties would prefer not to go down this route, however, it is a course of action which from time to time is necessary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
The judge’s decision is binding and this should draw the case to a close upon the judgement. The proceedings process can take up to 10 months, which is because of the court’s timetable, however, the vast majority of cases are settled well within this time period.
We can also assist in any claims for vehicle damage, loss of earnings, treatment costs or any other losses that may arise from the accident.
This may be in situations where the third party driver does not have insurance. If this is the case, we can still assist with all aspects of the claim. Simply contact us immediately and we can provide you with full advice on this situation.
After contacting us and establishing whether you wish to give us instruction to make this type of claim a vehicle damage engineer will be instructed to assess the level of damage to your vehicle.
The engineer will normally come and look at the vehicle at a time that is convenient for you and will normally travel to wherever the vehicle is being kept. Sometimes it may not be sensible to keep a damaged vehicle at home because there may be further damage that might result, such as rainwater getting into the vehicle if it is parked on the street.
Also, the damage caused to your vehicle may mean that the vehicle is not secure, so it is not appropriate to keep it parked on the street. In this situation, we can advise you on the options for your vehicle to be stored in secure, sheltered storage.
If you depend on your vehicle, we can also advise and assist in respect of a replacement hire vehicle until your claim is settled so that you are not inconvenienced by not having access to transport.
The vehicle damage engineer will produce a Vehicle Damage And Estimate Of Repair Report. This report will outline the amount of damage to your vehicle and also provide an estimate as to how much it would cost to repair the vehicle.
Once we have established the costs repair or replacement of your vehicle, including any storage and car hire costs, we will make a request to the third party for payment.
If the third party does not settle, we can issue court proceedings on your instruction and seek to secure your compensation through the courts.
Again the time scale for this is totally dependent on the court timetable which runs around 10 months, however, cases are concluded in significantly less time than this.
You can pay through your own insurance if you have comprehensive insurance, pay the excess and we will claim that back for you within the claim. While all the information provided is correct, we also add the caveat that each case is assessed on its merits and therefore if you contact us, we can advise you fully on your particular case. You can find more information on how to make a claim here.
You may also be interested in more information on Driving Offenses.