A guide to making a traffic accident claim

Thanks to improved road safety and measures addressing reckless driving, the overall number of fatalities and road casualties has been in decline for two decades in the UK.

The latest report published by the UK government in April 2018 indicates that there were 181,384 accident casualties recorded in 2016, of which 1,792 (1%) were fatal and 179,592 (99%) were non-fatal. While a big portion of non-fatal injuries didn’t require hospital admission, some suffered life-changing injuries which require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. If the accident involves a death, the injuries can also extend to emotional trauma.

If you have been the victim of a traffic accident within the last three years, you may be entitled to claim compensation. The conditions and causes surrounding a traffic accident are different for every case, and the process of claiming compensation can be lengthy and complicated. This is why it is best to speak with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors and we will do everything in our power to help you obtain the finances needed for your recovery.

How to make a traffic accident claim

After you have contacted one of our expert solicitors, we will analyse the details of your accident and determine who exactly was responsible for your injuries, or who was the negligent party. When the person responsible has been identified, we will work tirelessly to get an admission of fault. In some cases, this will result in an early compensation payment known as an interim payment, which can cover the costs of urgent medical treatment or other needs.

To claim an interim payment, the insurance company, which covers the negligent party responsible for the accident, must accept liability. By accepting responsibility, they are also recognising that their policyholder was responsible for the accident and will pay your compensation. After this has been decided, our personal injury solicitors, acting on behalf of you, can apply for an interim payment. Although this sum will be deducted from your final settlement, it can alleviate any current financial issues.

In the majority of cases, the amount of compensation you receive will be agreed with the other party. If the person will not admit fault, or the value of your claim cannot be agreed, your case could go to court where we will guide you through the process. The amount of compensation you receive will also depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as any costs or losses you have experienced as a result. To establish the details of your case, discuss the following with one of our personal injury solicitors:

  • Details of the accident
  • Contact details for any witnesses
  • Details of injuries, medical diagnosis and treatment received

During the claims process, you will need to undergo a medical examination, determining the impact and degree of your injuries. A medical expert will review your current medical status and how your injuries have impacted your work and quality of life. This information can be used in the court as evidence. In the event of a catastrophic injury, that’s an injury with serious lifelong altering consequences, we will work with you to establish the followings:

  • Proof of loss of earnings and other financial expenses due to your injury.
  • Any evidence that can be used to support your claim, including documents from before your accident or previous accidents in similar circumstances.
  • Documents relating to any insurance policies you have, such as motor or household insurance, to see if these will cover the legal costs of your claim.

With the introduction of the CE-File system, an electronic filing and case management system, the claims process is now a lot speedier. Solicitors and insurance companies can engage with ease due to the digital exchange of documents.

When should you make a traffic accident claim?

You have up to three years to make a claim for your traffic accident, but we recommend contacting an experienced personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. There are exceptions to the three-year time limit for making a claim, including:

  • Road traffic accidents abroad: Time limits in other countries outside the UK can vary. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may still be able to claim under UK law.
  • Mental capacity: If a family member lacks the capacity to make a claim.
  • Criminal injuries: If your injuries were a result of a deliberate act, you could make a claim through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority. In a case like this, there is a time limit of two years from the date of the accident.
  • Children: Before your child turns 18, a claim can be made at any time if they were affected by the accident. Following that, your child can make a claim until the age of 21.

How much compensation will you receive?

The amount of compensation you can receive from a claim is based on the nature and the extent of your injuries, as well as any losses or costs you have incurred in the process. The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

  • Medical and travel expenses
  • Current and future loss of earnings
  • Mobility aids
  • Pain and suffering
  • Care and support needs

As your personal injury solicitor, we will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation, allowing you to move forward with your life.

How can we help you to make a traffic accident claim?

As specialist personal injury solicitors with offices in Doncaster, Retford, Worksop, Clowne, Rotherham, Sheffield-Waterhorpe and Sheffield-Chapeltown, we have years of experience with successfully obtaining compensation for our clients. We also have the knowledge and specialised skill set to assist you throughout the claims process, offering you unwavering support and guidance.

We do not want the cost of legal fees to deter you from making a claim, so we offer an initial FREE consultation. This allows us to understand the details of your accident and advise as to whether you should proceed with your traffic accident claim. To get in touch simply fill out our Online Form or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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