By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 13th October 2023. Road traffic accidents can be stressful experiences, not to mention painful. They can leave victims with serious injuries that can cause a ripple effect throughout their life. In this guide, we take a comprehensive look at road traffic accidents and claims.
We explain how you can get compensation for your injuries or damage to your car or vehicle. We look at payouts, settlements and amounts, No Win No Fee agreements, and explain how our panel of experienced road traffic accident claims solicitors can get you the support you need.
If you’d like to make a road traffic accident claim today, you can reach out to us 24 hours a day by:
- Calling 0161 696 9685
- Speak with us now via our live chat box
- Or write to us about your claim online
Jump to a Section:
- When Can You Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- Is There A Time Limit To Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- Important Changes To The Law On Road Traffic Accident Claims
- What Does The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Involve?
- How Much Compensation Could I Get For My Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- What Evidence Can Help My Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- Make A No Win No Fee Road Traffic Accident Claim
- Learn More About Road Accident Claims
You might be wondering when you could make a road traffic accident claim. The eligibility criteria for road traffic accident claims are as follows:
- Another road user owed you a duty of care.
- They breached this duty.
- You were injured as a result.
A duty of care is a legal responsibility towards another person’s health and safety. All road users owe each other a duty of care, the responsibilities of which are outlined in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. Because of this, all road users must navigate the roads in a way that reduces the risk of harm.
However, these responsibilities are not equal; under the Highway Code, different road users have different responsibilities depending on their ability to cause harm. For example, a cyclist would hold less responsibility than an HGV driver.
For more information on road traffic accidents, or to find out if you could be eligible to claim for a serious injury, contact our team today.
A Breakdown Of The Road Users Who Could Claim Compensation
Drivers are not the only road users who could make a road traffic accident claim. If you are injured while using the roads because another road user breached their duty of care, you could claim compensation.
Here are a few examples of other road users who could make a personal injury claim:
- Pedestrians. Rules 205-210 of the Highway Code set additional rules and regulations about how drivers should behave around pedestrians. For example, if a driver is speeding in residential areas, they risk running over a pedestrian.
- Cyclists. Drivers should also take extra care around cyclists. Rule 211 of the Highway Code states it can be difficult for drivers to see cyclists. For example, a cyclist could be hit by a car if a driver fails to look out for them when merging from a junction.
- As with cyclists, drivers should also take extra care around motorcyclists. For example, if a car driver would like to overtake a motorcycle user, the motorbike should be given as much space as a car would be allowed and more in bad weather and at night.
Speak with an advisor from our team about road traffic accidents and claims.
The time limit for road traffic accident claims is generally three years, beginning on the date of the accident. This time limit is set out by the Limitation Act 1980, which also outlines the exceptions to this limit.
For example, if you are under the age of eighteen, then the time limit is frozen until your 18th birthday. During this time, a litigation friend can start your claim on your behalf. Otherwise, the time limit begins on your eighteenth birthday, and ends on your twenty-first birthday.
The time limit is also frozen for those who lack the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves. In these cases, the freeze is indefinite; however, if the appropriate mental capacity is regained, then the time limit will reinstate on the date of their recovery. Otherwise, the road traffic accident claim can be made on their behalf by a litigation friend.
Our advisors can offer more information on the time limit for road traffic accident claims when you get in touch.
In certain circumstances, claims for injuries suffered in a road traffic accident will be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme. This brought in changes to how claims for low-value road traffic accidents are made in England and Wales. It applies to accidents that occurred on or after the 31st May 2021.
You will claim in a different way if:
- At the time of the accident, you were 18 or older.
- The value of your injuries does not exceed £5,000. Whiplash injuries will be assigned a tariff amount from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. If you suffered another minor injury, such as bruised ribs, this would be valued using the JCG, but the claim would still be made in the alternative way if the overall value of the claim was less than £5,000. Our list of compensation payouts table above includes figures from the JCG and tariffs from the Regulations.
- You were the passenger or driver of a vehicle.
Bus accident claims, for example, must be made through the reforms if any of the above apply to the claimants. However, as each claim is filed separately, some claimants in the same accident may be affected by the reforms, whereas others aren’t. It’s important to note that the tariff amounts for whiplash injuries will apply regardless of how you make your claim.
Once you have received your settlement, your case cannot be reopened for any reason. This is why it is vital to have an accurate valuation. Call our advisors today for a free assessment of your claim.
The road traffic accident claims process can seem daunting, and you may not know where to start. While you aren’t obligated to work with a legal professional on your claim, we recommend seeking out the advice of a professional. Working with a solicitor can be beneficial, as they can help with many of the steps we are going to outline.
Throughout the claims process, you may take steps that include:
- Getting a case assessment: This means having your case evaluated by a professional. They can help you uncover the potential costs of claiming, whether you have a valid case, and how much compensation you could aim towards.
- Collecting evidence: We’ll discuss evidence more in the following section, but this is a crucial step in the claims process. Evidence can be collected alone or with the help of a solicitor.
- Negotiating a settlement: The amount of compensation you could receive will depend on the unique circumstances of your claim and where liability falls. In some cases, the other party will be completely liable; in others, it may be a split liability case. Your settlement will be negotiated with the other party to reach a fair agreement.
These are only a few steps that you may encounter throughout the road accident claims process. Contact our advisors today to learn more.
Do I Need To Report A Road Traffic Accident?
You need to report a road traffic accident to the police if it causes damage or injury. This has to be done within 24 hours of the accident occurring if they don’t take your details at the time of the accident. Always tell the police if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
It’s also important to make your insurance company aware of the accident, even if you do not intend to make a claim. They can give you more information on what they expect from you following an accident.
If you make a successful claim for road traffic accident compensation, you could receive general and special damages.
General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries and the way they’ve affected your life.
Often, legal professionals will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) when evaluating this head of claim. The JCG provides guideline compensation brackets for different injuries. The table below lists some of the amounts stated in the 16th edition of the JCG.
Please only use this table as a guide.
|Type of Injury
|Severe leg injury
|£240,790 to £282,010
|Full or partial amputation of one or both legs
|Moderate leg injury
|£27,760 to £39,200
|Complicated or multiple fractures
|Severe neck injury (ii)
|£65,740 to £130,930
|Long-term loss of mobility and potentially loss of function of neck
|Moderate neck injury (i)
|£24,990 to £38,490
|Long-term loss of mobility and pain
|Less severe brain damage
|£15,320 to £43,060
|Some affect on mental abilities
|Moderate back injury
|£12,510 to £38,780
|Impaired mobility and considerable pain
|Moderate shoulder injury
|£7,890 to £12,770
|Long-term immobility of one or both shoulders
|This tariff is for a whiplash injury with a psychological injury that lasts between 18-24 months.
|This tariff is for a whiplash injury that lasts between 18-24 months.
Special Damages In Road Traffic Accident Claims
Your compensation for a road traffic accident could also include special damages. This head of claim addresses the financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries.
For example, if you had to take time away from work to recover from your injuries, this could result in lost earnings. In this case, you could potentially claim these earnings back under special damages.
Special damages can also cover expenses such as:
- Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
- Essential travel, for example, to appointments or to work.
- Childcare costs or domestic help, such as help with cooking and cleaning.
- Mobility aids, such as scooters or stairlifts.
You will need to provide evidence of these financial losses with bank statements, receipts or invoices.
To learn more about road traffic accident claims, we recommend you contact our team of advisors.
As we’ve already mentioned in the section above, evidence is a very important part of the road traffic accident claims process. Evidence can help support a number of different areas within your claim. These include who was responsible for the accident, the severity of your injuries, how your injuries will affect you going forward, and the financial impacts of the accident.
Some examples of evidence that you could use to support your claim could include:
- Medical records: Your medical records can help prove the type of injuries you suffered. Similarly, if you work with a solicitor on your claim, they may arrange for your injuries to be independently assessed by a medical professional.
- Financial records: Financial records such as bank statements, invoices, and receipts can all help demonstrate the effect your injuries have had on your finances.
- Photographs: Taking photographs of the accident site, where safe to do so, and of your injuries can help support your claim.
- CCTV footage: If CCTV footage of your accident is available, then you may be able to use it as evidence in your claim. This can help prove how the accident occurred and who is liable.
- Witness statements: You cannot take witness statements yourself. However, if you take the contact details of witnesses, this means that their statements can be taken by a professional at a later date.
These aren’t the only examples of evidence that could help your claim. If you choose to make your claim with the help of a solicitor, they can help you collect more evidence in relevant areas. For example, while you can’t take witness statements yourself, a solicitor could talk to witnesses for you.
To learn more about how evidence can help when claiming for a road traffic accident, contact our team of advisors today.
If you’re eligible to make a road traffic accident claim, our panel of solicitors are here to help. As we’ve previously mentioned, working with a solicitor on your claim can bring many benefits to the table. For example, a solicitor can help you gather evidence, and they can also give you more information on compensation.
It’s also worth noting that our panel of solicitors work with claimants from all over the country. This means that you aren’t limited to working with a solicitor based in your area. Our panel also work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that, through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), your solicitor will work on your case without asking for any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Similarly, if you don’t receive compensation, you don’t pay a fee for their work.
However, if your claim succeeds, your solicitor will receive a success fee. This fee will be taken straight from your compensation as a small percentage, which is subject to a legislative cap. The cap is in place to help ensure that you keep the majority of what you receive.
Contact Us Today
Our team of advisors are here to help if you’re ready to start your claim. They can offer more information on road traffic accident claims, and can also evaluate your case for free. If your claim is valid, they may then pass you on to a solicitor from our panel. Get started by:
For more helpful road traffic accident guides:
- Find out if you could claim for a neck injured caused by a car accident with our helpful guide
- Get help making a claim for a road traffic accident caught on a dashcam and learn more about the claims process
- You may be able to claim for a road traffic accident caused by animals. To learn more, read our informative guide.
- If you are seeking a compensation payout for a bicycle accident claim, you can read our guide on claiming for this type of road traffic accident.
Or, for further resources:
- GOV – Request CCTV footage of yourself
- GOV – Road accident statistics
- NHS – How to get your medical records
For more information on road traffic accident claims, please get in touch.