How to make a car accident claim
Being involved in a car crash can be extremely traumatic, and even relatively minor car accidents can cause both physical and psychological injuries. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an incident on the roads, you may be able to make a car accident claim for any injuries that you have suffered.
Am I eligible to make a car accident claim?
As with all road accident claims, in order to be eligible to make a car accident claim, somebody else must be at fault for your accident. If you are the person at fault for the car crash, you would not be entitled to claim any compensation for your injuries.
The majority of car accident claims arise through driver error, such as failing to look when pulling out of a junction or failing to keep the correct distance and crashing into the back of another car. However your crash happened, providing somebody else was at fault, you should be entitled to make a car accident compensation claim for your injuries.
How is it determined who is to blame for the accident?
It is not always clear cut who is at fault in a car accident. In fact in some cases a car accident could be partly your fault, and partly the fault of another car driver. If this is the case you may still be able to claim personal injury compensation, so you should contact our personal injury solicitors to find out if you are eligible to make a compensation claim.
If you are involved in a car accident that was caused by a cyclist or a pedestrian, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim for the injuries you have suffered, but as pedestrians and cyclists are not required by law to have any insurance cover, they may not be able to pay any damages.
If you are involved in a car accident that was classed as your fault, you will not be able to make a no win no fee claim, no matter how bad your injuries are. However, any passengers in your vehicle that have been injured may be able to make a compensation claim.
Who pays the compensation?
All car drivers must be insured so that they are covered in the unfortunate event of road traffic accidents, and subsequent car accident claims being made against them. Therefore, if you are successful in making a car accident claim, the compensation awarded would be paid by the third party insurance company.
Will I be able to claim for injuries suffered in a car crash?
The most common personal injury that people suffer following a car accident is whiplash, an injury affecting the neck and back. This is caused by the sudden impact forcing the neck to be thrown backwards and forwards. However, car accidents can cause all kinds of injuries including broken bones, lacerations, head injuries and internal injuries. Unfortunately, car accidents also cause many deaths in the UK each year.
If you are injured following an accident it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will not only ensure that you receive the appropriate medical treatment straight away, but will also enable you to proceed with a personal injury claim. Without seeking medical attention for your injuries, it may prevent you from getting the compensation that you are rightfully entitled to.
Our UK car accident lawyers have years of experience in helping people claim compensation for personal injuries. So whether you are a driver or a passenger involved in an accident, if somebody else was to blame, we can provide free legal advice so you know exactly where you stand, and what you may be entitled to.
All of our car accident lawyers work on a no win no fee basis. This means that if your claim is not successful, you do not have to pay your car accident solicitor a penny.
Car accidents caused by family members
If you have been involved in a car accident which was caused by a member of your family, you may still claim compensation for any injuries you have suffered. Providing your family member has insurance, which they are legally required to do so, any claim for compensation made by yourself would be dealt with by this insurance company.
For example, if you were injured as a passenger in a car accident when a family member was driving, you could be eligible for compensation if they were responsible for the accident.
Many people injured in car accidents caused by a family member do not make a personal injury claim. This is usually because they may feel awkward because it is a family member. However, these types of accidents and claims are actually very common. It is important to remember that any car accident claim is made against the insurance company, not your family member directly. The whole purpose of having car insurance is to be able to compensate others for any loss or injuries caused by the driver.
Car Accidents caused by mechanical fault
In some cases, car accidents may not be caused by driver error or negligence, but by a mechanical fault with the car itself. Such mechanical faults may cause a collision with another car or vehicle, or may cause a car to have an accident without any other vehicles being involved.
If you are the driver or passenger in a car that has been hit by another vehicle, you would be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim, regardless of whether the third party vehicle had a mechanical fault. All car drivers have a responsibility to ensure that their car is road worthy and does not put other people in danger of injury. If you were injured in a car accident after being struck by another vehicle that suffered a mechanical failure, it will usually be dealt with like any other road accident claim, with the compensation being claimed from the other driver’s insurance company.
However, what if your car suffered from mechanical failure? As stated above, all drivers are responsible for the upkeep of their vehicle. If your car was not maintained properly and caused an accident, then you will be liable for the crash.
However, there are some circumstances when somebody else may be to blame for the mechanical fault, and therefore the subsequent accident. Below is an example of a car accident caused by mechanical fault which could entitle the car driver to claim personal injury compensation against a third party:
Example – Peter went to a garage to have a new tyre fitted. Whilst driving home from the garage the wheel fell off the car, causing Peter to crash into a parked car. The mechanic had failed to tighten the wheel correctly, which caused the wheel to fall off. In this case Peter may have a valid claim against the garage for their negligence in not fitting the wheel correctly.
Should I claim for a car accident at a roundabout?
Roundabouts are a common part of road infrastructure throughout the UK. Roundabouts not only help to keep the flow of traffic moving, but are also thought to be a safer option than crossroads. This is based on a study by the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which concluded that there were approximately 40 percent fewer accidents on roundabouts when compared to cross roads. More importantly, the percentage of car accidents resulting in personal injuries was shown to be 80 percent lower in collisions on roundabouts.
Whilst roundabouts may be considered as a safer option, accidents do happen. The majority of car accidents at roundabouts occur due to some form of driver error. Most roundabout accidents will occur when a driver makes an error at either the point of entering the roundabout, or the point of exiting the roundabout. If you are the unfortunate victim of a car accident on a roundabout, and have been injured as a result of the accident, we can help you make an accident claim on a no win no fee basis.
Car accidents on roundabouts are often caused by drivers who fail to give way when entering a roundabout. Vehicles already on the roundabout may then crash into this car, or may be forced to swerve to try to avoid hitting the vehicle. A car driver may fail to give way at a roundabout due to a lapse of concentration, or may misjudge a gap in traffic and attempt to enter the roundabout rather than waiting for a safer space.
Accidents are also caused by drivers that try to exit a roundabout from the wrong lane, or try to stay on the roundabout in a lane which they should be exiting from. Both situations can cause them to crash into other vehicles, or may cause other vehicles to collide with them.
Rear end collisions
Rear end collisions are some of the most common types of car accident claims made in the UK. A rear end collision, which is also referred to as a rear end shunt, can cause significant physical injuries to the unfortunate victim. Many of these types of accidents happen at roundabouts or traffic lights, or on the motorway when traffic has been stopped by a tailback.
The most common type of injury caused by a rear end collision is whiplash. This is because of the sudden jerking motion causing a stress and strain on the neck. Facial injuries are also common from rear end collision car accidents, due to the force of being thrown forward into the steering wheel or dashboard. This can be the case even if your vehicle has air bags fitted.
Car accidents caused by potholes
If you are involved in a car accident caused by a poor or damaged road surface, you may be able to claim compensation from the local authority that is responsible for the road in question.
The local authority has a duty of care to carry out road inspections at regular intervals. These inspections should occur more frequently depending on the type of road and the level of traffic that travels along the road. A busy town road should therefore be inspected more often than a quiet country road.
The most common type of road defect that causes accidents are potholes. Unfortunately, roads throughout the UK are often blighted with potholes. Although the majority of these are likely to be fairly small and cause more of a danger to pedestrians rather than cars, there are still many large potholes which can cause severe accidents, and you could be entitled to launch a pothole accident claim.
If your car accident has been caused by a damaged road surface, it is important to get evidence of the damage. The best way to do this is to take photographs of the area, ideally showing both the damaged road surface and the car. When taking any photographs of the damaged road surface, it is also a good idea to place an item in or by the defect in order to show the scale of the defect. Obviously a ruler would be perfect for this, but any other item can be used to show the scale, such as a can of drink, a CD case, etc.
If anybody witnessed your accident, it will also be beneficial in making an accident claim to take down the names and contact details of these witnesses. These witnesses can then be called at a later date to provide evidence that the accident was caused by the neglected road surface. Depending on the severity of the accident, the police may also need to be informed of the accident.
Start a car accident claim now
If you have had a car accident and would like to make a car accident claim, we can help. Our car accident lawyers work on a no win no fee basis and provide expert advice. Contact us by filling out our online personal injury claim form. All our advice is provided with no obligation, and we will give you the clearest possible information about your situation.