Making a claim after a Road Traffic Accident

Photo by: Michael KrigsmanHave you been involved in a road traffic accident and want to make a claim? We at claims4negligence.co.uk have helped thousands of people make road accident claims throughout the UK. Contact us today for a free claim assessment.

  • No Win No Fee – Your road accident claim will be made on a no win no fee basis.  So if your accident claim is not successful, you will not have to pay your solicitor a penny.
  • Win Compensation – If your road accident claim is successful, you will receive compensation.
  • High Success Rate – Your claim will be handled by solicitors highly experienced in road accident claims, so you can rest assured that your compensation claim is in good hands.

Unfortunately road traffic accidents (also known as RTAs) are a common occurrence, with most people being involved in at least one road accident in their life-time.  It is estimated that there are over 300,000 injuries caused by car accidents every year, with the majority of these road traffic accidents being caused by human error. Many of these injuries will result in car accident claims being made.

Can I claim compensation if I was injured in a road traffic accident?

Whether you are the driver, a passenger, on a motorcycle, a cyclist or a pedestrian that has been involved in a road traffic accident, if the accident was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim for any personal injuries that you have suffered as a result of the accident.

All cars and other motor vehicles are required by law to have insurance to protect against any road traffic accidents that occur.  Therefore if you are involved in a road traffic accident, the first thing you should do is exchange insurance details with the other party, as your claim for personal injury will be made against the insurance company of the third party.

With some road traffic accidents there may not be an insurance company to claim personal injury compensation from.  For example, if you are involved in a road traffic accident involving an uninsured driver, or are involved in an accident where the other driver has driven off (i.e. a hit and run accident).  In these circumstances you may still be able to make a road accident claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

Although most road accident claims are made against the driver of another vehicle, there are other circumstances where a road accident claim may be made. This could include road accidents caused by children or other pedestrians, road accidents caused by animals or road traffic accidents caused by dangerous road surfaces.

What to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident

As with all personal injury claims, in order to make a successful road accident claim, you would first need to prove that another person was at fault for the accident which has caused your personal injury.

To help prove that another person was responsible for your road traffic accident, and your subsequent injuries, it is a good idea to try to make a note of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.  It can also benefit road accident claims if you are able to take some photographs of the scene of the accident, such as the location of the cars, any skidmarks on the road, etc.

If anybody involved in the road traffic accident has been seriously injured or if the third party driver leaves the scene, has no valid insurance, or appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, you should contact the Police immediately to report the accident.

Claiming compensation for road accident passengers

If you have sustained injuries as a result of being a passenger in a car, a passenger on a bus or a passenger in any other vehicle that has been involved in an accident, you should be entitled to make a no win no fee compensation claim.

In the majority of accidents a passenger is an innocent party in the accident so is in a strong legal position to make a compensation claim. As a passenger the driver of your vehicle has a duty of care to ensure your safety by driving responsibly, in the exact same way that all other road users have a duty of care.

If you are a passenger in the vehicle which is at fault for an accident, either by crashing into another vehicle, a pedestrian or losing control of the vehicle, your passenger compensation claim would be made against the driver’s insurance company. If the driver of the vehicle is uninsured, you would still be able to make a passenger compensation claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau, unless you knew the driver was not insured before the accident.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, you may still be entitled to make a claim for compensation, but the amount of compensation awarded may be reduced as a result of this.

Road accidents caused by children

If any kids are passengers while you’re driving, then in the case of an accident you become responsible for any injury caused to them. Regardless of whether the kids distracted you while driving, you will still be held accountable. If a child on the road was involved in the accident, the child’s parents or guardians could be held responsible for not keeping a watchful eye on the child and allowing him or her to run out on to the road. This is only provided you are found to be obeying all the traffic rules and it was the child who came in your way.

If you are driving a car and are involved in an accident that was your fault, any injured children (passengers or pedestrians) will be able to make a personal injury claim against your insurance company. If the accident is caused by another driver on the road, then the claim will be made against their insurance company.

For example, if you are driving along the road with your own children in your car, and you cause a road traffic accident, any of your children who are injured will be able to claim compensation from the company that provides your insurance policy.

Road traffic accidents involving foreign drivers

The UK is a popular place with tourists, and millions visit every year. Many tourists rent vehicles to drive around in. Also, many lorries or trucks on UK roads are driven by foreign drivers, or at least drivers who are not citizens of the UK. If you are involved in a road accident with a foreign driver, you needn’t think that you’ve lost any chance of claiming compensation. Provided you are not at fault, foreign drivers are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as a UK driver.

When in a road accident with a foreign driver, it is important to take down their contact details. Ensure that you have both their current and permanent contact details. Check with them if the car has been borrowed, or has been rented. If rented, then take down details of the rental agency. If borrowed, take down details of the original owner. Also take down the car’s make and model and license number. If you are in a car crash with a foreign driver who doesn’t speak any English, get them to write down all of their details. If they do not understand and are not forthcoming with the information required, contact the local police who will be able to assist.

Foreign drivers are expected to be covered by insurance when they take to driving on UK roads. Their insurance can be provided for by the company renting the car out to them or by themselves. In any case, insurance is mandatory. However, this does not mean you will not come across uninsured foreign drivers. Sometimes, foreign drivers may be insured but the procedures may be complicated. At such times you can take the help of the Motor Insurers Bureau. The MIB can take up your case and pursue foreign drivers for insurance. In cases where drivers are uninsured, they can tell you what your options are.

Road accidents involving emergency vehicles

Photo by: IanIt sounds quite ironic that an emergency vehicle rushing off to save someone’s life could potentially put your life in danger. However, it does happen that police cars, ambulances or fire engines crash into other vehicles in their hurry, or if road or weather conditions are not entirely favourable. Add to that emergency vehicles are given some leniency when it comes to traffic rules; so they can jump signals, exceed speed limits and cut lanes too. If an emergency vehicle does however cause an accident, you as an innocent party to the accident have full right to make a complaint and a road accident compensation claim.

Many such innocent driver-victims find themselves in a dilemma as to whether they can make a valid claim against an emergency vehicle. Many often feel that the law will favour the emergency vehicle in a traffic accident, since they were only doing their job. There is also a moral dilemma attached to suing someone who’s on the good side of the law. However, emergency vehicles and their drivers are governed by the same laws as civilians and are responsible if they are the cause of an accident. And frankly, it really doesn’t make any sense to end one life en route to saving another.

If you’ve been in a traffic accident with an emergency vehicle, you need to know that you can make a successful compensation claim. For this, you will need the driver’s name, address and telephone number, and the vehicle’s license plate number. It’s best to gather these details as soon as the accident happens. If possible it is also good to get the driver’s insurance details. It would also be good to take down the names and numbers of any witness to the accident. The good part of dealing with personnel of the emergency services is that they will know how to act in such a situation and should be quite forthcoming with details. Usually, unless someone is seriously injured there is no need to call the police.

Although you have the right to make a no win no fee claim if you have had an accident with an emergency vehicle, it is also your duty to ensure that you are not at fault. Emergency vehicles rushing at speeds expect that other vehicles on the road will pay attention to them and make way (hence they have the siren blaring). Could the accident have been avoided had you been more alert? IF the answer is yes, then you may be held partly responsible for the accident, in which case any compensation awarded may be reduced accordingly.

Start a road accident claim with our easy online form

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident within the past three years and would like to find out if you are entitled to make no win no fee road accident claims, contact us by filling out our online personal injury claim form.