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What Should I Do After a Road Traffic Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, your first priority is to rest and recover from your injuries. After which you may wish to consider making a personal injury claim, which will compensate you for any loss of earnings, travel expenses, rehabilitation and medical treatment to help you get your life back to normal.
True Solicitors outline the steps you can take after being involved in a road traffic accident.
If you have been involved in a collision the first thing you must do as a driver is to stop. When it is safe to do so pull over, turn off your engine and switch your hazard lights on. It is against the law to drive off after an accident, no matter how minor the bump was.
2. Seek medical attention
Seek medical attention at your earliest convenience if anyone has been injured in the crash, this includes the driver, passengers and pedestrians who may have been involved in the accident.
It may be necessary to call an ambulance and the police may also be required to attend the scene of the accident if people have been injured.
3. Exchange details with the other driver
Exchange contact and insurance details with the other motorist. You will need to take down their telephone number, vehicle registration number, insurance details and making note of the make, model and colour of the vehicle is also a good idea – as this will help to verify that your insurance provider has the correct details.
4. Collect Evidence
If it’s possible and safe to do so take photos of the scene of the accident and of the vehicle damage. If anyone witnessed the accident take down the contact details so that they can be contacted by the police, your insurance company or solicitor if you decide to make a personal injury claim. Witnesses can include passengers of the vehicles involved or passers-by.
It is also advisable to take photos of any of the physical injuries that you have suffered. Evidence will be helpful when verifying the cause of the accident and quantifying any claim that you may need to make in the future.
5. Report the accident
It is the law that all road traffic accidents must be reported to the police within 24 hours of the time of their occurrence. If the police attend the scene of the accident it is likely that they will complete an accident report, ask for the reference number for this report. It is also important to notify your insurer that you have been involved in an accident, failure to do so may invalidate your claim.
What should I do if I have suffered a personal injury?
If you’ve suffered injuries due to a road traffic accident this may leave you in serious pain and as a result incapacitated to work for some time. You may decide that you would like to pursue a personal injury claim, which would compensate you for your lost earnings, medical treatment, travel costs to and from medical appointments and for your pain and suffering. The main aim of pursuing a claim is to put you in the same position that you would have been in should the accident have not happened.
What can I claim for?
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could claim compensation. At True Solicitors we deal with thousands of road traffic accident claims every year, the most common injury claims include:
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Organ damage and soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
Should I pursue a claim through my insurer?
Your insurance company will be aware that you may be thinking of pursuing a personal injury through a solicitor, and as a result may offer you a pre-medical settlement offer, in order to minimise the amount of compensation that they need to pay out. If your injuries worsen over time, as a lot do, you will not be able to make a claim in the future if you accept an early settlement. You should therefore think very carefully before accepting an insurer’s offer.
Through instructing a solicitor to handle your claim you will be properly represented and you could end up with a higher settlement amount. A specialist personal injury solicitor will be experienced in handling similar cases, dealing with clients who have suffered similar injuries and will act in your best interests.
Can I make a claim if I was partly at fault for causing the accident?
In certain circumstances you may still be eligible to make a claim if you were partly to blame for causing the accident – this is known as split liability. Examples of split liability include accidents on roundabouts or when collisions happen due to changing lanes. If split liability is accepted you would receive half of the value of your claim, with your insurance company agreeing to pay the other 50% that you were responsible for.
Can I make a claim if the other driver didn’t have insurance?
Even though it is illegal to drive without motor insurance there are sadly still many people who take to the roads of the UK without it. This doesn’t however mean that you can’t make a claim if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. It is possible to submit a claim to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). This is the organisation that deals with claims for the victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers – i.e. instances of hit and run.
Your solicitor can submit a claim to the MIB on your behalf. The MIB will then conduct their own investigations to conclude whether or not they will deal with the claim under the ‘Uninsured Drivers Agreement’.
Who can make a claim?
Anyone over the age of 18 has the right to make a claim if they have been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. In most circumstances you have up to three years from the date of the accident to start the claims process. There are however exceptions for children under the age of 18 and for those deemed mentally incapacitated to make a claim themselves.
Children – If children are involved in a road traffic accident the law allows for their parent or guardian to submit a claim on their behalf at any time before their eighteenth birthday. After the child has turned eighteen they can choose to pursue a claim themselves before the age of twenty-one.
Mental Incapacity – If the person involved in a car accident doesn’t have the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, a family member or friend can make a claim on their behalf at any time after the accident has occurred.
How much will my claim be worth?
The amount of compensation that you may receive for your accident is dependent on a number of different factors relating to the incident. Compensation is calculated based on the below points:
• The severity of your accident
• Loss of earnings- current and future losses
• Medical expenses
• Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
• Your pain and suffering
• Current and future care and support needs
• Modifications required to home and mobility aids if required
To get an idea of the level of compensation that you could receive for any physical injuries that you have suffered please use our compensation calculator below:
How much will I need to pay to make a claim?
True Solicitors handle all personal injury claims, including road traffic accident claims on a No Win, No fee basis.
The success fee we charge in road traffic accident personal injury claims ranges from 25% to 30% (+ VAT) of the compensation settlement, depending on the type of claim and whether court proceedings are issued.
How do I instruct a solicitor?
It’s quick and easy to start the claims process by instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf. You can call us on 0344 854 7000 or submit an online enquiry form below. We will ask you a series of questions to establish the circumstances surrounding the accident and advise you if we think you’ve got a valid case. If we believe that you have grounds to make a claim we will take on your case on a no win, no fee basis and discuss with you our terms of service.