Road Traffic Accidents
Road Traffic Accidents, often referred to as ‘RTA’s’, can be extremely distressing and can have devastating effects on the victim and their loved ones. Road traffic collisions are often thought only to affect the occupants of a vehicle when in fact, many other road users are vulnerable to this type of accident. Our road traffic accident team have many years experience representing drivers, passengers (including young children), pedestrians, users of public transport, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
We understand that no two accidents are alike. We also know that following a traumatic experience it can be unclear if you are able to pursue a claim for compensation depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you have been injured and the accident was caused by somebody else, then it is likely that you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Our highly experienced team of personal injury solicitors are accredited by The Law Society and have advised thousands of clients in relation to road traffic accident claims. In many cases our clients are eligible to make a no win no fee compensation claim. To find out more can call us on Freephone helpline 0800 195 95 90 for a no obligation appraisal of your claim.
By instructing us to act on your behalf, we will work to ensure that you receive compensation for any associated medical expenses, lost income, lost potential income and other related expenses that you incur as a result of being involved in an accident. We will also work to ensure that you receive the best possible care and rehabilitation for the injuries that you have sustained.
We, of course, understand that some road accidents have tragic consequences and you may be acting on someone else’s behalf. If someone close to you has been the tragic victim of a fatal accident on the road or has suffered serious injuries, we can support you when making a claim on their behalf. We will always act in a highly sensitive and professional manner, as we work to obtain compensation for any unexpected expenditure that you have found yourself facing.
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Personal Injury Claims – More Information
CAN I CLAIM?
We always recommend that you speak to a member of our expert team to determine whether you are eligible to claim compensation following an accident as there are multiple factors to consider. Our team will listen to the details of what happened in your accident and the impact of your injuries so that they can advise you on your own individual prospects of success.
In order to give you an initial indication, you can consider some very basic criteria in the first instance:
- Did the accident occur in the last 3 years?*
- Was the accident the fault of somebody else?
- Did you sustain injury?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, we may be able to pursue a claim on your behalf.
*It is important to remember that this may be different if your accident occurred in a different country or if the injured party was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.
HOW TO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR A RTA
Since we were established in 1988, we have developed the expertise needed to maximise the compensation our clients receive for any injuries sustained, and where possible, the best possible care and treatment to aid your recovery.
Almost all of the road traffic accident cases we handle are funded through a no win, no fee agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you in pursuing a claim as you will only be liable for our legal costs should you be successful in your claim¹³. If your claim is successful, the legal costs will be deducted from your final settlement award. This is capped to ensure that you always retain the majority of the compensation awarded to you and you will not be asked to contribute to the running of your claim until its conclusion.
IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHETHER YOU CAN MAKE A CLAIM, PLEASE CALL OUR FREE HELPLINE ON 0800 195 95 90 AND OUR FRIENDLY TEAM WILL ASSIST YOU.
COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INJURIES
It is extremely difficult to put any sort of ‘value’ on a claim before we receive medical evidence to support your claim. We do however, have guidelines which may be able to give you an idea of what your road traffic accident claim may be worth.
Our handy claims calculator is based on guidelines provided by past cases involving similar injuries. There are many factors which are taken into account when settling a personal injury claim so the calculator should only be used as a rough guide.
HOW DOES THE CLAIMS CALCULATOR WORK?
Our personal injury calculator is very easy to use. All you need to do is click on the area of the body that has been injured and enter the severity of your injury if prompted. The compensation you could potentially be entitled to should now be displayed.
You can also ‘add in loss of earnings’ and ‘other expenses’ you have incurred as a result of the accident then click ‘Add these costs to your claim’ to reveal the overall amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
COMMON INJURIES FROM A ROAD ACCIDENT
Common injuries following a road traffic accident
A road traffic accident could lead to a wide range of injuries depending on the circumstances and what type of road user has been affected.
We have many years of experience representing injured people and commonly associate the following injuries with an accident on the road:
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Upper and lower limb injuries
- Lower back problems
- Head, brain and spinal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Sensory loss
- Organ damage
- Post-traumatic stress
Smith Jones Solicitors are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and hold a number of industry-specific accreditations including the Law Society’s ‘Lexcel’ Practice Management Standard, the Law Society’s ‘Personal Injury’ accreditation and The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) accreditation.
Smith Jones are also members of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and are 2017 Corporate Supporters of Headway – The brain injury association.
ASSISTING US WITH YOUR CLAIM
To ensure that you are properly compensated for the accident you have been involved in, the more information you can provide to assist with your claim, the better.
When you receive a copy of the official police report, ensure that you retain this. This report will contain a number of important details that will help with filing a claim for compensation. In some cases, this may also include the police officer’s opinion of who was responsible for the accident.
If you are able to, you should also make notes about the accident. These should contain as much detail as possible. Even if you think something is insignificant at the time, still include it, as it could prove useful to your claim.
If possible, be sure to also retain the following:
- Photographs of your injuries after the accident
- Prescriptions and receipts for any costs you have incurred relating to your medical treatment and medications
- Receipts for any costs you have incurred due to your injuries affecting your day-to-day life. These could include costs for taxis, childcare or holidays that you have had to cancel
- Letters from your employer which state the period of time that you have been unable to work and the income that you have lost as a result of this
- A daily diary, which records any details that are not covered by receipts. These details could include how you got to and from hospital appointments, how long you spent at the hospital, and the pain and discomfort that attending appointments caused
- A record of how you are feeling and the difficulties you face each day as a result of the injuries that you have suffered
FAQ ABOUT ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
An insurance company have offered to settle my claim without the need for solicitors, is that a good idea?
The ‘at fault’ party will have to notify their insurers of the accident which means that their insurance company will be one of the first people to know about your potential claim.
Some insurance companies will try to deter injured parties from making a claim for compensation altogether and in some instances, they will try to settle the claim directly in order to minimise the amount of compensation they have to pay out.
The Law Society recommend you instruct a solicitor to ensure that you are properly represented and your claim is not under-settled. Once you have accepted an amount in full and final settlement, you are not able to claim again. Remember, your injuries may worsen over time and it is likely that you will not have received the full compensation you are entitled to.
By instructing an independent personal injury solicitor, you can be confident that the advice you receive will be entirely in your best interest as solicitors have a duty of care to their clients. You will also be protected by professional regulations imposed on all solicitors by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The driver’s insurance company tried to put me through to a firm of Solicitors, do I have to use them?
Most insurance companies will try to put your through to one of their panel solicitors. This does not mean that you have to use their recommended firm. It is entirely your choice who you choose to represent you. We recommend you look at the firms credentials and choose somebody that you feel can best understand your situation to ensure the best outcome for you. It is important to remember that most insurance companies will want to pay out as little as possible.
Smith Jones are not affiliated with any insurance companies, we work directly with clients to secure the compensation they deserve.
I was the passenger in a vehicle that was at fault for the road traffic accident but I was injured myself, can I claim compensation?
As a passenger in the vehicle, you should be able to make a claim for your injuries. If the driver of your vehicle was responsible for the accident, you would be making a claim against them (their insurers). This may seem uncomfortable if you know the driver of the vehicle you were travelling in, however, many people do choose to pursue a claim in this way if they have suffered injuries and other expenses which have left them out of the pocket.
As it is the insurance company that would deal with the claim, there is likely to be little direct contact with the driver.
I was involved in a road traffic accident but I was not wearing my seatbelt, can I still claim compensation?
Yes, the fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident does not remove your right to make a claim for compensation.
The law does take into account the fact that you should have been wearing a seatbelt (unless you are exempt) and so claims of this nature are classed as having an element of ‘contributory negligence’.
If the defendants prove contributory negligence, the amount of compensation you would receive could be reduced by up to 25%.
The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident fled the scene and I did not get their details. Can I still claim compensation for my injuries?
Hit and run / untraced driver road traffic accidents
The police may have been able to trace the driver of the vehicle responsible for your accident when the incident was reported. If this is the case, and the driver holds valid insurance, we should be able to help you pursue a personal injury claim in the usual way.
If the driver of the vehicle was traced but does not have insurance, we may be able to help you pursue a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) Uninsured driver scheme.
Should the driver remain untraced, we may still be able to conduct an ‘untraced driver’ claim on your behalf. We suggest you call our friendly team to discuss this in more detail as you are able to pursue a claim in this manner by yourself.
You can speak to a member of our specialist team on Freephone 0800 195 95 90 and they will be happy to advise you of your options.
What is the process for making a road traffic accident claim?
The idea of bringing a claim can often be a daunting process, particularly if you do not know what to expect.
Whilst every road traffic accident claim is different, we have put together an overview of the general road traffic accident claim process to help put your mind at rest and provide you with some insight into what to expect when beginning your claim.
How much compensation am I likely to receive?
Many people believe that an injury is worth one specific amount. The amount of compensation that can be claimed for an injury will actually vary from claim to claim as a number of factors are taken into consideration including:
- How the accident has affected your everyday life
- Your ability to work
- The length of time it takes for you to recover from the injuries you have sustained
Compensation also often includes an amount for the ‘losses’ you have suffered as a direct result of the road traffic accident.
To find a general estimate of how much your road traffic accident claim could be worth, you can visit our Road Traffic Accident Claims Calculator.
How soon after a road traffic accident do I need to make a claim?
The time limit within which you must bring your claim is known as the ‘limitation period’. In the UK this is 3 years but each country’s law is different. In some countries you have as little as one year.
We recommend you speak to a member of our team as soon as possible after the accident. It can be more difficult to make a claim if you leave it until a long while after the accident occurred.
What if the Accident was in Adverse Weather Conditions?
There are more accidents in bad weather than in fair conditions, this is easy to understand, but what if the weather contributed to your accident. Can you still make a claim? Well in short, the answer is yes, though to find out more it is worth speaking to one of our advisers.
Reasons To Choose Smith Jones
If you decide to pursue a work accident claim, here are a few reasons to choose Smith Jones to represent you:
We operate on a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis, meaning that there is no financial risk to you in pursuing a claim for your accident or injury.
WE CARE ABOUT EVERY CLIENT
We get to know every one of our clients, understanding their unique needs and ensuring they are well represented and cared for.
WE ONLY DO INJURY LAW
We only handle personal injury and accident cases, meaning we have a vast depth of knowledge and experience when it comes to assessing if you have a claim.
OVER 29 YEARS EXPERIENCE
We have been fighting for our clients since 1988. We are authorised and regulated by the SRA and are accredited by APIL and The Law Society.
ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT EXPERTS
We have extensive experience dealing with and claiming for accidents and injuries that have happened on the road. Speak to us today to start your claim.
AVERAGE CLAIM OVER £11,500
If your claim is successful then you will receive a cash sum after a decision or settlement has been reached – our average payout is over £11,500.
Common Road Accident Claims:
CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Cars, HGV’s and vans are probably the most commonly associated vehicles with road traffic accidents. Common accidents on the road involving a vehicle include:
- Being hit from behind by another vehicle
- Collisions caused by dangerous/negligent driving
- Vehicles changing lanes / emerging from side roads without indicating
- Vehicles failing to maintain a safe distance at roundabouts and junctions
We would recommend that you notify the police following a car accident and document any details relating to the accident including the name and vehicle registration number for the party at fault. It is much easier to do this straight after the accident than to try and gather it later down the line. We would recommend you take photographs of any damage to your vehicle and any injuries you have sustained along with any other details which may help you in your potential claim for compensation. For more information go to the Car Accident Claims page.
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissue in the neck, caused by a sudden movement in any direction. It is often associated with the jolting movement experienced in a road traffic accident and this type of injury is common after being involved in even a relatively minor car accident.
Whiplash can differ dramatically in severity, with most cases lasting a few weeks to months but in some more serious cases, it can last for much longer and have a serious impact on the victim’s ability to pursue normal activities.
Common symptoms of whiplash include: Pain and tenderness in the neck/shoulders/arms, stiffness in the neck and difficulty moving your head, headaches and muscle spasms.
The symptoms of whiplash may not be immediately apparent, sometimes taking a day to develop and often getting gradually worse for the days following.
It is generally possible for any passenger in a vehicle to claim compensation for their injuries following an accident whether the car they were travelling in was at fault or not. Each case is different which is why we recommend you speak to one of our experts so that they can listen to the individual circumstances of the accident and advise you appropriately.
UNINSURED / UNTRACED DRIVER CLAIMS
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) aims to provide access to compensation for victims of accidents on the road when the normal routes such as pursuing an insurer are cut off. This is often the case involving hit and run incidents where the driver remains untraced.
We understand that this process may not be clear to the victim of a road traffic accident. Our team are experienced in dealing with the MIB and can help you work out the best option to pursue a claim if the normal channels are not an option. Visit our uninsured driver page for more information.
Road traffic accident claims involving pedestrians can be catastrophic. We have experience representing the victims of some harrowing accidents where a pedestrian has been involved in an incident with a motor vehicle. We understand that the time following the accident can be extremely difficult for the victim and their loved ones. If you or a member of your family have been involved in a claim of this nature, our friendly team are experienced in dealing with this type of accident. They will listen to what has happened and can help you work out what to do next in a professional and compassionate manner.
FATAL ROAD ACCIDENTS
Losing a loved one in a road traffic accident is devastating.
Our team have supported the families of victims involved in many tragic accidents and will listen to you compassionately and professionally. We will then advise you about what should be done at such a distressing time and make sure we are there every step of the way. We will always shoulder as much of the responsibility for the arising claim as we can.
Our aim is to provide you with all of the support and assistance you may need to pursue a fatal accident claim. We will guide you through the process, explain who is able to make the claim and what additional factors may be able to be included in the compensation settlement.
Accidents occurring on a bus, coach or train are not uncommon. Passengers on public transport are often injured when the vehicle they are travelling in makes a sudden, unexpected or unusual movement causing the passenger to experience ‘whiplash’.
ROAD ACCIDENTS ABROAD
Road traffic accidents that occur in a foreign country are slightly more complex than one occurring in the UK due to the different laws which may be applied.
If the accident occurred somewhere in the EU, we may still be able to represent you in a claim for compensation. Your claim may be against a British motorist or may be against an EU national; whatever the circumstances, our team will take all the relevant details and help you work out the best way to proceed. Different time limits may apply to accidents occurring abroad and the time it takes to gather the relevant evidence may take longer so we recommend you contact us as soon after your accident as possible.
MOTORBIKE ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Making up only a small percentage of all traffic, motorbike accidents account for almost 20% of accidents that result in death and serious injury on our roads.
Our team understand that a motorcycle accident can lead to devastating injuries and in almost 30 years of representing clients have built up the experience and expertise necessary to ensure clients are properly compensated for the most serious of injuries, however complex the case.
We will do everything in our control to get you back on your feet as soon as possible, and provide support and arrange rehabilitation along the way to help you adapt to any outcome.
CYCLING ACCIDENT CLAIMS
We have represented thousands of cyclists in accidents involving another road user, defective road surfaces (potholes), and component failure (faulty parts/manufacturing). We also have experience representing a number of cyclists involved in cycle accidents abroad at EU training camps.
Our team will take into account all the details relating to your accident and the injuries you have sustained and seek any additional evidence required to ensure your claim is as strong as possible. Our main focus will be on your injuries and ensuring you have received the medical attention you require before any settlement negotiations take place.
In addition to getting cycling accident compensation for your injuries, we will always take into consideration the impact of the accident on your life. This includes any additional expenses you have incurred such as damage to your bike and kit and any travel expenses to and from work as a result of your bike being out of action. These expenses (known as ‘special damages’) will be added to your claim wherever possible to ensure you are fully compensated for the accident’s full impact.