Road traffic accident claims

Roads in the UK are safer than before but in spite of these accidents still occur: even though numerous safety measures have been put in place which includes speed cameras, traffic calmers and speed ramps.

Added to this is the fact that people are impulsive beings who are likely to engage in unpredictable behaviour at a moment’s notice and there is the recipe for disaster.

A road traffic accident has serious consequences for all involved. Whether it is the driver of a car, a pedestrian or a motorcyclist the effects can be devastating. In some cases the effects are permanent.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a road traffic accident then you may be able to claim compensation.

Types of road traffic accidents

The most common types of accidents are:

  • Rear shunt from behind (usually occurs at roundabouts and junctions).
  • Head on collisions
  • Speeding
  • Drink driving
  • Novice/inexperienced driving
  • Failure to judge the speed of another road user
  • Hit and run

Many road traffic accidents involve multiple vehicles which results in several lives lost and serious even life threatening injuries in others. The effects cannot be underestimated.

Effects of a road traffic accident

A road accident affects not only the victim but their family as well. It can mean a drop in the family income due to the fact that the injured person is unable to work –possibly for the rest of their life.

Then there is the emotional distress caused which can lead to post traumatic stress disorder in some situations.

If a person dies as a result of an accident then their family has this devastating news to deal with plus all the legal and financial issues associated with that. These include probate, the reading of the will (if there is a will), inheritance tax etc which can be complex and costly.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident then your injuries may be serious enough to warrant specialist care, possibly on a 24 hour basis. You may also require additional services such as physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation.

Your home may need to be modified to enable you to move around easily. This applies if you have been paralysed as a result of the accident.

These and other additional expenses such as medication, taxi fares (or car parking charges) to hospital, medical treatment etc can all add up and put a strain on your family’s finances.

Another financial issue is loss of earnings: if you have had to take time off work as a result of your accident or give up work altogether then this means a loss of earnings and pension rights.

This drop in income affects you and your family’s standard of living and may lead to financial hardship.

If you succeed in your claim for compensation then this can cover the costs of the injury plus these additional expenses.

Making a claim for compensation for a road traffic accident

Look for a personal injury lawyer, solicitor or claims management firm that has knowledge and experience in handling these claims. They should have a high level of expertise plus an understanding of the many complex issues surrounding road traffic accident claims.

They should handle your claim with discretion and sensitivity and discuss, in full, the process of making a claim.

A lawyer will conduct an initial assessment of your claim to examine the circumstances surrounding it and the grounds for compensation. He or she will be able to gauge the likely outcome of the claim.

For more information visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Have you been involved in a road traffic accident whilst abroad?

If you have been injured during a holiday or business trip in another country then you can still pursue a claim for compensation.

This is covered in more detail in our accidents and illness abroad section. This section contains separate information for car accidents, cycling accidents, motorbike accidents and coach accidents which all fit into the ‘road traffic accidents’ category.

Time limit for claiming compensation for a road traffic accident

Personal injury claims often have strict time limits which are usually 3 years from the date of the original accident.

Confirm this with your personal injury lawyer, claims assessor or solicitor. There are certain types of claims which have a longer time limit but check first.

Personal Injury Guide

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