This is a guide exploring the car accident claims process. A road traffic accident claim is a type of personal injury claim. You don’t necessarily need to be driving when the accident occurred in order to claim; instead, you only need to be able to show that your injuries were caused by another party’s negligence.
Driver negligence is one of the topics that will be explored in this article. We will also talk about when you may be eligible to claim, some of the laws that are relevant to this situation, and how long after a road traffic accident you can claim.
Read on to learn more about how much road traffic accidents are worth in compensation. Alternatively, you could get in touch with one of our advisers to talk over the specifics of your potential claim by using the banner above or filling out our contact form with your query.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Car Accident Claims
- When Can You Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
- Car Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Could You Receive?
- Evidence You Can Gather Throughout The Car Accident Claims Process
- Why Make A No Win No Fee Road Accident Claim?
- Learn More About How To Make A Road Traffic Accident Claim
To make a personal injury claim for a car crash, you have to prove negligence occurred. This involves showing:
- A road user owed you a duty of care.
- This road user breached their duty of care.
- Due to this breach, you were injured.
A piece of legislation called the Road Traffic Act 1988 lays out the duty of care that is owed on the road. Similarly, the Highway Code contain information about good road conduct as well as rules for different road users, some of which are backed up by law.
Road traffic accidents can lead to injuries that vary in severity and type. In some cases, they can be severe especially if a vulnerable road user is involved, such as a cyclist, or pedestrian. Injuries you could sustain include:
- Strains and sprains
- Brain injury or head injury, including concussion
- Breaks or fractures
- Internal damage, for example to your vital organs
If you have evidence to show that a road traffic collision was the fault of another road user, you may be able to start a claim. Read on to learn more about the road traffic accident claims process, or contact our advisers today to discuss car accident claims.
There are various ways in which a car accident could occur. For example, a driver may:
- Not pay enough attention and rear-end the car in front of them
- Merge without checking their mirrors and strike a cyclist
- Drive with a broken windshield and strike a pedestrian crossing on a designated walkway because they could not see.
Additionally, external factors could lead to an accident on the road such as adverse weather conditions or poor road conditions. As such, not all car accidents will form the basis of a valid claim. To seek compensation, you must be able to prove that you were harmed, either physically or psychologically, as a result of another road user’s negligence.
Additionally, you must begin your claim within a certain time limit. Generally, the time limits are:
- 3 years from the date the accident happened
- 3 years from the date you connected your injuries with negligence
Exceptions to these rules do exist. If you’d like to learn more about the time limits involved in the car accident claims process, get in touch today.
You may be wondering how much a car crash personal injury claim could be worth. It’s good to remember that a final payout can include as many as two heads of claim. These are known as general damages and special damages.
General damages are meant to reimburse you for the suffering brought about by your injuries. Rather than including a claims calculator, we have included a table that illustrates some of the guideline compensation brackets outlined by the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Solicitors can use this document in order to value the general damages portion of claims.
|Injury Type||Compensation Bracket (Guideline)||Notes|
|Leg Amputations (a) (ii)||£201,490 to £270,100||Top level of this bracket awarded to individuals who have had both legs amputated just below the knee. In other cases, the award will depend on several other factors such as the psychological impact.|
|Foot Injuries (b)||£83,960 to £109,650||Amputation of one foot.|
|Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (b)||£23,150 to £59,860||Effects that will likely cause serious effects for the foreseeable future, but the person will have a better prognosis with professional help.|
|Other Arm Injuries (b)||£39,170 to £59,860||Injuries that cause a permanent and substantial disability such as a serious fracture affecting one or both of the forearms.|
|Other Arm Injuries (c)||£19,200 to £39,170||Injuries that may result in serious disability but from which a substantial degree of recovery takes place or will take place.|
|Moderate Injuries to the Pelvis and Hips (b) (i)||£26,590 to £39,170||Significant injury affecting the pelvis or hip. The person may have a permanent disability but it is not major.|
|Moderate Back Injuries (b) (i)||£27,760 to £38,780||There are several injuries in this bracket, including a prolapsed intervertebral disc that needs surgery.|
|Less Severe Injuries to the Elbow (b)||£15,650 to £32,010||Less severe injuries that lead to functional impairment without major surgery or significant disability.|
|Moderate Neck Injuries (b) (ii)||£13,740 to £24,990||Soft tissue or wrenching injuries that lead to cervical spondylosis, serious movement limitations, and permanent or recurring pain as well as other issues.|
|Serious Shoulder Injuries (b)||£12,770 to £19,200||This bracket includes a rotator cuff injury that causes ongoing symptoms after surgery.|
Remember, these numbers are only intended as a guide. The table does not account for special damages. Read on to learn more about how special damages may be factored into payouts for car accident claims.
Special Damages In A Road Traffic Accident Claim
Special damages are a way of reimbursing you for the financial losses you may have incurred due to your injuries. They can help you recoup costs such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Travel expenses, like those incurred while getting to and from the hospital
- Medical expenses
If you’d like more personalised information about the car accident claim payout your injury could warrant, contact our advisers today.
When Do You Claim Using The Whiplash Regulations?
If you are a passenger or driver who is over the age of 18 and you sustain whiplash or soft tissue injuries worth £5,000 or less, you will need to make your claim via the government’s Official Injury Claims portal. This is part of the changes brought in by the Whiplash Reform Programme that affect claims for low-value road traffic accidents made in England and Wales.
These injuries will be recompensed through a set tariff system outlined in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. We have included these in the table below.
|Duration of the Injury||Reward for one or more whiplash injuries||Reward for one or more whiplash injuries and one or more minor psychological injuries|
|Not more than 3 months||£240||£260|
|Between 3 and 6 months||£495||£520|
|Between 6 and 9 months||£840||£895|
|Between 9 and 12 months||£1,320||£1,390|
|Between 12 and 15 months||£2,040||£2,125|
|Between 15 and 18 months||£3,005||£3,100|
|Between 18 and 24 months||£4,215||£4,345|
As the tariffs apply to all vehicle occupants, you may still have your injuries valued in line with the tariff even if you do not claim via the government’s Official Injury Claims portal. However, if you have injuries not included in the tariff, they will be valued in the traditional way.
If you have questions about the rules surrounding whiplash and whiplash-related injuries, get in touch with our advisers.
As part of the car accident claims process, you could gather evidence to support your claim. As such, you could:
- Collect information about what happened. This may include contact details for any witnesses, dashcam or CCTV footage, and photos of the accident scene.
- Seek medical treatment and ask for a copy of your records. Additionally, it could be worth keeping a diary of your treatment and any symptoms you may experience.
- Keep receipts for any expenses incurred because of your injury.
It’s worth noting that road traffic accident solicitors may be able to help you collect this evidence. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our advisers about your potential claim for a car accident.
You may be asking yourself, ‘how does No Win No Fee work?’. When pursuing compensation for a road accident, a No Win No Fee arrangement such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) means that you do not have to pay upfront for a solicitor’s services, nor do you pay during the claim itself or if it fails.
This agreement also means that if your claim succeeds, a success fee is paid out of your compensation. However, this fee is subject to a legal cap. To learn more about how one of the solicitors from our panel could help you through the car accident claims process, get in touch today.
Contact Us For Free To See If You Can Make A Car Accident Claim
Our advisers are available to provide free legal advice regarding your potential car accident injury claim. The consultation is free and you will be under no obligation to continue using our services.
If you’d like to know more about this topic, or if you have questions about the car accident claims process, contact us today. You can reach us by using the banner above or filling out our contact form with your query.
Resources that may be of use:
- Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) – Guide about how to claim if the other driver is uninsured or untraceable.
- Brake – Organisation dedicated to helping the victims of road traffic accidents.
- Report A Road Traffic Incident – Information about how and when to report a road traffic accident.
For other guides on personal injury claims:
- What are the average personal injury claim payouts?
- What steps are involved in the road traffic accident claims process?
- A guide on reporting a road traffic accident
We hope this article about the car accident claims process has been useful. If you have further questions, contact us using the details provided.
Writer Morgan Finch
Editor Meg MacAllister