In practice the process of making a company car accident claim is no different to that when driving your own vehicle. The negligent driver will be sued for compensation which will be covered by the driver’s insurance company, assuming they are insured. There is no legal difference when claiming compensation for injuries received as a consequence of a road traffic accident whether you actually own the vehicle or not.
Common Injuries Seen In Company Car Accident Claims
There are a number of common injuries in company car accidents where compensation is claimed for. Injuries include the likes of:
- Broken bones;
- Cuts and bruises;
Unfortunately, some company car road traffic accidents may result in a fatality as a result of their injuries at which point any compensation claims will be taken on by their family or connected parties.
There are also a number of common reasons for company accident claims which include:
- Dangerous driving;
- Badly maintained vehicles;
- Dangerous roads resulting in sliding;
- Driving under the influence of drink or drugs;
- Sudden unexpected actions.
There are obviously other reasons for road traffic accidents involving company cars but the above scenarios tend to be the more common issues. It will obviously depend upon the scenario surrounding the injury, and the extent of injuries received, as to the level of compensation you would seek.
Company Car Compensation
As ever with RTA claims each case will be reviewed on its own merits taking into account the level of negligence and injuries received. It is highly likely that the claimant will be able to pursue both general damages and special damages in a company car compensation claim. General damages include compensation for:
- Pain and distress;
- Mental trauma;
- Impact on everyday living;
The courts and insurance companies will refer to past similar car accident claims when awarding damages but it is very unlikely that any two company car accident compensation claims are exactly the same. There will also be certain careers which are impacted to a greater extent because of pain, distress and potential disfigurement as a consequence of a road traffic accident. On the other hand, special damages are more straightforward and include financial redress and funding of future financial requirements such as:
- Medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses;
- Loss of earnings;
- Future loss of earnings;
- Additional transport costs;
- Adaptions to home as a consequence of injuries received.
There is more potential for variation when awarding general damages because the calculation of special damages is fairly straightforward – reimbursement of financial expenses to date and the funding of additional requirements going forward.
To help calculate what level of compensation might be paid out for a company car injury claim, the compensation calculator below displays average amounts for varying injuries. Although the calculator provides a general guide to compensation levels, we’d advise discussing a potential claim with a car accident claims solicitor who can factor in every detail.
Company Car Accidents Where Third-Party Drivers Cannot Be Traced Or Have No Insurance
Unfortunately there are many instances of car accidents where third-party drivers cannot be traced and the victim may be left with potentially life changing injuries. The situation regarding uninsured drivers has improved over the last decade or so but as the cost of insurance continues to rise, the temptation is still there for many. In these situations it is easy to assume there is no point in pursuing company car compensation because in reality there is nobody to sue. However, this is where the Motor Insurers Bureau comes into play.
Victims of road traffic accidents where either the driver cannot be traced or the driver was not insured can appeal directly to the Motor Insurers Bureau for compensation. The level of evidence required is based upon probable liability as opposed to proving liability beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, there is every chance that those involved in a road traffic accident while driving their company car will be able to claim even if the assailant escapes justice.
Making A Company Car Accident Claim
It goes without saying that the first port of call should be medical assistance when involved in a road traffic accident. This will obviously ensure that injuries are treated as soon as possible but it also means that details of the incident, your injuries and the circumstances will be noted on your medical records. In the event of a strong company car accident claim for compensation any medical records supporting your case will prove extremely useful.
If you’re able and it is safe to do so it is important that you note down as many details as possible in case you forget them. In the aftermath of a car accident you may experience an adrenaline rush which can sometimes mask injuries until further down the line. When you are able to think clearly, it is vital that you make detailed notes of the timeline, the incident, where the car accident happened, when it happened, why it happened and the extent of your injuries, both physical and mental. The general timescale for starting company car compensation claims is up to 3 years but it is obviously in a claimant’s best interest to start their claim as soon as possible to alleviate any financial and physical stress.
In the event of a serious road traffic accident it is likely that the police will be called to arrange medical treatment, legal checks and to clear the crash scene when all evidence has been noted. As a consequence, it goes without saying that the police will have access to witness details and witness statements which can again prove very useful when pursuing a company car compensation claim. Connected or unconnected third-party evidence can only strengthen any claim.
Where there is potentially more than one libel party it is not down to the claimant to prove shared liability or individual liability. Therefore it is still possible to pursue a claim even if specific liability has not yet been proven – that is the role of the courts after taking into account the claimant’s evidence. All road traffic accident compensation claims will be treated on their own merits but where negligence and liability are relatively straightforward it is likely that out-of-court settlements will be pursued at the earliest possible opportunity. Where negligence and liability are disputed, or there is potentially more than one party responsible for the accident, this would likely go before the courts. One situation where this might be the case is with badly maintained roads which may lead to shared liability between the local authority (in charge of maintaining public highways) and the driver of the other vehicle.
Car Accident Claims Solicitors
If you believe that you have received injuries as a consequence of third party negligence while driving your company car, you should approach an experienced car accident claims solicitor with details of the incident. An experienced car accident claims solicitor will be able to advise you appropriately if you’re not certain if you can make a claim or not. If they conclude you indeed are eligible to make a company car accident claim they will almost certainly proceed on a No Win No Fee basis, which is how our own solicitors operate.