The minutes and hours after being involved in a road traffic accident can be chaotic and confusing as those involved assess their injuries and consider what to do next. These frequently asked questions will hopefully help you make more informed decisions if you are involved in a road accident.
What are the most important things I need to do immediately after a road accident?
The first thing to do immediately after a road traffic accident is to check if you or any passengers are badly injured. If the injuries look severe, your top priority is getting emergency medical care so call an ambulance.
The second most important thing to do is to get the other driver’s name, driving license details and vehicle registration details. Also if possible get photographs and/or video of the scene of the accident. Make sure the images or video show the accident scene from different angles so that the viewer gets a clearer image of what transpired. Very often, this type of evidence will clearly show who was at fault for a particular accident.
When you get a chance, depending on your injuries, make sure you file a record of the accident at the nearest police station.
Do I need to notify my insurance company if the road traffic accident was not my fault?
Most insurance companies require you to notify them if you are involved in any road traffic accident, regardless of whose fault it is. Even if your policy does not make this clear, it is a good idea to notify them anyway to safeguard your legal rights.
Should I accept compensation offered to me by the other driver’s insurance company?
It is not advisable to accept any out of court settlement if you are injured in a road accident that wasn’t your fault. In most cases, the amount offered to you will be far lower than what a personal injury solicitor could claim for you. Moreover, when you accept compensation from the insurance company, you waive your rights to file any compensation claim in the future. If your injuries turn out to be more serious than you thought, you will not be able to claim additional compensation to cover your medical expenses.
What are my chances of winning compensation in case of a road accident that was not my fault?
There is no universal answer that is applicable to all road accidents. There are several factors that will have to be taken into consideration to determine whether or not your accident claim will be successful. The best thing to do is to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. These legal experts have the experience and expertise to assess the merits of your road accident claim and give you the best advice.
What evidence will the personal injury solicitor ask me for?
Photographs of the scene of the accident and of your injuries, witness statements, and your doctor’s assessment are the basic documentation that can help support your RTA claim. If any CCTV or dashcams captured the accident as it happened, submit a copy of those recordings to the solicitor.
Were the police called to the scene of the accident? File the police record as part of your supporting documents.
How will I fund my compensation claim?
If the personal injury solicitor you approach determines that you have a strong case in your favor, funding your claim will not be a problem at all. Most personal injury solicitors will help fund your RTA claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This is a contract that states that the solicitor will bear all the legal expenses related to your claim until it is concluded. If your claim is successful, you pay the solicitor a percentage of the total amount awarded to you. If your claim is unsuccessful, you are not liable to cover any legal fees.
How much compensation can I expect to win if my claim is successful?
The total amount awarded to you will depend on several different factors, mainly the severity of your injuries and the length of time it takes you to recover. You should expect to get reimbursed for all medical expenses related to the road traffic accident as well as monetary losses arising from lost wages.
You should also be reimbursed for any expenses related to home care or structural changes to your home or vehicle. In addition, you will be compensated for pain and suffering and loss of amenity. One of the advantages of having a personal injury solicitor to represent you is that they will ensure that you get the maximum compensation due to you.
Is there a time limit for filing a traffic accident claim?
In most cases, claimants are required to file their RTA claim within 3 years from the date of the accident. You may forfeit any right to claim compensation if your case is not filed within the 3 year statutory limitation. This may seem like ample time to start your claim but the fact is there is a lot of work involved in putting together a successful RTA claim.
The sooner you contact a personal injury solicitor, the more time they will have to work on presenting a strong claim on your behalf without worrying about the looming deadline.
What if the offending driver did not have vehicle insurance?
This happens more often than you may think. Fortunately, your legal right to compensation is protected. In this case, your solicitor will submit your claim to the MIB or Motor Insurers’ Bureau. The MIB will carry out their own investigations and proceed according to their findings. The MIB compensates no-fault traffic accident victims from funds collected by all UK insurers who contribute annually.