Car Injury Claims
Car Injury Claims Guide
Car injury claims can be made when an injury has been caused by the negligence of a third party - be that another road user or the local authority for failing to maintain a safe road surface - however claiming compensation for injuries is an alien concept for many people who have never even considered taking legal action before.
Our guide to car injury compensation claims has been compiled to answer the questions which are frequently asked of our car injury claims solicitors, to help you decide whether to make a pursue a claim for compensation. We cannot cover all questions relating to the claims process, so we recommend that you call our claims hotline for a free one on one consultation with an experienced car injury claims solicitor.
What You Need To Do Following A Road Traffic Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident the first step is to call an ambulance and the police. If your injuries are not severe enough to warrant calling an ambulance, you should make your way to a hospital for a check-up as soon as possible. You need to make a record of all the drivers in the accident, and take down their car registration details, insurance policy numbers and driver´s license details. If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should record their names and addresses, and not rely on the police to do this for you.
A car injury claims solicitor will access your medical records to use them as evidence of injuries, and the police report will be used to prove the accident occurred. Many car injury claims fail due to a failure to report the accident to the police, or to seek medical attention promptly and obtain treatment for injuries.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
One of the most commonly asked questions of our car injury claims solicitors is how much compensation will be awarded. Unfortunately this is one question that is difficult to answer initially as in order to accurately calculate the level of compensation applicable in any given case, it is first necessary to conduct a thorough evaluation of the claim. This will include determining the extent and severity of the injuries sustained, how these injuries have affected an individual, and how long the recovery is expected to take. The specific circumstances of the accident must also be considered, along with any contributory negligence of the claimant, and even such information as the age, sex, and general health of the claimant. Only then and the value of car injury compensation claims be accurately calculated.
Many car injury claims solicitors and claims companies use a claims calculator to give a ball park figure, which uses past court precedents and compensation awards to calculate a compensation figure. However compensation claims calculators are inconsistent and can often lead to false hopes. While we can give you an indication of what has been previously awarded in similar claims, no two cases are exactly alike. It is only when a full evaluation of your individual case has been conducted, that an accurate compensation figure can be provided.
How Is Car Injury Compensation Awarded?
Car injury compensation claims are awarded as general damages and special damages. General damages are calculated for such intangible factors such as pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Assigning a value to broken wrist for instance, will involve how this injury has affected the claimant. If this injury has prevented the claimant from engaging in their favourite sport for instance, this loss of amenity would be factored into any general damages claim. As previously mentioned, age also affects a general damages claim especially when an accident has caused permanent disability. A young man with his full life ahead of him would be likely to be awarded more compensation than an 85 year old man with the same injuries.
Special damages are far easier to calculate in car injury claims, as they cover quantifiable costs and expenses that have resulted from the accident and injuries. Special damages for car injury claims can include any legitimate expense arising from the accident, provided that it can be supported by appropriate receipts or invoices. These can include car repair costs, replacement vehicle hire and loss of fuel, as well as expenses arising from medical treatment, loss of income, and even financial loss from events that have been missed.
Timescales for Car Injury Claims
Car injury claims must be made within the correct legal time scale, which is governed by the UK statute of limitations. The statute of limitations ensures that a third party does not live in fear of litigation forever, and also for practical reasons. The longer the time period is between an accident and the claim, the harder it can be to prove negligence. Making a claim while the accident is fresh in the mind can greatly increase the chances of success. The UK statute of limitations is set at 3 years from the date of the injury, although there are some exceptions to this law.
When an accident causes an injury to a child, the three year time limit does not begin until the child's 18th birthday, as minors are not able to claim compensation in the UK. When injuries sustained in an accident are not immediately apparent, the clock may only start ticking from the date of discovery of the injury, and when a victim has suffered mental incapacity in an accident, the statute of limitations may never apply. In order to determine how long you have to make a claim, you should contact a car injury claims solicitor as soon as possible after the event, to ensure that your claim can be initiated in the correct legal time frame.
Making Car Injury Claims for Children
An injury to a child can be a highly traumatic for parents, and it is only natural that compensation is sought to compensate for any injuries sustained. Since a child cannot make a claim for compensation, a parent or legal guardian can act as the child's "litigation friend" and can pursue compensation on their behalf. Any compensation awarded is then held by the courts, and is released on the child's 18th birthday. When funds are required for legitimate expenses such as medical treatment, a judge can order the release of a proportion of the funds.
A car injury compensation claims solicitor should always be consulted if you are considering making a claim as a litigation friend. Child injury compensation is always dealt with by the UK courts, and having an experienced solicitor working the case will ensure that your child receives the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.
Car Injury Claims and Uninsured Drivers
Every driver is required to have insurance, as it is the insurance company which pays compensation in the event of an injury when their client is the negligent party. In the case of an accident involving an uninsured driver, there is no insurance policy against which a claim can be made. In such circumstances, car injury claims are made against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). The Motor Insurers Bureau in the UK is a private body which was set up to allow victims of road traffic accidents access to compensation when a driver is uninsured, or in hit and run accidents when the driver cannot be located. Claims made against the MIB can be highly complex, and an experienced car injury claims solicitor should always be consulted.
How Long Do Car Injury Claims Take to Resolve?
The time taken from issuing of a claim letter to payment of compensation can vary considerably depending on the complexity of the case. Simple cases where negligence is accepted and the injuries are minor would usually take between 6 to 12 months to be resolved. When liability is denied and a car injury claims solicitor is required to prove negligence, the time period can be considerably longer.
Severe injuries can see the claim time prolonged greatly. It is usually only possible to obtain the necessary medical reports after the symptoms of the injury have subsided. In cases where there is a longer lasting disability or even permanent health problems, a medical report may not be issued until at least 6 months after the injury was sustained. After having the opportunity to fully assess a case, a car injury compensation claims solicitor will be able to give you an idea of how long a case will take to resolve, and when you can expect to receive compensation.
When negligence is accepted, or a case is particularly strong, a car injury claims solicitor can apply to a judge to order interim payments to be made. These can be vital for a claimant when the costs of treatment are high, and can ease the financial burden while a final settlement for damages is negotiated with an insurer.
Free Advice on Car Injury Claims for Compensation
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, have been injured as a passenger, or have been knocked off your motorbike or bicycle and the accident was not entirely your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. Our No Win No Fee solicitors are available to take your call and answer any questions you have about claiming compensation, and will give you a free assessment on whether you are eligible to claim and if you qualify for No Win No fee representation.
Our car injury claims hotline is staffed 24 hours a day every day of the year, or alternatively enter your personal details in the contact form below and one of our panel of car injury claims solicitors will call you back to discuss your entitlement to compensation.