ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
Car Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. Even relatively minor car accidents can cause injuries such as whiplash injury.
As well as claiming compensation for the pain and suffering that the injury brings, you are also entitled to recover any financial losses that you incur.
IN THIS SECTION…
Car Accident Compensation Claims
Before you make contact with an expert car accident compensation solicitor like the ones at Mooneerams solicitors, it is worth taking stock to ensure that you have as many helpful details to pass on to your solicitor as possible to enable them to get your claim for compensation underway.
If you are reading this at a time when you haven’t yet thankfully been involved in a car accident, then it is worth checking out what you need to do following an accident, then you are fully prepared, in case you are ever involved in one!
What To Do After A Car Accident
- It might seem obvious, but the first thing to do is to stop. Don’t disappear from the scene. It is in fact your legal duty to stop and s170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it a criminal offence not to do so
- If your car is driveable (and your injuries to you or any passengers you have do not prevent you from doing so) move your vehicle to a safer position – park against the kerb or if the there is a layby close at hand, move into it
- If you or any other party to the accident is suffering from an injury, then call the police (and ambulance services if there appears need for them to attend)
- Exchange details with the driver of the other vehicle. Many people just take names and phone numbers, but if possible, get their address too and if they have them to hand, get them to provide the name of their insurance company together with their policy number
- If there were any witnesses to the accident and they have hung around, take their details too
- Make sure you write down the registration number of the vehicle or vehicles that collided with you. Make a note of the type of vehicle and the colour too
- Make a note of where the accident happened
- The beauty of almost everyone having a mobile phone with them these days, is that they will usually have a camera in them. Take photos of the scene of the accident, the damage to yours and any other vehicle involved, perhaps even of the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident if you are able to do so without it putting you in any danger. Many vehicle’s now have a dash cam fitted. The footage from that may be extracted later to see if it can be of use. Also, if any items being carried within your car were damaged, take photos of the items
- If your injuries prevent you from taking any of the above actions, then try and at least get an assurance that the police and ambulance services have been called, if you are not able to make contact with them yourself
When You Get Home
- Call the police within 24 hours of the accident to notify them of it if you did not produce your insurance details to the other party involved in the accident when asked to do so
- When you feel physically able to do so, it is a good idea to write down the circumstances of the accident and details of any discussions between you and any other parties to the accident and of any communication between you and any witnesses. Do this whilst the incident is still fresh in your mind. This will be helpful to your solicitors if you decide to make a claim for car accident compensation
- If you weren’t able to get the insurance details of the other driver(s) at the scene of the accident, call them to obtain them. If they refuse to provide them or prove obstructive in any way, notify the police. It is an offence for them not to provide them. The insurance details will be of importance to your solicitors as they will wish to make contact with them as soon as possible once you have instructed them to start making a claim for you
- Ensure you keep receipts of any item of expenses already incurred – for example if you have had to use taxis or public transport since the accident, because your car was not driveable after it happened. Make the keeping of receipts for expenses incurred as a result of the accident, an ongoing process
What Can I Claim For?
The general premise or theory in the law of England and Wales, is that when making a compensation claim, you are entitled to expect to be put back into the position, financially, that you were in, immediately before the accident happened. When you suffer a personal injury, the compensation that you will receive is the value that the law places on the particular type of injury you sustain. In cases involving serious injury, that may include compensation for rehabilitation costs or even the cost of adapting a home.
Even in more moderate injury claims, as well as compensation for the injury sustained, which is known as compensation for ‘pain and suffering’, you are entitled to recover associated costs such as medical bills eg cost of physiotherapy or osteopathy, if these were recommended by a medical expert.
Here’s a list of some of the things that you might be able to claim for, where they apply to your own particular car accident compensation claim;
- Compensation for the injury that you suffered (also known as compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.)
- Cost of rehabilitation which may include the cost of physiotherapy, osteopaths’ fees, or in more serious cases, the cost of specialist rehabilitation specific to the type of injuries sustained.
- Other costs of medical care
- Prescription costs
- Travel expenses
- Car hire – to cover the period whilst your own vehicle is off the road for repair. If your vehicle is written off in the accident, you may be able to hire a vehicle for a reasonable period following the accident, usually up until you receive an offer for the value of your vehicle from the insurance company. The charges incurred must be of a reasonable rate of hire and over a reasonable period, in order to recover them
- If you don’t hire a vehicle and are without transport for the same period as above, you may be entitled to claim compensation for what is known as loss of use and inconvenience
- Cost of repairs to your vehicle – if you are only insured Third Party Fire and Theft
- Insurance Excess – often when people take out comprehensive insurance, they are required to pay the first £X of any repair costs. Sometimes this may be as little as £50 but depending on your insurance policy it can be as much as £500 or more. This means that you will have to pay that amount first, once your vehicle has been repaired. However, you are entitled to recover this from the insurers of the driver who caused the accident
The list is not inclusive of all the expenses that you might be able to recover from the insurer of the driver at fault. As a general rule of thumb, if the expense incurred was both reasonable and necessary and was incurred directly as a result of the accident, then you will be entitled to recover the cost from the Insurer of the party responsible for the accident.
How Much Will I Receive For My Injury Compensation?
We take the view that providing general guideline figures for types of injuries sustained, without having the benefit of a medical report on the specific injury sustained by an individual client, is dangerous. This is because the same injury may affect different people in different ways, depending on their physique, lifestyle and other individual factors.
Once we have started your claim, you will be asked to attend a medical examination for the purpose of preparing a medical report to be used to progress your claim. Once we have that report and sent it to you for agreement, then we will be better placed to start giving you advice on the amount of compensation that you might expect to receive. Even then, it may be that you are advised to be re-examined at a future date, if you have not full recovered from the effect of the injuries, or if some kind of rehabilitation is required.
The solicitor at Mooneerams who is asked to handle your claim for compensation will be happy to provide you with general guidance as to the amount of compensation, otherwise known as damages, that you might expect to recover from the other driver’s insurance company, once your claim is underway.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
In England and Wales you have to have started your car crash claim within 3 years of the date of the accident.
At Mooneerams, we only act for injured claimants. That means we do not act for insurance companies in defending claims.
Call Mooneerams now on 029 2048 3615 if you have been injured in a car accident within the last 3 years. Alternatively fill in one of our quick claim forms or email us at [email protected] and we’ll get straight back to you.
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