Road Traffic Accident Claims - Frequently Asked Questions

March 21, 2019

 How do I go about making a claim?

During the initial appointment we'll gather as much information about your claim as possible in order to work out who is responsible for the accident and the extent of any injuries and losses you have suffered. We’ll also take the time to establish any rehabilitation needs you may have and look to assist you with arranging vehicle repairs where possible.

We’ll identify the correct third party insurance company from the vehicle details you have supplied to us and get your claim submitted to them swiftly. We will then do everything possible to get an admission of fault from them. 

 

In the vast majority of cases the compensation amount you receive will be agreed with your opponent. Where this isn’t possible, the case will need to go to court – we’ll support you every step of the way if this happens in your case.

How long will my claim take?

 

There are two main factors that affect the duration of your claim:

 

1. Whether or not the third party concedes liability

2. The extent of your injuries and how long it will take for you to recover

If liability is admitted swiftly and your injuries are limited to a relatively minor soft tissue (whiplash) injury, then your claim could be settled within a matter of a few months. However, if you have suffered more complex injuries and treatment is required it is likely your claim will take longer to conclude as more medical evidence will have to be obtained before we can accurately value your claim and commence settlement negotiations.

How much compensation will I receive?

It is almost impossible to predict exactly how much compensation you will receive for your claim right from the outset. People often think that certain injuries will automatically attract a specific amount of compensation but this is not the case. When you make a claim your pain and suffering, treatment, recovery time and any financial impact are all taken into account. For that reason, we can only provide an accurate valuation of your claim once your medical evidence is finalised, treatment is completed and all your financial losses have been documented and calculated.

 

Our Compensation Calculator will however give you a projected value for a wide variety of injuries and can help you to assess whether or not you wish to pursue a claim. Unfortunately, no compensation calculator can provide you with an accurate valuation of your compensation award simply because solicitors need to know all the critical aspects of your individual case to be able to accurately assess the compensation due to you.

Do I have to attend a medical examination?

If you've been injured in a road traffic accident we strongly recommend that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Many people choose to self-medicate particularly if their injuries appear minor in nature, however your injuries could be more serious than they first appear and therefore it is always best to get them checked by a medical professional.

During the course of the claim you will also need to attend an examination with an independent medical expert. This is something we will arrange for you. The medical examination will enable the independent medical expert to create a detailed report which will help us to determine the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on you. The medical report is crucial your case and enables us to accurately value your compensation claim.

What financial losses can I recover?

In addition to your injury compensation, known as general damages, you can also recover any out of pocket expenses caused directly by the accident. These items are collectively referred to as special damages.

The most common financial losses included in a road traffic accident claim are:

· Vehicle Repairs/Total Loss Payment

· Hire Charges

· Storage Charges

· Loss of Earnings

· Insurance excess

· Treatment Costs

· Prescription or Over the Counter Medication Charges

· Damage to Personal Property

· Travel Expenses

Any financial losses claimed have to be supported by documentary evidence such as receipts or invoices. Our solicitors will help you collate a list of your financial losses and assist you in gathering any evidence needed to support these losses to ensure that you are not out of pocket as a result of your non-fault accident.

Can I still claim if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt?

If you have been involved in a non-fault road traffic accident whilst not wearing a seatbelt, you will still be able to claim compensation. Any compensation you receive will however be reduced by up to 25%.

 

The failure to wear a seatbelt can often result in more serious injuries being suffered and as a result it is generally considered that you have therefore contributed towards your own injuries. Your final compensation award is therefore reduced by either the third party insurers or the court to reflect this view.

My insurance company has suggested a law firm, am I obliged to use them?

The vast majority of insurance companies have favoured solicitors that they work with, often referred to as panel solicitors. You may find reference to this in your car insurance policy or any associated legal expenses documentation.

After you have reported an accident to your insurance company they will frequently offer to put you through to their panel solicitors to discuss your potential claim. These firms can often be situated some distance from your home address making it difficult for you to have any face to face contact with your solicitor.

Irrespective of whether your insurer wants you to instruct their panel solicitor, you are entitled to instruct a solicitor of your choosing. In short, your insurer cannot insist that you instruct their panel solicitors to pursue your claim. Further information can be found in this article.

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