If you have been injured in an accident on the UK’s roads then you may find yourself wondering whether or not your accident can be classed as a road traffic accident. So what is the road traffic accident definition? A road traffic accident is defined as ‘An accident resulting in bodily injury to any person or damage to property caused by, or arising out of, the use of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place in England and Wales.’ Of course, motor vehicle accidents occur in Scotland too, and Accident Advice Helpline could help you claim compensation for an accident anywhere in the UK, if somebody else was liable for your injuries.
According to figures from the Department for Transport, 24,610 people were seriously injured or killed in the year ending March 2016 – and many of those injuries will have been caused by another person driving dangerously. If this has happened to you, you have three years from the date of your accident to get in touch with us and make a claim, provided your accident meets the road traffic accident definition.
How does the road traffic accident definition affect the personal injury claims process?
In order to be able to claim compensation for an accident on the UK’s roads, two things must be true:
- Your accident must meet the road traffic accident definition
- Somebody else must be liable for your accident
When we talk about other people being liable for an accident, what does that really mean? Well, for example, if another driver was using their mobile phone at the wheel and rear-ended your vehicle, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your whiplash injuries. Or perhaps a driver ran a red light and smashed into the side of your parked car. In both these scenarios, the road traffic accident definition is met, and provided you have been injured, you could make a personal injury claim. It doesn’t matter if you have sustained minor injuries, such as bumps, bruises and whiplash, or a more serious injury like a brain injury – you can still get in touch with us to explore your options. Remember that you can claim for a whole range of other types of accidents that don’t meet the road traffic accident definition; for example an accident at work or a slip or trip in a public place.
What are the most common injuries sustained in road traffic accidents?
Since 2000, Accident Advice Helpline has handled hundreds of claims for injuries suffered in road traffic accidents, and here are some of the most common injuries we’ve come across:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries including concussion, skull fractures and brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
- Crush injuries
No matter how you have been injured, if you believe somebody else caused your accident, we can help you to claim. Did you know that mobile phone use is a leading cause of road traffic accidents – texting, in particular? In March 2017, stricter penalties were introduced for using a mobile phone whilst driving, and you could now face six points on your licence and a £200 fine if you’re caught breaking the law. This will hopefully reduce the number of accidents caused by mobile phone use – research shows you are four times more likely to crash if you’re using a phone behind the wheel.
What if your child has been injured in a road traffic accident?
It’s not just adults who can be injured if an accident occurs, as the road traffic accident definition states, ‘bodily injury to any person’. According to statistics from the Department for Transport, the number of child deaths and serious injuries on the roads in 2015 rose for the first time in 20 years. If your child has been hurt in a car accident, whether they were travelling in a vehicle with you or another family member or even getting the bus to school, you could make a claim for personal injury compensation on their behalf. Perhaps they have broken their leg and needed to take a couple of months off school?
You could find you’re entitled to make a claim not only for their injuries, but also for your own loss of earnings, as you may need to take time off to look after them. It can be a worrying time when a child is hurt, but Accident Advice Helpline can process your claim for compensation, and there’s usually no need to go to court, as most claims can be dealt with over the phone.
How likely are you to be injured or killed in a road traffic accident?
Whilst the road traffic accident definition categorises what a road traffic accident actually is, it doesn’t tell us anything about the risks of being injured or killed on the UK’s roads, and that is good to know. Figures from the Department for Transport showed a 3% rise in the number of people killed in road traffic accidents in the UK in 2016, compared to figures from the previous year. Whether this figure is due to mobile phone use at the wheel or a more careless attitude towards driving is hard to say, but there’s no need to panic just yet. Figures also show that, despite an average of five road deaths a day, the UK is still one of the safest countries in the world for motorists, so it’s not all bad news.
The more careful a driver you are, the less likely you are to be injured in a road traffic accident, although one thing you have no control over is other drivers. But you can take precautions, such as staying a safe distance from the car in front, particularly during wet weather, and staying aware of your surroundings, particularly if you feel that somebody else is driving dangerously or erratically.
Claiming compensation after your accident
Whether you’re sure your accident meets the road traffic accident definition or you’re not sure and need some more advice, you can call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out more about making a 100% no-win, no-fee claim. There are no upfront fees to pay, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch with us.
Date Published: November 6, 2016
Author: Paula Beaton