A car accidents claim is a recognised legal process in the UK whereby an individual can claim compensation for damage to themselves and their car in the event of a car accident. You can also recoup any expenses incurred as a direct result from the road traffic accident. A compensation claim is also commonly referred to as a damages claim because it can also incorporate damage sustained to yourself or your finances as a result of the accident.
Car Accidents – Collecting evidence and information
Immediately after the accident and providing that you can do so, take a photograph of the scene before anything is moved, capturing a photograph of any damage sustained to the vehicles involved. Note down the vehicle registration, colour, make and model of the other vehicles. It is also important to remember to swap details with the other parties involved. The more information you note down, the better. Take as much of the following information as you can;
- Personal details such as name, address and telephone number
- Insurance information of the vehicle
- Driving licence numbers
- Name and contact details of the registered keeper or company if the vehicle does not belong to the driver
- If the police attend, note down their names and badge numbers
After the event, your recollections of the incident may begin to fade so as soon as practicable after the incident, note down your version of events and try to be as detailed as you possibly can. In your account make a note of:
- The date and time of the incident
- The number of passengers in each of the vehicles and the number and type of vehicles involved in the accident
- A recollection of events as they happened
- Any significant hazards which may have contributed to the accident such as poor visibility, ice or water and the approximate speed of each vehicle
It is also important that you contact your insurance firm as soon as possible after the accident to inform them even if you are not going to pursue a car accident claim. If you do not notify your insurance company within a given time-scale, your policy may be invalidated and can present problems at a later stage if the other party involved in the accident decides to pursue a claim against you and your vehicle.
Car accidents claim process
In the UK the claims process begins when your appointed solicitor sends a letter known as a letter of claim to the responsible driver of the vehicle involved in the accident. The letter of claim needs to be quite detailed and therefore should be completed by a qualified solicitor. The letter should include:
- Your full name and address detailsA negligence allegation against the driver at fault
- A full account of how the accident occurred or how it happened
- A comprehensive description of the injuries that you sustained including both physical and psychological
- A written request for the driver of the other vehicle to supply the relevant documents in order to pursue the claim in addition to requesting the driver at fault to submit a copy of the letter to their insurance company
As the letter needs to be quite detailed and it needs to contain certain technical terms, it is important that it is drafted by a knowledgeable solicitor. Not only will your letter have a greater impact, it will also be taken much more seriously and you may even receive a larger amount of compensation as a result. What’s more, you may also be able to include any legal fees that you have incurred in your compensation amount. It is important to remember however that this letter of claim is not enough on its own to pursue your claim. You will have to instigate formal legal proceedings against the driver at fault. This is a formal process which includes the completion of certain legal papers and related documents, submitting a court fee and providing adequate medical evidence to show exactly what injuries that you sustained. To submit a claim for car accidents you have three years from the date of the incident.
Accident Advice Helpline can help you win the compensation you deserve following your accident. With our help, we can match you to the best solicitor for your situation, and will take all the stress out of the process. Contact us today on our 24 hour advice helpline on 0800 689 0500 or take our simple online test to see if you can claim.
Date Published: 8th October 2012
Author: David Brown