Road traffic accidents are unfortunately all too common, and with the roads in the UK getting busier and more of us than ever before commuting to work, it seems likely that people will continue making claims for road traffic accident injuries for the foreseeable future. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, whether the other driver was speeding, distracted at the wheel or over the drink-drive limit then you could find you are eligible to make a personal injury claim.
Accidents on the roads could injure the driver or passengers of a vehicle, or even other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. By law you must have a valid car insurance policy in place in order to legally drive a vehicle on the UK’s roads, and if you are injured in an accident that was caused by somebody else, you can pursue a claim against the other driver.
Even if they are uninsured or they flee the scene of the accident and can’t be traced, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) could help you to claim the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. There’s no need to feel guilty about making a claim for personal injury compensation, as insurance companies exist to ensure that you are compensated if you are hurt.
What should you do after a road traffic accident?
If you have suffered injuries in a road traffic accident, there are a number of things you can do which will be helpful if you later decide to make a claim. Here are a few examples:
- Try to get the details of the other party involved in the accident – if you are injured then police should attend and will normally take details for both parties
- If you can, get details of any witnesses to the accident too
- If you have a camera with you, or even your mobile phone, try to get some photos of the vehicles involved and the road conditions, if they are relevant (for example, if it’s snowing or wet)
- Get medical attention for your injuries – you’ll need to provide a copy of your medical report detailing your treatment in order to make a claim
- Take photos of your injuries, if possible
It’s important to point out that you don’t have to do any of these things in order to make a claim, but that they can be helpful. You can still make a claim even if you have no photographs of your accident or injuries, and Accident Advice Helpline will investigate your claim and gather evidence on your behalf.
What types of injuries could you suffer in a road traffic accident?
The types of injurIes suffered in an accident on the road will largely depend on how your accident happened, how fast you were travelling and whether you were in a vehicle, on a bike or motorbike or crossing the road as a pedestrian. Injuries to pedestrians can range from minor cuts and bruises to life-changing head and spinal injuries, if you are knocked over by a vehicle travelling at speed. Here are a few examples of the most common types of injuries that you could suffer:
- Cuts and bruises
- Serious lacerations and grazes, most common amongst cyclists and motorcycle riders who have been knocked off their bikes
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries such as fractured ribs or a punctured lung
- Spinal and back injuries, which could include vertebral fractures
- Head injuries including a brain injury, fractured skull or concussion
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Loss of limbs
As you can see, some of these injuries are relatively minor, but provided you have sought medical attention, you should be eligible to make a personal injury claim for these.
Have you suffered from whiplash?
Accident Advice Helpline has been helping members of the public claim compensation for road traffic accidents since 2000, and during that time we have handled our fair share of claims for whiplash injuries. In fact, whiplash is the most common type of injury sustained after a road traffic accident. It’s classed as a minor injury, normally due to the fact that you won’t be offered surgery, and generally gentle exercise and painkillers will allow the few weeks the injury needs to heal.
However, some people go on to suffer debilitating symptoms and chronic pain that does not resolve itself – and if you are unlucky you could suffer from pain for years after your accident, limiting your ability to work and impacting the rest of your life. Even a minor whiplash injury could lead to a few weeks or months off work, depending on your job, which can affect your family’s finances. We can help you make a claim for whiplash compensation provided you sought medical attention after your accident, and you could be surprised at how much you are entitled to receive.
How much compensation could you get after a road traffic accident?
This is without a doubt one of the questions that we hear most frequently at Accident Advice Helpline, and unfortunately there isn’t really a simple answer. The amount of compensation you could get after suffering injuries in an accident on the UK’s roads can vary tremendously, and so it’s hard for us to say exactly how much compensation you could be awarded.
You could take our 30-second test, which will give you an estimate of how much you could receive if your claim is successful, but this amount can change once we discuss all the different factors relating to your accident. For example, if you have suffered a whiplash injury after a rear-end collision, we’ll want to know how long your recovery time was or will be, and what treatment you have received for your injuries. But we’ll also take into account things like how long you needed to take off work and when you’ll be able to resume your normal level of activity, as well as any financial losses that have affected you and your family as a result of your accident.
Every claim is different, and that’s why we handle all claims on an individual basis, making it difficult for us to say how much you could be entitled to claim until we know all the facts.
Are you more likely to be injured in an accident in the city or on rural roads?
There are those who say that road traffic accidents are more common in cities due to the level of traffic on the roads and the congestion. But when you consider that traffic is generally moving faster on rural roads, it’s easy to say that you could sustain more serious injuries when you’re driving in the countryside. Drivers are generally travelling at 30mph or below in cities, but you could still sustain a nasty whiplash injury if you are shunted by another vehicle failing to stop at a red light, for example.
Rural roads may have more potholes and hazards than busy inner-city roads, and drivers may exceed the speed limit when they think nobody is looking, despite poor weather conditions. So it’s really hard to say whether you’re more at risk driving on rural or urban roads – the best that you can do is to try and drive safely at all times and remain a safe distance from other vehicles.
Can you claim compensation if you have been injured on your motorbike?
Since we were established in 2000, Accident Advice Helpline has helped thousands of motorcyclists to claim compensation after suffering serious injuries – we have even helped families of motorcyclists who have been killed in fatal crashes to claim compensation on their behalf. If you have been injured on your bike and you believe the other party was to blame, then we should be able to help you.
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen at junctions or anywhere where other road users are not looking out for motorbikes. It’s so important to check your mirrors and your blind spot before you move, particularly if you are travelling at speed on a motorway or approaching a junction. Motorcyclists are more at risk of injury than other road users too, as they don’t have the protection that a driver or passenger travelling in a car has.
Many motorbike injuries prove fatal or can be life changing, such as serious head and brain injuries, spinal injuries that lead to permanent disability or serious grazes and lacerations that leave permanent scars. The best way to find out if you could make a claim after a motorbike accident is to get in touch with us, but remember that there is a three-year time limit in place to do so.
Can you make a claim if someone you love has been killed in a road traffic accident?
If a family member has been killed in a fatal road traffic accident caused by somebody else, then Accident Advice Helpline may be able to help you make a claim for personal injury compensation. It may be that the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was speeding when the road was wet or icy and caused a collision with your family member’s vehicle.
At the end of the day, if the other party was responsible for their accident, you can talk to us. We have over 16 years’ experience helping people to claim compensation after the death of a loved one, and our advisors are trained to listen and support you during a difficult time.
Of course, no amount of compensation will ever bring back your loved one, but making a fatal injury claim can be a positive step in the right direction when it comes to moving forwards. If your claim is successful, you could be entitled to compensation that can help your family to cope financially after their accident, particularly if they were the main wage earner.
What happens now?
We encourage anybody considering making a personal injury claim after their road traffic accident to complete our 30-second test. Once you have your estimated of the amount you could be awarded more, it may help you decide whether or not you want to proceed with a claim. You can call us at any time for confidential advice after your accident, and there is no obligation to go ahead with a claim.
You might be ready to make a personal injury claim, but equally it may be that you just want to find out a bit more about the claims process and see if you’re eligible to make a claim, and that’s okay too. It’s our job to offer advice and we will never pressure you into making a claim. Just remember that there’s a three-year time limit in place for most claims, and this can only be exceeded in very rare cases. It’s best to get in touch with us sooner, rather than later.
How to contact us
The best way to get in touch with us is to call our helpline on 0800 689 0500 from a landline or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile. You’ll be able to get advice from our expert advisors and find out more about what is actually involved in making a claim. We are able to process the majority of claims over the phone, so in most cases it’s unlikely that you’ll need to go to court to get the compensation you are entitled to.
Our lawyers work on a 100% no-win, no-fee* basis, so there are no upfront fees to pay if you decide to claim compensation with us – this means that even if you are struggling financially, you can afford to make a personal injury claim. Why not call us today with your questions? Our advisors and professional personal injury lawyers have all the answers you are looking for, and we’re waiting to take your call.