Car Accident Compensation Guide. Winston Solicitors LLP

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1 Car Accident Compensation Guide Winston Solicitors LLP

2 Compensation guide If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident on the road, it is important that you receive advice on your rights, responsibilities and whether you can make a compensation claim to recover any loss or damage. You may have been injured, in which case you almost certainly should be seeking legal advice. The information contained within this brief document will help to guide you through the aftermath and help you to focus on key legal issues. Your accident What basic steps should you follow after an accident on the road? Make notes: Note down key information ie name of other driver(s), contact tel numbers (landline no. is better than a mobile), registration number of other vehicle (very important), insurance details if known. Record any known witness details. Take photos: It is a good idea to take a few photos of the scene and aftermath photographing the vehicles involved (with permission) and their positions on the road, can be very useful Call your insurers: Get your insurers involved asap and record he incident with them. Call a road accident lawyer: if you have been injured in the accident or have other legal queries / problems that cannot be handled by the insurers. Police involvement: You may choose the call the police but they are infrequent visitors nowadays to most road accident scenes. They will attend any accident where people are injured or an ambulance has been requested. They will also attend where vehicles are causing obstruction to other road users. Generally though, for minor incidents the police do not attend and do not need to be called provided that the parties involved cooperate with each other and abide by the basic legal requirements following an accident. CLAIMSCONNECTION: Car accident compensation guide 1

3 Your rights If you have been hurt or your property has been damaged as a result of a negligent party s act, the law allows for you to make a compensation claim to recover your loss. You may be entitled to compensation for any of the following heads of claim: Personal injury Vehicle repair costs Loss of use - whilst your vehicle is not drivable (assuming you do not hire a alternative vehicle) Replacement vehicle hire costs Lost earnings Other out of pocket expenses It is important that you make a note of the other party s vehicle registration number at the time of your accident. This information is very important as it will lead your legal advisors and / or insurers directly to the compensator who ultimately will deal with any claim. Involve the police if you really think this is necessary see our notes above regarding this. Your claim Before discussing the legal situation you may wish to read a brief summary of the insurance cover options that will apply to most vehicle owners following an accident. Comprehensive insurance cover Anyone that has paid a costly premium for fully comprehensive insurance cover may wish to avail themselves of the benefits immediately after an accident. The cover provided by most CLAIMSCONNECTION: Car accident compensation guide 2

4 insurers is extremely effective and will take away 90% of the stress that follows a road accident. The cover is pretty straightforward. Your insurers will deal with any claim you make for vehicle damage (including write offs) and certain out of pocket expenses / personal effects (damaged clothing etc). There will be monetary restrictions on what amounts can be claimed for non vehicle losses but any shortfalls may be recoverable from the responsible party s insurers. TOP TIP Some people may choose to preserve their No Claims Discount (NCD) and opt not to involve their own insurers. There is a risk that in more contentious cases where liability may be disputed, the NCD will be prejudiced so this is worth bearing in mind. You may be able to use the services of a good road accident solicitor immediately after an accident, instead of dealing solely with your insurers. Third Party Fire & Theft cover Third Party Fire & Theft (TPF&T) cover is very limited as far as the policyholder is concerned, in an accident situation. Setting aside the fire and theft benefits which are not relevant here, this level of cover is designed only to provide protection for claims against you rather than claims you may wish to present yourself. If you have this cover you are pretty much on your own as far as any claim for vehicle damage and associated losses are concerned. TOP TIP The responsible party s insurers may deal with your claim directly and in many cases will treat you respectfully. If however, you are also claiming for personal injury or more complex losses (such as lost earnings) it is strongly recommended that you do not go direct to an insurer but instead seek legal advice. Call our helpline for further advice. CLAIMSCONNECTION: Car accident compensation guide 3

5 Third Party Only cover If you have paid for Third Party Only (TPO) insurance protection then that as above is all you will be receiving protection against claims from third parties should you be liable for causing injury or damage. Claiming for personal injury If you or any vehicle occupants suffer injury in an accident that was caused by another party, then you may well be able to claim compensation for pain and suffering, treatment costs and legal fees. Personal injury claims following road accidents have been simplified over the years as court action has been positively discouraged by the judiciary. From the end of April 2010 the Ministry of Justice RTA reforms have come into effect, which now make it even simpler for claimants to win much needed compensation without the risk, hassle and stress of going to court. How much compensation will be paid? Without medical evidence and a full history of the accident related injury, no solicitor can reasonably provide an accurate estimate of a likely award. However here at the Claims Connection we can provide a guideline of likely damages based on our own experience of dealing hands on with thousands of personal injury claims. CLAIMSCONNECTION: Car accident compensation guide 4

6 Here is a summary of what awards can be achieved for certain injury types Body area Injury type Severe Moderate Minor Neck Neck injuries 8,750-16,000 5,000-8, ,750 Most cases fall into this bracket Back Back injuries 24,750-44,500 17,750-24,750 Up to 5,000 Knee Ligament injury 9,000-17,000 9,300-16,880 3,000-9,300 Lower leg Fractured tibia 5,000-9,500 5,000-7,500 3,500-5,000 Fractured fibula 5,000-9,000 4,500-7,500 3,000-4,500 Ankle Fracture and ligament injury 8,750-17,000 5,000-8,750 3,000-5,000 Who pays your legal bill? Winston Solicitors LLP who manage the Claims Connection service offer No win No fee services to claimants injured in road accidents. If you were not responsible for an accident, we will take on your case. If you win your claim then your legal costs will be paid as part of your settlement and you will receive *100% of your compensation payment. * The 100% agreement does not apply to cases involving hit and run drivers or criminal injury cases where legal fees are not recoverable TOP TIP As stated above it is strongly recommended that you do not go direct to an insurer if you are claiming for personal injury. A solicitor can be hired at no cost to you and the end result will be far more satisfactory. A direct claim without a solicitor may be under-settled by as much as 40%. Speak to a solicitor before you make any decision regarding your claim you have nothing to lose and nothing to pay when hiring a solicitor for a claim of this kind. CLAIMSCONNECTION: Car accident compensation guide 5

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