A Guide to Road Accidents

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1 A Guide to Road Accidents

2 Contents About this Guide 2 Introduction to Road Accidents 3 How long will a Road Accident Claim take? 4 The Personal Injury Claims Process for a Car Accident 5 Motorcycle Accident Claims 6 Taxi Accident Claims 6 Bus Accident Claims 7 How to find a good Personal Injury Solicitor 8 Contact Us 9

3 About this Guide Injury Claim Specialists have always been proud to offer clear, sensible, straightforward personal injury claims advice. The aim of this Guide to Road Accidents is to provide you with a good understanding of how to make a personal injury claim if you have been in injured in a road accident and believe it to be someone else s fault. You will find information on a wide range of road accident topics including how to make a claim for common situations such as car accidents, or more infrequent incidents such as bus accidents. Personal injury law, as with most law is complex, but with the right advice and information, making an injury claim can be quite simple and straightforward. Be sure to read through the guide and pay special attention to the sections that are applicable to your situation and you will have a far better idea of what s involved in making a claim for a road accident, whether or not you could be entitled to compensation and the processes involved in making a claim. There are a number of sections to follow that will help to give you a far better understanding of what to do if you are involved in a road accident: 1. Introduction to Road Accidents 2. How long will a Road Accident Claim take? 3. The Personal Injury Claims Process for a Car Accident 4. Motorcycle Accident Claims 5. Taxi Accident Claims 6. Bus Accident Claims 7. How to find a good Personal Injury Solicitor

4 Introduction to Road Accidents Road accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injuries. The types of injuries sustained can vary from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, and in some cases there are even fatalities. According to the Department for Transport, there were a total of 203,950 casualties as a result of road accidents in 2011 and 1,901 of these were fatalities. Therefore, it isn t exactly uncommon to be involved in a road accident and if someone else is at fault you could well be able to make a personal injury claim and receive a compensation pay-out. It is every road user s responsibility to drive safely and carefully to ensure that they and other drivers are not put in harm s way. However, as was made evident by the statistics released by the Department for Transport, accidents do happen and people can get hurt. The most common causes of road accidents are drivers who don t look both ways at junctions, drive fast or don t control the vehicle properly. If you are involved in a road accident it is essential that you do the following: 1. Talk to witnesses Witnesses are a major part of any injury claim as they are able to confirm your version of events. As a result, if you are in any fit state to do so at the time of your accident, be sure to look around for witnesses and take down their contact details so that you can get in touch with them at a later date. 2. Seek medical advice Before you even think about making a claim, you have to ensure that your health is the number one priority. Go to hospital as soon as possible to get yourself checked out and receive medical treatment for your injuries. Furthermore, the medical report that is constructed from this will be a vital piece of evidence as it details exactly what is wrong with you and how the accident will impact your life. 3. Take photographs Much like with witnesses, taking photographs is something else that you need to do if you are able to at the time of the accident. For example, if your accident was caused by a pothole in the road then take a photograph of it. This can then be presented if a claim is made. 4. Inform your insurance company You will need to inform your insurance company of the accident and provide them with a crime reference number if the police were involved. It is also important that you double check with them that you have gathered all of the relevant details to ensure that there aren t any gaps in your case. 5. Find a personal injury solicitor A personal injury solicitor will be able to manage the claim for you and help to ensure that your case is as strong as possible. Solicitors do come in all shapes and sizes, it s essential that you find the best solicitor for your case to give you the best chance of winning. Injury Claim Specialists have produced a guide which is rich with information on what to look out for when hiring a solicitor and how to find the best one for your case, click here for more information.

5 Introduction to Road Accidents Continued Once you and your solicitor are ready to initiate the claims process the other party will then be contacted via letter to inform them that you wish to make a claim for your injuries and that you want a certain amount of compensation. Their legal team has 3 months in which to respond to this initial contact. If they decide to accept the blame for your accident, both legal teams will then enter into negotiations as to how much compensation will be paid. However, if they reject fault, the claim is likely to go to court and be settled by a judge. It is never in anyone s best interests to go to court as this can result in hefty fees. Therefore, it is always better to settle a claim before it gets this far. How Long Will a Road Accident Claim Take? It is important to remember that each individual personal injury claim case is different. Road accidents in particular can vary greatly in terms of the severity of the injuries sustained and how the accident occurred. The average claim takes around 8 months to complete, but some can take longer. Therefore it is essential that you hire a good solicitor and don t attempt to rush through the claims process as this could result in there being clear gaps in your case. One way of reducing the duration of an injury claim is by ensuring that you have hard evidence to support your version of events. If the evidence can easily be argued it is likely that the other side will look to drag the case on longer or even look to take things to court if they feel that they have a valid defence. Your personal injury solicitor will be able to give you more information on what evidence will best support your case. If you would like to find out more information on how long a road accident could take, click here.

6 The Personal Injury Claims Process for a Car Accident Due to the amount of car drivers on the roads, it is no surprise that the majority of road accidents in the UK involve cars. If you are involved in a car accident that wasn t your fault, you could well have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim. When making a claim, the compensation amount doesn t just take into account your personal injury; there are a number of other factors that are considered: Loss of earnings Repairs to your vehicle Damage to your own property Transport costs such as taxi and train fares Ultimately, any financial cost that you incur as a result of a personal injury can be claimed for. After all, why should you suffer financially because of the negligence of another person? To initiate the claims process for a car accident you need to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. This could be anyone such as the driver of another vehicle, the driver of the vehicle you were in or perhaps a pedestrian who crossed the road dangerously causing you to sharply swerve out of the way and crash as a result. In the Introduction to Road Accidents section we highlighted the types of evidence that can usually help to strengthen a claim. Be sure to cover as many of them as possible. Furthermore, if the other driver admits to having no insurance or flees the scene (take down their registration if possible) you must contact the police immediately. They will then be able to provide you with a crime reference number which acts as evidence in your claim. Once you have gathered all of the evidence that you can, you are now in a position talk to a personal injury solicitor and present your case to them. You have 3 years from the time of the accident to make a claim, or 3 years from the time that your injuries became apparent. A solicitor will be able to discuss with you how to make a personal injury claim and how much compensation they feel that the claim could be worth. Moreover, don t be deterred by hefty legal fees, in most cases, your costs are covered by the other side if your claim is successful. However, should you lose; you will have to pay your solicitor unless they operate on a no-win-no-fee basis. Be sure to discuss with your solicitor exactly what happens in terms of costs you have to pay whether you win or lose Our designated car accident claims page will be able to help you find out more information on how to make a claim.

7 Motorcycle Accident Claims Motorcyclists are arguably the most vulnerable road users largely due to their lack of protection. As a motorcyclist it is vital that you take extra care when using the roads for this precise reason, however unfortunately accidents can happen which lead directly to motorcyclists sustaining injuries or worse. Some of the primary causes of motorcycle accidents include: Driving into a pothole and being thrown from the motorcycle Colliding with another road user Skidding on diesel/petrol spills As with all personal injury claims, you have the right to claim for any financial loss that you have incurred. This includes aspects such as loss of earnings and damage to personal property. When you have an initial meeting with a personal injury solicitor be sure to discuss all elements that you can claim for so that you receive the compensation amount that you deserve. Our claiming for future losses page can give you a much better idea of exactly what you can claim for. Taxi Accident Claims Many of us use taxis on a regular basis, particularly in large metropolitan areas. Drivers of such vehicles do so for a living and have received ample training to ensure that they always drive in a safe and responsible manner. However, there have been reported incidents of taxi accidents, both due to the fault of the driver or another party. If you are involved in a taxi accident it is imperative to identify who is responsible for the accident as that is ultimately whom you will raise a claim against. Therefore, if your taxi driver was driving responsibly and the accident was due to factors out of their control, then they would not be liable for your injuries. A great way of identifying who is at fault if you yourself are not fully aware is to talk to witnesses and ask for their version of events; furthermore if the accident occurred in an area that is monitored by CCTV you could have a look at the tapes. CCTV footage is one of the best forms of evidence you can have, the other side cannot argue hard video footage.

8 Taxi Accident Claims Continued It is also important to take down the details of your taxi driver if you are in an accident as this helps to prove which taxi you were in and who was driving. Each driver will have their own unique ID which is displayed within the vehicle, and it is also worth noting down the registration plate of your taxi and all other vehicles involved. Once you have established who is responsible for the accident and gathered some evidence to support your case, you are now in a position to speak to a personal injury solicitor. There are a number of solicitors who offer free consultations, so be sure to take advantage of this. You can receive advice on your case such as the likelihood of it being successful, how much compensation you could receive and more. The best part is that all of this will be free of charge. Take a look at our How to Find a Good Personal Injury Solicitor section for more information on finding the right solicitor to manage your claim. For more information on how to make a taxi accident claim, click here. Bus Accident Claims Bus accidents are one of the less common types of road accidents but there are still reported cases each year. Furthermore, bus accidents also include incidents such as dangerous driving by the driver which causes passengers to be thrown from their seats. As a result, any form of accident you have on a bus is generally considered as a bus accident claim. As with any type of injury claim, it is paramount that you establish who is at fault for the accident which caused your injuries. This could be the driver of your bus or another driver. If it was the fault of your driver, then they and the bus company would be liable for what happened and you raise a claim with them. However, if the driver wasn t at fault then you will need to make a claim against the other party. In order to fully understand who is responsible, you and your solicitor may need to talk to all parties involved to ensure that a claim is raised with the right person. Furthermore, this is another reason why gathering witness statements and contact details is so important, as their take on events can help to highlight exactly who is responsible for the accident. Our bus accident claims page will provide you with more information on how to make a claim.

9 How to Find a Good Personal Injury Solicitor Finding the right legal representation is an essential part of any personal injury claim. A solicitor is the person who manages your claim and ultimately decides what strategy to employ. Therefore, you need to get the decision right and ensure that the solicitor you hire possesses the appropriate skills and experience. What you need to look for in a personal injury solicitor: How much trial experience do they have? The majority of personal injury claims are settled before they even get to court. Therefore, there are a number of solicitors who have never had to go to court. Ideally, you want to find a solicitor who has been to court before just in case your claim goes that far. This way, they shouldn t be in unfamiliar territory which increases your chances of the claim being successful, compared to if you hired a solicitor who hadn t been to court before. Do they specialise in a specific area of personal injury law? Many personal injury solicitors specialise in specific areas of personal injury law. Try to find one who specialises in road accidents as they should have the experience to increase the chances of your claim being successful. Have they handled a similar case before? If your solicitor has been successful with a similar case before, it is likely that they will know the best strategy to employ in order to win the case. How much compensation would they expect to receive? Just like when you sell a house, different estate agents vary in how much they value your house at. Well the same is true for personal injury. Talk to a few different solicitors and find out how much they believe your claim is worth. Now that you know what to look for in a personal injury solicitor you can start your search. One of the best places to find a personal injury solicitor is Google as you can instantly gain access to both regionally and nationally based solicitors. Make sure that you contact a number of different solicitors and see if they offer a free consultation. Have a few meetings and then you ll be able to make a more informed decision about which solicitor is best suited to your case. We hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. For more information on road accident claims and other types of personal injury, take a look at the Injury Claim Specialists website.

10 Contact Us If you have any questions or would like to find out more information about road-based personal injury claims then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Injury Claim Specialists KD Tower Cotterells Hemel Hempstead Herts HP1 1FW

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