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Car crash injury claims

Car accidents are a common occurrence, which kill or injure millions of people every year. They can be a result of negligent driving, faulty vehicle, driving under influence or purely by overestimating ones driving abilities. Whenever a road traffic accident occurs it needs to be reported if any injuries or damage to vehicles takes place. It is important to write down everything that happened whilst the incident is fresh in our minds. If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault you can claim compensation for the suffered injuries or damage to your car.

What to do if an accident occurs?

If you are involved in a car accident regardless of whose fault it was, there is certain information you should try to obtain in order to help the insurance company to assess the situation. If you are unable to collect the information there and then (you might be in shock or injured), you should try to obtain it at a later stage by going back to the scene of the accident as soon as you are able to and making some detailed notes. Information required:

  • Date and time of the accident
  • Names and contact details of people involved: drivers, passengers, pedestrians or witnesses
  • Details of the cars involved: make, models, registration numbers, colours and any distinguishing features as well as insurance details for the drivers
  • Description of the damage to the cars involved
  • Name and the police officer’s collar number or numbers of other emergency services if any attended the scene of the accident
  • Description of the weather conditions and visibility at the time of the accident and whether the cars used headlights, indicators etc.
  • Description of the accident itself: what happened, positions of the cars involved, estimated speed of the vehicles, type of road, markings etc.
  • Description of any injuries to the parties involved
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  • Photographs if anyone present at the scene has taken any

Next steps

You need to report the accident; it is an offence to refuse to give your details if there were any injuries resulting from the accident or any damage to the cars. You should inform your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. The insurance company may recommend a solicitor if you want to make a claim however it is your choice which solicitors you hire and you do not have to follow their advice.

Making a claim

When the accident was not your fault

If the accident was not your fault you can make a Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim for any losses resulting from the accident (injury, suffering, cost of treatment, loss of wages or expenses incurred). You must bring a claim within three years of the date you sustained an injury. You may be entitled to a make a claim under Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Steps in making a claim

To start a claim you need to send a letter of claim to the responsible party’s insurance company. The insurers have then got 21 days to acknowledge that they have received your claim and further 3 months to investigate the circumstances of the accident and respond to your letter. They might reply by:

  • Accepting liability for the accident: you will have to collect the medical evidence or the proof of financial losses to support your claim and agree the amount of compensation
  • Dispute or deny liability: in which case they will blame you or another third party for the accident

If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties it is advisable to start court proceedings. You will have to collect evidence and present it to the judge as part of your case in order for them to make a decision and order an amount of compensation, if any is appropriate.