Car Accident Injury Claims
Car Accident Injury Claims Guide
Our car accident injury claims guide answers the most common questions put to our personal injury solicitors. Car accident injury claims can be made when you have been injured in an accident which was caused by the negligence of a third party. This can be another road user or the local authority and as long as the accident was not entirely your fault, you should seek legal advice about making a claim for compensation.
Improving Your Chances of Success With Car Accident Injury Claims
When car accident injury claims are pursued by an experienced personal injury solicitor it can greatly improve your chances of success and should significantly increase the value of compensation you receive. Even experienced personal injury solicitors require that strong evidence is collected to support your claim, and a case will ultimately rely on the weight of evidence against the defence. The more evidence that you can collect to support your claim, the greater the chances of success will be. You should always make a personal note of the contact details of any witnesses when you have been involved in an accident as, while the police may do this when they attend the scene of an accident, it pays not to leave this to chance.
You must take down the details of the drivers responsible for the accident, including the vehicle registration details, the drivers licence number and their insurance policy details. Revisiting the scene of the accident to make a sketch or to take photographs after the event can also be useful, especially if you believe that the accident was due to the condition of the road surface and therefore negligence of the local authority. If you are not physically well enough to do so due to your injuries, you should ask a relative or close friend to do this for you. This needs to be done promptly, as an accident caused by a poorly maintained road surface will almost certainly make repairs a priority for the local authority.
Car Accident Injury Claims and Offers of Settlement
Compensation is paid by the defendant´s insurance company and, as a business, the insurer will be keen to reduce their liabilities and costs. A court case will dramatically increase the cost of any compensation claim and, should a car accident victim use a solicitor, the insurer will be liable to pay the claimants legal costs. There has been an increase in recent years of insurers contacting the victim of a car accident with an offer of settlement, even if the victim has not sought legal advice. Pressure can be applied to accept the claim, and the victim may be encouraged not to seek legal advice. Such offers of settlement may mean car accident injury claims need not be made, but the settlements offered may be far less than the victim´s full entitlement.
Car accident injury claims have a high potential to be under settled in such cases, and it is vital that a personal injury solicitor is consulted before an offer of compensation is accepted. Using a personal injury solicitor does not necessarily mean that the case will be taken to the courts, and in the majority of cases more appropriate compensation can be obtained. Any offer of settlement is one which the insurer is happy with paying, and it does not mean that the offer is fair or that it will cover all expenses arising as a result of any injury.
Making Car Accident Injury Claims as a "Litigation Friend"
Road accidents which cause brain injuries can prevent the victim from being able to make a claim, but it is still possible to claim compensation. In such cases it is possible for a friend or relative to pursue compensation on behalf of the victim as a "litigation friend". The litigation friend is usually the spouse of the victim, and is often required to "stand in" for the victim when an accident has caused brain damage, there has been a fatality or the victim has been left in a coma.
In legal terms the victim is called a "protected party", and a litigation friend may be appointed by the Court of Protection. In cases where mental capacity is recovered during the course of the claim, the litigation friend would continue to pursue compensation until their role is ended by court order. In order to act as a litigation friend a person would need to file a Certificate of Suitability that they are competent to take on the role and that they have no interest in the claim. They must agree that they would personally be liable for any costs incurred by initiating legal action, such as those ordered to be paid by the claimant by the court or any disbursement costs incurred during the car accident injury claims process.
Car Accident Injury Claims for Passengers Involved in Road Traffic Accidents
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident as a passenger, in general you are in a position of strength when it comes to claiming personal injury compensation. Passengers are almost always innocent parties in road traffic accidents and unless your actions as a passenger led to the accident - such as by distracting the driver - you should be eligible to claim compensation. Car accident injury claims made by passengers have a high success rate; however it is always wise to use a personal injury solicitor when pursuing compensation. Car accident injury claims may not be as straightforward as they first appear, and compensation awards are invariably higher when a personal injury solicitor is involved.
Making Car Accident Injury Claims Against a Friend or Relative
If you are a passenger in a vehicle and are injured in a crash, the driver is usually a friend or relative. When a friend or relative is deemed to have caused the accident, many people are reluctant to make car accident injury claims for compensation. In such cases you should bear in mind that compensation is never paid by the party at fault, and it is their insurance company that carries financial responsibility. It is the reason why all drivers must have car insurance, so that in the event of an accident compensation can be paid. As such you should not be deterred from claiming compensation for your injuries from a friend or relative, and recovering money to cover any expenses incurred as a result.
Car Accident Injury Claims Against a Local Authority
Many compensation claims are made against the local authorities every year for accidents which have been caused by a poorly maintained road surface. The local authority has a duty of care to road users to ensure that the road surface is properly maintained and that it is safe to use. The local authority has a duty of care to inspect the road surfaces regularly and to make repairs as necessary. Not all compensation claims against the local authority will be successful, and this will depend on whether the local authority has been allowed sufficient time to identify a hazard and make the necessary repairs.
The success of car accident injury claims against a local authority may depend of the extent of the hazard and can boil down to the depth of a pot hole. As such it is important to gain evidence of the hazard, and taking photographs is the best way of recording the extent of the hazard. When taking photographs it is important to use an item for scale as photographs can be deceiving. A ruler is the obvious measure; however it is not something which is usually carried and a cigarette packet or a pen could serve the same purpose. You should also take photographs of damage to the car, as well as of your injuries.
Seeking Legal Advice for Car Accident Injury Claims
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident which was not your fault it is important to seek legal advice. Many car accident injury claims can be pursued on a "No Win No Fee" basis, ensuring that should a claim prove unsuccessful that you are not required to pay your own legal costs. However even a No Win No Fee claim that is lost can incur costs to the claimant, and it is important to find out what your liabilities are and to determine the strength of your case before initiating a claim.
Our panel of experienced car accident injury claims solicitors are available to give you free legal advice on your eligibility to claim compensation for your injuries, and to give you an indication of the strength of your case. Our solicitors offer free impartial advice, and will answer any questions you may have about making car accident injury claims.
Call our claims hotline today to find out more about car accident injury claims, or complete our free call back form and a solicitor will be in touch when it is convenient for you to talk freely about your case.