If you suffer injury/injuries in a road traffic accident, dependant on circumstances, and who was at fault, you could make an RTA claim for compensation. RTA claims are commonly pursued by injured parties such as car drivers, car passengers, bus passengers, lorry drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and cyclists.
Causes of RTA claims
There are numerous reasons why road accidents occur, however, in order to claim compensation you will need to show that the person/party you are claiming against were responsible for the RTA. The majority of road traffic accident claims arise due to:
- Driver negligence – Driver negligence might include eating or drinking at the wheel, using a mobile phone, changing the radio station or music while driving, falling asleep at the wheel, and drug or alcohol consumption.
- Careless driving – Careless driving such as not obeying speed limits, not paying attention to traffic signs, and being distracted from things inside or outside of the car.
- Weather conditions – Many road accidents happen because of hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain, icy roads, and snow.
- Poorly maintained roads – Another main cause of road accidents is poorly maintained roads. Hazards such as potholes, loose or damaged manhole covers, and poorly situated or maintained road signs have the potential to cause an RTA and compensation claim against the local authority.
- Vehicle breakdown – If a vehicle breaks down it isn’t usually in the most convenient spot. Drivers who are not paying close attention or drivers not spotting a broken down vehicle until it’s too late can cause serious injuries including death.
Whatever the cause of an RTA is, you might want to consider contacting an RTA solicitor for free advice to find out whether you could make an RTA claim.
Common injuries in road traffic accidents
Common personal injuries that we see compensation being claimed for following an RTA include:
- Head injuries
- Facial injuries
- Leg injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
Whatever type of injury you have suffered in a road traffic accident and no matter who may be deemed to be at fault, it is advisable to contact an RTA solicitor for expert advice.
Making an RTA claim
If you’re considering making an RTA claim, contacting solicitors who specialise in this area of personal injury law for free advice has never been easier. Most RTA solicitors will offer prospective clients a free telephone consultation thus enabling the solicitor to determine and advise on the prospects of a successful outcome, and offer their services (typically on a no-win, no-fee basis) should they determine compensation should be sought.
Once a solicitor has agreed to take your RTA claim on, they will ordinarily organise a free medical examination close to you. This is so that your solicitor can confirm the injury severity and estimated time for recovery, and will be used as evidence and also used to calculate how much compensation you could claim. This is central to any RTA compensation claim as it will detail the potential additional costs, loss of earnings, and how your injuries might impact your personal and working life. Your solicitor will also gather what evidence is required to strengthen the claim. This evidence would be presented alongside your account of the accident in the courts should it even get that far.
The overwhelming majority of RTA compensation claims are settled before going to court when the evidence is irrefutable and the defendant seeks to minimise their financial expenditure. These out-of-court settlements are essentially cases where the claimant’s and the defendant’s representatives come to an agreement to what compensation will be paid out. If there is no possibility of an agreement between the two sides, the case will appear in court. If this happens, your case will be presented to the judge. This is not as daunting as many assume and your solicitor should support you throughout.
For an RTA claim to be successful, there has to be proof that the other party was negligent. This evidence might include:
- Witness statements
- Photographic evidence
- CCTV/dashcam footage
- Medical treatment records
- Police reports
Your RTA solicitor will aim to gather all the necessary evidence to build a strong claim.
RTA’s involving an uninsured driver
Unfortunately, road traffic accidents involving uninsured drivers are not uncommon. Thankfully, if you have been injured by an uninsured driver you might still be able to claim compensation if u submit a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The Motor Insurers’ Bureau will do their own investigation into the claim and will proceed as per their findings. The MIB can issue compensation to victims of traffic accidents that weren’t their fault and comes from a collection that all UK insurers contribute to on an annual basis.
How much compensation for an RTA?
How much compensation you would receive for a road traffic accident can depend on many different factors making it almost impossible to put a figure on without having all of the details. However, the Judicial College releases compensation guidelines for General Damages in personal injury cases that will help to demonstrate what compensation may be available.
An experienced RTA solicitor will strive to get the most compensation they can for your personal injury.
Road traffic accident claims time limit
In most cases, a compensation claim following a road traffic accident should be filed within three years following the accident, or within three years that an injury is diagnosed as being a result of the RTA. Children who are not yet 18 could have a litigation friend make the claim on their behalf or they will have three years from their 18th birthday in which to make the claim themself.
If the claim isn’t filed within the time limit then it may be too late to claim any compensation. As it may take a solicitor some time to compile a successful RTA claim, the sooner you get in touch with an RTA solicitor the better.