Personal Injury Claims Following a Road Traffic Accident

by GuestBlogger on October 17, 2012

One of the most traumatising things that can happen to a person is to be involved in a road traffic accident, even if it is only minor. However, should you incur an injury through a road traffic accident and it was not your fault you may be able to claim compensation. Although it may not fix any damage done it will be able to help with the financial loss you may have encountered.

The most common injury resulting from a road traffic accident is whiplash, but there are many other injuries that can be compensable; such as broken limbs, spinal injuries, joint injuries and some much more severe.  Psychological injuries can also be claimed for, although these can be more difficult to prove.

Some Points to Note

Claims for personal injury from a road traffic accident can be made by passengers and drivers. If you are a pedestrian hit by a vehicle you too may claim for compensation.

When claiming for compensation for a road traffic incident you are claiming against the insurance company of the person at fault whether in a vehicle or a pedestrian at the time of the accident.

As with all personal injury claims, the time limit to make a claim is three years from the time of the accident, unless there are special circumstances.

When claiming for injury you are claiming for time lost from work due to the injury and or any extra adverse effects it has had on your daily life. The latter will have to be discussed in detail with a solicitor and dealt with on a case by case basis.

Be Prepared and Know What to Do

It may be the case that you are reading this and have never been involved in an accident. That doesn’t mean to say it cannot happen and it is prudent to be prepared in case you are. It is advisable you have a camera in your vehicle at all times (nowadays our mobile phone should suffice if it has a camera). Following any accident and given you are able to do so. Take as many photographs you can at the site, these should be of all vehicles involved, any damage to public property and skid marks that may be visible. All of these things help your case!

In the event of an accident you are required to exchange insurance details so make you have these to hand. It is also advisable to try and agree what happened with the other driver, if possible. Do not push this as these can be very emotional times for all parties concerned but agreeing fault on site does greatly expedite the legal process if agreed and signed by both parties.

Canvass for witnesses also! Any bystanders or other drivers who pull over to help are invaluable in your case. Make sure to find out what they saw and take a note of the name, address and contact details if they are willing to give them to you.

It is also worth noting that in any more serious accident you should call the police to the site as they will gather all of these details as well and form an incident report.

When you return home, call your insurance company and give them all of the details of the accident and any witnesses etc. you have managed to collect. Also make a detailed note of the accident as the adrenaline produced during the incident itself sometimes means people have trouble recollecting the details clearly afterwards. Draw maps or anything else that helps you remember what happened, nothing is to be considered useless.

You have decided to make a claim – What Next?

In most cases, your insurance company will most likely have some form of legal cover in it for personal injury and will as a result of you reporting the incident to them, refer you on to the law firm that they use. However, should you not be covered for personal injury through your insurance provider here are some reputable law firms that can deal with your claim.

Scotland: Lawford Kidd, Thompsons (Scotland), Balfour and Manson, Bonnar & Co, Dallas McMillan and Peacock Johnston.

England & Wales: Thompsons Solicitors, Duncan Gibbons Solicitors, Glynns, Blake Lapthorn, Simpson Millar Solicitors and Irwin Mitchell.

You should then give your legal counsel all of the information you have collected as well as access to any medical diagnoses made as a result for them to fully evaluate the monetary value and likelihood of success of your case.

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