How Can I Claim After A Road Traffic Incident?

Published: 02/05/2018

Everything you need to know about claiming compensation after a road traffic accident.

Road traffic accidents (or RTAs) are the most common way people claim personal injury compensation. Indeed, if you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault and suffer injury as a result, you are entitled to it!

RTAs can involve drivers, passengers or pedestrians. The vehicle could be a motorbike, scooter, lorry, bus, coach or even bicycle. The injury you sustain could be anything ranging from a minor broken bone to a very serious brain injury. Whiplash is common too and can have a lasting impact on a person’s health and wellbeing.

What Should I Do After The Accident?

First thing’s first, you should make sure you take full details of the other people and other vehicle involved. Take photographs of the people, the vehicle registrations, the damage to each vehicle and the positions of the vehicles on the road. It is not unusual for the person you considered at fault to change their story, dispute liability or dispute their involvement. By taking photographs and videos at the scene it should reduce the chance of you encountering these difficulties when you come to make a claim, or even defending a claim that the other driver may make against you!

Other helpful steps to take, if possible, include:

  • Make notes of what happened, including all details you can recall
  • If you were injured visit your GP, walk-in medical centre or, if more serious, the ER. Even if you think your injury is minor and may not require medical treatment, it’s always better to be on the safe side
  • Take photos of any visible injuries you have obtained
  • Keep a record of your emotional state on the days following the accident
  • Evidence that you have not been able to work, such as letters from your employer
  • Keep any medical or hospital records you are given

These documents, recollections and photographs will form your evidence if you need to claim for compensation. Together, they’ll significantly strengthen your case and make things much easier and less stressful.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

The amount of compensation you can claim depends upon the injuries you have sustained, how long it will take for them to recover and how they have affected your life. When any offer of settlement is made, we will let you know the amount and give you advice as to whether this amount is too low or just right. While there are no fixed amounts for injuries, our team use their vast experience and knowledge as well as past reported cases and judicial guidelines, which we consult to give us a good idea of what you should receive.

What Will The Compensation Cover?

  • Compensation for your personal injuries.
  • Your vehicle repair costs. If you are insured third party only or third party, fire and theft then we can recover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. If your vehicle is rendered a total loss we will ask the other side to pay the pre-accident value as determined by an independent motor engineer.
  • Replacement car hire charges whilst your car is under repair or off the road.
  • The reclaim of your insurance excess.
  • Storage and towing charges of your damaged vehicle.
  • Loss of use claim whilst you are without a vehicle.
  • Compensation for damaged belongings, clothing and medical expenses.
  • Compensation for any loss of earnings whilst you are unable to work. Please note we will require documentation for proof of the above such as payslips and bank statements.
  • Compensation for care and assistance for jobs/tasks you would normally do yourself

How Long Will The Claim Take?

A straightforward claim can be settled within four to six months, but others may take a lot longer. A claim can take longer to settle if liability is disputed or if you have suffered complicated injuries. If your claim has to go to court, it will probably be listed for a final hearing within nine months of us issuing court proceedings.

Then, it usually takes up to six weeks for the other side to pay your damages from the date you accept their offer, although it often arrives sooner than this.. It may be possible for interim payments to be made sooner, e.g. for repair costs, write off values, medical treatment.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?

Personal injury claims must be settled or issued at court within three years from the date of your accident. If you have not suffered a personal injury but have sustained other losses, then your claim must be issued at court within six years from the date of your accident.

If you are under 18 years old when you have the accident, court proceedings must be started before your 21st birthday. If these periods are missed, it will mean that you will lose your right to claim damages and you will receive no compensation from the other side for your injuries and losses.

We would advise you to make your claim as soon as possible, to enhance your chances of success.

Who Will Look After My Claim?

If you decide to instruct GWlegal, your dedicated team will include:

Claire, Alex, Fran, Kev, Sheena, Nina and Julie. Assisted by Jake and Sam.

Why Is GWlegal The Best Personal Injury Law Firm For You?

GWlegal is a national firm with local values (based in Liverpool, but working for clients across the country) with more than 30 years’ experience.

We have a 5-star Solicitor.Info rating and clients who return to us again and again.

*Exceptions can apply. Ask us.

Who are GWlegal?

GWlegal is a personal injury solicitors based in Liverpool, specialising in road traffic accidents, cycling accidents, accidents at work, accidents in a public place and serious injury claims.

If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 or email us with your question.

Who are GWlegal? We’re a national firm with local values.

Have you been involved in a RTA?

Get in touch

Content correct at time of publication.

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