Council Compensation Claims

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury specialists.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Road Traffic Accident Claims

Thousands of motorists and pedestrians are involved in road accidents every year in the UK, with many of these resulting in successful road traffic accident claims.

While some road accidents can be minor and only cause a slight inconvenience, others are of a more serious nature. The injuries sustained can range from whiplash, cuts and bruising to broken bones, internal injuries and head trauma.

Being injured in an accident can be a life-changing event and potentially leave you in significant pain and discomfort, with extra out-of-pocket expenses due to someone else’s negligence.

Thankfully, you do not have to bear that burden in silence. According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, every road user must exercise due diligence and owes a duty of care to other people on the roads. You may very well be eligible to claim road traffic accident compensation if you were involved in a collision, whether you were the driver, a passenger, a cyclist or a pedestrian.

If you were the victim of an accident, what should you do? Should you claim, and how do you go about it? The process can be daunting, but it does not have to be. This guide will shed some light on the matter and equip you with all the information you need to take the next step in making a road traffic accident claim.

If you would like to speak to a legal adviser to find out if you can make a road accident claim, call free on 0800 678 1410. Alternatively, if you would prefer to receive a callback, enter your details into our online claim form.

The service is provided free of charge and without any obligation to proceed. If you do have a valid claim and would like to proceed, we will connect you with an experienced no win no fee personal injury solicitor.

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  • Free consultation
  • No win no fee service
  • Experienced injury solicitors
  • Maximum compensation
  • No hidden costs

Can I make a road traffic accident claim?

If you’ve suffered from a road traffic accident through no fault of your own, you should, in most cases, be eligible to make a compensation claim. There are certain requirements to make a successful claim, and of course, there are many different factors that can affect the outcome.

For instance, if you were solely responsible for the accident, it is unlikely that you would be able to make a claim. That is not to say that you should not reach out to a solicitor for a second opinion, as you may be judging yourself too harshly.

Likewise, the liability or “fault” of the road accident can be on a split basis – you share fault with another party. You can still claim compensation, but the amount awarded would be reduced to take into account your partial responsibility.

The basic requirements to determine if you may have a valid road traffic accident claim are:

  • you have suffered an injury or multiple injuries and have received medical attention (i.e. you have seen your GP or been to the hospital).
  • somebody else was at fault for the road accident, or at least partially at fault
  • the accident happened within the last three years, or you are within the legal time limit to make a personal injury claim (see below for further details).

If you can satisfy the three criteria listed above, it is very likely that you would have good grounds to make a road accident claim.

What should I do if I’m involved in a road traffic accident?

No one expects to be involved in an accident – that is why it is called an accident. It is something no one can prepare for, and the experience will undoubtedly leave you shaken.

Shock has a numbing effect on most people, and the panic and upset can lead to confusion. So below, we will run you through a quick checklist of what you should ideally do after a road traffic accident.

Immediately following the accident:

If you were in a car as the driver, stop the vehicle as soon as it is safely possible. This is crucial. It is a criminal offence to leave the scene of a road traffic accident without stopping! Cut the engine, put on your hazards, and see if anyone is injured.

If no one appears to be injured, assess the damage to the vehicle and exchange insurance details with the other driver involved in the collision. Make some notes about the accident and take photographs of the scene and damage.

If anyone is injured and needs medical attention, call the police and ambulance immediately. Try to stay calm and keep your wits about you. There is no need to discuss who was at fault just yet – that will be decided further down the line.

When should you call the police?

Aside from someone suffering an injury, you should also contact the police within 24 hours if:

  • The other party flees the scene.
  • The other driver is uninsured or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The other party does not give you their insurance details.
  • You suspect the accident was caused deliberately.

The police should also be called immediately if the accident is blocking a road or if there is a further potential danger to you or other road users. This could be the case if your accident happened on or near a sharp bend or at a busy junction.

If a police officer attends the accident scene, make a note of their name, contact details, and the incident number, as this will come in handy for your future road traffic accident claim.

Details to collect at the scene

Once everybody involved in the road accident has been assessed for injuries, the next step is to collect some details. Some of these details will be needed by your vehicle insurance company, and they will also come in handy if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

  • Take notes on the time and date of the crash, as well as the weather and road conditions.
  • If anyone suffered an injury, or if there was damage to the vehicle, you must swap your details with everyone involved. Also, note down the other vehicle’s make, model, colour, and registration number.
  • Ensure you get the details of any other bystanders or passengers who can act as witnesses if needed.
  • Establish if the other driver is the owner of the car. If not, don’t overlook getting these details as well.
  • Photographic evidence will go a long way to support your claim, so take as many photos of the accident as you can. If it is safe, take photos of the scene, the road, and the damage.
  • Jot down any injuries to drivers, passengers, bystanders, and other road users.
  • Find out if any CCTV cameras may have recorded the incident. Needless to say, if you have a dashcam, look to it for additional evidence of what transpired.

How do I make a road traffic accident claim?

The claim process for a road traffic accident can be complex and appear daunting, but do not worry. This is where your road traffic accident solicitor enters the stage. While they will take care of everything on your behalf, we will explain how the process works below.

Road traffic accident claims below £25,000

Smaller claims between £5,000 to £25,000 are commonly referred to as single track or fast track claims. As of 2021, claims below £5,000 have been reclassified as small claims.

A no win no fee agreement is available for small claims, so you won’t have to worry about upfront costs and legal fees. The no win no fee system means you will avoid paying any legal costs out of your own pocket if the claim is unsuccessful.

These road traffic accident claims are relatively straightforward. Your solicitor will process the claim through the online Claims Portal, run by the Ministry of Justice. This portal processes all smaller claims against minor injuries, like minor fractures, cuts and whiplash.

If the other party accepts liability –

This is, of course, the ideal situation when it comes to accident claims. If the other party admits liability, the claim goes through the claims portal for settlement. Your injury solicitor will negotiate with both sides for an agreeable compensation settlement and take a pre-agreed and capped portion of your payout (up to 25%) as payment for their services under the no win no fee agreement.

If the other party denies liability –

This can get a bit messy here. If the other party denies liability or negotiations are in a deadlock, the claim will be retracted from the claims portal and will be handed over for a court hearing.

Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence for road accident claims, and even if the claim goes to court, the hearing will typically only last a day before the judge decides on the outcome. In most cases, a compensation settlement will be agreed upon before the case reaches court.

If your claim does end up in court, you don’t need to worry. Your solicitor will advise you every step of the way. In the unlikely event that you are required to attend a court hearing, your solicitor will give you plenty of warning in advance and explain what to expect.

Not to make matters confusing, but there is also an appeal system for claims through the Motor Insurers Bureau. These appeals, however, only relate to road traffic accidents that involve untraceable or uninsured drivers and hit and run accidents.

Road traffic accident claims above £25,000

If your road traffic accident claim is valued at £25,000 or more, it will be classed as a ‘multi-track’ claim.

Multi-track claims involve more severe injuries that may be life-changing. Other times, the circumstances around the accident weren’t clear and require further investigation. The only real difference here is that the claims will not be dealt with through the Claims Portal, but your solicitor will still establish liability and negotiate the best compensation on your behalf. These claims, however, do usually take longer to settle than smaller claims.

How much compensation can I claim for a road traffic accident?

It is difficult to provide a ballpark figure regarding how much compensation your road accident could be worth, as each claim and circumstances are unique. How much compensation you will receive will ultimately depend on the severity of the injury, the recovery time, and how the accident impacted your life.

Your solicitor will negotiate the amount of compensation you should be awarded based on the negative impact the accident had on you. They will consider:

  • The nature of your injuries (as mentioned)
  • Time off work and loss of income
  • If your ability to work was affected
  • Care and support you needed
  • Changes or damages to your vehicle
  • Travel costs for treatment
  • Treatment costs not covered by the NHS

If I win my road accident claim, who pays the compensation?

Many people who suffered an injury from an RTA are still reluctant to pursue a claim against another driver. You can rest assured that the compensation will not come out of the pocket of the other driver.

Instead, you will be compensated through their insurance company. The other party will not be stuck with a bill they can’t afford to pay, and you don’t have to settle for a drawn-out payment arrangement.

What happens if the other driver is uninsured or untraceable?

As we’ve mentioned above, you will be compensated through the insurance company if the other driver was insured, but what happens when things aren’t that simple? Below we will explain the process if you are unfortunate to be involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or one that cannot be traced (e.g. a hit a run accident).

Uninsured drivers

Luckily, even if the other driver is not insured, you can still make a claim. Instead of receiving a payout from the insurance company, the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (or MIB) will handle your claim.

According to their records, an average of 16% of annual road traffic injuries are caused by uninsured drivers. The MIB was established to deal with these types of accidents.

It is a legal requirement in the UK for all motorists to have valid motor insurance, and a portion of this premium will go towards the funding of the MIB. This enables you to still claim the compensation you deserve when there isn’t an insurance company to claim against.

Untraceable drivers

As we’ve touched on earlier in our guide, drivers have a legal obligation to stop and provide their details at the scene of an accident. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and drivers still sometimes speed off or provide false information.

Of course, if you’ve managed to get the vehicle’s registration details, the driver can be traced, but it is easier said and done in the heat of the moment following an accident.

Again, your claim will be directed to the MIB, who will attempt to nail down the perpetrator. Naturally, these claims can take a bit longer. If they can’t bring the guilty party to justice, they will still handle your claim much in the same way as they would with an uninsured driver. This scenario also applies to hit and run accidents.

Can I claim on a no win no fee basis?

Yes, all of the solicitors we work with will be able to offer you a no win no fee service when making a road traffic accident claim. Also known as a conditional fee agreement, no win no fee enables you to make a claim without putting yourself at financial risk.

The conditional fee agreement acts as a contract between you and your solicitor where there are no upfront costs or hidden charges. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct their fee from your compensation. This success fee is capped at a maximum of 25% and will be discussed and agreed upon before they take on your claim.

Your solicitor will also take out insurance protection for you at the start of the claim. This “After the Event” insurance will cover the other party’s costs if your claim is unsuccessful. In other words, if you don’t win your claim and receive compensation, you won’t be liable to pay any costs.

Is there a time limit for road traffic accident claims?

If the accident was entirely or partly someone else’s fault, you have three years to make a claim if you are over 18 years old. However, if you were under 18 at the time of the incident, you have until your 21st birthday to make a claim. If you fail to claim during this period, you will no longer be eligible.

There are certain exceptions to the rule, for instance, if the person injured suffered a serious head injury rendering them unable to make a claim. If you are in doubt, reach out to an experienced road traffic accident solicitor for guidance. They will be able to offer advice and let you know if you are within the appropriate time limit to claim compensation.