How long should a whiplash claim take to settle?

Whiplash is a neck injury common in road traffic accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It can also result from other incidents, such as sports injuries, falls or assaults. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and sometimes shoulder or back pain. For some people, it can lead to ongoing symptoms and take months or years to heal.

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim. That could cover your pain, suffering, loss of amenity, and any financial losses resulting from the injury.

If you want to start a compensation claim or have questions such as ‘How long should a whiplash claim take?’, please call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can enter your details into our online claim form to request a callback.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backwards and then forward. This sudden, forceful movement can strain or sprain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to various symptoms such as pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and neurological symptoms.

Whiplash commonly occurs in car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, but it can also be sustained in sports injuries, falls, physical abuse or assaults. Treatment typically involves rest, pain management with over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, and sometimes wearing a collar for support.

Most people recover within a few weeks, but some may develop chronic pain or other long-term complications. You can find more information about the condition and how to claim compensation by visiting our whiplash compensation claims page.

Can I make a whiplash compensation claim?

If you suffered a whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to claim compensation. The easiest way to determine if you can make a whiplash claim is by seeking legal advice from an experienced solicitor. They will ask you a few questions to determine whether:

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a breach of duty will be based on various legislation. Examples include the Road Traffic Act 1988, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Remember that there is also a time limit to start your claim, which is typically three years after the accident or after you become aware of the injury.

Call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to a legal adviser and find out if you have a valid case or learn more about ‘How long do whiplash claims take to settle?’.

how long should a whiplash claim take?

What are the steps for claiming whiplash compensation, and how long do they take?

If you want to make a personal injury claim for compensation following a whiplash injury, these steps will ensure your claim will settle in the shortest time possible:

If you suffered whiplash in a road accident, you are over 18, and you were the driver or passenger of the car or another motor vehicle, you can use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal to start your claim. You can do this yourself or with the help of a claims professional. However, you should not use this portal if your claim is worth over £5,000, you cannot identify the party at fault, or you are a cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or horse rider.

How long do whiplash claims take to settle?

How long should a whiplash claim take? You might worry that you will need to invest too much time and effort into seeking the compensation you are rightfully owed, which might be discouraging. However, you can rest assured that if you work with an experienced solicitor, they will settle your claim in the shortest time possible while handling all communication on your behalf. This way, you can focus on recovery without worrying about the legal aspects of the case.

How long your claim may take to settle will depend on various aspects of your circumstances, which will be detailed in the section below. As a general rule, straightforward cases where liability is admitted right away can be settled within three months. If you were injured in a road accident and made your claim through the OIC portal, you could receive your compensation even faster.

However, it could take much longer to settle if your case is more complex or there are liability disputes. In this event, a whiplash claim could take anywhere from several months to several years.

What can impact the duration of a personal injury claim?

How long it takes to settle a whiplash claim can be affected by various factors, including:

Your solicitor will have to consider all of these factors before accurately answering the question, ‘How long does it take to settle a whiplash claim?’.

What can I do to speed up the whiplash claims process?

There are a few things you can do if you want to help ensure a timely resolution of your claim. This includes:

While it is natural to want a quick resolution to your claim, it is essential to remain patient and realistic about the time it may take to reach a fair settlement. Your solicitor will do their best to obtain the maximum compensation on your behalf in the shortest time possible.

Will it take longer to settle if I claim through the MIB or the CICA?

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) compensates victims of road accidents involving uninsured or untraceable drivers. Likewise, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) provides compensation to victims of violent crimes. Both organisations exist to ensure that innocent victims of wrongdoing are compensated for their pain, suffering, and financial losses.

If you make a claim through the MIB or the CICA, it may take longer to settle than a standard personal injury claim. That is because the specific types of claims these organisations handle involve additional complexities.

Both the MIB and the CICA may want to gather evidence from the police and conduct their own investigations before awarding compensation, which could lengthen the claims process. However, exactly how long it will take to receive your settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

Will my whiplash claim settle faster if I use the Official Injury Claim (OIC) Portal?

The OIC portal is designed to expedite the settlement process for personal injury claims in which the damages for pain and suffering are under £5,000, and the total value of the claim does not exceed £10,000. It sets a clear timetable for the resolution of the case, such as:

If the other party admits liability for your injury and you can agree on a settlement, your claim could be resolved within a month. If they deny responsibility or you cannot settle the claim, you can take your case to court, significantly prolonging the process.

How much compensation could I claim for whiplash?

Following the Whiplash Reform Programme, if you were injured on or after 31st May 2021, the compensation you could receive will be based on a fixed tariff. This tariff applies to injuries that last up to two years and is as follows:

If you have suffered more severe whiplash, your solicitor will calculate the amount of compensation you should receive based on the pain, suffering and financial losses you incurred as a result of your injury. For example, you could get £36,240 to £44,630 for a severe injury causing chronic symptoms.

How long will it take to receive my compensation once the claim has been settled?

If you win your whiplash injury claim, the terms of the settlement agreement will typically outline when and how compensation will be paid. This deadline is set whether your case settles in or out of court. As a general rule, it should take between two weeks and a month to receive your compensation from the defendant.

If you use the OIC portal to make your claim, it states that the other side should make the payment within ten working days once you have accepted their settlement offer. If they fail to deposit your compensation within this timeframe, your solicitor will contact them to learn why.

If you want to make a claim for whiplash or find out how long a whiplash claim should take to settle, contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. You can do this by calling free on 0800 678 1410 or using our contact form to request a call back.

What are the most common causes of road accidents?

Thousands of people are injured every year on UK roads, which means that personal injury claims for these types of accidents are very common. Sadly, over a thousand of these road accidents are fatal, despite ongoing efforts to further improve the safety of our roads.

Most road accidents can be prevented and are usually the result of negligence by a driver, local authority, construction company or pedestrian. The following guide explains the most common causes of road accidents, in the hope that this further improves safety for all road users, and helps to direct you in securing the support and compensation that may be owed to you if you have been the victim of an accident.

What are the main causes of road accidents?

Although multiple factors can combine to result in a road accident, there are a number of common root causes, as outlined below, that can lead to accidents that cause injury or loss.

Speeding

It’s unlikely to be a surprise that speeding is attributed to over 10% of road traffic accidents each year (as per stats from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). What’s more concerning is that nearly a quarter of all fatal road accidents are caused by a driver speeding.

The losses and injuries that are suffered because of speeding are avoidable. Had the driver adhered to the law, the accident could have been avoided, or at least, the results would have been less severe. Speed limits are applied to UK roads to ensure that drivers and pedestrians are safe. The legal restrictions that are applied to speed limits on roads are set by considering some of the following:

Because speed accounts for involvement in such a high proportion of road accidents, campaigns and government activity is almost constant to remind drivers of their legal duty and the severe consequences for not observing speed limits. Through such campaigns, drivers will also be reminded of the necessity to keep a safe distance from the car in front.

Tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front of you) is extremely dangerous and means that should the driver ahead need to brake quickly, you aren’t allowing for a safe braking distance and therefore increase the likelihood of a collision. Sadly, this too often means that the car you collide with is shunted forward into the vehicle or obstruction that they were trying to avoid with their initial braking – with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Distractions

Drivers will be faced with numerous potential distractions while driving, some of which are unavoidable, and others are entirely the blame of the driver. Unavoidable distractions, such as external loud noises, on-street activity, wildlife and even weather, are those that a driver should be able to manage safely, despite not necessarily expecting them. Avoidable distractions include using a mobile phone whilst driving, rummaging in a bag, eating or drinking, and putting on make-up whilst behind the wheel.

The law takes the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving very seriously. Even if you are caught using your phone while stationary at traffic lights, you could be given 6 points on your licence and a fine of up to £200.

All drivers have a legal duty to remain safe whilst driving and not put the safety of other road users in danger. Whilst some distractions may be out of a driver’s control, drivers must remain alert and focused on the road ahead to avoid potential dangers.

Weather

As mentioned above, weather can have a significant impact on the safety of the road and a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. The weather can impact drivers by presenting several challenges, such as changing the visibility of a road, the speed at which a road should be driven and can even make some roads impassable for a time.

Being prepared is key, and avoiding driving in poor weather where possible is advised. Local weather reports should alert drivers of any suspected disruptions or dangers, and local authorities will reiterate the suggestion of carrying additional protective measures where necessary. For example, in warm weather, it is advisable to ensure that you carry additional water – both for the driver, passengers and the vehicle. In icy weather, having extra clothing and blankets in case you break down is essential.

After snowing, roads can become dirtier, with slush carrying dirt quickly to windscreens. Drivers should regularly perform additional checks on screenwash levels to avoid visibility issues on journeys.

Tiredness

The cause of around 20% of road accidents is thought to be related to tiredness – with a driver’s ability to concentrate and react severely inhibited because they are tired.

In a society which is so busy and with drivers having multiple demands on their time, it is easy to understand how a person can become distracted and why a car often feels like the quickest way from point A to B. However, driving when tired can lead to fatal collisions and is incredibly dangerous.

Whether you are driving tired because of a tough day at work, feeling sleepy because of an illness, or drowsiness kicks in because you are working your way through a long journey, it is imperative to take plenty of breaks and to stop if you recognise that you are too tired. It is advisable to drink caffeinated drinks to help support alertness and to stop somewhere safe for a short nap if you are feeling fatigued.

Driving under the influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most irresponsible and dangerous things a driver can do. Tens of thousands of people worldwide are injured or killed each year because the driver of a vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol – which in most countries is illegal and entirely avoidable.

It is legal for a driver to have consumed a small quantity of alcohol when driving. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a driver can have up to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood and still be able to drive. In Scotland, the limit is lower, with a maximum of 50 milligrams per 100ml of blood. Further information on drink driving laws can be found here.

However, there are a number of factors that a driver must consider if drinking and driving – not least, whether 80 milligrams is appropriate for them, as some people can feel the effects of alcohol after a smaller amount. In many cases, drivers might be best placed to simply not drink at all if they are driving.

Driving under the influence remains one of the highest reasons for road traffic accidents to occur, and the law takes these offences very seriously. Those found guilty of driving under the influence can be charged with fines and receive points on their licence. Depending on any resulting collision, injuries, or death caused by drunk or drug driving, the offending driver can face a potential prison sentence and ban from driving.

Maintaining knowledge of the Highway Code

With the growing amount of traffic on UK roads, the Highway Code sometimes evolves to ensure that all users remain safe. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep up to date with changes in UK law, particularly with priorities for road use.

For example, in 2022, the Highway Code changed to reflect the need for other traffic to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross at a junction. A pedestrian has the right of way over a driver turning into a road, and should the driver choose to ignore this rule and hit a crossing pedestrian, they would be legally liable for any damages caused.

There are numerous sources of information if you would like further details on what are the most common causes of road accidents, such as police websites, The Office for National Statistics and road safety campaign groups.

If you have been the victim of a road accident and have suffered any loss or injury, you may be entitled to make a road traffic accident claim against the person responsible. A specialist solicitor will help you to understand whether you are likely to be successful in a claim and how much compensation you could be awarded for your losses.

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Do cyclists have to stop at red lights?

Do cyclists have to stop at a red light? The simple answer is yes. You can easily get fined for running a red light, stop sign, or even zebra crossings as a cyclist. Following the rules and laws of the Highway Code is extremely important and plays a significant role in keeping you as a cyclist and other road users safe (and free from paying potentially unnecessary fines).

We will shed some light on the reasons why you can get fined for running a red traffic light and how you should approach traffic lights in the UK. The UK has many special traffic lines and other signified spots for cyclists to use on the road, especially when it comes to traffic lights.

If you have been injured by a cyclist who ran a red traffic light, you may also be eligible to make a personal injury claim against them. Our guide will also explore your options for personal injury compensation.

Is it illegal for a cyclist to run a red light in the UK?

According to the Highway Code, it is illegal for any road user to run a red light, cyclists included. If you run the red light, you are not only endangering your own life but those around you as well.

According to the National Cycling Charity, cyclists sometimes feel the need to jump red lights for safety reasons. They feel safer moving into the open spaces at the junctions rather than waiting for the lights to turn, surrounded by cars. As valid as this point might be, it is still illegal, and all rules and regulations under the Road Traffic Act and Highway Code should be followed with care.

Can cyclists be fined for going through a red light?

Given that you are required by law to stop at a red light, cyclists can be issued a £50 fixed penalty notice if they are caught jumping the queue and cycling through a red light. However, if the case goes to court and the cyclist is found guilty of a more severe offense, such as dangerous cycling, the fine can be up to £1,000.

As a cyclist, you need to take extra care at traffic lights; you can’t be reckless when you see red. Forget about the legal implications – you are risking life and limb, quite literally. If you are in a hurry (aren’t we all), it is best to choose a quieter route or leave earlier. Back streets and cycle tracks are the perfect alternatives if you want to avoid traffic lights.

It is important to note that penalty points are not applicable to cyclists for jumping red lights in the UK. However, repeat offenders can still face serious consequences.

Still, statistics have shown that cyclists frequently jump red lights in the UK, with evidence of over 4,000 cyclists receiving penalty notices each year.

Do cyclists have to stop at zebra crossings?

Like all other road users, cyclists need to stop at zebra crossings if pedestrians are waiting to cross. Every pedestrian at a crossing has the right of way over vehicles and cyclists. If you are cycling or driving, you have no option but to stop.

One of the most frequent complaints from pedestrians and drivers is that cyclists run through red lights and zebra crossings. Cyclists need to keep a lookout for pedestrians and should always be ready to slow down and stop when approaching a crossing. Failure to comply may result in a hefty fine, and a potential personal injury claim made against you if you cause somebody an injury as a result.

cyclist stopped at red light

Should cyclists go to the front at traffic lights?

Filtering past the queue of traffic to the front is legal and sometimes even encouraged with Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs). ASLs are those little green box outlines that indicate where cyclists can position themselves ahead of the lane. It is indeed safer for everyone if cyclists get through the junction first.

That said, when approaching a traffic light on a bicycle, you should shift into a gear that allows for a quick pull away. Always assume that you may need to stop, so be prepared. Never cycle recklessly to get through a green light, trying to get past it quickly before it changes.

When the light is already amber, you need to be prepared to stop at the line as you approach it. If you have already crossed the stop line while the light was green, it should still be safe to cross – quickly! Stopping too abruptly might also cause an accident, so always keep your eyes on the cars around you. It is also wise to remember that you should only cross over when the light is already green and not while changing.

If the lights are red (this should go without saying), you need to stop behind the solid white line.

What is an advanced stop line, and how do you use it?

Advanced Stop Lines are there to help keep cyclists safe. The lines were first introduced to the UK in 1986 and have proven to work exceptionally well.

An ASL shows a little box that is used for cyclists to stop in, as we have mentioned above, and an additional line for cars and other vehicles further back. There is also a reservoir area between the two lines for cyclists to make their way past waiting vehicles.

When approaching a red traffic light, you need to be careful and pass any traffic queues before stopping in the ‘bike box’ of the ASL. If you are turning left or right, you should also position yourself accordingly to the side you will be turning into.

Making a personal injury claim against a cyclist

Taking a quick walk to the shops can easily change into a harrowing experience if you’re injured by a reckless cyclist. If a cyclist was negligent and caused you injury or harm, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury claim against them.

Equally, if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to a negligent driver or a pothole, you should be entitled to claim compensation against the party responsible.

Before negotiating with a third-party insurance company on your own, seek out the expert guidance of a personal injury lawyer to tackle the claim for you. This applies to any road traffic accident, including car, pedestrian, or bus accidents.

After an incident, adrenaline is likely pumping, but it is essential to try and stay calm and gather as much information at the scene as possible.

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, your compensation could go a long way to restore your dignity and amenity. The compensation amount will consider your general pain and suffering and any additional expenses, like ongoing medical treatment and loss of income.

Don’t run a red light!

Cycling is easy on the pocket (and the environment), but you should cycle with care and caution. Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians should always keep a lookout for each other, especially at traffic lights, zebra crossings and stop signs.

If you have been injured within the last three years and would like to find out if you can make a bicycle accident claim, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a trained legal adviser. Alternatively, you can arrange your free consultation by entering your details into our online claim form.

During your free consultation, a legal adviser will ask you a few questions about your accident and injuries and will be able to advise you if you could be entitled to receive compensation.

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Is it illegal to ride a bike on the pavement?

There are a few grey areas when it comes to cycling. What is legal, and what isn’t? Which road laws apply, and how do they affect cyclists?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, is it illegal to ride a bike on the pavement? With the question the law is pretty clear – yes it is, cyclists should stay off the pavement. These public walkways are reserved for pedestrians alone. The law governing the use of bicycles on pavements has been put in place for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. A bicycle accident on a pavement can cause significant injuries and even death.

If you have sustained an injury from a cyclist riding on the pavement, you may be eligible to pursue personal injury compensation. A cyclist using the pavement will likely be negligent by default, and a personal injury solicitor can help fight your cause.

In this guide, we will look at the law governing cyclists riding on pavements, how to stay safe and what to do if you or a loved one are injured due to a negligent cyclist.

Is there a law against cycling on the pavement?

There is not just one law, but several that prevent cyclists from using the pavement as their own personal racetrack. Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 prohibits cycling on footpaths, which includes any path at the side of the road. Rule 64 of the Highway Code also provides clear, unambiguous instruction that ”you must not cycle on the pavement.”

Cycling on the pavement is punishable by law with penalty notices and fines. Although a cyclist can be fined up to £500, the police will usually issue a fixed penalty notice of £50 instead. The penalty notice is charged under schedules 3 and 51 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

As you can see, the law is very clear that cycling on the pavement is prohibited. The possibility of injuring a pedestrian is just too high.

The penalty for cycling where you shouldn’t will be at the discretion of the law enforcement officer. If a police officer notices you cycling on the pavement, they could just give you a warning and advise you not to do it again. However, if you put pedestrians’ lives in danger and are a repeat offender, you could be fined or face legal action in court.

As mentioned above, a cyclist who injures a pedestrian while cycling on a pavement would also be liable if a bicycle accident claim is made against them.

Do I have to ride my bike on the road?

In the UK, all cyclists need to ride on the left-hand side of the road and never against oncoming traffic. Using cycle lanes is not compulsory, but it is the safest cycling option for both you and pedestrians. You have to cycle on the road or in designated areas for cyclists. Doing so can prevent an accident where you may otherwise be found guilty of personal injury or reckless driving.

There was no detailed information on where a cyclist should ride on the road in the first edition of the Highway Code. Cyclists would usually stick close to the curbside or on the designated cycle paths. It is now common knowledge that cyclists are allowed to ride in the centre of the road. This applies mainly to quiet roads or streets where traffic moves slower than usual.

This new law stipulates that although cyclists must ride on the roads, they now have more space to operate when cycling. Cyclists do not always want to use the road – competing against traffic and reckless motor users can be daunting. Still, more and more laws are being created to accommodate and encourage responsible cyclists.

At what age is it illegal to cycle on the pavement?

Young children learning to cycle, especially those using stabilisers or training wheels, are generally tolerated on the pavement. It is up to the discretion of the police officer to determine if a child’s cycling is considered a nuisance or a danger to pedestrians. There isn’t a specific age limit in the law for children cycling on the pavement.

However, it is generally understood that very young children, who are still learning to ride and may not be able to navigate roads safely, can cycle on the pavement. As children grow older and gain more cycling skills, they should transition to cycling on the road or designated cycling areas, adhering to the law and ensuring the safety of both pedestrians and themselves.

Why do cyclists ride on the pavement?

It may seem completely normal to cycle on the pavement, especially in quieter neighbourhoods, but cycling is not what it used to be. Bicycles are becoming more advanced – they can go faster than ever, and cyclists are constantly pushing their new gear to the limits. Although there is no stopping cyclists from enjoying their active lifestyle, they must still be responsible road users.

There may be many reasons why cyclists still ride on the pavement, even if it is illegal. Some people do not consider bicycles as roadworthy. This is a common misconception, and you should stick to designated cycle tracks, paths, and roads.

Yes, some cyclists may have a fear of the road, but there are various reasons for accidents between cars and cyclists, including poor road conditions, lack of visibility, and driver error. Running a red light or cycling recklessly can increase the risk of accidents.

Cyclists may also be tempted to use the pavement to take shortcuts. Other times, the road may just be unfit for use. Cyclists are no friends of potholes or road debris, but neither are pedestrians connecting with hightailing cyclists. Stick to the road, and navigate the obstacles with some care.

What happens if a cyclist hits a pedestrian while cycling on the pavement?

While the police might be a tad more lenient with first-time offenders, pavement cyclists can still get into a great deal of trouble if they injure a pedestrian or even if they cause damage to someone’s property. As a pedestrian, you can initiate a personal injury claim against the cyclist in this case.

Should a solicitor successfully prove that the cyclist was reckless and cycled on the pavement (which is, lest not forget, illegal), the culprit can be found guilty and fined. If a cyclist knocks down a pedestrian on the pavement, they should never leave the scene of the accident. Fleeing is incriminating at best and can lead to criminal charges.

The specific penalties, including potential prison sentences, will depend on the severity of the accident and the circumstances surrounding the incident, and will be determined by the court on a case-by-case basis. If a cyclist hits a pedestrian, they need to check if the victim is hurt and exchange contact details.

It’s also crucial to get in contact and consult with a solicitor for advice on how to handle a personal injury claim if you have been injured by somebody cycling on the pavement.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and want to learn more about making a bicycle accident claim, call 0800 678 1410. Alternatively, you can request a call back using our online claim form. A friendly legal adviser will provide you with a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.

Can I Claim for Pothole Damage from the Council?

Accidents or damage caused by potholes has become a regular occurrence throughout the UK. These potholes can be hazardous, especially in extreme weather conditions. To avoid accidents or damage, always drive safely, paying close attention to the road ahead to identify any potholes or damaged areas.

Getting compensation for a claim against damage or injury from a pothole is not the most straightforward task. In some cases, it is possible to make a claim, and this article will help you determine your eligibility. We cover details on all the necessary information you need to report potholes and how to find out whether you can claim or not.

What causes potholes?

Various factors contribute to the development of potholes, with the weather being the primary cause in the UK. During heavy rainfalls, potholes begin to expand, making it difficult to maintain the road and repair the potholes. Potholes are caused by rain seeping into existing cracks in the road caused by normal wear and tear.

Each year, the council repairs more than 2 million potholes. Cold weather and rain often cause these potholes to reappear. When it gets colder, the water inside the cracks starts to expand when frozen, which causes the roads to break down into potholes due to moving traffic. Heavy trucks, lorries and other vehicles transporting materials can also damage the road surface.

Who is responsible for potholes?

In most cases, local authorities are responsible for maintaining roads and preventing newly formed potholes from expanding rapidly. Local authorities receive a share of a £500 million budget each year to repair potholes. If you notice an increase in potholes and do not see any repairs or improvements, you should contact your local council. In fact, all potholes should be reported so that they can be repaired as soon as possible.

If a pothole has damaged your car, your local authority or one of the four national authorities could be liable for the damage. The four national authorities include Traffic Wales, Transport Scotland, Department for Infrastructure, and Highways England.

What damage can potholes do to your car?

Potholes don’t only cause vehicle damage. They could lead to car accidents, resulting in significant injuries and even fatal outcomes. Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where it is impossible to avoid a pothole due to oncoming traffic or other problems. Hitting the pothole could cause severe damage to your tyres, suspension, body panels, and exhaust system. Not to mention personal injuries such as whiplash, back injuries and other damage to you or your passengers.

Below are some of the most common types of car damage that potholes can cause:

Tyre and wheel damage – Your tyres are most likely to get damaged if you hit a pothole at a relatively high speed. Issues that may arise with your tyre’s overall condition include tread separation, sidewall bulges, or punctures. Your tyres are among the most critical aspects of ensuring vehicle safety. If your tyres are not in good condition, they may blow while driving at higher speeds and cause an accident.

However, tyres are not the only way your wheels can get damaged by potholes. Rim scratches and cracks could also appear and cost even more than tyre repairs if the rim is fractured or cracked.

Suspension – Driving through a pothole could damage your car’s suspension by misaligning it. The sudden force of the impact could cause misalignment and potentially bend the suspension completely out of shape. If you drove through a pothole recently, you should pay attention to your alignment. If you feel your car swerving to one side or your steering wheel is shaking, you should get your vehicle checked immediately and consider seeking compensation.

Body Panels – If your car is a low rider, driving through a pothole could severely damage body panels such as bumpers and side skirts.

Exhaust – Your exhaust is another low-hanging part of the car that could easily be damaged by hitting a pothole. Exhaust repairs are not cheap and should be taken up with your council if it was not your fault.

The best way to see whether your car has suffered damage by driving through a pothole is to take it for an inspection at your local car garage.

How to claim for pothole damage to my car?

Your local council should have a system for community members to contact them about any complaints. This is usually done through a dedicated email address or online portal. Your local council could be liable for damage to your vehicle if they have received a report of defective roads or potholes and failed to repair it within a reasonable timeframe. If the council was unaware of the pothole and no one had reported it, they are less likely to be held responsible for any damage.

The depth of a pothole can significantly impact the validity of your claim for damages, as councils typically have minimum depth requirements for considering a pothole hazardous. For example, some local authorities may require a pothole to be at least 40mm deep for a claim to be valid. It is essential to consult your local council’s guidelines to understand the specific depth criteria in your area and determine whether the pothole in question meets these requirements.

That’s why it’s essential to report any potholes you encounter on the roads as soon as possible. You can also claim damages caused by potholes while riding a bike, motorcycle or any other form of transport. You should follow a couple of guidelines listed below for claiming against the council for damages caused by a pothole to any type of vehicle.

What evidence will I need to claim for pothole damage?

Pictures of the pothole, proof of its dimensions, and photos of the damage it caused to your vehicle are essential if you want to make a successful claim. You can always return to the scene later with a measuring tape to ensure that you have accurate details. In an emergency, you can use an everyday item like a lighter or coin to show the pothole size in comparison.

Standard procedures with any damage claim include providing details like the date and time your vehicle was damaged. Additionally, gather as much information as possible from any witnesses present at the scene.

Can I appeal if the council rejects my claim for pothole damage?

Although it is possible to claim damage caused by a pothole, it can be challenging. That said, if the damage caused by the pothole is significant and expensive to repair, you’d want to fight for what is rightly owed to you.

To begin with, you should establish why the council did not accept your claim. Potholes need to be of specific dimensions to be classified as a pothole, and you will have to prove that the pothole was what caused the damage. If the pothole is not classified as such, you will have problems getting any sort of compensation from the council.

However, if you believe the council’s rejection was unjust, you can appeal their decision. You may want to seek legal advice or consult with a solicitor who specialises in such cases. They can help you gather additional evidence, strengthen your case, and guide you through the appeal process.

Appealing a rejected claim can be time-consuming and may incur additional costs, so weighing the potential benefits against the costs and effort involved is essential. If the damage to your vehicle was relatively minor, it might not be worth pursuing an appeal. However, pursuing compensation may be worthwhile if you believe your case is strong and the damages are substantial.

Keep in mind that there is usually a specific timeframe within which you must appeal a rejected claim, often within three months of receiving the rejection notice. However, this may vary depending on your local council’s guidelines, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with the relevant deadlines and submit your appeal promptly to ensure that your case remains eligible for reconsideration.

Can I claim for personal injury caused by a pothole?

If you or your child sustained injuries because of a pothole accident, you might be eligible for personal injury compensation if the council owns the road. Pothole damage to vehicles is on the rise throughout the UK.

Due to the increase in claims, the requirements for claims are stringent. To be eligible, you will need to prove that the pothole is indeed classified as such and that it was the sole contributor to the injuries.

To make a personal injury claim, you should follow similar steps as you would for a pothole damage claim. Collect evidence, including photographs of the pothole, measurements, and details of the accident. Gather information from any witnesses and seek medical attention to document the injuries sustained.

Consult a personal injury solicitor who can assess your case and help you navigate the claims process. They will guide you through gathering the necessary evidence, submitting your claim, and negotiating with the council or their insurers. If necessary, your solicitor can also represent you in court if your claim goes to trial. You can find out more on our guide to pothole accident claims.

In conclusion, claiming for pothole damage or personal injury caused by a pothole can be challenging. However, if you have a strong case and are willing to put in the effort, you may be able to secure compensation for the damages you have suffered. Always report potholes to your local council to help prevent further accidents and damage to vehicles in your community.

What to Do After a Car Accident?

Unfortunately, car crashes and collisions are common occurrences, with more cases being reported than ever before. Despite them being common, many of us aren’t prepared and may not know what to do after a car accident. Knowing what to do in an accident can help you keep calm and take the necessary steps.

This guide provides a step-by-step plan on what to do after a car accident, when to do it, and what information you should collect to pursue a successful personal injury claim. When panic and shock set in, having a clear plan can help you remain composed and deal with the unfortunate situation in the best way possible.

What are the first steps to take after a car accident?

Here are the important steps you should follow if you’re involved in a car accident:

When should I call the police after a car accident?

You should call the police immediately after a car accident if:

Otherwise, anyone involved in an accident should inform the police within 24 hours if someone was injured, or if the drivers did not exchange personal details.

What details should I record if I’m involved in a car accident?

If you’re involved in a car accident, you should try to make a record of the following details, either at the scene of the accident or soon afterwards:

If you have bumped into a parked car on private property or in a parking bay, the owner of the vehicle might not be present. However, it’s still in your best interest to leave a note in a visible place with your details (possibly take a photo of that as proof too). Failure to leave your details is a criminal offence and could land you in trouble with the law.

What should I do if the other driver didn’t stop?

Naturally, a lot of panic sets in when an accident occurs, and it can be difficult to think clearly through the mental fog. The shock and disbelief can be all too much at times, and this may cause drivers to drive off.

As much as there’s going on, it’s important to keep your wits and follow the law. Driving off or not stopping is a criminal offence. In most cases, the only reason a person will drive off is if they are either guilty, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or they don’t have insurance.

If you find yourself in this position, you should stop the car or pull over in a safe place and then call the police immediately. This is now deemed a hit and run accident. You should continue with the usual steps to gather your proof, such as taking photos or asking for the contact details of any eyewitnesses. Once you are out of harm’s way, remember to inform your insurers of the incident.

If the hit and run driver cannot be located or was driving without insurance, you can still make a car accident claim for any injuries you’ve sustained. The difference here is that your claim would be made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

What should I do if I hit an animal?

According to The Road Traffic Act 1988, if you hit any of the animals listed below, it must be reported to the police;

Again, failure to report this accident is a criminal offence.

If you hit a dog while driving a car, you should take the following steps:

Remember, hitting a dog is a traumatic experience for the dog, the owner and the driver. It is vital to remain calm, follow these steps and seek help if needed.

If you are involved in a car accident with one of the larger animals listed above, such as a cow or horse, you should call the police immediately. If the animal is in distress or appears to be seriously injured, you could also call the RSPCA’s emergency helpline on 0300 1234 999.

When should you contact your insurer after a car accident?

You should contact your insurance company whenever you are involved in a car accident. A good rule of thumb is to report the incident to your insurer within 24 hours to ensure you are covered.

Also note that all accidents must be reported to your insurance company, even minor ones. The accident can affect the functionality of your vehicle, even if it doesn’t seem to do so immediately. If you realise over time that your car has suffered some damage and needs to be repaired following an accident, your claim could be declined if the accident wasn’t reported to your insurer.

What information will my insurer need about an accident?

Your insurance company will need the following to grant repair claims or claims from other parties involved;

Good to note – eyewitness accounts are not always used by your insurer, and they may be heavily scrutinised for their authenticity. However, their contact information may help you in case of disputes.

Keep calm with a contingency plan

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. However, following the steps outlined in this guide, you can stay calm and take control of the situation.

Remember to stop at the scene, assess for injuries, call emergency services, collect necessary details, gather evidence, and inform your insurer. Doing so can help ensure the safety of all involved and protect your legal rights.

You won’t be able to undo the damage of a car accident, but you can limit the damage financially. If you have sustained injuries following a car crash, personal injury compensation will also go a long way to help you get your life back on track.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and would like to discuss a possible claim with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back, and an adviser will be in touch shortly.

Who Is Responsible for Gritting Roads and Pavements?

During the icy winter seasons, UK roads can become incredibly slippery and dangerous and should always be used cautiously. Gritting is vital for your safety as a road user to prevent nasty crashes or tumbles on slippery roads and pavements.

Gritters are active every year to prevent dangerous driving conditions. However, you should always drive cautiously during winter as ice and snow can quickly reform on roads even after they have been gritted.

If you have been involved in an accident caused by ice or snow on an ungritted road or pavement, you could potentially qualify for a personal injury compensation claim.

It can get confusing to stay on top of things – there are a number of laws that govern the responsibilities of authorities and road gritting. It will help to know who is responsible for the specific road you are concerned with. It is also important to note that the highway authority and council are not responsible for all the roads and pavements in the UK.

In this guide, you will learn more about who is responsible for which roads and pavements and how to claim compensation for any injuries caused by the negligence of the council or other authorities who fail to grit roads and pavements.

Who is responsible for gritting roads?

You may see certain roads being gritted more actively than others; naturally, the amount of traffic and where the road is located will play a factor in the priority. With that in mind, less prominent roads are primarily the responsibility of local authorities, although members of the public can help clear snow and ice from pavements when necessary.

The three main bodies responsible for gritting the roads are National Highways (formerly Highways England), county councils, and private owners of businesses. Local UK councils are responsible for around 225,000 miles of road, so it is impossible for all of them to be gritted and ice-free. Gritting all roads would cost the council hundreds of millions of pounds.

The responsibility for gritting different types of roads is explained below:

As we’ve illustrated, the relevant authorities should conduct the gritting of high-traffic roads. If you have been involved in an accident on a high priority, ungritted road, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance, as you could be entitled to compensation.

You can find out which roads your local council will grit by using the Gov.uk website.

Who is responsible for gritting pavements?

Pavement gritting should be a priority depending on the specific location and conditions, as it poses a potential risk for pedestrians to slip and suffer significant injuries. The responsibility for gritting pavements on public roads typically falls on the relevant local authorities. However, you can see many public pavements gritted by private owners, especially business owners, for the protection of their workers, customers and the public in general.

Sometimes, local authorities will provide a grit bin for gritting roads and pavements near a school. With an eye on safety for both pedestrians and drivers, sub-contractors will also try to spread grit to the pavement when gritting a local or minor road.

When pavements are considered part of highways, they fall under the responsibility of councils. Councils are allowed to decide for themselves whether there are other routes that could be taken instead of gritting the pavement or whether the pavement gets used enough to merit gritting.

Who is responsible for gritting car parks?

Council car parks are gritted by the council. However, any business’ car park gritting and maintenance naturally fall under the responsibility of the business or landowner.

All businesses and landowners should consider gritting in icy conditions, as it could be a potential hazard to anyone accessing the premises. Failing to keep their premises safe could make them liable for a personal injury claim if somebody is injured due to a slip on ice.

When do roads and pavements need to be gritted?

Roads and pavements need to be gritted by the relevant local authorities, who have a duty of care towards the public. UK winters are often icy, and what better way to lose your footing than on a slippery surface. Whether it is a public area or a private property, landowners and local authorities must respect their duty of care towards the public by ensuring proper maintenance and gritting.

Businesses and local authorities need to keep a keen eye on the weather and should consider creating a winter risk assessment. This will illustrate when to grit roads and how often.

Can the council be liable for an accident if they don’t grit the roads?

If you have been injured in an accident due to an ungritted, icy, or snowy road, you may be eligible to claim compensation. The highway authority and council could be held liable if they are unable to prove that the road was recently gritted.

The determination of liability in such cases would likely depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident, the efforts made by the council to address the issue, and whether the council acted reasonably under the circumstances.

That said, Section 41(1A) of the Highways Act 1980 clearly states that a highway authority is under a duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice. This means that you, as a highway user, have the right to claim compensation, especially when you are in an accident where the highway authority is not maintaining roads in winter conditions. Section 150 expands on this by laying responsibility on the highway authority to clear snow from the highway if it is causing an obstruction.

How to claim for an accident caused by ice or snow?

For the best chances of a successful claim against the council or highway authority, you will need evidence that the roads were not maintained up to standard. Proving that an ungritted road was the reason behind your accident will bolster your case, and your personal injury solicitor can assist you when assessing your case.

Gather as much evidence as possible, and consider getting statements from eyewitnesses. Photos of the road and the accident scene are also vital to prove negligence on the part of the council.

It is also worth mentioning that if a pavement or road was cleared and you got injured by falling or slipping on the surface, ”common sense” and ”benefit of the doubt” will be considered by the authorities. There is no law against clearing pavements or public spaces.

To initiate a claim, contact a personal injury solicitor specialising in such cases. They can help you determine the strength of your claim, gather evidence, and negotiate with the council or highway authority on your behalf. In most instances, your solicitor may be able to reach a settlement without going to court. However, if necessary, they will represent you in court proceedings.

Keep in mind that there is a time limit for making personal injury claims. Generally, you have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. It is advisable to consult a solicitor as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.

In conclusion, the responsibility for gritting roads and pavements in the UK is shared between different authorities and landowners. National Highways is responsible for major roads, while local councils are responsible for minor and local roads, as well as some pavements. Private landowners and businesses are responsible for gritting their own premises, including car parks.

If you have been injured in an accident due to an ungritted road or pavement, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Consult a personal injury solicitor to help you assess your case and gather evidence to support your claim.

To discuss your case with a friendly legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. Alternatively, enter your details into our online claim form, and an adviser will call you back.

Should Bus Drivers Wait Until Passengers Are Seated?

If you have ever taken the bus, you’ve undoubtedly had the thrilling experience of grabbing onto whatever you can find when the bus suddenly pulls away before you can find a seat. However, this can be dangerous, especially for vulnerable and older people, as slipping or falling on a bus can lead to severe injuries.

There are plenty of cases where buses pull off suddenly while passengers are still finding their feet, so to speak. But what is the law on this? Should bus drivers wait until passengers are seated before driving off?

This article will explore the rules and regulations surrounding this topic. We will also explain your legal rights if you suffer an injury caused by a reckless bus driver.

What are the bus drivers’ duties and safety standards?

When a bus driver pulls away smoothly and at a reasonable speed, it is generally safe for you and your fellow passengers, even if you are not seated. And this is not against the law, as bus drivers don’t have to wait until passengers are seated before they set off from a bus stop. However, bus drivers do have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety.

A bus driver should always be aware of the passengers and be fit to drive. If you fall and suffer an injury while walking to your seat on a bus, the bus driver or company could be liable for a bus accident claim if the driver has driven recklessly. However, if the driver acted reasonably and you fell simply due to the bus being in motion, you would unlikely be eligible to claim.

Special care for vulnerable passengers

While the bus driver’s duty is solely focused on the safety of the passengers, some passengers need further assistance and care from drivers. Some passengers may be more prone to injuries and trips than others.

Vulnerable passengers include the elderly, disabled, children, passengers carrying babies, pregnant women, and travellers with excessive baggage. If you fall within any of these vulnerable categories and have been injured because the bus driver didn’t give you sufficient time to take a seat, you would be more likely entitled to compensation. This could help you to take care of any medical bills, treatment costs or loss of income due to the injury.

If it is not immediately apparent that you may be a vulnerable passenger, it may not be reasonable for the bus to know unless you communicate with them. For example, if you have a prosthetic limb or balancing issues, you should inform the bus driver as you get on the bus. They should then ensure you have sufficient time to find a seat or at least a rail to hold on to.

Are bus drivers negligent when driving off before passengers are seated?

The safety duty of bus drivers is set out in The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990. The regulations state that a driver shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of passengers who are on, entering, or leaving a vehicle. If you have been injured by a driver who was not following their duty, you may very well be eligible to make a bus accident compensation claim.

Without an admission of liability, the only way to determine whether a driver was negligent is to investigate whether the driver took reasonable precautions. Your solicitor must provide evidence, such as bus security camera footage and witness statements to show that the bus driver failed to take reasonable care. Without any evidence of negligence on the part of the bus driver, it may be difficult to prove liability.

How to safeguard yourself when entering a bus

If you are not classified under the vulnerable passenger category and have not spoken to the driver, you should try to get seated as soon as possible. Also, proceed with caution if you are rushing to your seat to prevent tripping and falling – which is possible even if the bus is standing still.

If you trip and fall of your own accord, you will not be able to claim for your injury as it is not the fault of the driver or the bus company. However, if you tripped due to a defect on the bus, such as damaged flooring, you could hold the company responsible for your injuries and make a compensation claim.

Can you claim for an injury that occurred due to not being seated?

As bus drivers are not expected to wait for all passengers to sit down before driving off, you usually need to fall under the vulnerable passenger’s classification to be eligible for compensation. That said, other factors mentioned above might make it possible for you to seek compensation, as long as you have a plausible case proving negligence from the driver.

If you fall under the category of protected individuals and advise the driver that they should wait until you take your seat, you could claim compensation. All public transport buses in the UK are equipped with CCTV, which can be used in any personal injury claim against a bus driver or company.

What if you get injured inside a bus from an accident with other vehicles?

If you have been injured on a bus due to an accident with another vehicle, you will most certainly be able to claim compensation, no matter who’s at fault. Your claim would be made against the bus company if the bus driver was at fault. Otherwise, it would be made against the driver of the other vehicle that caused the accident.

If the other driver involved in the accident does not stop or is uninsured, the injury claim could be made with the Motor Insurers Bureau. Whether you were seated or not, bus accident claims are generally easier when they involve another vehicle, as passengers will have a right to claim compensation regardless of who was at fault.

How will compensation help for my accident on a bus?

If your personal injury claim is successful, the compensation awarded will cover any medical expenses you’ve had to pay due to the injury. Although the NHS covers most medical treatments, you might have to pay for prescriptions, painkillers, physiotherapy or other rehabilitation treatments.

In many cases, you may also need to take some time off work due to your injuries, which could cause you further financial harm. However, your compensation amount will take this into consideration as well, so you should not be left out of pocket.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

As with most personal injury claims, providing a precise ballpark figure is difficult, as each claim is unique. The amount you can claim will depend on multiple factors, including the type and severity of your injury and the financial losses you have suffered as a result.

It is therefore essential to consult with a solicitor to determine whether you will be eligible for a claim and the possible compensation amount you could expect. Bus incidents can be tricky, so a personal injury lawyer should be your first port of call to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.

Please be seated

If you have been injured on a bus due to a negligent bus driver, we can connect you with experienced personal injury solicitors who can fight in your corner.

For assistance with making a no win no fee personal injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, enter your details into our online claim form, and a friendly legal adviser will give you a call back to discuss your case.