Road Traffic Accidents Compensation Claims

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Road traffic accidents compensation claims

Road traffic accidents have been an integral part of the personal injury claims market for many years. Unfortunately, this has led to serious injuries and, in some cases, deaths as a consequence of negligence. The variation in compensation claims for road traffic accidents is huge, and the UK government has tried to simplify the process for relatively small claims.

In recent times we have seen significant improvements in road safety right across the UK. However, road traffic accidents are still one of the main sources of personal injury compensation claims.

This area has also been targeted by various criminal gangs in recent times, leading to a mass of fraudulent activity. Thankfully, the UK government is starting to clamp down on such activity.

Encouraging use of the online portal, as well as the Small Claims Court for relatively small compensation claims, seems to have helped.

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The Road Traffic Accident Protocol

Back in 2010, the UK authorities set up a claimsportal to reduce the costs when pursuing road traffic accident compensation claims up to £25,000.

The portal is available to claims management companies allowing them to:-

  • Transfer information between parties in a secure and efficient manner
  • Speed up the decision-making process
  • Allow efficient negotiation of compensation
  • Reduce the cost of communication
  • Add structure to the claims process

In recent times the authorities have encouraged more parties to use the claims portal. There is evidence to suggest that the process of proving negligence/negotiating compensation has improved with the online platform.

Can I Still Pursue Compensation Directly With the Defendant?

Yes. There are still numerous road traffic accidents that involve compensation claims well in advance of £25,000. While many people choose to use a claims management company, victims can pursue compensation under their own steam.

However, the UK legal system has an array of complexities, and even the strongest of cases can fall foul of the system. So, prior to pursuing your own case, it may be worthwhile chatting with a claims management company to see how the land lies.

Do I Need to Prove Negligence?

In order to pursue any type of compensation, you first need to prove negligence by one or more third parties. This is one of the fundamental elements of tort law, which deems that in order to seek compensation, there must be a negligent party. Prior to making a decision about whether to pursue compensation, it is advisable to collate as much evidence as possible.

What Kind of Evidence Might I Require?

The first challenge, when pursuing compensation for injuries received as a consequence of a road traffic accident, is proving negligence. As a consequence, you will need to provide supporting evidence which might include any of the following:-

  • Vehicle structure reports
  • Roadside breathalyser test results
  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence
  • CCTV evidence
  • Medical records
  • Details of treatment received at the scene
  • Timeline of events

There are many other elements of evidence which you may be able to obtain to help prove negligence. However, this list will give you an idea of the type of evidence that is more commonly used.

Presenting Your Evidence to a Claims Management Company

Whether or not you are looking to pursue compensation under your own steam or use the services of a claims management company, there’s no harm in taking advice from the experts. Upon approaching a claims management company, they will review your case and supporting evidence.

Where they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, the likelihood is that they will offer to pursue your case on your behalf. This would probably be under a “no-win, no fee” arrangement, which effectively indemnifies you from the costs incurred by your claims management company.

However, in exchange for this, they would negotiate a success fee.

What Is a Success Fee?

A success fee is an arrangement between the claimant and claims management representatives, regarding a share of any compensation awarded. Traditionally claims management companies will receive around 25% of any compensation, but this can vary.

Assuming the case is successful, the claims management company should also be able to seek reimbursement of case costs from the defendant. However, taking on a “no-win, no fee” arrangement still offers a significant risk to the claims management company as nothing is guaranteed.

Lodging a Claim for Compensation

There is a three-year window of opportunity in which you will need to lodge a claim for compensation. This period begins on the date of the accident, assuming you are diagnosed at the scene or further down the line if you are not diagnosed until days, weeks, or months later.

The date of diagnosis is the first day of the three-year window of opportunity. So, the first thing to do is send the defendant a copy of your claim and supporting evidence (your claims management company will do this for you).

The defendant and their representatives will have 21 days in which to reply. They will then have a further three months in which to investigate your claims and collate their own evidence. After this three month period, they must advise the claimant/advisers whether they admit liability or would prefer to go to court.

What Happens if Liability Is Admitted?

This is the best course of action for the claimant. If liability is admitted, then representatives from both sides can sit around the negotiating table to discuss compensation. Upon agreement, the claimant should receive compensation funds within 14 days.

If liability is admitted, but the parties are unable to negotiate a compensation package, the court will rule on the level of compensation.

What if Liability Is Challenged?

If liability is challenged by the defendant, and the claimant still wishes to pursue the claim, then down to the law courts we go. Evidence from both parties will be heard by a judge, who will then make the relevant judgment.

If negligence is recognized by the judge, then we move on to compensation. If negligence is not recognized by the judge, then the case is over.

What Levels of Compensation Might I Expect?

The potential injuries received as a consequence of a road traffic accident vary widely. Once negligence has been proved, you will find that you are likely eligible for both general damages and special damages.

General damages are financial recompense for pain and suffering as a direct consequence of the accident. Special damages relate to costs incurred, ongoing costs, and future costs related to medical treatment, special needs, and loss of earnings. General damages are limited, but special damages are not.

Summary

There is no doubt that the UK government’s intention to simplify the path to road traffic accident compensation has been at least partially successful. Many claims are now heard in the Small Claims Court, while others are carried out using the online claims portal.

It is vital to remind victims if you have been in a road traffic accident, which was no fault of your own, then you may be eligible for compensation.

The government is not trying to block compensation for road traffic accidents, but it is looking to make the process less lucrative for criminal gangs carrying out fraudulent activity.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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Money Savings Advice is a trading name of RMM Digital Publishing Ltd. Registered trading address, First Floor, 85 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LT. Trading in England and Wales, company number 11550143 with data protection number ZA747669.

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Consumer Credit Justice Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Reference 834486. We are regulated by the FCA in respect to claims management activities.

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