Motor Accident Claims UK
 
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CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION SOLICITOR - INJURY CLAIM PROCEDURE


HELPLINE 0844 332 0308

It's a sad fact of modern life that road traffic accidents are a prominent cause of suffering, injury and death. Each accident and each victim's story is unique and statistics may seem meaningless, but they give an indication of the scale of the problem. Each year almost 3,000 people are killed on the roads in the UK and 40,000 others suffer severe injuries. There are over 250,000 less serious injuries from over 200,000 accidents resulting in a staggering 300,000 casualties ever year. It is estimated that car accident compensation claim solicitors legal action represents over a half of all civil claims that are settled both before and after the issue of proceedings in a court of law.

Car Accident

Why is this problem so severe? Over 90% of accidents result from driver errors which can relate to carelessness, recklessness, drink driving, driving whilst tired and speeding. It may be surprising to learn that driving when tired is a frequent contributory factor, but this is the case - with high rates of accidents in the early hours of the morning. A shocking 15% of accidents are alcohol-related and this figure is rising. Speeding is probably the most serious aggravating factor which contributes to over 30,000 serious injuries and the majority of the fatalities every year.

Negligence

To succeed in a road traffic accident compensation claim you have to show the other party was negligent, in other words that their bad behaviour caused the accident. To do so you need sufficient supporting evidence including witness statements, medical records and police reports and you must either settle the claim or issue proceedings in a court of law within three years of the date that the accident occurred. If the other driver isn't insured or has not been traced (hit and run) then a car accident solicitor must apply for compensation to the Motor Insurers Bureau which administers a fund, financed by the insurance industry, set up to pay compensation to the innocent victims of untraced or uninsured drivers.

There are numerous definitions of the term 'negligence' in a legal context however in its simplest form when considering a personal injury compensation claim it means a failure to take care of the welfare of an other person by way of careless or reckless behaviour.

It should be noted that if an accident occurs and the driver is deemed to be negligent then an accident insurance claim for the drivers own damage to property or for compensation for personal injury to themselves cannot be made to their own insurance company if their policy only covers third party risks. If the policy of the negligent driver is fully comprehensive then a claim can be made to their own insurer for property damage but not for compensation for personal injury for the policy holder. Claims can however be made in each case for all losses and injury for any passenger in the vehicle. If however the fault lies with another driver then an accident insurance claim can be made by a car accident compensation solicitor for all losses, damage and expenses that have been reasonably incurred however it should be noted that if a claim is made to the MIB following a collision with an uninsured driver or an untraced driver then there are certain limits and restrictions on what can be claimed and an MIB claim is subject to deduction of a nominal excess. Untraced claims (hit and Run) will result in the deduction of legal charges.

Reasonable Care

In order to receive damages in a personal injury case our car accident compensation solicitors must show that the potential defendant's behaviour fell below the standard of care that may be expected from a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances. It is also necessary for our compensation solicitors to prove that a duty of care existed and that the defendant breached that duty of care by way of a negligent act which directly caused the injuries.

Contributory Negligence

What underlies these errors? Men over the age of 30 are most inclined to have accidents relating to excessive speed but it is younger men - those under 25 - who are inclined to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol. It may also be surprising to hear that the failure to use seatbelts is also a significant factor in the severity of injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. Over 10% of drivers and passengers in the front seat neglect to use seat belts or child restraints which does have a significant impact on compensation awarded in a car accident compensation claim on the basis of contributory negligence by the injured party with deductions from damages typically in the region of 25% for those who fail to wear a seatbelt.

Evidence

Your car accident compensation solicitor will need a number of reports or records to use as evidence and these can include the records or accident reports of police or investigating officers, treatment and attendance records from hospitals or doctors and witness statements together with specialist medical reports to confirm the injury, the prognosis and the estimated time for recovery to take place. The car accident solicitor will also need a full statement outlining exactly what happened. It is important to ensure you keep a written record of the details of the accident, that you have the contact information of the other parties involved and of the witnesses.

Damages Award

Once your car accident compensation solicitor has all of the necessary information it will be possible to make an assessment of the value of the claim which will include lost income and all other general expenses and losses including hire car charges, damage to your vehicle, costs of advisory services and insurance policy excess. In addition a claim can be made for pain and suffering, loss of amenity and care or nursing costs.

Insurance Report

Any policy holder who is involved in a road traffic accident is required to report the incident to their insurers as soon as possible regardless of whether the policy is comprehensive or third party and regardless of whether or not they consider themselves to carry any of the blame for the accident. If the person involved in the accident has comprehensive insurance there is still a duty requiring uninsured losses to be claimed from the other party for and on behalf of the insurers which is usually tagged on to any claim made by the policy holder for personal injury.

Issue of Summons

The final stage of the process, after damages have been assessed, will involve your car accident compensation solicitor attempting to settle the claim by agreement with the third party insurers however, if either liability or the amount of the claim remains in dispute then a summons will be issued in a court of law against the third party intended for ultimate resolution by the court whereupon a judge, after seeing written evidence and after hearing witnesses, will decide both liability and the amount of compensation to be paid.

Personal Injury Solicitors

If you would like to talk to a car accident compensation solicitor who specialises in personal injury compensation claims without any obligation just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and an experienced lawyer will speak to you on the telephone. We operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.

 
HELPLINE 0844 332 0308

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¹England and Wales ² Excluding untraced Motor Insurers Bureau claims ©Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved

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