Welcome to our guide on road traffic accident claims. Have you sustained an injury due to another road user breaching the duty of care they owed you? If so, you may be able to seek compensation.
This guide will look at whether you hold a valid claim to ensure you are eligible. It doesn’t matter if you were injured as a pedestrian, driver or cyclist; all that you need to prove in order for you to be eligible to claim is that you were injured because of another road user’s negligence.
When making a personal injury claim, it’s important to determine who was liable for the accident and to have evidence to support this. In this guide, we’ll look at ways someone could be liable for your accident and evidence that can help to prove it.
We’ll also look at some of the injuries you could have sustained in different road accidents. In particular, we’ll explore how whiplash injuries may be valued. Additionally, we’ll provide guidance on how the Whiplash Reform Program could affect the value of your claim.
However, if you have any questions after reading, get in touch with our team. You can get in touch with us using the button at the top of this screen. Otherwise, read on for more information about road traffic accident claims.
Select a Section
- What Is A Road Traffic Collision?
- Who Are The Different Road User Groups?
- How Do Road Traffic Accidents Happen?
- How To Prove Road Traffic Accident Claims
- The 2021 Whiplash Reforms
- Pursuing Compensation For An RTA Under A No Win No Fee Arrangement
- Connect With Road Traffic Accident Claims Specialists
A road traffic accident can involve different types of road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, drivers or motorcyclists. Each one of these types of road users has a duty of care to everyone else on the road. However, they may be expected to act differently to ensure the safety of everyone else on the road depending on what kind of road user they are. For example, the guidance in the Highway Code for a cyclist will differ from the guidance for the driver of a car.
Road traffic accidents are not always the fault of a road user. Instead, other factors could contribute to an accident happening, for instance, the quality or safety of road including potholes or slippery surfaces due to the weather.
However, the accident needs to have been caused by another road user breaching the duty of care they owed you in order for you to claim. Legislation such as the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the guidance outlined in the Highway Code can be used to determine whether a duty of care was breached.
The following sections will look at the different types of road users and how they could act irresponsibly on the road. If you’d like to get the road traffic accident claims process started today, however, you can give our team a call.
Various types of road users navigate the roads every day, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers, e.g. of cars, vans and lorries. Each one can be affected by road accidents in different ways. For instance, according to the Reported road casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2020, there were 624 cars involved in fatal accidents, compared to:
- 282 motorcyclists
- 140 pedal cyclists
- 355 pedestrians
Additionally, the total number of car casualties in 2020 equated to 64,112, compared to:
- 13,570 motorcyclists
- 16,230 pedal cyclists
- 14,717 pedestrians
However, despite there being more car casualties, it’s important to note that cars make up around 80% of traffic. This can provide an insight as to why the figures for car accidents are noticeably higher.
Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are classed as “vulnerable road users”. This is because they aren’t offered the same level of protection as people who travel in, for example, cars and vans. This means that they may be more susceptible to severe injuries than those who have the protection that a vehicle offers.
If you’d like to know more about the road traffic accident claims process and whether you could be entitled to compensation, speak to our team today. Otherwise, read on for more information on the circumstances that could lead to these accidents happening.
There are multiple factors that may contribute to a road traffic accident. Different kinds of road users might do different things to cause a road traffic accident to happen.
Some examples of how the actions of different road users can lead to accidents happening might include:
- Car drivers not paying due care and attention
- Pedestrians not looking when they cross the road
- Cyclists not signalling when they turn
- Motorcyclists not wearing clothing that enables them to be seen in the dark
- Safety of vehicles not being maintained
Additionally, there may be instances where riders or drivers don’t have the correct insurance or qualifications to be on the road. In cases where you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you could make your claim through the Motors’ Insurers Bureau (MIB).
There are other factors where the people on the road aren’t necessarily to blame. For instance:
- Weather conditions, where the road is slippy due to ice or rain
- Road conditions, such as potholes that the council failed to fix
As there are so many factors to consider, it’s important to have evidence to support road traffic accident claims when trying to determine who was liable.
How Common Are Accidents On The Road?
According to the Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2020 Annual Report, there were a total of 115,584 casualties of all severities. The graph below provides an insight into the type of road users involved in these accidents.
We can see from the graph that road traffic accidents and the casualties they result in aren’t uncommon. However, these statistics do not indicate how many of these accidents are caused by negligence and, therefore, how many could lead to road traffic accident claims. The figures that are illustrated in this graph are provided by the Department for Transport.
In order to prove you have a valid road traffic accident claim, it needs to meet the three criteria of negligence:
- Someone owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care towards you
- You suffered a physical or psychological injury as a result
Evidence of your accident and injury can help to prove whether someone acted without consideration for the safety of others on the road. For instance:
- Pictures of the injury
- Pictures of the accident scene
- CCTV or dashcam footage
- Witness details
- Details of the accident in an accident workbook
- Police reports
In some cases, the damage to your vehicle may be able to inform who was at fault for the accident. For example, in rear-end shunt accidents, it is usually the person behind who is at fault for the accident because they failed to leave a safe stopping distance from the car in front. So, if you have damage to the back of your vehicle, this could indicate that you’re not at fault for the incident.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
As per the Limitation Act 1980, for road traffic accident claims, you’ll generally have three years to make your claim. However, there are some exceptions that apply.
For instance, if someone under the age of 18 is claiming, the three years won’t start until they turn 18. In the meantime, someone could apply to act as a litigation friend, meaning they can put forward the claim on their behalf. This might be a parent, guardian or solicitor. While the injured person is under the age of 18, the limitation period is suspended.
Additionally, if someone lacks the mental capacity to claim, the three-year time limit will be frozen. If they recover their mental capacity, the three years will then start from their recovery date. However, if they don’t, the three years will stay frozen indefinitely. During the time in which the time limit is paused, someone could apply to act as a litigation friend.
For more information on the exceptions of the personal injury claims time limit, please speak to our team by clicking the button at the top of the page.
The Whiplash Reform Programme has changed the way people make road traffic accident claims for whiplash injury compensation. It applies to drivers or passengers over the age of 18 who suffered injuries in a car accident.
The changes introduced mean that if your injuries are valued at less than £5,000, you must submit your claim through the government online portal. If they are valued at £5,000 or more, you can claim using the traditional route. However, even if you go through the portal, you can still seek legal representation from a No Win No Fee solicitor.
The table below provides information on the new compensation amounts for whiplash injuries. We’ve taken these figures from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.
|Injury duration||Amount as per Regulation 2(1)(a)||Amount as per Regulation 2(1)(b)|
|No more than 3 months||£240||£260|
Note: The amounts for Regulation 2(1)(a) are for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for one or more whiplash injuries. Whereas, Regulation 2(1)(b) amounts are for this and one or more minor psychological injuries suffered in the same accident as the whiplash injury or injuries.
We understand the financial impact a road traffic accident can have on you. So if you’re concerned about seeking legal representation because of the costs normally associated with this, we have a solution.
A No Win No Fee agreement could allow you to access legal representation while avoiding upfront costs that a solicitor might usually charge. Furthermore, with an agreement like this, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor while the claim is ongoing. Crucially, you also won’t be asked to pay them in the event that they aren’t successful in winning you compensation.
If your solicitor succeeds in winning your case, they will deduct a small success fee from your compensation. Before the claim starts, you’ll agree upon the percentage to be taken. Furthermore, the success fee is capped by law, meaning that you will always receive the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
Road traffic accident claims can be complex, and the process of making one can be daunting. For that reason, it can be helpful to have an experienced solicitor helping you each step of the way. The option to claim by yourself is always available; however, we feel that the support and guidance of an experienced solicitor could help you maximise the compensation you receive.
If you’d like to discuss the option of a No Win No Fee agreement with an advisor, you can contact us using the button at the top of this screen. Our team can assess whether your claim is valid and, if it is, they can appoint a solicitor from our panel to represent you.
You can also get in touch with us using the live chat feature to the bottom-right of this screen. So if you have any questions about road traffic accident claims, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; we can help.
More Resources On Personal Injury Claims
For more information on claiming compensation after an accident or injury, see the government guide.
Visit the NHS if you need guidance on whether or not to visit a minor injuries unit.
If you require further information on the whiplash reforms, see the Motors’ Insurers Bureau website.
We also have a bunch of guides on personal injury claims which you can read below:
- Learn more about personal injury claims
- Different types of personal injury claims
- Time limits in personal injury claims
- Accident at work claims
- How to find quality personal injury solicitors
- No Win No Fee agreements in personal injury claims
- How to claim compensation for slip, trip and fall accidents
- Personal injury claims against the local council
- How to make a manual handling injury claim
- No Win No Fee personal injury claims
- I was struck by a moving object at work, can I make a claim?
- How to claim compensation for an accident in a public place
- How to prove a personal injury claim
- How can cycling accident solicitors help me?
- How to claim for an accident on public transport
- Fatal accident claims
- Fatal car accident claims – can you get compensation?
We hope you’ve found our guide on road traffic accident claims informative. Thank you for taking the time to read.
Guide by MIT
Checked by STO