If you are wondering, “how long can I claim after a car accident?” this guide could help you. We will explore the time limits surrounding road traffic accident claims as well as the eligibility criteria that must be met in order to seek compensation.
Moreover, specific examples of how an accident on the road could occur will be examined in conjunction with the duty of care each road user owes one another.
Furthermore, we will explore how much compensation you could be awarded in the event of a successful personal injury claim. Also, we will look at the impact the whiplash reforms could have on the way you make your claim and how much compensation you could receive.
Additionally, we will inform you on the steps you can take to enhance your case. For instance, gathering evidence or hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you.
If you wish to speak with an advisor from our team, you can do so. They are available to offer you free legal advice at a time that is most convenient for you. To get in touch:
- Call on 0113 460 1216
- Find out about making a claim via our online form
- Use the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen
Browse Our Guide
- How Long Can I Claim After A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
- When Am I Eligible To Claim For A Car Accident?
- What Compensation Could I Receive From A Road Traffic Accident?
- Potential Evidence That Could Help In A Claim For A Road Traffic Collision
- Make A No Win No Fee Road Accident Claim Using Our Panel Of Solicitors
- Read More About Claiming For Driver Negligence
The Limitation Act 1980 establishes the time limit that road traffic accident claims must be started within. Generally, you have three years from the date the accident occurred.
There are some exceptions that can apply to this time limit. For example,person who has sustained an injury is a child, or the person lacks the mental capacity to claim, they may be afforded more time.
In cases where the injured person is a child, the time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. During this period, a suitable adult could apply to act as a litigation friend and claim on their behalf. This could be a family member or guardian. After they turn 18, they will have until their 21st birthday to start their own claim, provided no claim has already been made for them.
The time limit is also paused in cases where the injured person has a reduced mental capacity to claim. While it is paused, a litigation friend could put forward the claim for them. They will have three years from when they recover to start their own claim, provided no claim has already been made for them.
If you are still wondering, ‘how long can I claim after a car accident?’ or for more details regarding the exceptions and whether they apply to your specific circumstances, contact our team of advisors.
To be entitled to claim for a road traffic accident, you must have been injured due to another road user failing to uphold their duty of care. This is referred to as negligence. The duty of care road users owe is set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988. There is also guidance about the different responsibilities each road user has in The Highway Code.
As per their duty of care, they must navigate the roads in a manner that ensures their own and others safety when on the road. Another road user failing to do so and you being injured as a result could form the basis of a valid claim.
Examples Of Driver Negligence That Could Lead To An Accident
Here are some examples of how a road traffic accident could happen as a result of another road user’s negligence:
- Another road user fails to check the road is clear when pulling out at a junction. Due to this, they collide with you, and you suffer a shoulder dislocation injury.
- The car driver behind you is on their phone and does not see you stopped at a red light. Consequently, they rear-end you, and you suffer a head injury.
- A lorry driver does not check it’s safe to overtake. Subsequently, they hit you in head-on collision, and you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the severe nature of the crash and the life-changing injuries you sustained.
If you have been involved in an accident on the road and would like to find out whether you are eligible to claim, please get in touch with an advisor from our team.
Your settlement could comprise two heads of claim. General damages compensate for any physical or mental pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Special damages compensate for financial losses incurred due to your injuries, such as lost earnings and care costs.
The table below contains guideline compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is used by legal professionals to aid them when valuing general damages.
Whilst the figures from the JCG are a guide only, the last two entries are fixed amounts taken from the tariff in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.
|Injury||Notes||Guideline Compensation Amount|
|Head||Very severe (a) The requirement for care full time.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Leg||Amputation (a) (ii) The below the knee amputation of both legs.||£201,490 to £270,100|
|Neck||Severe (a) (i) Neck injuries resulting in paraplegia that is not complete or spastic quadriparesis that's permanent.||In the region of
|Arm||Severe (a) A serious brachial plexus injury that leaves the person little better off than if the arm had been lost.||£96,160 to £130,930|
|Knee||Severe (a) (i) An injury that disrupts the knee joint and causes considerable pain and loss of function.||£69,730 to £96,210|
|Back||Severe (a) (ii) Injuries with special features such as damaged nerve roots with associated loss of sensation, impaired mobility, impaired bladder and bowel function.||£74,160 to £88,430|
|Ankle||Severe (b) Injuries that require an extensive period of treatment and or a prolonged period in plaster.||£31,310 to £50,060|
|Shoulder||Severe (a) Neck injuries with brachial plexus damage.||£19,200 to £48,030|
|One or more whiplash injuries with one or more minor psychological injuries||Symptoms last between 18-24 months.||£4,345|
|One or more whiplash injuries with one or more minor psychological injuries||Symptoms last between 15-18 months.||£3,100|
How To Claim For Whiplash And Other Minor Injuries
Since the 31st of May 2021, specific claims must be made in accordance with the Whiplash Reform Programme. According to the new government guidance, any adult driver or passenger with an injury that is valued at £5,000 or less needs claim through the government’s Official Injury Claims portal.
Moreover, whiplash injuries are valued using a tariff of set amounts from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. In cases where you sustain other injuries that takes the total value of your claim over £5,000, you won’t claim through the portal. However, the tariff will be used to value your whiplash injuries. Any other injuries will be valued in the traditional way.
Please get in touch with an advisor to find out how much compensation you could be owed and the avenue you need to take to make your claim.
To claim successfully for a road traffic accident, you must prove that you were injured as a result of another road user not upholding their duty of care. You can do this in the following ways:
- Acquire CCTV footage of the accident
- Get medical care and keep any copies of records
- Take pictures of your injuries and/or the scene of the accident
- Gather witness details for statements to be taken at a later date
- Keep proof of any monetary losses via receipts, invoices or bank statements
A personal injury solicitor from our panel can help you with the process of gathering evidence. They have experience handling claims similar to your own and can advise on the other steps you could take as part of the claims process. Please speak with an advisor for more details.
There are many benefits to claiming via a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. Not only can they assist you in building and presenting your case, but there are also generally no fees to be paid for their services upfront or while your claim is ongoing.
They could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Being represented on this basis means that if your road traffic accident claim is unsuccessful, you typically won’t have to pay for the services provided by your solicitor.
However, if your claim is successful, payment will be required. In this case, a law-capped success fee will be deducted from your compensation as payment for your solicitor. The legal cap ensures that you receive the majority of your settlement.
If you would like to discover whether you qualify to be represented via this method, please get in touch with an advisor from our team. If they deem you to have an eligible case, they may set you up with a solicitor from our panel. You can do so by:
- Calling on 0113 460 1216
- Finding out about making a claim via our online form
- Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen
Here are some more of our guides that may be of use to you when looking to make a road traffic accident claim:
- How can I find the best personal injury solicitors near me?
- How to claim for an accident on public transport
- All you need to know about road traffic accident claims
We have also included further reading that may be beneficial:
- Highway Code – Rules For All Drivers And Riders
- GOV – Compensation After An Accident Or Injury
- NHS – First Aid
Thank you for reading this guide that has explored the question ‘how long can I claim after a car accident?’. If you have any other questions, please get in touch with an advisor from our team.
Writer Beck Patch
Editor Meg McConnell