Below are some of the common questions that our personal injury team receive about road traffic accident (RTA) claims.
Should I see my doctor?
Your health is the absolute priority if you are involved in an accident. Obviously, if you have been seriously injured, you may need to go to hospital, where they will advise you on further treatment and managing your symptoms.
However, if the accident is less serious and your injuries develop over time (like whiplash), we do recommend you visit your GP. The doctor will advise you on managing your symptoms and may refer you for physiotherapy or to a specialist if the injury is more complicated.
You are also under an obligation to mitigate your injury, which means you must try and reduce the overall effect of the accident. A defendant may suggest you are owed less compensation if you haven’t taken any steps to help yourself recover from the injuries.
Who do I claim against?
If the accident was the fault of another driver, the claim will be made against their insurance company.
However, if you were a passenger in a vehicle and your driver was at fault, you are entitled to pursue a claim against the driver’s insurance company.
If any of the parties were uninsured or untraceable (i.e. they drove away from the scene), a claim can be made via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
Will an RTA claim affect my car insurance?
If the accident was not your fault, your insurance should not be affected, and neither should your no claims bonus. However, each insurance company may vary and we would advise you check with them.
Do I need to notify my insurance company after being involved in an accident?
Yes, as most insurance companies require you to report the accident within 24 hours (individual insurance companies may vary).
Do I have to use my insurer’s solicitors?
Your insurance company will recommend its preferred firm of solicitors. However, you do not have to pursue your personal injury claim via your insurance company. You are absolutely entitled to instruct any solicitor to act for you.
The accident was my fault; can I claim?
No, if you were at fault you cannot make a personal injury claim. However, your insurance company may either repair or pay you for your vehicle, but will deduct your excess.
However, if you believe you were only partly at fault and another driver was also to blame, you may be entitled to counterclaim for the proportion of the accident which was not your fault. You won’t receive as much compensation, but it can’t hurt to ask whether it is worth challenging the other driver.
I was a passenger; can I claim against my driver?
Yes. If your driver was at fault, you are entitled to pursue a claim against their insurer. Some people are concerned or feel guilty because they know the driver and do not want to cause them any trouble. Our simple answer is that you are claiming against the insurer, not the person – and this is the whole reason why they took insurance out in the first place!
Can I still claim if I have pre-existing injuries?
Yes. You are entitled to claim, as the accident may have exacerbated (made worse) an existing injury.
Can I claim for my vehicle damage?
Yes, we can assist with your vehicle damage claim.
I took time off work, can I claim loss of earnings?
Yes, if your time off work was accident-related and if this can be proved by evidence from your employer.
I paid for my medication, can I claim this back?
Yes, if the medication was required as a result of the injuries caused by the accident.
How long before my case is settled?
Depending on the nature of injuries, on average a claim takes around 4-6 months to settle. That’s not to say that some cases may take less time to settle.
However, if there are serious injuries, this may take longer as the process of assessing your injuries and consulting the right experts can be quite complicated. Plus, you might simply take a long time to recover, so it may be impossible to value your claim until you are on the road to recovery.
Will a success fee be deducted from my compensation?
No! Levi Solicitors LLP do not deduct a success fee from your compensation.
If you have been involved in an RTA, why not give us a call to discuss whether you can bring a personal injury claim. It can’t hurt to ask, and it doesn’t cost you anything to find out. Contact one of our specialist solicitors on 0800 988 7756.