Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Road accident injury claims – your questions answered

Here is a sample of some of the questions heard relating to road accidents and associated claims.

Is it right to make a claim?

In the UK to the year ending September 2011 (the latest confirmed figures available at the time of writing) 24,430 people had been killed or seriously injured in road accidents*.

In many of these cases, people and families suffered either tragedy or serious inconvenience as a result.

In such circumstances, money cannot wind back time and prevent the accident but it may allow you and your loved ones to cope with the financial consequences.

The law recognises your right to seek compensation for the distress and pain you may have suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  Only you can decide whether or not to progress a claim but a qualified accident claims solicitor will be happy to offer you their advice as to your options and probabilities of success, should you choose to do so.

What can I claim for?

Injury compensation claims may be made for a variety of reasons but broadly speaking they relate to pain, suffering or financial consequences, you may have suffered as a result of an accident.

For example, if an accident means that you are unable to work for a period of time, the law may allow you just compensation for your loss of or reduction in, earnings/income.

Do I have to prove my claim in court?

There are two aspects to this question, court and evidence.

In terms of court, typically the legal representatives of both parties will attempt to reach a just settlement of your claim without the need for court proceedings.  In many cases this is actually achieved.

In some cases it may not be possible to do so and evidence may need to be presented in court and a judgement sought.

Evidence is always helpful to support a claim.  It is important to seek medical treatment and opinion as soon as possible following an accident.  It is also important to ensure that you keep copies of all medical documents, treatment dates, diary notes to record your condition, prescriptions and so on.  Photographs may also be very helpful. 

How much will this cost me?

Some solicitors’ services are entirely on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Furthermore, any awards secured for you will be 100% paid to you – the other party meets your solicitor’s fees**.

Can my solicitor guarantee that I will obtain compensation?

No.  If the other party contests your claim and eventually wins, then you will receive nothing.

Using an experienced accident claims solicitor with experience in these areas will provide you with sound advice at the outset.  If they do not believe your claim to be viable, they will tell you that.


** Under Scots law there may be some slight differences in terminology and approach but the net effect may typically be the same.