The United Kingdom has one of the best records as far as road accidents and casualties are concerned. Based on the annual report the government publishes, the RRCGB (Reported Road Casualties Great Britain), 2013 was the best so far since its official data collection began in 1926. The total number of injuries was 183,670, of which 160,300 were slightly injured, 21,657 were severely injured, and 1,713 were killed. That’s a huge difference from 4,886 who died 87 years ago.
But if there’s one thing that we can glean from this information, it’s this: even if we have vastly improved in terms of our road practices and safety laws, many can still experience car accidents, or collisions. For that, a personal injury claim for a car accident still remains one of the most pursued forms of compensation.
When Do You Make a Claim?
Before you can file a car accident claim, ask yourself first the following questions:
- Where did the accident happen? Of course, the basic requirement is that the accident should have happened on the road. For example, you could be driving your car when a taxi suddenly hit you from behind.
- Who was involved? Almost, but not always a personal injury claim for a car accident involves another vehicle.
- Who is responsible? This is the biggest question to ask. The main reason why you’re filing for a claim is because you believe you have been injured through no fault of your own. The other party has caused your suffering and you should be at least be properly compensated through their insurance. Thus, it’s essential that you can convince the insurance company and the court that the car accident injury is not your fault.
How about the Car Insurance?
Every UK driver must carry a sufficient amount of insurance. The coverage may be used to compensate the aggrieved party. But in some instances the amount of insurance received is not enough for the loss of income or work, the possible growing hospital expenses, and other financial needs of the victim and any family members affected.
The claim is a demand for the correct compensation. With the help of a solicitor, you can then determine how much you really require. Bear in mind however, the UK law has already introduced new schemes with regard to road accidents. Your solicitor can provide more information about it.
How Do You File for a Claim?
1. Meet with a solicitor.
The truth is the law—and the court—doesn’t really require you to file for a claim with a solicitor. In other words, working with a solicitor is not mandatory. However, you can greatly benefit from doing so simply because a personal injury claim is not straightforward and can be a complicated process for anybody not trained in law.
Any personal injury claim covers a lot of grounds, and it can get further complicated, depending on the circumstances. You could have more to lose if you prefer to file a claim all by yourself.
2. Prepare the documents needed.
If you choose to use a personal injury solicitor and they have found merit in your circumstances that suggests that you should indeed claim for a car accident, the solicitor will then request you to prepare certain documents that will serve as proof or evidence. These can include police reports (its’ expected that you have filed a report about the accident, and besides, road accidents should be brought to the police as soon as possible), medical records, witness reports, and doctor’s advice, to name a few.
3. Work closely with the solicitor.
Another huge advantage of working with a solicitor on your personal injury claim is that you don’t really have to be present during meetings at all times. This can tremendously lessen the stress that often comes when you’re compelled to meet with people who you think are the main cause for your anxiety, pain, and suffering that you might be experiencing.
If the Car Accident Happened Abroad
If you should be involved in a road accident outside of the United Kingdom, it becomes a more complicated issue since the rules for personal injury claims can be very different from those of the UK.
It is therefore quite necessary for the victim to work with a solicitor equivalent overseas. UK solicitors, on the other hand, can still be of help especially with regard to orienting the respondent to the nature of personal injury claims in the other country. Some law firms also have offices, partners, or acquaintances they can introduce to you to help speed up the car accident claims process and make it easier for you.