I’ve Been Involved In A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault. How Do I Know If I Have A Car Accident Claim?
Being involved in any form of accident is a very serious matter. At Free Legal Justice, we understand that any accident, whether minor or serious, is a stressful and traumatic experience for all parties involved. We are here to help you through this upsetting experience, and get you the justice you deserve. When dealing with accident claims, it is important that the right procedures are followed and that proper steps are taken to deal with the incident. Free Legal Justice has many years of experience in dealing with all types of accident claims across the whole of the United Kingdom, and our friendly accident claims team is available 7 days of the week, 24 hours a day to give you free legal advice about the merits of your potential accident claim.
What Should I Do If I have Been in An Accident?
Check For Injuries
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the first and most important thing to do is to seek urgent medical attention. Car accidents of any nature can leave you with serious injuries, and various levels of physical pain and suffering. If you are able to do so, check all passengers and anyone else involved in the car accident to find out if they need medical attention or not. If there are any serious injuries, you should call an ambulance to the scene immediately. If your own own injuries don’t seem to be serious, make sure that you still get medical assistance as soon as possible, and keep good records of any doctor appointments and diagnoses that you receive.
Call the Police
It might be necessary to call the police to the scene of the accident. It isn’t always necessary to do so, and will largely depend on the situation. If someone is seriously or fatally hurt, you need to call the police. If the car accident is a hit or run, you should also call the police, as this is now a criminal case. Lastly, if there is severe damage to the cars and they are blocking traffic in any way, you will need to call the police to the scene so that they can manage the incident.
Watch What You Say
It is important to watch what you say during this time. Tensions are high, and everyone is very stressed at the scene of a car accident. One of the biggest mistakes people make is saying too much after a car accident. The less you say, the better, as you don’t want to implicate yourself in any way, or affect any future compensation claim you might have.
Gather Information and Evidence About The Accident
Finally, you should gather as much detail and evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. Take photos of the damage to the cars involved, of the entire accident scene, of any injuries. Be sure to take down the contact details of all the individuals involved in the car accident, as well as the details of any witnesses. Witness statements may come in handy for a future car accident claim, and can help to strengthen your case for compensation.
How Do I Start The Accident Claims Process?
Once you feel able to, it is a good idea to speak to a legal professional who specialises in car accident claims as soon as possible. Making an accident claim may seem like a daunting task, but the accident claims team at Free Legal Justice is here to support you every step of the way. We aim to help clients get through this stressful time by removing all the stress, risks and administrative burden from the accident claims process. We know and appreciate that accidents, both minor and serious, can affect people in different ways. We take each case seriously and deal with each client on an individual basis, giving 100 percent of our efforts to ensure that clients receive the maximum compensation they deserve.
The team at Free Legal Justice has been dealing with accident claims for many years, and our goal is to help every client get the greatest compensation that they deserve, in the shortest time possible. Free Legal Justice’s team of specialist accident claims solicitors have a solid history of experience and successful compensation claims, so you can rest easy knowing that your car accident claim is in safe hands.
Who Can Make Car Accident Claims?
It isn’t just drivers who can claim for injuries sustained on the road. Car accidents can cause injuries to all sorts of people, including passengers, drivers, and innocent bystanders. If the person who suffered injuries was younger than 18 years old, a parent or guardian will be able to make an accident claim on their behalf. The Free Legal Justice team is happy to discuss your claim for free at any stage, and one of our experienced accident claims experts will happily advise you on the potential of your claim, without any obligation to appoint us as lawyers thereafter.
When Can You Institute Accident Claims?
Generally, you need to make a claim for compensation within three years of the date of the car accident, or within three years of the date that you discovered your injuries- whichever date is later. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example you may be allowed a longer time period if you are claiming on behalf of a child or protected person. On the other hand, if the car accident was the result of criminal activity such as a hit and run, time limits may vary if the claim is instituted through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Our national accident claims team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions that you might have regarding the timing of your accident claim.
What Information Is Needed To Make Accident Claims?
Contact Free Legal Justice now to receive free professional advice on the merits of your car accident claim, so that you can know where you stand before you take legal steps against those who caused you injury. To correctly advise clients on the merits of their potential car accident claims, the Free Legal Justice team will need as much information as possible about the accident and any injuries suffered. For this reason, we advise that you have as much detail as possible ready for your free legal consultation with one of our accident claims experts, including details such as:
- How the car accident happened ;
- the nature of the car accident;
- Location of where the car accident happened;
- the nature of the injuries suffered or damages caused as a result of the car accident;
- Your car registration details;
- The name, car license registration number, and contact number of the individuals involved in the car accident; and
- Details or reference numbers of any police docket or emergency services attendance report.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information right away. With a single call to our helpful Free Legal Justice team, we will explain the merits of your accident claim to you, based on all the information you can provide. It is crucial to get in touch with a member of the Free Legal Justice accident claims team as soon as possible- the sooner we have the details of your accident, the sooner one of our expert accident claims solicitors can get started on your case, and help you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
How Do You Calculate Compensation Amounts in Accident Claims?
Your legal right to claim compensation is based on getting you back to where you were before your accident. In car accident claims generally, compensation amounts are calculated based on how serious the victim’s personal injuries are, and the type of care that they may need in the future to be able to recover from, or deal with, their injuries. We also claim for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by clients as a result of the accident, which will form part of the total compensation awarded if your claim is successful.
Accident claims can include what we call general and special damages. In summary, general damages are compensation for the personal injuries you have suffered, whereas special damages are compensation for additional expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Your appointed solicitor at Free Legal Justice go through your calculation of general and special damages in detail once you have decided to make a car accident claim with us.
There are specific rules of how much can be claimed as general damages for different levels of injuries in accident claims. Your general damages will be calculated by matching your independent medical report with the official Judicial Board Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases. The amount of compensation that you will receive will be influenced by factors such as how serious your injury was, complications surrounding your injuries, and how long you will take to recover from your injuries.
To claim for special damages, you need to provide proof of the additional expenses or costs you have incurred to date, or will incur in the future, as a result of the accident. The category of special damages is extremely broad, and can include anything from travel costs, costs of medical and rehabilitation appointments, childcare, loss of income, and broader medical expenses such as prescriptions, physiotherapy, counselling, physical home adjustments, and the cost of any special equipment that you might need during the recovery process.
Examples of General Damages In Accident Claims
A head injury is a very serious issue and must be dealt with carefully. If you have sustained any form of head injury, there is a risk that you have suffered some form of brain injury and you should make sure that you seek medical attention immediately. In accident claims, the amount of compensation that you will be entitled to claim for head and brain injuries will depend on how serious the head or brain injury is. A person suffering from minor head injury, with no injury to the brain, may be entitled to claim compensation of between £3,000 and £6,000. If there is however serious harm caused to the head and the brain has also been affected, the victim may be entitled to over £20,000 in compensation. In the most serious cases of head injuries, where the victim is left completely unresponsive and has suffered permanent severe brain damage, the compensation claims can total over £200 000.00.
Mental or Psychological Injuries
As with other forms of injury, the amount of compensation allowed for mental and psychological harm will depend on how serious the injuries are. If you have suffered psychological harm that is ruled as temporary, and things in your life are expected to return to normal soon, your compensation claim total anything between £4,000 and £10,000. Where your mental and psychological injuries are deemed to be more severe or permanent, the compensation payout can be up to £50,000 in valid accident claims.
Upper Body Injuries
If you have suffered minor injuries your upper body, including your neck and shoulders, you may have a compensation claim of up to £6 000, depending on the level of your injuries. If you have suffered severe upper body injuries, such as a dislocation or fracture, you may be able to claim compensation of up to £29,000. The largest compensation claims will be for severe, permanent injuries such as paraplegia, where claims can total anything between £35,000.00 and £200,000.
Back injuries are risky, painful and draining. If your back has been injured in a car accident, there is a high risk of spinal damage and it is important that you get a medical assessment immediately to prevent any further potential damage. Back injuries can result in decreased mobility, or in severe cases they can result in the victim being paralysed for the rest of their life. Accident claims for minor back injuries can be up to £9000 in value, while the most serious and permanent back injuries to the nerve root or spinal cord can result in payouts of up to £200,000.
Hands, Arms, and Wrist Injuries
It can be difficult to calculate the loss that a person might have suffered because of a wrist or hand injury. Less severe hand and wrist injuries could leave you with a compensation claim of between £3,000 and £5 000, while permanent injury or disability accident claims can lead to compensation payouts of £30,000.
Lower Body Injuries
Injuries to your lower body include all kinds of injury to ankles, knees, hips and legs. The amount that can be claimed for lower body injuries will again depend factors such as the nature and seriousness of the injuries. Compensation for minor lower body injuries can reach up to £10 000.00. If you have suffered lower body injuries leading to permanent disability, loss of limb, or consistent pain, you might be entitled to compensation of up to £25 000.00.
Your expert accident claims solicitor will be able to give you an estimate of your claim’s value once you have provided them with all the details and reports about the injuries that you suffered due to the accident. The different amounts of compensation mentioned above are to be used as a broad guideline to compensation only, and must not be seen in any way as fixed compensation amounts available to victims of car accidents. Free Legal Justice assesses the value of all potential accident claims in completely free, confidential consultations once clients have provided one of our claims handlers with the details of their accident.
Examples of Special Damages In Accident Claims
To claim for special damages, we will need proof of those additional expenses or costs you have incurred as a result of the injuries that you have suffered. This includes expenses that you have already incurred, as well as those that you will incur in the future. Special damages which are sometimes included in car accident claims include:
- Damage to your car;
- Damage to any other possessions;
- Insurance Excess costs;
- Prescription medication costs;
- Medical care, including physiotherapy & rehabilitation costs;
- Travel expenses, including travel to medical appointments and parking costs;
- Loss of past and future earnings, which is directly related to the incident and injury;
- Any loss of job opportunities, promotions, bonuses or pensions directly related to the injury; and
- Costs relating to the adaptation of your home, necessary to be able to live with your injuries.
For a completely free assessment of the value of your car accident claim, contact Free Legal Justice at any time of day, on any day of the week, by filling out the short online form and waiting for us to call you back for free, or by calling one of our friendly accident claims handlers on 0800 567 7074. If you would like to discuss your case from the comfort of your own home, please request a complimentary home visit from one of our friendly accident claim handlers.
How Much Will It Cost To Make An Accident Claim?
Free Legal Justice offers all our clients with valid accident claims the option of working under a No Win No Fee agreement. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, if your case is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a thing to us for the work that the Free Legal Justice team has done on your case. For thousands of clients, this means that they will finally have access to the justice they deserve, and a fair chance to make a claim for rightful compensation, without any financial risk.
How Much Will I Be Charged If My Accident Claim Is Successful?
The good news is that you will never pay Free Legal Justice any legal fees in advance for proceeding with your accident claim. A No Win No Fee agreement means that we will only get paid if your claim is successful.
If we help you to win your claim, Free Legal Justice will receive a success fee of an average of 25% of the compensation received as payment for the work that we have done to help you win your case. Your devoted accident solicitor will be sure to discuss the success fee with you upfront, and the agreed success fee will be confirmed in writing before we start your claim.
What Happens If My Accident Claim Is Unsuccessful?
Free Legal Justice carries the risk of your accident claim being unsuccessful. If your claim is unsuccessful, we will not charge you any legal fees for the work done by our skilled personal injury solicitors. This means that you won’t pay us a thing in the unlikely event that your accident claim is unsuccessful.
To ensure that you are fully protected and have peace of mind over your financial risks, the Free Legal Justice team will help you to secure ‘After the Event’ insurance. This insurance covers you in the unlikely event that you are unsuccessful with your claim, and in case the court rules that you need to pay a part of your opponent’s legal costs during the case.
Why Choose A No Win No Fee Agreement With our accident claims solicitors?
Free Legal Justice has an entire panel of specialised accident claim solicitors who resolve thousands of No Win No Fee accident claims every year. The dedicated Free Legal Justice team works around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help our clients get justice for the harm they have suffered, and receive the maximum compensation that they deserve.
By working with Claim Justice on a No Win No Fee compensation claim, we promise that:
- You will receive free legal advice from one of our expert solicitors as to how best to proceed with your accident claim;
- A member of the Free Legal Justice Team will be available to speak to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you with any questions that you might have regarding your accident claim;
- If you are unsuccessful in your claim, we will not charge you any legal fees for the work that we have done on your case;
- You won’t pay a thing from your own pocket;
- We will help you to recover the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest possible time; and
- We will manage your case efficiently, keep you updated on its progress, and will try to make the entire compensation claim process as stress-free as possible for you.
How Long Do Accident Claims Take?
Every car accident is unique, as is the compensation claim process that follows the incident. Some accident claims can be settled in a few months, while others are more complicated and will take longer to resolve. The amount of time needed to resolve your matter will depend on the facts specific to your case. Car accident claims can become more complicated if your injuries are extremely serious, if there is a dispute over the facts, or if you have been involved in a ‘hit and run’ accident, as this may make it more difficult to prove legal responsibility. Our experienced solicitors have handled many accident claims before, and will be able to give you good idea of how long your claim is likely to take once they have assessed your claim.
No matter how your accident happened or who you think is to blame for the accident, it is important that you speak to a legal professional from Free Legal Justice as soon as possible to determine whether you have a valid car accident claim. Our experienced accident claims team handles every car accident claim through a fast-track assessment and allocation process; so that we can help our clients get the maximum compensation they deserve as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions about accident claims
Can You Make Accident Claims on Behalf of Someone Else?
Yes, you can make an accident claim on behalf of someone else. If the person who suffered injuries in a car accident was younger than 18 years, or is considered a ‘protected party’ who is mentally incapable of making their own decisions, then a parent, guardian or close family member may make a compensation claim on their behalf. One of the friendly accident claims team members at Free Legal Justice will be able to give you more guidance on the process of claiming on someone’s behalf.
Can You Make Accident Claims On Behalf Of A Deceased?
Yes, you might be able to make a claim on behalf of a deceased. If a family member has died as a result of a car accident, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. If the deceased has a valid will, the executor of the estate will be responsible for pursuing any claim on behalf of the dependents. If the deceased did not have a valid will, the law sets out exactly who can make a claim following the death of a loved one. The law surrounding accident claims on behalf of a deceased can become complicated. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a legal professional if you think you have a valid accident claim. Set up a free, no obligation consultation with one of Free Legal Justice’s car accident claims experts, and we will help you to determine whether you can make a compensation claim for fatal injuries.
Can You Make Accident Claims If You Were Not Wearing a Seat belt?
Yes, you can make an accident claim even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the car accident. If someone else is to blame for the injuries that you have suffered in a car accident, you will almost always be able to make a claim for compensation. You are not disqualified from claiming simply because you were not wearing your seatbelt. That being said, if the evidence shows that by not wearing your seatbelt, you made your injuries worse, then your compensation amount will be reduced by how much you contributed to your injuries. You will be found partially to blame for the injuries you have sustained in the car accident and your compensation payment will be reduced by your percentage of your blame.
Can You Make Accident Claims If You Were Injured In Another Country?
Yes, you might be able to. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in another country, whether as a driver, cyclist, motorcyclist, passenger or pedestrian, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
When dealing with car accident claims that happen in a different country, you will most likely need the help of a legal professional to work out which legal system applies to your accident. Often in car accidents which happen overseas, there can be conflicts in jurisdictions and law. There are differences in the way that countries assess accident claims, for example many European countries have laws where fault doesn’t need to be proved to be successful in an accident claim. For this reason it is important that you choose a solicitor with knowledge in accident claims abroad, who can determine which laws apply and direct you towards who is best placed to handle your claim.
Free Legal Justice has a team of solicitors with vast experience in all kinds off accident claims. Our accident claims team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have about an accident claim abroad.
Can You Make Accident Claims If The Car Accident Was Partly Your Fault?
Yes, you can make an accident claim even if you think the car accident was partly your fault. Many car accidents are caused by a combination of errors, and by the collective actions of different people. Even if you believe you were at fault, this may not be the case in purely legal terms. If you ae found to be partially to blame for the car accident, your compensation amount will be reduced by the percentage of your blame.
It is always worth talking to one of our legal professionals about potential car accident claims, even if you may have been partially at fault.
Contact Free Legal Justice at any time of day, on any day of the week, by filling out the short online form and waiting for us to call you back for free, or by calling one of our friendly accident claims handlers on 0800 567 7074. If you would like to discuss your case from the comfort of your own home, please request a complimentary home visit from one of our friendly accident claims handlers, so that we can start your accident claim without delay.