If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. This applies whether you’re the driver or a passenger, a pedestrian or other road user like a cyclist.
Here we look at when you might be eligible to make a claim, how much you can claim for and how to do it successfully. We’ll also explain why your insurance company won’t be able to pursue this claim as effectively as a specialist, no win no fee solicitor.
Table of contents
- Can I make an injury claim after a car accident?
- How much is a car accident injury claim worth?
- Does my car insurance cover personal injury claims?
- Should I accept an early offer from an insurance company?
- What’s the process for making a no win no fee car accident claim?
- Will I have to go to court for a car accident claim?
- Do I need a medical exam to claim?
- What evidence do i need?
- How long after a car accident can you make an injury claim?
- Let us help you get started
- Comments – your questions answered
Can I make an injury claim after a car accident?
To be eligible to make a no win no fee injury claim after a car accident you have to meet certain criteria. Our team can advise you as to whether you are in position to make a claim before taking on your case:
- First, the accident must be someone else’s fault, or only partly your fault – you can’t claim if you caused a car crash solely by yourself.
- Second, you need to have sustained injuries of a certain severity and claim value in order to be compensated for them.
- Thirdly, the car accident must have happened in the last three years, unless you were under 18 years old at the time.
Many of our claimants weren’t actually in a car and were injured as a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist. You could also make a claim if you were injured as a passenger in a car, or in a bus or taxi if your injuries meet the required criteria.
The cause of the accident doesn’t need to be another person or vehicle. It could equally be a faulty traffic light, a pothole or an icy road that should have been gritted.
As of June 1st 2021, any person sustaining soft tissue injuries in a road traffic accident (unless injured by an overseas registered vehicle) must have injuries that exceed a minimum value of £5,000 to make a claim. Under that, and unless your symptoms are sufficiently serious and last for a number of months,, you’ll likely have do it yourself without a solicitor via the insurers portal. However, if you have suffered any broken bones, lacerations, eye damage or head injuries our solicitors will be able to act for you.
Our team are experts in assessing whether you have a valid car accident claim and likely to succeed in winning compensation, just give us a call to find out on 01225 430285, or if you prefer, .
If you are partly at fault
If you’re partly responsible for the car accident it’s still possible to claim compensation. In such cases of split liability you are awarded a reduced amount in line with how much you were at fault. For example, if you were 30% to blame you would receive 30% less compensation than if you were not at fault.
If the other party deny liability
It’s very common for the other party to initially deny liability for the car accident and responsibility for your injuries. If this happens, we will work closely with you and our solicitor to gather evidence to prove otherwise and use this to force them to admit they were at fault. If negotiations fail to bring an admission of guilt you may be advised it’s worth taking your claim to court.
If you caused the car accident
In most cases you can’t claim injury compensation if your actions caused the injury. However, you may be able to claim if your actions were unavoidable. For example, if you crashed because the road surface was poorly maintained or due to a hazard that should have been dealt with, you can make a claim against those responsible for keeping the road safe, probably either Highways England or the local council.
Hit and run accidents and uninsured drivers
In the case of hit and run accidents, and uninsured or untraceable drivers, you can still make a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). Again, if there are no bone injuries or lacerations, soft tissue injuries will need to exceed the post 1st June 2021 value to enable a claim.
What if a child was injured?
If the car accident resulted in injury to your children, you can make a claim on their behalf. The 3-year time limit does not apply to children under 18 years old at the time of the accident, who have until they are 21 to make a claim.
How much is a car injury compensation claim worth?
Injury compensation payouts for car accidents depend on what kind of injury you sustained, how severe it is and how it affects your life. You can also claim for special damages, which would include your financial losses.
When facts and evidence have been gathered, your solicitor will be able to tell you the likely level of compensation to expect. They’ll also explain the expenses you can claim for on top of any injury. These will likely include some or all of the following, potentially upfront before the claim is settled:
- Lost earnings if you have been unable to work
- Future loss of income if you can’t return to work
- Psychological after effects
- Changes to your car or home
- Private medical treatment
- Ongoing care costs
- Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)
- Car hire and repairs
Injury compensation values
The UK sets the classification of car accident injury severity from slight to very serious and the Judicial College sets injury compensation values to reflect this.
Very serious injuries include a broken neck or back, severe head injuries with loss of consciousness, severe chest injuries resulting in difficulty breathing, internal injuries, and multiple severe injuries with loss of consciousness.
Moderately serious injuries include the loss of an arm or leg, a fractured pelvis or upper leg, other chest injuries, deep wounds, multiple severe injuries with no loss of consciousness.
Slight injuries include whiplash or neck pain, minor cuts and bruises, sprains and strains, and shock. As of the 1st of June 2021 such injuries may not meet the required claim valuation of £5000 and you may not be able to instruct a solicitor to act for you.
As a guide, here’s some common car accident injury claim values:
|Type of injury||Compensation amount|
|Whiplash||£240 - £4,345|
|Minor brain or head injury||£2,070 - £11,980|
|Fractured Cheekbone||£2,180 - £9,570|
|Wrist injury||£3,310 - £44,690|
|Hip or pelvis injury||£3,710 - £24,950|
|Fractured forearm||£6,190 - £18,020|
|Permanent back injury||£11,730 - £26,050|
|Serious shoulder injury||£11,980 - £18,020|
|Ankle injury||£12,900 - £46,980|
Does my car insurance cover personal injury claims?
Your car insurance provider may offer you the chance to make a personal injury claim through them, or you may be tempted to claim from the other party’s insurers by yourself.
There are many reasons why you’d be better off using a specialist no win no fee car accident solicitor instead.
With no expert legal advice, a claimant would have no idea what they could claim for, how to overcome denials of liability, what evidence they may need or what would equal a fair settlement for all injuries and losses.
Furthermore, when claiming directly with an insurer, they may not arrange for you to undergo a professional medical assessment. If medical evidence is not presented, it is likely that a valuation or offer of settlement made by an insurer will not fully recognise the severity of an injury.
Clients who have approached us after starting the process through insurers have often been made derisory offers, faced flat denials of liability despite witness evidence and felt that the insurers were fobbing them off by taking their time or de-valuing genuine claims.
Insurance companies have a different set of business priorities, so there’s a real chance they might allow you to settle for a lesser amount. A specialist no win no fee solicitor will work in your best interest, as it is in their interest to make sure that your claim settlement is maximised and you are not left out of pocket.
Should I accept an early offer from an insurance company?
It’s common to receive an early compensation offer from an insurance company either directly or through your solicitor after you start a claim. Most tend to be fairly low in value in the hope you will accept it.
It’s your claim, so you can accept an offer whenever you like, but usually it’s in your best interest not to accept anything too quickly, especially if you’ve yet to receive an expert medical report. This is because the full extent of your injury, treatments and ongoing care haven’t been taken into account.
Even if you’ve had an independent medical exam, you could find your recovery takes longer than expected and the early offer won’t be enough to meet your financial needs.
It may be tempting, but your solicitor could well advise accepting an early offer of compensation is not in your best interest and that further negotiations will increase the final amount.
What’s the process for making a no win no fee car accident claim?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, or only partly your fault and your injuries meet the required claim valuation, you’ll likely be able to make a claim on a no win no fee basis. Our solicitors will be happy to pursue on your case if they feel it has a good chance of success.
A no win no fee agreement is the contract between you and your solicitor and ensures that you pay no costs at all if you don’t win your claim. If you do win, you must contribute part of your compensation towards your legal fees – this is capped at a maximum of 25% of your injury settlement.
First off we’ll need to assess your case to see if you have a claim, then we can assign you a car accident solicitor with expertise in your type of claim. They’ll take you through what needs to be done to ensure a successful outcome.
If you’re happy to go ahead, your solicitor will contact the party responsible for your car accident on your behalf and let them know you’ll be making a claim for your injuries and losses.
At all stages of the claim your solicitor is your point of contact and will keep you updated on how it’s going.
The legal process for a car accident claim largely depends on the value of the claim and whether the other party admits liability.
Small claims under £5,000
From June 2021, car accident personal injury claims for soft tissue injuries valued under £5000 are classed as a ‘small claim’, and you will not be able to recover legal costs. Therefore, you would not be able to instruct a solicitor and will have to follow a simplified online process to claim your compensation at a reduced rate due to the changes in law.
Fast track claims under £25,000
Claims of up to £25,000 are classed as fast track, or single track claims, and can be filed through the Claims Portal, an internet system overseen by the Ministry of Justice.
The claims portal aims to speedily deal with claims for relatively minor injuries. An acceptable compensation figure is negotiated between the solicitors and you are then paid your compensation.
The process of claiming stays in the portal unless liability is denied or disputed by the other party. Further negotiations usually resolve this, but a minority of cases may go to court. Fast track claims follow a fixed procedure however, and can usually be dealt with in a one-day trial where a judge decides the outcome.
Claims over £25,000 are handled outside of the Claims Portal and assigned to the multi-track process. They usually involve serious, life-changing injuries or fatal accidents.
If your claim is worth under £25,000 but its complexity means a verdict will take longer than a day, it may also be allocated to the multi-track.
In comparison to the fast track, there’s no set procedure for how claims go through the multi-track so it can take longer to receive your compensation.
Will I have to go to court for a car accident claim?
Having to stand before a judge is a common worry among claimants, especially if they are still recovering from injury. Luckily, most personal injury claims don’t get that far and it’s very unlikely you will have to go to court to receive compensation for a car accident. Even if your claim does reach court, you may not need to be there in person.
It’s not uncommon for a solicitor to begin legal proceedings on your behalf if the other party denies liability, is slow to respond or refuses to talk, but further negotiation often resolves the issue before it gets to court.
On the other hand, a court hearing may be beneficial to maximise your compensation settlement. For example, your solicitor may want to argue for interim payments to be made before a final settlement to help your immediate financial situation.
Whether you need to attend court or not, your solicitor is there to help guide you and will always advise you what’s best to do in order to win a fair settlement.
Do I need a medical exam to claim?
Medical records provide expert evidence confirming the cause and severity of injuries, as well as recommended treatments and a prognosis for recovery. They’re an important part of your claim that your solicitor can use to build your case and seek the correct amount of compensation.
So yes, you will need an independent medical assessment, but you won’t need to pay for it and your solicitor will arrange one local to you.
What evidence do I need?
The more evidence you can gather for your case, the better. Try to get complete contact details for any eyewitnesses to the accident. Witness testimonies from people who can vouch for you will play a pivotal role and guarantee the authenticity of your claim.
It can also be helpful to take photographs of the crash site, if possible.
Where your injuries are concerned, it’s important to keep any bills, letters, reports or certificates from doctors or other health professionals. These will serve as the main evidence for any injuries you’ve sustained, and in many cases can show how these injuries are impacting your life.
If you’re claiming prescription costs and travel expenses, keep all receipts as proof.
Car damage certificates can also be very beneficial to your case. These can be compiled by using photographs and expert testimonies on the damage incurred on the vehicle.
How long after a car accident can you make an injury claim?
Car accident claims can be made up to three years after the incident occurred or your injuries became apparent, whichever is later.
There are exceptions to this, however. For example, the 3-year time limit does not apply to children under 18 years old at the time of the accident, who have until they are 21 to make a claim.
We always recommend you start your claim as soon as possible after your accident as it will help your case. Your injuries can be more clearly linked with the accident and it’s much easier to gather evidence and witness testimonies sooner than later.
Let us help you get started
We’ve been helping claimants win car crash compensation for over 20 years . To find out if you can claim, call us on 01225 430285, or if you prefer, . After just a few minutes on the phone, we’ll have enough information to allow our solicitors to get your claim started.