Being involved in a collision as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, pedal cyclist, or while on an electric scooter or mobility scooter, is a very distressing experience. But if you are involved in a road collision, you might be entitled to compensation. Here’s how to find the right solicitor for you.
In 2022, there were 136,002 casualties on British roads – that’s 372 injuries every single day. While many of these injuries are minor, 28,101 of them were classified as “serious”.
Suppose you are involved in an accident or collision as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, scooter user or pedal cyclist. You should approach a specialist lawyer to see if you have a compensation case.
This article explains what road traffic accident solicitors do, the types of cases they work on and how to choose the best one to represent you.
The role of a road traffic accident solicitor
Road accident solicitors are legal professionals who handle road traffic collision compensation cases for their clients.
They represent drivers, passengers and pedestrians injured in road traffic accidents. They specialise in this area of law and are highly effective at securing compensation settlements for their clients.
They see the process from your initial enquiry to the day you receive your compensation. At every stage of your claim, they keep you informed on the progress of your case.
For some low value claims, you can submit your claim via the Official Injury Claim (OIC) service. The OIC service can be used to settle a personal injury claim without a solicitor, where the claim is related to a road traffic accident and is valued at £5,000 or less.
Road traffic accident solicitor specialisms
Road traffic accident solicitors represent drivers, motorcyclists, scooter users, pedal cyclists, passengers and pedestrians.
Below, find out more about the types of collisions and accidents road accident solicitors can help you claim compensation for.
Cars, vans and lorries
Cars, LGVs and HGVs account for the most accidents and fatalities on British roads.
Typical car accident injury claims in the UK include:
- Hit and run incidents: This is when a driver causes an accident and doesn’t provide contact details or assistance to the other driver. If you don’t have the other driver’s details, if you meet their criteria, The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) will cover you, but you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim, and it can be difficult to navigate these cases alone. We’d recommend working with a professional to make this process as smooth as possible for you. If you’re involved in a hit and run accident, you must report the accident to the police within 14 days, unless you have good reason not to have done so. You might not be able to make a claim without making a report.
- Traffic signal violations: Accidents often result from drivers not obeying (or not paying attention to) red lights or stop signs. These incidents can result in serious injuries. Cases involving signal violations tend to involve disputes in liability.
- Accidents in car parks: Many accidents happen with prangs and injuries caused by drivers not paying enough attention to their surroundings. These are generally minor incidents, but still very inconvenient with the potential to be costly. In car park claims, it is helpful to have photographic evidence of the damage to both vehicles.
- Driving under the influence: Although thankfully on the decrease, there are still too many accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When behind the wheel, drivers have a duty of care to their passengers, and other road users, to be clear-headed. Not to mention, driving under the influence is against the law.
- Pedestrian crossing incidents: Vehicles sometimes fail to stop at pedestrian crossings or for Lollipop persons. These incidents can be serious and result in vulnerable pedestrians being injured.
Van drivers face these issues as well as other challenges.
For example, they’re more prone to collision because they have more prominent blind spots, and driving them through narrow streets is difficult. Multi-drop drivers, like couriers, may also cause damage to other vehicles or injuries to others when loading and unloading goods.
Lorry (HGV) drivers have to contend with additional difficulties too.
Accidents that lead to lorry and HGV accident claims often happen because of issues like overtaking, tailgating, needing more time to stop and problems at intersections caused by their wide turning circles.
Also, lorries can be more prone to being involved in motorway accidents because they’re large and complex to steer. If you’re a lorry driver involved in a collision, you might be able to claim if the vehicle you controlled had a problem before the accident.
Motorbikes and bicycles
Motorbikes face unique risks on the road. In 2022, there were 16,943 incidents in 2022 which led to 350 fatalities. You may be able to apply for motorbike accident compensation claims for these types of incidents:
- Filtering accidents: A collision with one or more other vehicles when riding alongside or between slow-moving or stationary traffic to make quicker progress.
- Car U-turn collisions: This often happens when a car or larger vehicle performs a u-turn and collides with a filtering motorbike.
- Junction accidents: Collisions often occur when vehicles join or leave fast roads, make right turns or navigate through intersections.
- Bike/bus lane incidents: Although bikes are often prohibited from bus lanes, bus drivers still have a duty of care to watch out for you.
- Dropping the bike: This is when a motorcyclist lays down their bike to prevent a more severe collision.
- Pothole-related accidents: These are complicated cases requiring a specialist solicitor to prove that the local council knew the pothole existed and didn’t fix it within the statutory period allowed.
- Road debris and spillage incidents: You can claim compensation, although you will need a specialist solicitor to help as these are complex cases.
- Accidents involving animals and children: You need to demonstrate that you were travelling at a safe speed to be able to claim compensation for incidents involving animals or children.
- “Dooring” accidents: This is a collision caused when a car or vehicle door is opened which you crash into.
- Undertaking situations: Motorcyclists can legally undertake other road users if they signal and there is enough room but you’ll need to show you were driving safely.
Pedal cyclists face many of these same risks. Consider contacting a cycling accident compensation expert if you’re injured on your bike for one of the reasons above.
Pedal cyclists also face situations unique to them, including:
- Close pass incidents: Pedal bikes are so light that a gust of wind can topple riders if a vehicle overtakes them too closely.
- Bike lane transgressions: Cars, vans and buses often knock cyclists over by veering into designated cycle lanes.
- Rear-end collisions: This occurs when you’re at a red light or roundabout and a car shunts into you from behind.
Bus collisions and accidents
While bus transport is generally safe, accidents and collisions do occur. In 2022, there were 2,134 road casualties involving bus and coach occupants.
Buses present specific risks on the road due to their size and unique operating conditions. You can claim compensation for a business accident or collision as a passenger, pedestrian or other road user.
Common bus accident claims include:
- Pedestrian collisions: This can happen when a pedestrian is hit by a bus when crossing the street or at a bus stop if the driver fails to stop in time.
- Passenger injuries: This might happen if you’re on a bus and get thrown around or fall over if another vehicle hits or backs into your bus. It also covers injuries from sudden bus movements when you’re getting on or off.
- Driver injuries: If you’re a bus driver and injured during a collision or accident, you may be entitled to compensation if the accident was the fault of another vehicle or if there were mechanical issues with the bus.
- Other road users: If a bus crashes into your car or van, causing injury and/or damage to your vehicle, you may be able to claim compensation.
Who will handle your case?
There are three stages to the process:
First, your solicitor will want to establish that you’ve suffered a genuine injury.
Your GP or consultant’s medical notes about your accident will often be enough.
If there is a prospect of bringing a claim, an independent expert witness may be utilised. That’s because a specialist will be better able to understand and describe the extent of your injuries, and their impacts on your life moving forwards.
Establishing who’s to blame
Sometimes, the other party (the ‘defendant’) will fully admit liability. This dramatically simplifies and speeds the process up, meaning you’ll get your compensation faster.
Other times, though, the defendant will dispute liability. You’d benefit from the support of an experienced personal injury lawyer if this happens.
Your solicitor’s job is to defend your interests and maximise your compensation. To do this, they forensically examine all the available evidence about the accident.
They aim to create an accurate timeline by gathering evidence about the accident, like CCTV footage, witness accounts, police reports, photographs of the damage sustained to the vehicle, photographs of any injuries/
Your solicitor then sends this evidence to your defendant’s insurers. They then review the evidence and conduct their assessment. They may accept liability and offer a settlement or dispute the claim.
If liability is not admitted, your solicitor will negotiate robustly on your behalf to ensure the division of blame is fair and just.
Working out how much compensation you’ll receive
As well as building a timeline of events to present your case to the defendant’s insurer, your solicitor also assesses how much compensation to seek on your behalf.
To do this, they consider multiple factors, including:
- Damages for pain, suffering and psychological impact: This can include compensation for emotional distress and trauma.
- Loss of earnings and future earnings: This can include your pension contributions and other benefits missed because you’re absent from work. This may add up to a significant sum if you’ve been permanently disabled from your accident or you’ll need a long time to recover fully.
- Damaged property: If you have the original receipts for the items and photographs of the damage sustained, this will help. Alternatively, if you do not have the original receipts, we will need estimates for their replacement cost on a like-for-like basis.
- Treatment costs: If you have been recommended and received treatment privately.
- Care-related costs: You may be able to claim for personal care and household help costs during your recovery. Your claim may also cover private healthcare, rehabilitation costs, and psychological treatments like therapy and counselling.
- Travel-related costs: If your vehicle was involved in the accident, your claim may cover the costs of its replacement or repair. You may also be compensated for travel expenses if your injury prevents you from driving and you have to rely on taxis and other public transport.
- Legal fees: This includes your solicitor’s costs and the costs of any expert witnesses they need to pay.
- Disrupted plans: If you’ve booked and paid for a holiday or other form of entertainment you cannot attend because of your accident, you may be able to include those in your claim.
The solicitors we work with offer a “no win, no fee” arrangement. While you pay nothing if your solicitor loses the case, part of your compensation will cover your solicitor’s costs if you win. You’re notified in advance of what those fee arrangements will be.
Although your solicitor will request a specific amount of compensation, what you’re awarded may be reduced proportionately if you’re found to be partly at fault for the accident.
What type of road traffic injuries do our experts handle?
The types of road traffic accident injury claims handled by the specialist solicitors we work with include:
- Back injuries: Minor back pain compensation awards vary from around £11,500 for minor pain up to £150,000 for major back injuries. For soft tissue injuries, the compensation amount may be considerably lower than this.
- Head injuries: Head injury compensation starts from up to £11,000 for a mild head injury and up to £380,000 for severe head injuries (including serious brain damage).
- Arm injuries: You could claim between £5,280 and £15,300 for a broken arm. Different levels of arm injury compensation are available for other injuries like soft tissue injuries, repetitive strain injuries and burns.
- Foot injuries: You can claim for various foot injuries ranging from dislocations to sprains and strains.
- Knee injuries: Knee injuries can attract compensation of between £10,960 and £76,690, depending on their seriousness.
- Leg injuries: Claims for leg injuries range from £8,000-£13,000 for a broken leg to £225,000-£264,000 for a double amputation.
This is a small selection of the types of claims our experts can manage so please do get in touch.
The trusted lawyers we work with have supported pedestrians seeking compensation to manage the mental and physical effects of being involved in a road accident. They also represent clients in passenger accident compensation cases.
Successful road traffic accident claims
Recent successful road traffic accident claims managed by selected, expert solicitors include:
- Filtering motorcyclist: While weaving his way through slow-moving traffic, our client was knocked off his bike and injured when a rear car door was opened. We rejected the defendant’s claim that our client was 50% responsible for the accident, an opinion that the Arbitrator upheld.
- Closed cycle lane: Our client was forced to join the main carriageway when his regular cycle lane was closed. He collided with a pothole and was thrown over the handlebars, sustaining multiple injuries. The council admitted a breach of duty, and our client recovered thousands of pounds.
- Hit by traffic: When going around a tight bend, our client’s motorcycle was hit by a vehicle closer to the white line than necessary. Despite the defendant’s solicitor initially entirely dismissing our client’s claim, this dismissal was overturned, leading to our client receiving £75,000.
- Pillion passenger: Our client was riding pillion when the motorbike they were on collided with a vehicle emerging from a side road. This caused several severe injuries and led to a successful claim of £80,000.
How to choose the right road traffic accident compensation solicitor
You can choose from many road traffic accident solicitors in the UK.
When deciding who’s going to represent you, look for the following four qualities:
- Expertise: The regulations covering personal injury and road traffic accidents are complex and nuanced, so select a solicitor who specialises in this area of the law.
- Experience: Look for a proven track record and ask a potential solicitor to tell you about when they’ve succeeded for a client in a similar situation.
- Excellent reviews: Find out what their other clients think about them. Online reviews can tell you more about their success rate and how much support they provide when your case is ongoing.
- No-win, no-fee: With a no-win, no-fee solicitor, you only pay if you successfully get compensation.
If you want help, then contact The Compensation Experts. We only work with trusted, experienced specialist solicitors, who will represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis. Contact us today so we can put you in touch with the solicitor that’s best for you.