What should I do following a road traffic accident?

You should obtain the name and vehicle registration details of the other driver responsible for the accident, and photographs of the other vehicle if possible, together with details of any witnesses.

If you have suffered injury, you should consider seeking medical advice, for your own well-being.

You should then seek advice promptly from one of our specialist road traffic accident solicitors on the precise time limits that apply to your case.

You should also check your own motor insurance policy carefully as many insurers require you to inform them of any road traffic accident, even if it was not your fault.

How long will my claim take?

Each case is different and enters our road accident process. Firstly, we investigate your claim thoroughly and once we have all the information we will be able to advise you on the chances of winning your case. We would then put forward the claim to the party who was at fault and their insurance company. The next step is to obtain medical evidence from a medical legal expert. Once the medical evidence is finalised and agreed by you, we will seek to value your claim. Once you provide us with authority, we enter into settlement negotiations with the insurance company.

All cases are different and that’s why it isn’t possible to provide you with a definite timescale. As a guide only, if the other party accepts that they are to blame for your accident within the first few months, and your injuries are not life changing, it is possible that your claim could be finalised within six months. However, if your injuries are more serious and/or the other party does not admit fault the claim will take longer.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

We offer a no win, no fee service, so you can pursue your case with peace of mind.

If your road traffic accident claim is successful then your opponents will usually pay the majority of your legal costs, in addition to the compensation due to you.

Any compensation for things you will need in the future will be paid to you in full. From the other compensation for other losses, you will need to make a contribution to legal costs of up to 25%. We may also advise you to take out an after the event (ATE) insurance policy to ensure you are fully protected against the possibility of paying legal costs and the cost of this will also come from your compensation. We do not ask for any up front payments.

How much compensation am I likely to receive after my road traffic accident?

If you are able to prove that the other party was at fault for your accident, you will be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the injury.

In addition to compensation for your pain and suffering, you could be entitled to reimbursement of any out of pocket expenses caused by the injury such as loss of earning, travel expenses, prescription charges and medical costs.

If your injuries are very serious, you may also be able to recover for future losses, such as future loss of earnings and private medical costs.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • the seriousness of your injury
  • how it has affected your life
  • rehabilitation
  • how much money you have lost, or will lose, as a consequence of the accident and injury
  • whether you will need extra support in the future.

Use our compensation calculator to find out how much you may be entitled to

What do I do whilst my car is off the road?

If you hold fully comprehensive insurance then your insurance company should provide a courtesy vehicle and claim the costs back from the third party insurer. If your vehicle is written off they should provide you with the market value of the vehicle less an amount for the salvage value.

If you do not hold fully comprehensive insurance, then if liability is admitted, the opponents insurance company may arrange an alternative vehicle for you.

In the meantime, ensure you keep a note of all extra travelling expenses incurred as a result of having no vehicle, which could be added to the claim against the third party.

If you have no alternative vehicle available, you will also be able to claim a daily rate for loss of use of your vehicle.

How long after a car accident can I claim?

Under English law, in most cases the time limit for pursuing a claim is three years from the date of accident or incident giving rise to your injury. This means that court proceedings must have commenced within three years of the date of an accident.

These time limits do not apply to children (who can proceed at any time before their 21st birthday) and people who are incapable of managing their legal affairs because of mental incapacity.

Also, there are different time limits if your accident or injury occurred outside England and Wales or during the course of international travel.

However, the sooner you are able to instruct us the better as we will need to gather evidence in support of your claim ie. police report, witness statement and medical evidence.

What about my no claims bonus and insurance policy access?

If you are not at fault and the other party admits liability, and you go through their insurers in relation to your vehicle damage directly, your no claims bonus should remain intact. If there is any apportionment of liability other than 100% in your favour, this will mean that your no claims bonus will be prejudiced, unless it is protected. In that event it is subject to your insurer’s policy conditions.

If liability is not admitted immediately and/or if you have your vehicle repaired through your own fully comprehensive insurance policy, your no claims bonus may be affected until your own insurance company recoups their outlay from your opponents insurance company, even if liability is subsequently admitted.

If you initially claim through your fully comprehensive insurance policy and your vehicle is written off, your excess may be deducted from the total loss value of your vehicle. If it is repaired, you may have to pay your policy excess to the repairing garage. In that event please ensure that you obtain a receipt. We will then seek to recoup the amount of the excess paid as part of any successful claim.

Do I have to use my insurance company’s solicitor?

In addition to your motor insurance, or indeed home contents insurance, you may have taken out an enhancement to your policy to cover you for any legal fees incurred in pursuing a claim in the event of an accident which was not your fault.

This is known as before the event legal expense insurance. If you do have this benefit your insurers will put you in touch with one of their panel legal representatives who may represent you.

However, you should note that you do have the freedom of choice of legal representative.

Will I have to go to court in order to receive compensation?

If your claim is worth less than £25,000, your claim will be initiated in a system called the Portal. If liability is admitted and your claim stays within the Portal System, then even if we cannot negotiate a settlement for you, you will not have to attend any court hearing to establish the amount of compensation you should receive.

However, if liability is denied or if it falls out of the Portal and we cannot settle the case by negotiation, then the case will have to go to court for a judge to decide whether your opponent is at fault and/or how much compensation you should receive. In that event, if the matter goes to a final court hearing, you will have to attend. However, very few cases go all the way to trial and most are dealt with before it gets that far.

How do I claim for Whiplash?

All you need to do is contact Ralli Solicitors on 0161 207 2020 and you will be put through to an experienced member of the team who will obtain all the necessary information from you and submit a claim on your behalf to the opponents insurers.

How much can I claim for Whiplash?

How much you recover in compensation for your whiplash injuries varies depending on the severity of your injury. Once liability had been admitted, we will collate medical evidence to ascertain the seriousness of your injury. Only once medical evidence has been obtained will we be able to advise you on how much you can claim for your injury.

Use our compensation calculator to find out how much you may be entitled to.

Can I claim for compensation if I was a passenger?

If you were a passenger in a vehicle and you have been injured, you are an innocent party, and therefore you will be able to claim for compensation regardless of which driver was at fault.

The accident was partially my fault. Can I still make a personal injury claim?

Yes you can still make a personal injury claim, although there may be some deductions made in how much compensation is awarded to you.

How do I fund my claim?

It is possible to fund most cases on a no win no fee agreement, meaning you will not have to pay anything unless your claim is successful. In most cases you will not be asked to pay anything upfront whilst your case is still ongoing.

What is no win no fee?

A no win no fee agreement is an agreement which means that you do not pay any legal costs in the event that you do not win your claim.

When will I receive my compensation?

You will usually receive your compensation within 3 to 4 weeks of your claim settling, although this cannot be guaranteed.

An insurance company have already offered me compensation to settle my claim, should I accept?

Even if at first your injuries seem minor they may still cause ongoing problems in the future and so it is not advisable to settle your claim without first obtaining medical evidence on your injuries. Once a claim is settled you cannot change your mind in the future even if you go on to develop much more serious symptoms.

What is an interim payment?

An interim payment is a payment made by the opponent or an insurer while the case is ongoing. At the conclusion of the claim this amount will be deducted from the final settlement.

How do I prove I was injured?

It is important that you report the accident to the person responsible for the accident as soon as possible, to ensure that an accident report is completed. You should also ensure that you seek medical attention from your GP or hospital as soon as possible. We will obtain copies of your medical records and arrange for you to be medically examined by an independent medical expert in due course.

Will I have to attend a medical appointment?

Yes. Once we have investigated liability we will arrange for you to be medically examined by an independent medical expert. The expert will have access to your medical records.

Can I claim against an uninsured or untraced driver?

Yes. Even if the driver is uninsured or untraced a claim can still be made. Any compensation will be paid by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

Can I receive help with treatment costs?

Yes. We work closely with a rehabilitation provider, and if liability is admitted then we will arrange for you to be assessed by a medical professional and arrange any treatment recommended for you, including the cost as part of your claim in due course. Alternatively the opponents or insurer may agree to pay for any private treatment fees while the case is ongoing, or at the conclusion of the claim as part of any final settlement, subject to supportive medical evidence.

For further information please call our friendly road traffic accident solicitors on 0161 207 2020 or request a callback using our online enquiry form.

Back to top