Car Accident Claims
For a personal injury claim to qualify as a ‘car accident’ the claim needs to have involved a motor vehicle. The term 'motor vehicle' is defined in section 185(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and section 136(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as "a mechanically propelled vehicle, intended or adapted for use on roads”.
So if you were in a motor vehicle or struck by a motor vehicle then you are in the right place.
What were you?
You need to be one of 3 things:
- The driver of a motor vehicle that was struck by another vehicle or was caused to crash as a result of another person (the third party).
- You were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a crash.
- You were a pedestrian struck by a vehicle when you were in a place that you were legally entitled to be.
So if you were one of the above then that’s great (obviously not that great as you would have been injured). So let’s move onto the next stage of claiming. If none of the above applies to you then be thankful you were not in an accident or you were in another type of accident. If you are unsure but were injured in an accident then fill in the contact me form below (link to it).
Whose fault is it?
As far as sorting out whose fault it was (who was liable) a Car accident is normally the most straightforward of claims to work out. The car insurers would have you believe they are all exaggerated and no one really has whiplash as it is all made up.
The key to a successful claim is evidence, do you have;
- An independent witness (not someone sat in your car or a brother or long lost cousin).
- Video footage of the accident.
- Pictures of the damage to your car and the third parties.
- Signed confession from the third party (would be nice).
- Third parties vehicle details car make and model, car colour, registration number.
- Third parties name and address.
- Who their insurers are.
- A contact telephone number.
All of the above would be fantastic, some of the above would be great, none of the above and that’s when it gets interesting.
Being the Driver
Unlike a criminal claim, you only have to prove on the balance of probability what happened actually happened. So even without any of the evidence above if you were travelling along the motorway and slowed down due to traffic ahead and did not strike the car in front and were struck from behind. Then on the balance of probability, it was the fault of the car behind not driving at a safe distance to you.
However, if you were in a car park and the third party was in front of you and had just spotted a parking bay and reversed without looking in their mirrors and struck the front of your car, they could argue that you drove into them. Yes, I know it's lying but you would struggle without video, picture or most importantly an independent witness to prove otherwise.
Now obviously not all third parties lie and so in the main, you will be fine but I cannot over stress the need to get as much evidence as you can.
As a passenger
As a passenger, you have a claim 99% of the time as it was either the driver of the car you were in’s fault or third party that caused the car accident or caused it to crash.
Do not stress about claiming against the driver of the car you were travelling in. They should be insured and that is the point of having the insurance. If they are a friend or a relative then if they injured you as a result of their negligence you must ask yourself why they would have a problem in you claiming if they injured you. Secondly, if there was another car involved in the accident then it will not make their claim any worse by you claiming. Nor will it make their ‘no claims bonus’ or their excess any different.
As a passenger, you may have to seek a different solicitor to the driver even if you think they were not at fault as if it turns out that the driver of your car was even 5% at fault then you both cannot have the same solicitor acting for you.
As a pedestrian
A pedestrian injured in a car accident needs to establish that at the point of injury were in a legal place. that they were not crossing the road behind a bus (although there are exceptions to this rule). That they were not running across the road on a flashing amber. But much like a passenger if they were lawfully crossing the road under a green man or minding their own business walking along the pavement then they will have a claim against the third party.
What if the third party failed to stop/
There is a way to claim if you do not have the third parties details as they drove away from the scene of the accident before you had a chance to get their details. In all cases, you need to report this to the police as soon as it is reasonably possible. After you have done this then you can make a claim via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) who will compensate you for your injuries but car damage and excess and clothing is not included.
Don't Delay Ring today: 08001956387
Use this form to request a callback or send an enquiry.