The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process | No Win No Fee

By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 31st August 2023. Have you been injured in a road traffic accident? Do you want to understand the road traffic accident claims process better? This article will explain the claiming process, negotiating a settlement, and Part 36 offers. We’ll also explain traffic accident court proceedings, and will outline the compensation you could be eligible to receive.

Being involved in an accident can be stressful, and there may be some aspects of your claim that you miss if you proceed without legal help. If you choose to hire legal representation they can make sure all aspects of your claim can be addressed correctly.

Contact our advisors today for free legal advice about the road traffic accident claims process. They can help determine if your claim is valid and may pass it to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors, who can help you begin the claiming process. Get in touch today by:

Explaining The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

Explaining The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

Select A Section

  1. What Is The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process?
  2. Negotiating A Settlement With The Defendant
  3. Should You Accept A Part 36 Offer?
  4. What Happens If A Traffic Accident Claim Goes To Court? 
  5. Road Traffic Accident Compensation
  6. Get Help Navigating The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

What Is The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process?

As part of the road traffic accident claims process, you will be required to prove that your injuries were caused by a breach in the duty of care owed to you by another driver.

The duty of care road users owe each other is set under the Road Traffic Act 1988 as road users must navigate the roads in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. This is supported by the Highway Code, which sets additional rules and regulations to follow when using the roads.

Additionally, you must start the claiming process within the time limit. Generally, you will have three years to start your personal injury claim from the date you were injured in a car accident. However, there are some exceptions to this. Call our advisors today to learn what these are.

Whiplash Reforms

The Whiplash Reform Programme has changed how certain claims are made for road traffic accidents in England and Wales. They apply to drivers and passengers in vehicles who are aged 18 or older with injuries valued at £5,000 or less. This includes minor soft tissue injuries and whiplash.

Your whiplash injury will be valued in accordance with the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Other injuries that are not covered by the tariff will be valued traditionally. Later in this guide, we look at how value is assigned to injuries as well as what else might be included in your compensation settlement. Get in touch with our team to find out whether these changes could impact your case.

Negotiating A Settlement With The Defendant

As part of your personal injury case, the road traffic accident claims process negotiations must follow certain pre-action protocols. Their objective is to help both parties understand the other’s position, make decisions on proceedings and try to settle outside of court. 

Litigation, or going to court, should always be a last resort, and if you choose to hire legal representation they could help you settle your claim. Both parties will exchange documents to try and reach an agreement, which includes:

  • Letter of notification – A letter written to the defendant, stating you intend to file a claim.
  • Rehabilitation – Your immediate medical needs are addressed at this stage.
  • Letter of claim – Establishes details of the incident and injuries. 
  • Status of letters of claim and response – Defendant’s legal team replies within 21 days and should include their insurance details.
  • Disclosure – The exchanging of relevant information to help settle the claim. 
  • Experts – The inclusion of expert opinions, for example, independent medical assessments to determine your injuries. 
  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – Defendants and claimants should consider out-of-court options. 

Contact our advisors for free legal advice on negotiating settlements for personal injury claims.

Should You Accept A Part 36 Offer?

You should understand what a Part 36 offer is before you accept it. A Part 36 is a term used in the CPR and was created to see if the claimant and defendant could settle outside of trial. 

A Part 36 can be made at any time up until judgement, including before trial proceedings. The Part 36 must meet the following criteria:

  • Required to be in writing
  • Labelled as a Part 36 process
  • Specifying not less than a 21 day time period where the defendant will be liable for the claimant’s costs if the offer is accepted. 
  • State whether it applies to part or the entire claim and whether it accounts for counterclaims

For example, under a Part 36 offer, the defendant may offer a certain amount of compensation. However, an independent medical professional may value your injuries above this suggested settlement. If you refuse this offer, the case may go to trial. However, if the judge awards you less than the settlement suggested in the Part 36 offer, you may face court costs. 

Get in touch with our advisors today for free legal advice on Part 36 offers in the personal injury road traffic accident claims process.  

What Happens If A Traffic Accident Claim Goes To Court? 

Most claims going through the personal injury road traffic accident claiming process will settle in negotiation. However, occasionally negotiations are unsuccessful, and your case may go to court.

Once the presiding judge has explored all the evidence, they will give final judgement on your case, stating if your claim succeeded and what financial damages should be paid. However, there are actions that can be taken to settle a case prior to a car accident going to court.

What Evidence Can I Gather As Part Of The Car Accident Claim Process?

It’s important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your road traffic accident compensation claim. Evidence may include:

  • Medical records confirming your injuries and the treatment you’ve received for them.
  • Any video footage of your road traffic accident that’s available, such as dashcam footage or CCTV footage.
  • The contact details of any witnesses who can provide a statement.
  • Photographs of the road traffic accident scene and your injuries.

If a solicitor has agreed to help with your case, then they can assist with the car accident claim process by gathering evidence. For more advice on gathering evidence or other aspects of road traffic accident claims, such as the car accident court process in the UK, get in touch with our advisors today.

Road Traffic Accident Compensation

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, a compensation claim could be made for your injuries. If you claim is successful, the pain and suffering that your injury has caused you could be compensated with general damages.

Below we have created a table to help you gain a clearer idea of how much you could receive in compensation following a road traffic accident. The compensation figures listed have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that many legal professionals use to help them value claims, as it lists compensation brackets for various physical and mental injuries.

We cannot provide the average compensation for a road traffic accident. This is because how much compensation you could receive will be affected by the specific factors of your claim. So, you should only use the following table as a guide.

Edit
Injury Notes Compensation
Severe neck injury (ii) Serious fractures or disc damage in the cervical spine causing disabilities of notable severity, such as permanent damage to the brachial plexus or significant movement loss in the neck and function loss in one or more limbs. £65,740 to £130,930
Moderate neck injury (ii) Injuries to the soft tissue or wrenching injuries and severe disc lesions causing spondylosis, movement limitations, permanent or recurring pain, discomfort or stiffness and need for future surgery. £13,740 to £24,990
Severe foot injury Both feet or heels have been fractured which causes permanent pain and restricted mobility. £41,970 to £70,030
Moderate knee injury (i) A torn cartilage or meniscus, or the knee is dislocated which results in a mild future disability with weakness and instability. £14,840 to £26,190
Moderate shoulder injury Frozen shoulder with movement limitations and discomfort with persisting symptoms for approximately two years. Soft tissue injuries with more than minimal symptoms lasting more than two years but temporarily. £7,890 to £12,770
Minor brain or head injury (e) Any brain damage will have been minimal. The level of award is affected by the severity of injury, recovery period, persisting symptoms and headaches. £2,210 to £12,770
Digestive System (a) (iii) Serious seat-belt pressure cases, lacerations or stab wounds. £6,610 to £12,590
Minor back injury (i) Complete recovery or to nuisance level occurs without surgery over two to five years. £7,890 to £12,510
Fracture of clavicle Award depends on the extent of the fracture, disability level, continuos symptoms, permanence, and anatomically displaced union. £5,150 to £12,240
Less severe post-traumatic stress disorder Virtually complete recovery between one to two years with only minor symptoms continuing after this time. £3,950 to £8,180
Whiplash Tariff This tariff is appropriate for a whiplash injury along with minor psychological damage with symptoms lasting between 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash Tariff This tariff is appropriate for a whiplash injury with symptoms that last between 15-18 months. £3,005

Additionally, you may also receive special damages as part of your settlement. This aims to compensate you for any financial losses you may have suffered due to your injury, such as:

You should provide evidence of these financial losses to help support your claim for special damages. Evidence could include your bank statements, payslips and receipts.

Contact an advisor today if you have any question concerning your specific claim.

Get Help Navigating The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

The road traffic injury claims process can be a complex part of the law, and you may find it helpful to hire a No Win No Fee lawyer to start your claim.

A No Win No Fee agreement is a common name given to contracts such as a Conditional Fee Agreement CFA, that can be beneficial when funding the work of a solicitor. Hiring a solicitor, under a CFA, requires no immediate cost and if your claim fails then you do not pay any of your lawyer’s fees. Your lawyer will only take a small, legally-capped percentage of your compensation as their success fee if your claim is successful.

Contact our advisors if you would like to begin your road traffic accident claim, they can tell you whether your claim is valid and pass it on to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors. Get in touch by:

Where Can I Read More?

Please see our other helpful articles:

Advice On What To Do After A Car Accident – No Win No Fee Claims 

How Do You Report A Car Accident?

What Are My Rights In A Car Accident?

This guide covers advice on how to make a claim where faulty traffic lights were involved during a road traffic accident.

Or, the informative links below:

The Highway Code

NHS – Whiplash 

GOV – Road accidents and safety statistics 

Contact our advisors today for more information on the road traffic accident claims process.

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