Explaining The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

Explaining The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

Explaining The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

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:

Select A Section

  1. How The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Works
  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. Damages Awarded Under The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process
  6. Get Help Navigating The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

How The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process Works

Depending on how you make your personal injury claim after a road traffic accident now comes down to the changes in law as of May 31st 2021. Drivers and passengers over the age of 18 injured in a vehicle with injuries not amounting to over £5000 now must make their claim through the government’s online portal. This is due to The Whiplash Injury Regulation 2021

For those not making their personal injury claim for road traffic injuries through the portal, you will use the traditional process as outlined below. The road traffic accident claims process helps to resolve claims for injuries caused by accidents on the road and is subject to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and the subsequent Pre-Action Protocols (PAP)

CPR and PAP are:

  • Civil procedure rules (CPR) – It is a piece of legislation establishing rules when dealing with civil claims. 
  • Pre-action protocols (PAP) – A set of protocols explaining steps for parties to take before claims need to be heard in a court for particular civil claims. 

When dealing with claims for personal injury caused by road traffic accidents, you or a chosen lawyer must abide by the CPR and the PAP. For more information on the procedures and protocols, contact our advisors today. 

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.

There are three possible personal injury road traffic accident claims processes, which include: 

  • As mentioned above the Whiplash Reform Program now means those injured inside a vehicle aged 18 or over that have injuries that amount to £5000 or less will make their claim through an online government portal.
  • Fast track processInjury claims valued up to £25,000. 
  • Multi-track processClaims over £25,000 with serious injuries suffered and longer recovery periods or left with persisting symptoms.

Damages Awarded Under The Road Traffic Accident Claims Process

If your personal injury claim is successful after a road traffic accident, you will be eligible to claim compensation, potentially for general and special damages. However, the tariffs you receive when claiming through the Whiplash Reform Program are different to the below table and the JCG does not apply. 

 The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), is a publication that outlines guideline compensation brackets for general damages payouts, which covers the pain and suffering inflicted during your injury. The awarded compensation depends on the type of injury and severity level. The following table contains examples of these brackets:

InjuryCompensationNotes
Minor brain or head injury (e)up to £11,980The level of award is affected by the severity of injury, recovery period, persisting symptoms and headaches.
Less severe post-traumatic stress disorder (d)up to £7,680Virtually complete recovery between one to two years with persisting minor symptoms.
Damage Resulting from Traumatic Injury (iii)£6,190 to £11,820Serious seat-belt pressure cases
Severe neck injury (ii)£61,710 to £122,860Serious fractures or disc damage in the cervical spine causing disabilities of notable severity, such as brachial plexus permanent damage or significant movement loss in the neck and function loss in one or more limbs.
Moderate neck injury (ii)£12,900 to £23,460Injuries 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 or increased vulnerability to trauma.
Minor back injury (i)£7,410 to £11,730Complete recovery or to nuisance level occurs without surgery over two to five years.
Moderate shoulder injury (c)£7,410 to £11,980Frozen 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.
Fracture of clavicle (e)Up to £11,490Award depends on the extent of the fracture, disability level, continuos symptoms, permanence, and anatomically displaced union.

You also may be eligible to claim special damages covering the financial costs incurred during your injury. Some examples of these damages include:

  • Loss of earnings and future income
  • Travel to and from medical appointments
  • Child care costs 

Get in touch with our advisors if you have any questions about compensation payouts today. 

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?

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.

Page by KN

Published by AL.