Last Updated on 21.8.20 by Nick Wroe
What is the standard process of making a road traffic accident claim?
A form is sent to the other Insurer w/ the circumstances and injury details. They then have 3 months (maximum) to respond with an admission/denial. Once they’ve done this, the Claimant will be examined by a medical consultant to report on their injuries.
If liability has been admitted, once medical evidence is completed, and any rehab recommended by the consultant has been carried out, it is likely that settlement will then be able to be negotiated. This takes on average between 6-12 months. Where liability is denied, more investigation is required, such as witness statements or a police report. If the denial is maintained, Court Proceedings will be issued and the case can potentially end up in a trial. This takes on average 12-18 months.
Do you have to be the driver of a car to make a road traffic accident claim?
The simple answer is no. ‘Road Traffic Accident’ is an umbrella term and can cover any accident where an injury has been suffered by an individual caused by or arising out of, a motor vehicle on a road or other public place. This can, therefore, cover a broad spectrum of Claimants: drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and so on.
Are there different processes for different types of road traffic accident claims?
There are schemes to protect victims who are prevented from bringing claims under the ‘standard’ process. If you are injured by a driver that cannot be traced, or if they were driving whilst uninsured, then there is an insurance-funded Scheme known as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, set up to provide compensation here. These differ from usual RTA claims as they carry out most of the investigation themselves and come back with a decision. They will then arrange a medical exam and any treatment themselves.
Are there any time limits on making a road traffic accident claim?
Generally, the claim must be brought (ie. proceedings must be issued) before the 3 year anniversary of the accident. There are exceptions to this. When minors are involved they have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim. If the accident occurred abroad the time limits in other countries can sometimes be shorter than the UK. All of that said, it is always a good idea to contact a solicitor as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
How can you help your client access medical rehabilitation?
Rehab forms a large part of these cases. Whilst the compensation is, of course, important, it is equally important that the Claimant knows the full nature of their injuries and has a solid treatment plan in place to ensure symptoms are managed appropriately.
The starting point is a report from a medical consultant specialising in these claims. They will often suggest a treatment plan. In most cases, we are able to move on and instruct a private agency to arrange this treatment in the Claimant’s locality. As the treatment stems from the accident, it is included in the global personal injury claim as a ‘special damage’ (ie. an expense), and therefore the cost of this is claimed from the Defendant.
How do you support your clients who are making a road traffic accident claim?
As a solicitor, my main job is to ensure the process is as fluid as possible. In most cases, it is my client’s 1st experience of litigation, so coupled with the stress and anguish caused by their injuries, they find themselves daunted by the process.
The biggest worry as a Claimant is not knowing what is going on. So, from the outset, I provide my clients with a solid plan of action going forward, so they are always a step ahead of the current stage. It’s also important that my clients can get hold of me directly without going through an automated system, so they know that I am available when any concerns arise. Finally, I provide all of my clear & jargon-free advice both in writing & over the phone to ensure understanding. We are a team after all!