Advice On What To Do If You Suffer An Injury In A Car Accident

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Learn What To Do If You Suffer An Injury In A Car Accident

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 18th June 2024. It’s important that you know what to do if you suffer an injury in a car accident so you can prove liability on the part of another driver. Without the necessary evidence, you may not be able to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Our guide to claiming compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident provides advice and information on the claims process, the sort of injuries you could suffer, and the evidence needed to support your case against another party. We explain the importance of seeking medical attention no matter how minor your injuries may appear, and how an official medical report would strengthen your case.

We offer advice on how following a doctor’s recommendations is all-important when it comes to the medication they prescribe, and treatment plans they set in place to aid your recovery.

Our guide also offers essential reading on the time limit to filing a car accident claim. We provide an idea on how much a car accident injury claim could be worth, and how a No Win No Fee lawyer could assist you in getting a fair and acceptable amount in the way of personal injury compensation.

To find out more, please continue reading our guide. If you have any queries or questions, please get in touch with a Legal Expert adviser on 0800 073 8804.

Man with a mild head injury following a car crash.

Select A Section

  1. Injured In A Car Accident – Are You Eligible To Claim?
  2. What Injuries Could I Claim For Following A Car Accident?
  3. How Do I Start A Car Accident Claim?
  4. Evidence To Support Your Claim If Injured In A Car Accident
  5. How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation After Getting Injured In A Car Accident?
  6. Compensation For A Car Accident
  7. What Special Damages Could Be Awarded For Car Accident Injuries
  8. No Win No Fee Claims For An Injury In A Car Accident

Injured In A Car Accident – Are You Eligible To Claim?

All road users owe a duty of care to each other while using the roads. This means that they must navigate in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. As part of this duty, road users are expected to adhere to any relevant rules and regulations found in the Highway Code. Additionally, some road users, such as drivers, are expected to comply with the Road Traffic Act 1988. If you are injured in a car accident because another driver failed to adhere to this duty, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.  

However, you must be able to satisfy the criteria for claiming personal injury compensation. This is:

  • Another driver owed you a duty of care. 
  • They breached this duty. 
  • As a result of this breach, you suffered injuries. 

If you have any questions about injuries in car accidents and how you can prove your claim, get in touch with an advisor from our team. One of our team members can also check your eligibility to claim. 

What Injuries Could I Claim For Following A Car Accident?

There are various types of injuries you could suffer in a car crash. These can range from minor soft tissue injuries to life-altering serious injuries. You can claim car accident compensation for a range of these as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. A few examples include:

  • Whiplash. This is caused by the sudden movement of the neck, such as being in a rear ended accident.
  • Broken or bruised ribs. These injuries can occur due to the seatbelt tightening around your chest.
  • Psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from the accident itself or other serious and life-changing physical injuries you endure, such as amputation or paralysis. 
  • Broken bones. If you are in a t-bone accident, your arm or leg could be fractured.
  • Permanent scar injuries. These can occur if you suffer a fractured bone as a result of medical treatment, or you may suffer cuts and lacerations, such as to your face if the windscreen shatters.
  • Head injuries, including brain damage. These can range from mild to very severe and be caused by your head hitting a hard object, such as the windscreen.
  • Amputations. You could suffer traumatic amputations in the accident itself, or require surgical amputation due to your injuries, such as severe crush injuries.

If you would like to discuss what to do if you suffer an injury in a car accident, or talk about the injuries you sustained and find out if you can claim, speak to a member of our advisory team.Man with injuries receives medical attention at accident scene.

How Do I Start A Car Accident Claim? 

You may like to know what to do when you have a car accident. If you would like to seek personal injury compensation, you would need to follow the Pre-action Protocols for Personal Injury Claims. If the whiplash reforms do not apply to you, these are the protocols that you or your solicitor will follow. This means you need to:

  • Send a letter of notification to let the defendant know that you are likely to make a claim. 
  • Send a letter of claim to the defendant, which includes information about why you are alleging fault, your injuries and special damages. Their insurer has 3 months from the date of receiving the letter of claim to investigate. 
  • The defendant should send a letter of response in a timely manner. If they deny liability, their version of events should be detailed. 
  • The defendant should disclose relevant documents. You may have identified these in the letter of claim. 
  • Instruct an approved expert, such as a doctor, to assess the nature of your injuries. The defendant should have supplied you with a list of experts they consider suitable. 
  • The defendant may choose to accept liability, reject liability, or negotiate the claim. You can also negotiate the settlement.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may wish to have a road traffic accident solicitor to help you with the claims process. One of our No Win No Fee solicitors could support your claim. Speak to one of the advisors from our team to find out more. 

Evidence To Support Your Claim If Injured In A Car Accident

If a road user acts negligently, you will need to prove their fault using evidence. Additionally, you must be able to prove any injuries after a car accident. As such, consider gathering:

  • The contact details of any witnesses to the car accident. Your solicitor can reach out to them for a statement confirming your version of events.
  • Photographs of any visible injuries or hazards at the scene of the accident. Also photograph damage caused to your vehicle.
  • Only if possible, dash cam or CCTV footage of the accident.
  • Your medical records if you have copies, or letters from the hospital, GP surgery or walk-in centre that treated your injuries. They will document your injuries and what caused them.
  • An opinion from an independent medical expert who can confirm the extent of the harm you have sustained. This will be obtained as part of the claims process with the help of your solicitor.

If you have been injured in a car accident, our solicitors could assist you with gathering evidence. With years of experience in successfully settling claims, you can rely on us to go above and beyond to help you get a compensation payout.

A notebook with 'evidence' written on it.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation After Getting Injured In A Car Accident?

If you were injured in a car accident, you generally have 3 years from the accident date to begin your claim. This period is set by the Limitation Act 1980, although in certain car accident cases, exceptions can be made. For example:

  • A minor cannot begin a claim, so injured persons who are under 18 will have the 3-year limit counted from their 18th birthday.
  • Those who lack the mental capacity to make their own claim have the time limit permanently suspended. However, if they make a sufficient recovery and regain their capacity, then the 3 years will be counted from the recovery date.

In these situations, the court can appoint a litigation friend to pursue the claim on the injured party’s behalf. For more guidance on the car accident claims time limit, or to find out if any exceptions apply in your particular circumstances, talk to one of our friendly advisors using the contact information given below.

Compensation For A Car Accident

You may be interested in car accident compensation amounts for the injuries you suffered. Firstly, how you claim compensation for a car accident might be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme.

The Whiplash Reform Programme introduced changes to the way claims for whiplash injuries are made. As an adult passenger or driver, if you sustain whiplash injuries valued at £5,000 or less, you will make your claim via a different avenue. In addition, you will have your whiplash injuries valued in accordance with the tariff in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

In some cases, you may not be required to make your claim in this way. For example, you may have sustained other injuries that take the total value of your claim over £5,000. In this instance, your claim will be made the traditional way but your whiplash injuries will still be valued according to the tariff. This is because the tariff applies to all occupants inside a vehicle. Any other injuries you sustain not included in the tariff will be valued in the traditional way.

General Damages

After making a successful personal injury claim, you would receive general damages to compensate for the emotional and physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries. In addition to general damages, you might be eligible to recover special damages which compensate for the financial losses caused by your injuries. We have provided further details on this in the section below.

To help give value to general damages, legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides guideline compensation brackets for various injuries.

We’ve included a selection of injuries and their corresponding figures from the JCG in our table below. You can use this as an alternative to a compensation calculator.

Whilst the figures from the JCG are to be used as a guide only, the last two entries are taken from the tariff in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 and are fixed amounts. Additionally, the top row is from neither of these. We’ve provided it to show you how much car accident compensation your claim could be worth if you sustained multiple injuries of a severe nature and financial losses. As every claim for a road traffic accident is different, the table is only to be used as guidance.

Injury TypeSeverityCompensation Amounts
Multiple Very Severe Injuries and Special DamagesVery SevereUp to £1,000,000+
Very Severe Brain DamageVery Severe (a)£282,010 to £403,990
Leg InjuriesAmputations (a)(i)£293,850 to £344,150
Severe (b)(i)£117,460 to £165,860
Les Serious (c)(i)£21,920 to £33,880
Neck Injuries Severe (a)(ii)
£80,240 to £159,770
Moderate (b)(ii)£16,770 to £30,500
Back InjuriesModerate (b)(i)£33,880 to £47,320
Whiplash InjuriesOne or More Whiplash Injuries with One or More Minor Psychological Injuries£4,345
One or More Whiplash Injuries£4,215

Our advisors can provide a free claim valuation. Call them if you have any questions regarding claiming compensation for a car accident.

What Special Damages Could Be Awarded For Car Accident Injuries?

The second head of claim you could be eligible for if you were injured in a car accident is special damages. This head of claim allows you to claim back the financial losses you sustain because of your injuries. For example, this could include:

  • Prescription costs
  • Medical bills
  • The cost of home adjustments, such as a stairlift or widened doorways
  • The cost of mobility aids, such as crutches or a wheelchair
  • Lost earnings
  • Childcare costs
  • Expenses relating to domestic help

In order to claim special damages, you have to be able to provide evidence of your losses. As such, it can be helpful to keep any receipts, bills, bank statements or invoices that could support your claim.

To learn more about what to do after a car accident in the UK, or to find out if you could be eligible to claim for a car accident injury, contact our team today.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Injury In A Car Accident

Now that you know what to do in case of a car accident, you might be interested in knowing the benefits of hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor. Alongside being able to gather evidence on your behalf and offering expert advice for the car accident claims process, they may offer you a type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement.

The advantages of working with a solicitor on the basis of a No Win No Fee usually include:

  • No upfront fees so your solicitor can get to work on your case almost immediately
  • Not having to pay any fees whilst the claim is ongoing
  • Only paying your solicitor for their work if your claim is successful

Additionally, if your solicitor helps you settle your claim and you are awarded car accident injury compensation, they will take a success fee. However, you won’t be overcharged for this fee as it is subject to a legal cap under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Our expert personal injury solicitors could work with you under this arrangement. Find out how you can contact us for free at any time in the next section.

A car accident solicitor working on a claim.

Contact Us For Support

To start a car accident claim today or to find out more about the car accident injury claim process, please contact a member of the Legal Expert team. You can do so in the following ways:

Thank you for reading our guide on what to do if you suffer an injury in a car accident.

Car Accident Resources

For more information on how a No Win No Fee solicitor could act on your behalf, please follow the link provided:

A guide to No Win No Fee solicitors

To find the right solicitor to act on your behalf, please read our guide by clicking on the link below:

A guide to finding a No Win No Fee solicitor

For more information regarding No Win No Fee agreement, please click on the link below:

Conditional Fee Agreements explained

To find out more about the Highway Code, please follow the link provided:

The Highway Code

We also have some other guides on car accident claims that you may find useful:

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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