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How Much Compensation For Car Accident Claims? – A Guide To Car Accidents

By Stephen Parker. Last Updated 20th January 2022. This guide to car accident claims will tell you everything you need to know about road traffic accidents, injuries, and the average compensation payout for a car accident in the UK. We’ll essentially explain how to claim the car accident compensation that you deserve. We’ll also be answering a question we’re often asked – “how long after a car accident can you claim compensation?”.

If you have been involved in an accident on the road that wasn’t your fault and you’ve suffered an injury, such as whiplash, you could be entitled to compensation.

how long after an accident can you claim compensation

Car accident case

Legal Expert is a claims management company that works with a specialist panel of solicitors with over 30 years of experience supporting clients that have been involved in car accidents.

We strive to ensure that our clients receive the best service possible when filing things like car accident claims. One in which they’re fully informed every step of the way and receive an outcome they’re satisfied with. Why not take a look through some of our client’s reviews.

Here’s what one of our satisfied clients, James, had to say:

“Highly responsive, clear process & associated time frames. I felt confident in their legal experience throughout.”

If you’d like to speak directly with our expert team of personal injury claim advisors about car accident claims and subsequent compensation, they’re standing by 24/7 to help. You can reach them via the following ways:

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Can I Claim Car Accident Compensation?

If you’re wondering whether you could be eligible to claim car accident compensation, please get in touch with our team of specialist advisors today. By asking a few simple questions about your case, they can tell you whether you have grounds to make a claim and even give you an estimate of how much compensation you could be entitled to.

In general, you’ll need to be able to prove that you suffered as a result of third-party negligence. If your case meets the following criteria, you should potentially consider making legal proceedings against the third party in question:

  1. The third party owed you a legal duty of care
  2. Which they breached
  3. And you suffered as a result

To learn more, please get in touch today or read on.

Car Accident Claims Statistics

The government annual report for 2020 reported road casualties gives us a good idea of how frequently road traffic injuries can occur.

For example, it’s estimated that there was a total of 1,460 reported deaths caused by road traffic accidents in 2020.  The period of time includes 4 months of a national lockdown that ran from April to June, and then November too.

When the figures of those who were seriously injured are combined with those who were killed, the figure is much higher. The number of people who were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in 2020 comes to 23.529.

The amount road traffic casualties of all severity amount to 115,584. This is a reduction of 25% when compared to figures from 2019. However, this lower figure is likely due in part to the reduced level of activity on roads due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The graph below collates all of the 2020 data and displays how it differs from data since 2010.

Car accident claims statistics graph

Car accident claims statistics graph

What To Do Just After A Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a deeply traumatic and unnerving experience. Often, the impact is unexpected, and the force of such sudden movements, combined with the dramatic and sometimes violent sounds, can cause immense distress.

We understand full well what it’s like to be involved in a car accident and know that car accident compensation can relieve many victims. So in this part of our guide to road traffic accident claims, we thought we’d provide you with some simple steps to follow. We want first to make sure that you’re safe and well, and secondly, you give yourself the best chance of making a successful personal injury claim.

The steps you can follow

  • Immediately after the car accident, you should make sure that you and your passengers are safe and that if anyone needs emergency treatment, that they get it. Calling emergency services is advisable in serious car accidents, such as those involving cuts and broken limbs.
  • After you’ve made sure everyone is safe, it’s time to inspect the damage. If you can still drive, move your car to a safe place, making sure the other driver or road user follows.
  • Take photographs of the scene of the car accident and the vehicles involved, focusing in particular on any visible damage.
  • Exchange details with the other driver involved. Crucially, you need to get their vehicle registration number, insurance details, name and contact information. This is vital information to collect in order for you to have any chance of receiving car accident compensation.
  • Seek medical advice. In less serious accidents, such as low-velocity impacts, you may not feel too injured. However, some injuries, such as whiplash, may present themselves over the next few hours or days. It’s therefore important to rule out any more severe injuries ahead of filing accident claims. In addition, your attendance at your GP practice or walk-in centre creates an entry in your medical records, which helps prove the circumstances of the claim.
  • Seek legal advice. Because of the personal injury claims time limit, you only have a narrow window to make a car accident claim. It’s therefore advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Looking for a car accident solicitor? Contact our advisors and they can offer you all the advice you need. If you have strong grounds to claim, they may even be able connect you with one of our road traffic accident solicitors.

How Are Car Accident Claims Started?

how long after a car accident can you claim compensation

Car accident compensation

Starting a personal injury claim for car accident compensation couldn’t be simpler. We strongly recommend that you appoint a law firm that specialises in car accident claims as they have the ability and legal experience to ensure that your claim reaches its maximum amount of compensation.

Our lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that each case reaches its potential, especially those we employ. We have solicitors with decades of experience in all types of road traffic accident cases and work endlessly so that clients are completely happy with the service we provide.

You can receive a free consultation by contacting us, so before entering into any legal litigation, you will know if your car accident claim has winning merits. The free advice we give will provide a clearer picture of how to move forward with your case.

It is important to gather the following information for us to process your car accident compensation claim, so it may help to make notes beforehand:

  • How the accident happened.
  • Your registration details.
  • Details of the third party.
  • Location of where the accident happened.
  • Don’t worry if the driver fled the scene. We may be able to claim you through the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau).

Once we have the information we need, we can process your car accident claim straight away, meaning that you will receive the car accident compensation you deserve at the earliest possible moment.

Do car accident claims go to court?

Many car accident claims don’t go to court because the liability is clear, or disputing the claim isn’t in the other party’s best interests. It’s estimated that only around 5% of claims go to court, with many compensation claims being settled beforehand.

How Long After A Car Accident Do I Have To Claim?

So, how long after a car accident can you claim compensation? You may not be aware of it, but every personal injury claim has a time limit in which it must be made. This time limit applies by law under the Limitation Act 1980.

In summary:

  • You usually have three years from the date of the car accident that caused your injury to start a potential compensation claim.
  • If you are under 18, you won’t be able to start a claim on your own and the time limit is frozen. A family relative or another trusted person may be able to claim on your behalf. Such a representative is known as a litigation friend. If a claim has not been started on your behalf by the time you are 18, the three-year period will start from the day of your 18th birthday.
  • If you lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend can potentially act on your behalf under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. However, if you regain enough mental capacity to act independently, then the three-year time limit for starting your claim will begin from when this happens.

If you’re at all unsure if you meet the personal injury limitation period for personal injury claims, please give our team a call on the number at the top of this page to see if you could be entitled to claim compensation.

How Much Car Accident Compensation Could I Receive?

Car accident compensation can cover up to two main types of damages. These are called general damages and special damages. Primarily designed to cover your physical pain and psychological suffering, general damages also account for the impact the injuries have had on your quality of life.

Alongside general damages, you could also be entitled to special damages. This is a fee that’s calculated to reimburse the injured party for any additional expenditures or losses they have experienced due to their injuries. Some examples of this include:

  • Loss of earnings – your injuries could cause you to lose out on wages if you’re forced to miss time at work. It’s possible that the wages you would’ve earned in this period could be included in your special damages payment
  • Medical costs – things such as prescription costs, and other treatments that aren’t available for free on the NHS
  • Damage to property – for example, the cost of replacing or repairing your damaged car following a road traffic accident

In the table below, we’ve included some compensation brackets for different injuries claimants may seek compensation for following a car accident. The brackets are based on the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Solicitors may use these guidelines to help work out the value of injuries while supporting a car accident claim. The brackets included below cover general damages only.

Injury TypeSeverityCompensation
Brain/Head InjuryModerately Severe£205,580 to £264,650
Brain/Head InjuryLess Severe£14,380 to £40,410
Face Injury - ScarringVery Severe£27,940 to £91,350
Face Injury - ScarringLess Severe£16,860 to £45,440
Back InjurySevere£36,390 to £151,070
Back InjuryModerate£11,730 to £36,390
Neck InjurySevere£42,680 to in the region of £139,210
Neck InjuryModerate£7,410 to £36,120
Shoulder InjurySerious£11,980 to £18,020
Shoulder InjuryModerate£7,410 to £11,980

Payments for whiplash injuries

If you are making a claim for a whiplash injury through the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP), then JCG brackets including those listed above do not apply.

People are injured differently, and no two injuries are the same, nor is a person’s pain and suffering. However, we can provide you with a more detailed valuation on how much of a payout you could be entitled to once we know more about your case. So why not call our team of friendly personal injury claims advisors who can tell you what compensation you could look to receive?

Who Pays Compensation In Car Accident Claims?

Who pays car accident compensation after such an incident? This is a question we’re frequently asked by claimants looking to make road traffic accidents.

how to claim car accident compensation

Car accident compensation

In the vast majority of cases, the driver’s insurance company at fault for the accident will be expected to pay any compensation. This is a straightforward scenario, especially if the other driver accepts liability.

However, what happens if the responsible driver has no insurance cover, or if the accident was a hit and run and the other driver can’t be traced? It may be possible to make a claim against the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) in such circumstances. The purpose of the MIB is to compensate victims of accidents caused by uninsured or untraceable drivers. MIB payouts are much the same as in standard road traffic accident claims.

Crucially, it’s important to seek independent legal advice, advice from a solicitor not affiliated with an insurance company. By their very nature, insurers seek to minimise costs, so following an accident, you may find yourself contacted by an insurance company that might offer you an early settlement. Such offers tend to be much lower than what you could receive if you seek independent legal advice instead.

This is something that we can help with. Our personal injury claims team is experienced in recovering compensation. We act independently of any insurer and act only in your best interests. To take advantage of this free legal advice, get in touch with our team today using the number at the top of this page.

What Is The Average Payout For A Whiplash Claim?

As of 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP) was introduced for road traffic injuries that occur on or after the 31st of May. Whiplash is a common injury sustained in road traffic accidents. Due to the high level of claims being made, the WRP was introduced as an online portal where your claim up to the value of £5,000 can be made.

Despite the misleading name, it is all road traffic accident claims up to the value of £5,000 that can be made through the WRP. However, those involved must be adults and only drivers/passengers are covered. Pedestrians and cyclists are ineligible to apply. They will have to make a claim through the more traditional route. We can help with this. It may also be worth checking with us to see if your claim could be worth over £5,000 before making use of this online portal. Get in touch today to find out.

No Win No Fee Car Accident Claims

All of our lawyers operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that they do not charge their clients a penny unless your claim is successful. If you are awarded car accident compensation, then their fee is covered by a small fee taken from your settlement amount.

There is no upfront fee you have to pay. All initial information and guidance from our advisors is free of charge.

Whilst it is possible to make a claim without legal assistance, we advise against this. You could be left with expensive legal costs to cover, even in the event of your claim being unsuccessful. If you do not receive a compensation payout then you could be left under financial strain as a result of these costs.

No Win No Fee arrangements are a good way to give all victims of negligence the chance to make a claim for the compensation they deserve.

Contact Our Personal Injury Claims Team

  • You can call us on 0800 073 8804
  • You can alternatively use our online contact form
  • Or you can reach us online via our live chat feature

Car Accident Claims FAQs

Below, we have included answers to our advisers’ most frequently asked questions about car accidents and car accident compensation.

Do whiplash claims get rejected?

If you don’t provide sufficient evidence that you have suffered an injury that was the fault of another party, your whiplash claim could be refused.

How long does a car accident settlement take?

The length of all car accident claims varies too greatly to answer this question. Some simple claims may take a matter of months to settle. However, more complicated cases could take years to settle.

Can you claim for anxiety after a car accident?

Yes, it’s possible to claim for anxiety and other psychological injuries after a car accident. It’s not uncommon for people to experience conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder too.

More Useful Guides and Resources On Road Traffic Accidents

We appreciate you taking the time to check out our car accident claims guide. Below, you can find some more guides on road traffic accidents you may find useful. And if you have any questions at all, or to start your claim, please get in touch with our team.

Whiplash Compensation Calculator

Head here to learn more about how much compensation you could get for a whiplash injury.

How Much Compensation Could You Receive For a Cycling Accident?

If you’ve been injured as a cyclist and want to know if you could claim compensation, and if so, how much, this guide will tell you what you need.

How To Prove An Injury Suffered In a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident and want to know how you can prove those injuries, this guide will tell you more.

Car Accident Claims And Insurance Excess Fees Explained

This particular guide explains how the process for car accident claims and paying excess fees works.

I Was Injured In A Car Accident. What Are My Rights?

Read this particular guide to learn more about what legal options the law provides you following a car accident.

What To Do When A Car Hit Yours From Behind And Your Insurance Company Want You To Pay An Excess Fee

If you’re being asked by your vehicle insurer to pay an excess fee and have concerns or queries about this, then read this guide to learn how they work.

What To Do Next When An Insurance Company Has Denied Liability

Sometimes following a car accident caused by another party, the insurer of that party may deny liability. This guide discusses what you can do if you face this scenario.

What Causes Neck Pain After A Car Accident?

In this guide, we discuss how neck and back pain could develop due to a car accident. We also look at ways you can be treated and compensated for such injuries.

The Highway Code

Head here to review the obligations set out in the Highway Code.

Is Your Vehicle Safe To Drive?

Check out this government guide on ensuring your car is in good working order.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an uninsured driver or one that cannot be traced, a claim might be possible through the MIB. Please find out more about making car accident claims through them here.

Thank you for reading our car accident compensation guide. We hope you have learned a lot about car accident claims and how to make one yourself.

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