If you are hurt in a road traffic accident, you will naturally want to seek redress from the person who was responsible for the accident – usually in the form of compensation.
Therese Classon, personal injury solicitor at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot, explains how a solicitor can help you claim the compensation you deserve if you are injured in a road traffic accident.
Road traffic accidents can occur in a number of ways. You could collide with another car as a driver or a passenger, you could be hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you could crash into an animal while driving, or your car could have skidded in bad weather conditions.
Whatever the circumstances, to be able to successfully claim compensation for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident you need to gather evidence and establish who was responsible for the accident and your injuries.
All drivers owe other road users, including pedestrians, a duty of care, and the highways authority also has a duty of care to ensure measures are put in place to keep roads as safe as possible.
Even if you were partly responsible for the accident – maybe driving too fast in icy conditions or not wearing a seatbelt – you may still be able to make a claim as long as someone else was at fault too. Your compensation amount may, however, be reduced depending on how much the court feels your negligence contributed to the accident and your subsequent injuries.
How a solicitor can help…
You should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible after your road traffic accident. Your insurers may try to persuade you to use one of their panel solicitors. They will not be local to you and you are not obliged to instruct them. WBW your local specialist personal injury lawyers can quickly gauge whether you have a valid claim and if you do will help you gather the evidence – such as witness statements – you need to strengthen your case. They will ensure you are examined by a medical expert who will assess the cause of your injury and the effect it has had on your life.
They will ensure all the paperwork connected with you claim is in order, and will work hard to negotiate you an out-of-court settlement, but will be there to give you expert advice and speak on your behalf if the matter has to go to court.
The compensation you receive depends on how serious your injury is, your prognosis and how it has affected your life, but could include damages for:
- pain and suffering;
- loss of earnings;
- additional medical treatment or rehabilitation;
- out-of-pocket expenses; and
- adaptations required to your home.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.