Can I make a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident if…?

Conversations with people who get in touch following a road traffic accident (RTA) often start with these words.

In general, you can usually bring a personal injury claim after an RTA if:

  • You have been injured in an RTA, and another party was at least partially at fault
  • You are making your claim within three years of the date of the RTA in question

However, every RTA and subsequent personal injury claim is different. Therefore, the same question might not always deliver the same answer, depending on the circumstances behind the RTA.

Here are some of the most common questions we receive and their answers.

Can I make a personal injury claim if I was at fault for the RTA?

Not if you were wholly liable. That said, it’s always worth taking legal advice before admitting liability for an RTA.

If you were partially liable for an accident, you might still be able to claim personal injury compensation. However, this would reduce on the same basis as the accepted liability. For example, if you and the other party agree an accident was 50/50, any subsequent successful compensation claim would reduce by 50%.

Although such a scenario might be less appealing than receiving 100% of a compensation award, it’s still worth bringing a claim.

Can I make a personal injury claim after an RTA if I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt?

Yes, but it may significantly reduce the compensation you get.

While wearing your seatbelt wouldn’t have stopped the RTA from happening, doing so might have either:

  • Reduced the severity of your injuries
  • Prevented your injuries from occurring at all

Usually, the medical examiner who compiles your medical report will give their opinion on this matter. For example, if they say that wearing your seatbelt wouldn’t have made any difference to your injuries, you won’t see the value of your claim reduced. In contrast, if they report that your injuries could have been less severe or prevented entirely, you could see your compensation claim reduced by up to 25%. The other party may also challenge your claim that they’re liable for your injuries in this situation.

Can I make a personal injury claim if the other driver left the scene of the RTA?


Even if you couldn’t get their vehicle registration details, you can still bring a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

Can I make a personal injury claim after an RTA if the other driver was uninsured or provided me false details?


What your claim looks like in this scenario will depend on the specific circumstances relating to the driver or vehicle involved.

  • If the driver provided false details, but you have the vehicle registration, your insurer or the MIB can easily trace their insurance company
  • If the vehicle was insured but the person driving wasn’t insured to drive it, the insurance company will often deal with your claim anyway
  • If neither the vehicle nor the driver was insured, you can claim via the MIB in the same manner as if the driver left the scene and you have no vehicle details

Can I make a personal injury claim if a foreign-registered vehicle hit me and caused my injury?


Say you were injured in a collision with a foreign-registered lorry or a European tourist. In this case, you would usually send the vehicle details to the MIB, who would help you contact the relevant overseas insurer.

However, the MIB generally won’t deal with your claim itself. In such cases, the overseas insurer will appoint UK representatives for you to deal with when bringing your claim.

Can I make a personal injury claim if I was injured in an RTA that happened overseas?

It depends on various things, including the country where the accident occurred.

Given the potential complexity of these cases, the best thing to do is contact a personal injury solicitor and take legal advice.

Contact us with any other questions

Have you been injured in an RTA under any of these circumstances, or do you have any questions about your claim that we haven’t answered here?

Contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your potential personal injury claim to discover where you stand and take the first steps to getting the compensation you deserve.

Get in Touch

Fill in the form below to tell us your details, and we’ll get started.