How does making a personal injury claim work following a road traffic accident?

If you’re considering making a personal injury claim following a road traffic accident (RTA), it’s understandable that you’ll have lots of questions about the process and how it all works.

Let’s explore this topic so you know everything you need to ahead of making a claim.

First things first: It isn’t the hassle you think it might be!

The fear of potential hassle and further stress can put us off doing many things – including making a personal injury claim! This can be especially true if you’ve been told to use Official Injury Claim.

While you might not know the first thing about how the claim process works, that’s why we’re here! Although there might be lots of information to gather and digest, making a personal injury claim and getting compensation can often be relatively straightforward. This is 100% the case if you instruct LawPlus Solicitors to proceed with your claim. We keep everything as simple as possible so you can focus on recovering from your injuries without dealing with additional stress and anxiety.

That said, not every personal injury claim is the same, and the process can be very different depending on the circumstances behind your RTA.

Starting your claim and the importance of liability

There are two primary factors at the foundation of every personal injury claim:

  1. Establishing that the other driver was at fault for the accident
  2. The extent of your injuries, including their long-term prognosis and impact on your quality of life

Ultimately, the response to the other driver and their insurance company or solicitor will often be the most significant factor in your personal injury claim.

For example, should the other party admit liability for both the RTA and your injuries at the earliest opportunity, that can take a significant chunk of stress out of your claim and might get things moving forward more quickly.

In contrast, should the other party deny liability for the accident, or challenge the extent to which the RTA caused your injuries, things might become more complicated. In this situation, you’re likely to need to gather much more evidence so that you can build a robust case and get the compensation you deserve.

Gathering evidence to support your personal injury claim

Should you need to gather evidence to support your personal injury claim, it’s vital you start doing so at the earliest opportunity. If you’ve recently been involved in an RTA, begin gathering evidence now. That way, if the other party disputes liability for either the accident or your injuries, you won’t be chasing your tail trying to build your case.

Valuable evidence to gather for a personal injury claim includes:

  • Photographs of the scene of the RTA. In an ideal world, you’ll have taken photos immediately following the accident. Still, it’s hardly surprising that your focus and thoughts might have been elsewhere in the immediate aftermath. If it’s safe to do so, return to the scene of the accident to take photographs. You can add your own drawings and annotations to the image on your computer or smartphone later to demonstrate what happened.
  • A diary listing your symptoms and progression or recovery from any injuries, including photographs if symptoms or the injuries themselves are visible. You should also keep note of any limitations you’re experiencing from your injuries, such as being unable to perform specific tasks or go to work.
  • Any evidence from medical appointments resulting from your injuries. While you may need to obtain a formal medical report to support your claim, your medical records could also form part of your claim if you’ve seen your GP or attended a hospital following the RTA. With this in mind, if you do see your GP or go to a hospital in the aftermath of an RTA, ensure you mention any symptoms you’re experiencing, so these are added to your records.
  • Receipts and invoices for things like travel to medical appointments, or evidence showing loss of earnings due to your injury. You’ll usually be able to reclaim these as part of a successful personal injury claim, so ensure you have the necessary evidence so you can avoid being out of pocket through no fault of your own.

Settling your claim

If and when you receive a compensation offer, it is your choice whether you accept it.

In general, the best time to settle a claim is after you’ve made a full recovery from any injuries. While this may seem counterintuitive, it means you have a complete picture of how the injury affected you and your total financial losses in the aftermath of your RTA. In addition, if you settle your claim while you’re still suffering symptoms, you’ll be unable to bring a future claim if your injuries subsequently worsen.

If you instruct LawPlus to manage your personal injury claim, we’ll provide you with advice every step of the way, so you settle at the best time for you.

Will I have to go to court?

Not in most cases. In general, personal injury claims only escalate to court proceedings when:

  • There is an unsurmountable deadlock between you and the other party, which can be over liability, a compensation offer, or any other factor relevant to your claim
  • You need to start proceedings to ensure the three-year time limit to make a claim doesn’t lapse and leave you unable to claim compensation

It’s worth noting that, even if you start court proceedings, conversations between you (or your legal team) and the other party can continue, so you might find a mutually agreeable solution way before a court date comes up anyway.

Want to know if you have grounds for a personal injury claim? Contact us now!

If you’ve been injured in an RTA, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to pursue the compensation you’re legally entitled to.

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation review of your potential personal injury claim.

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