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Steps to take after a Road Accident

Steps to making a claim for personal Injury after a road traffic accident

If you have been involved in an accident within the past three years and you wish to make a claim, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for your injury. You must carry out the following steps to prove that someone else was at fault for your injury:

1. Alert the police if you have been involved in the accident and received a personal injury

2. Make sure you take down the details of the other driver eg: name, address, telephone number, insurance details including his vehicle registration and car make.

3. Take photographs of the accident scene if possible, including the resting positions of the vehicles and the damage caused. 4. If you do not have a camera with you at the time of the road accident, it is wise to return to the scene later. There may still marks on the road and other evidence that could prove to be beneficial for you claim.

5. If there were any witnesses make sure you take their contact details.

6. Attend your G.P. to have your injuries diagnosed. A record will immediately be made, even if no treatment is necessary.

7.You might not notice your injuries at first because you are be in shock. If you feel symptoms require attention then visit your G.P.

8. Contact Specialist Injury Lawyers about making your personal injury claim and verify that they will fund your claim and that they will recover the legal fees from the other insurers if they win your claim.

9. Maintain a diary of all the physical symptoms you feel. Remember that psychological symptoms are also strongly considered including shock and apprehensive driving.

10. Record any receipts for your expenses as a result of the accident including: vehicle repair, towing expenses, storage, time from work, prescriptions, travel expenses to and from the hospital or your G.P.

If you suffer an accident what can you get back?

In the case of H West & Sons Ltd v Shepherd [1964] AC 326, Lord Pearce explained that “The court has to perform the difficult and artificial task of converting into monetary damages the physical injury and deprivation and pain and to give judgment for what it considers to be a reasonable sum. Today, there are five various types of award for compensation depending your type of injury and the circumstances surrounding your case.

1. Special damages

Special damages are usually in the form of income that has been lost up to the date that your claim settles. It may be repairs to your vehicle, medical costs, travel costs or hiring another vehicle.

2. General damages

These are losses or costs that are not fixed in value.a) Pain caused by physical injury, such as whiplash, or psychiatric injury, such as post traumatic stress disorder.b) Future Loss- such as income losses which continue after your claim has settled. The amount will depend on the facts in a medical report estimating how long you are unable to work.c) Uncertain losses – such as an estimated reduction in life expectancy. Injuries can be so severe that they will reduce how long you can be expected to live. In the case of Pickett v British Rail Engineering, it was decided that a claim should be allowed for the earnings that would have been made during those ‘lost years’.

3. Insurance company outlay

If your insurance covers both parties, your insurer may pay for a few of your expenses immediately such as repairing your vehicle. This is technically known as the “insurance company outlay”.

4. Interest

Under s35A of the Supreme Court Act 1981 ans s69 of the County Courts Act 1984, the court will award interest for damages arising from personal injury unless satisfied that there are special reasons for not doing so. The rate of this will vary depending on whether the type of damage is general or special. Interest on general damages is applicable from the date you start your claim in court and interest on special damages runs from the date of your accident.

5. Legal Fees

If your full claim in total is over the amount of £1000 you may claim your legal fees as part of your traffic accident compensation claim. It is a rule in UK law that the loser pays the winner’s costs.

6. Legal advice

It is always advisable to seek specialist legal advice regarding your Injury Claim. You will find that you won’t actually be charged for the advice and you will find out instantly whether or not you can claim in most circumstances.

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