Although the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, the number of road traffic accidents resulting in death or serious injury each year is increasing. The police received reports of 26,610 people killed or seriously injured in the year ending June 2108.
Driver error is to blame for most road accidents, with accidents caused by drivers failing to look properly, poor vehicle manoeuvres or loss of control. The government is deeply concerned, so much so that in July 2019 the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency published a road safety action plan to cut the number of fatalities.
Lisa Waghorne, a personal injury solicitor with Stephens & Son in Chatham, is experienced in helping road accident victims recover compensation and says ‘Whatever the cause, the effects of a serious road traffic accident can be devastating and have lifelong implications for health and even earning potential’.
We have dealt with a broad range of cases, such as accidents resulting from drunk drivers, excessive speed, reckless driving, adverse weather conditions, running red lights, hit and run incidents, and vehicle design defects. Our specialist team of lawyers have also successfully represented people who have suffered the most serious injuries, including head and spinal trauma.
Who is most at risk?
The risk of injury is one faced by all road users not just those in vehicles. According to the Department for Transport victims include:
- 58% car drivers and passengers
- 14% pedestrians
- 11% cyclists
- 10% motorbikes
- 3% child pedestrians
- 9% all child casualties.
What to do immediately after an accident
Being involved in an accident is an extremely upsetting experience, but it is important to try to stay calm.
When someone is injured the police should always be called. This will ensure there is a formal record of what happened.
Witnesses should be asked for their details so that your solicitor can contact them later. Dash cams are increasingly common, so it is worth finding out if anyone has captured images of the incident.
Always make sure you obtain the name, address and insurance details of any other parties involved, along with the registration number of their vehicle.
Take photographs of the position of the vehicles involved in the accident, damage sustained, skid marks and any road debris.
Making a compensation claim
The sooner you speak to a specialist solicitor the easier it will be to gather the evidence required to seek compensation.
We will obtain the police report and prepare witness statements to support your claim. Our solicitors are also experienced in countering arguments raised by insurance companies (who are keen to avoid paying compensation), such as allegations that a crash helmet or seat belt was not worn or a cyclist was not wearing high-visibility clothing.
We will tell you exactly what you can claim compensation for. This could include the repair or replacement of your vehicle or bike, along with any clothing or personal items damaged in the accident. If you need time off work as a result of your injuries, then we can recover your lost earnings. We can also arrange for you to receive private medical treatment or rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy, and include those costs within the claim. In addition we are able to recover the value of any help or care that has been provided to you by your friends and family.
No win, no fee funding
Although no amount of money can take away the traumatic experience you have been through, compensation can make life easier. So, if you have been injured as a result of a serious road traffic accident within the last three years then let us help you make a claim. We can work on a no win, no fee basis, so you should not let worries about funding legal costs put you off seeking justice.
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.