Road traffic accident compensation

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    Enable Law’s specialist road accident solicitors help people involved in serious injury collisions that were not their fault to move forward with their lives.

    We specialise in dealing with car and motorbike crashes involving fatalities and serious and life changing injuries and are passionate about getting the best outcome for you.

    To achieve that, we have built an extensive network of healthcare and rehabilitation professionals who advise on the transformative treatment and equipment that will support your needs. We then fight for the compensation that will let you access it.

    A serious road traffic accident can totally transform your life, but our aim is always to help you and your family access the support you need to have the most full, pain free and rounded future possible.

    Road traffic compensation for passengers and pedestrians

    If you, a loved one or your child has been harmed by a road traffic incident and someone else was wholly or partially to blame, you may be entitled to compensation.

    Sometimes it is difficult to know if someone else was to blame, such as if you or a child are hit by a car when crossing a road.

    Even if you are unsure about whose fault an accident was, we strongly advise you to speak to a specialist solicitor. Compensation can often be claimed even if partial responsibility for an accident is with the injured party.

    Money cannot fix the damage done, but compensation does often open up possibilities for improved access to treatment, equipment, home adaptations and can alleviate loss of income that road collisions can lead to.

    It isn’t just other motorists who can claim compensation when harm is caused in a road crash. Passengers, pedestrians and cyclists are eligible to claim compensation if they’re hurt by the actions of a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or even an animal.

    We offer free, informal, no obligation initial advice on whether you may have a compensation claim. Do please contact us.

    We support with:

    • car crash claims
    • passenger injury claims
    • pedestrian injury claims
    • motorcycle claims
    • driver compensation claims
    • horse rider injury claims
    • commercial vehicle injury claims
    • medical negligence claims following road traffic accident injury
    • mental capacity law and court of protection proceedings when someone is left unable to make their own decisions.

    Our rounded team of personal injury, medical negligence and mental capacity specialists have experience in helping clients with the injuries suffered in road crashes.

    Having a specialist solicitor on board means you will not miss out on the latest support available for complex injuries such as a spinal, amputation, internal or brain injury.

    We not only have experience at supporting you but also your family too – and our top-rated mental capacity team can deal with issues relating to deputyship where someone is temporarily or permanently unable to make their own decisions.

    Making a claim against an uninsured or hit-and-run driver

    It is often possible for us to support successful road traffic incident compensation claims, even when the motorist responsible for injuries was not insured or has not been traced.

    We are able to help injured parties to access the MIB (Motorist Insurers’ Bureau) compensation scheme.

    It is possible to claim from the scheme directly, but a specialist solicitor is often able to secure a higher settlement as they’ll have an awareness gained through experience of the long- term needs an injured party may develop.

    Every factor of current and long term need should be considered when making a compensation claim in order to seek a settlement that covers, as far as possible, all the costs an injured person may incur as a result of their injury.

    Car passenger Rebecca was described as the ‘miracle one’ when she survived a 100 mph crash that saw the vehicle she was travelling in split in two.

    Car passenger Rebecca was described as the ‘miracle one’ when she survived a 100 mph crash that saw the vehicle she was travelling in split in two.

    Rebecca was paralysed in the crash. She came to Enable Law after initially instructing another firm which lacked the specialist spinal injury knowledge to support her properly and understand her needs.

    Our solicitors were able to achieve a settlement that has secured Rebecca a financially comfortable future. She was able to benefit from a fully adapted home and, with the support of her Enable Law case worker and the network of professionals established for her, she has also been able to ride horses again.

    More than £100,000 compensation following road death

    Sadly, compensation awards are usually small in road death cases where the person who dies is elderly or has little income.

    Enable Law was able to secure more than £100,000 damages in a case where a drink driver on the wrong side of the road collided head-on with an elderly couple’s car and killed the lady passenger.

    The woman’s husband, Colin*, suffered minor injuries in the crash. Whilst no amount of money relieves the pain of losing a loved one, a settlement that brings some financial security to family members left behind is sometimes a small comfort.

    * Name changed

    Legal support at road crash inquests

    Our team of expert road traffic accident solicitors can support you at an inquest if someone you loved has been killed in a crash.

    We help families to navigate the inquest process and find the answers they need to move forwards.

    Frequently asked questions - road traffic accident claims

    How much compensation will I get for a road traffic injury?

    The amount of compensation paid will depend on the specific outcome of a road crash and the impact on the individuals involved.

    Where a fatality has occurred the compensation will be worked out slightly differently. See our fatal injury page for further information.

    Injury compensation is calculated based on the specific injuries suffered, how severe they are and the impact they have on a person.

    There are two strands to compensation: general damages and special damages.

    Special damages payments

    Special damages may account for the larger percentage of the claim.

    Your solicitor will build your claim for special damages based on the specific losses and costs you have and will incur as a result of your injury. This section of the claim may account for:

    • incurred and future loss of earnings
    • home adaptations
    • specialist equipment to allow you to live day-to-day and be as independent as possible
    • specialist equipment and support to allow you to take part in hobbies
    • costs incurred and future costs, such as payments associated with treatment.

    General damages payments

    General damages, which are paid in addition to special damages awards, are more unified.

    They are intended to compensate for loss and suffering and there are set guideline amounts depending on your injury.

    Guideline general damage payments for brain injuries, for example, may be between £2,070 and £379,100, depending on the severity and long term impact.

    For traumatic spinal injuries, general damages amounts may fall in a range up to £379,100.

    There are also specific general damages guideline amounts for, for example, the amputation or loss of use of an organ (such as kidney or bowel) and other internal injuries and loss of sight or senses.

    It’s important to remember that general damage payments form only one part of a compensation claim.

    How long does road traffic compensation take?

    Securing a settlement for any serious injury, including that suffered in a car, motorcycle, cycling or road-based horse riding incident, is often a long process.

    It can take years to secure a final settlement, but we may be able to quickly secure interim payments to help with costs and losses while the claim is settled in full.

    It’s important not to rush to a final settlement because every aspect of the injury needs to be understood and its long term implications assessed in order to ensure the claim accounts for the full costs and losses involved, now and in the future.

    Will I need to give evidence in court to get road crash compensation?

    Whilst it may be possible that you would be called upon to give evidence if the person responsible for your injuries is charged with a criminal offence, it is much less likely that you would need to give evidence in court in your compensation claim.

    Solicitors seek to agree compensation claims via negotiations and the sharing of expert evidence outside of court wherever possible.

    A good solicitor will reduce the worry and strain by keeping you fully informed of how your compensation claim is progressing.

    How long do I have to bring a medical negligence claim and what is the time limit?

    With all medical negligence claims, there is a time limit, known as a limitation period. This is the timeframe within which you must commence court proceedings to be able to file a valid claim. So, how long might you have to bring a claim, and are there any exceptions to the rule?
     

    What is the UK medical negligence time limit?

     
    There is a time limit on your ability to make a medical negligence claim in the UK – usually, this is three years.

    The limitation period may start from:

    • The date of the negligent event
    • The date you were first aware of the negligence.

    The limitation period for medical negligence is the timeframe within which you have to issue a claim form at court – this begins proceedings.

    For example, if you underwent a substandard operation on 12 March 2021 (and knew or should reasonably have known it was substandard at that time), court proceedings should be commenced by 11 March 2024 to prevent your claim from being statute-barred. This is when medical negligence claims are blocked because they miss the deadline.

    However, if you were not aware that the operation was performed in a substandard way until 15 April 2022, court proceedings would need to be commenced by 14 April 2025. In such a case, further medical investigations might reveal the negligence.

    What is the NHS negligence time limit?

     

    The time limit for medical negligence in the UK is the same across NHS and private practice, and across all major specialisms. This means you also have three years to start bringing a medical negligence claim against the NHS.
     

    Are there any exceptions to the medical negligence claim time limit?

     
    There are a few key exceptions to the medical negligence time limit rules to keep in mind. In the UK, these usually apply to:

    • Children aged under 18
    • People who lack capacity – for instance, due to a mental disability
    • Other discretionary circumstances, decided by the court.

    If the person making a medical negligence claim is under 18, then the three-year period does not start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until their 21st birthday to start Court proceedings, even if the negligent injury occurred during early childhood or birth.

    If the claimant does not have capacity – a term that means they struggle to understand, retain, weigh up or communicate information surrounding decisions – then the three-year period does not apply. To confirm this, they will need to take a medical assessment.

    The Court also has the discretion to waive the medical negligence limitation period in limited circumstances – so if you’re close to the deadline, or if it has passed, it may still be worth pursuing a claim.

    This might apply, for example, if you have a psychiatric injury related to your claim, and this has prevented you from bringing a claim at an earlier time.
     

    When should I start a medical negligence claim?

     
    With the medical negligence time limit in mind, it’s best to seek advice as soon as you can. Even if you aren’t sure about the details of your case, a specialist solicitor from our team may be able to help.

    You might have concerns about treatment you received, either as an inpatient or outpatient, or wish to ask questions about the potential strength of your case. Either way, contact us to begin your journey.

    Starting a medical negligence claim early helps you to start the process before the time limit and reduces the risk of related problems. But there are other benefits too.

    Specialist solicitors may have easier access to the evidence they need if you launch proceedings soon after the event. The quicker you begin, the faster your case may reach a settlement – and the sooner you can start living in a way that’s closer to your old lifestyle.

    Medical negligence claims can take several years to process. How long yours could take depends on:

    • How serious the negligent event was. Life-changing personal injuries can fetch more compensation, which often equates to a longer processing time.
    • Access to medical records and other evidence. If we need to contact multiple hospitals, doctors or other health bodies, or otherwise gather evidence, then this may add to the time duration to make a medical negligence claim.
    • If the claim is contested, and if it goes to court. If the other party agrees with your stance and admits wrongdoing, things may be simpler than you expect.

    On average, it took 1.6 years after notification for settlements reached in 2020-2021 to finalise, according to data from NHS Resolution. Higher sums of damages were likely to take longer.

    The best way to understand what a medical negligence claim could look like for you is to speak to a specialist solicitor, who can explain the timescales likely to be involved in making your claim.
     

    The medical negligence claim time limit: Key questions

     

    What if I want to file a medical negligence claim after three years?

    Medical negligence claims can sometimes be viable after the typical three-year time limit – so if you think you’re close to the deadline, or if you’re unsure, it’s still worth getting in touch. Your claim could be barred by the court if the limitation period has passed, but there’s a chance an exception may apply.

    Can I claim for medical negligence after 10 or 20 years?

    After 10 or 20 years, medical negligence claims can be more challenging – but there’s still a chance you can claim if a relevant exception applies. You may also be able to claim for historic medical negligence if new information highlights negligence-related injuries you didn’t know about before.

    What are the statute of limitations for medical negligence in the UK?

    Limitation, on negligence claims, refers to the time period within which you can bring a claim – the statute of limitations is simply the legal term for this ticking clock. Different limits apply for different types of negligence. In a clinical context, this is three years, as laid out in the Limitation Act 1980.

     

    Charities we work with - Roadpeace

    RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims and has been helping families cope with the aftermath of road death and injury since 1992.

    Its work includes:

    • Providing emotional support for road crash victims including a national helpline, befriender network, local support groups, resilience building programme and remembrance activities
    • Producing information guides on post-crash investigation and legal procedures
    • Undertaking casework for bereaved families and the seriously injured
    • Policy and campaigning work for better justice and safer streets for all, informed by the experiences of victims

    Set up in 1992 by a mother whose son was killed by a red light offender, RoadPeace is a membership organisation whose work is informed by the needs and experiences of road crash victims. Membership is open to all, but people affected by road death and injury are particularly encouraged to join and support its calls for justice and safer streets.

    For more information about RoadPeace visit www.roadpeace.org