Road accident compensation claim FAQs

Road accidents include incidents involving cars, taxis, lorries, motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians. If you have been injured in a road accident caused, at least in part, by another party, then you may be able to make a claim for road accident compensation.

If you have been injured while travelling in a car and would like to find out more about making a claim for personal injury compensation with Thompsons, please click through to our car accident FAQs page.

We also have a page specifically focusing on cycling accident FAQs, so if you have been injured while riding a bicycle, click here to find out more.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a road accident as a passenger, while riding a motorcycle or as a pedestrian, Thompsons solicitors in Scotland can answer all your questions about making a claim.

Can I make a road accident compensation claim?

 

You can make a compensation claim for injuries sustained in a road accident providing you meet the following criteria:

  • You have received an accident injury diagnosis from a GP or hospital doctor and it details the suffering you have experienced.
  • Some other party was at least partially responsible for the incident in which you sustained the injury i.e. the driver of a vehicle or the driver of a vehicle you were the passenger in/on.
  • The accident occurred less than three years ago – if you were under 16 at the time of the incident you can make a claim for the injury at any time within three years of the date on which you turned 16.

Can I claim as a pedestrian?

 

Yes, pedestrians have the same right to claim compensation as other road users. If a motorist has caused you to sustain personal injury in a road traffic accident, you can claim compensation for your pain, suffering and losses.

What about hit and run incidents?

 

In the event you have suffered injury in a hit and run accident, you may have to lodge your claim with the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) who can help in situations where there is no insurer to claim against. Thompsons can help you to make a claim through the MIB and will strive to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Can I claim as a cyclist?

 

If you have been injured in an accident while riding a bicycle, you have the same right to claim personal injury compensation as other road users. Our Cycling Accident FAQs page has more information.

Can I claim if I was using public transport or a taxi?

 

All public transport and passenger transport companies, including bus, train, coach, ship, taxi and airline operators, have a duty of care to their passengers and wider road users in respect of health and safety.

Public transport passenger accident claims can sometimes be complex; the advice of a good personal injury solicitor will ensure that your claim is made against the right defendant.

Can I claim for a motorbike accident?

 

Due to the nature of collisions involving two-wheeled motor vehicles, the injuries suffered in motorbike accidents are often serious and life-changing. Motorcyclists have the same rights as all other road users when it comes to their entitlement to civil compensation for personal injury if the incident which caused the injury was caused, at least in part, by another party.

Do I have to use the solicitor appointed by my insurance company?

 

As a motorbike rider, you should have insurance cover. If your insurer has offered you a solicitor as part of legal expenses insurance attached to your motor insurance policy or has made an offer to appoint a solicitor on your behalf, you are not obliged to agree. In both situations you are entirely free to say ‘no’ and to choose your own solicitor.

How do I make a road accident claim?

 

Making a claim for compensation is a relatively straightforward. All you need do is contact a personal injury lawyer with details and evidence of the accident and details of your injury diagnosis.

When you contact Thompsons, we will look at the information and be able to tell you fairly quickly the likelihood of success and offer guidance on the next steps.

Where should I claim?

 

If you were involved in a road accident in Scotland, but you don't live here, it can be difficult to know where to make the claim. There are three different legal jurisdictions in the UK: Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Regardless of where you live, if you suffered your road accident in Scotland, you should use a Scottish personal injury lawyer to claim in Scottish law.

Can I make a claim on behalf of a family member?

 

Yes, if you are looking to claim on behalf of someone who is below the age of 16 or who lacks mental capacity in some way, you can act as their legal guardian. You cannot, however, act as a legal guardian if you are the party responsible for causing the accident; in this case you must find another person who is able to act on the injured party's behalf.

How much will it cost to fund my claim?

 

There are various funding options available to Thompsons' clients. However, it is worth bearing in mind that we offer No Win No Fee funding. This means that unless you win your case, you can rest assured that you will not have to pay to fund your road accident compensation claim in any way.

How long do I have to make a claim?

 

In Scotland, there is a strict time limit of three years from the date of the incident which caused your injuries for you to start a claim. After three years the claim will be time-barred.

However, if you suffered your injury when you were under 16 and have not already been compensated, you have three years to claim from the date on which you turn 16.

What if the other party's insurance company has offered me a settlement?

 

Insurers of defendants involved in car accident claims sometimes offer to deal with the claim on your behalf or offer you a settlement before you've had a chance to obtain legal advice.

However, there is no substitute for independent legal advice and you are under no obligation to accept the defendant's offer of assistance with legal representation or a settlement. Speak to Thompsons as soon as you can as we may be able to help you achieve a better settlement.

What will the solicitor need to know?

 

Your solicitor will need a variety of information including:

  • details of any relevant police report
  • medical diagnoses of your injuries
  • names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident
  • details of costs incurred as a result of your injuries: receipts for prescriptions, medical equipment and travelling expenses
  • details of lost earnings

The more evidence you have the better, so if you have witness statements and/or photographs taken around the time of the accident, these could be useful so you should show them to your personal injury claim team.

Furthermore, provide your solicitor with any relevant costs caused by your accident. For example, receipts for prescriptions, medical equipment and travelling expenses.

How much money do you get for a road accident?

 

The answer to this question depends on the full circumstances of your case. All cases are different and the amount of damages awarded will be based on the extent of the injuries suffered and the effect it will have on your future life.

One of the key factors in a court's decision will be the extent of your injury and how much it has impacted your life in terms of pain and suffering. Related compensation is referred to as solatium or general damages and includes the loss of physical and mental capacity to do things you could do before the accident (known as loss of amenity).

The total award will also include other sums for financial losses, known as special damages or patrimonial loss. For instance, if your injury has caused you to lose income, or you have had to pay for treatment costs, care expenses, and expensive equipment, then you can claim for these.

In the event of a death following a road accident, anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased, such as their children or surviving spouse, can claim for loss of support.

Personal injury settlements can vary from less than £3,000 for mild soft tissue injuries to six or even seven-figure sums for the most serious head or spinal injuries. Your settlement will depend on your injuries, your recovery time and the circumstances of your accident.

 

What if I was partially at fault?

 

It may still be possible to receive compensation even if you bear some responsibility for the accident. This is often the case in claims for accidents involving roundabouts or changing lanes. In a case of split liability, your compensation will be reduced by the amount you are deemed to be responsible. For example, if you are 50% to blame, your compensation award will be reduced by 50%; if you 40% to blame your award will be reduced by 40%, and so on.

How do I make a road accident claim?

Contact Thompsons today to tell us about your circumstances and to see if we can help you make a claim for car accident compensation.

Call us on 0800 0891 331 or fill in our contact form to tell us a bit about your accident and we will call you back. You are under no obligation to go ahead with your claim, but we will be able to give you some initial advice free of charge.

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