Traffic Accident Compensation
Introduction to Traffic Accident Compensation
According to Department for Transport figures for reported traffic accident injuries in 2009, there were a total of 222,146 casualties in the UK. Sadly, 2,222 of these casualties were fatal and 24,690 people suffered a serious injury. A “failure to look” was the biggest cause of traffic accident injuries (38 per cent), and driver “error” contributed to over 80 per cent of all traffic accident injuries – their negligence being responsible for the high number of claims for traffic accident compensation that were filed in 2009/10.
These figures were compiled only from reports made to the police after a traffic accident – which is a necessary action if you wish to make a traffic accident compensation claim. They fail to take into account the many thousands of people who are injured in traffic accidents (pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, public transport passengers) who do not report their injuries to the police, nor those who suffer psychological injury after being involved in a road traffic accident.
Typical Traffic Accident Injuries
The most common traffic accident injuries are whiplash injuries, where the muscles of the neck and upper spine are hyper-extended due to the rapid backward and forward movement of the head when a car driver or passenger is involved in a collision. Although the introduction of air-bags and head restraints has significantly reduced the number of chronic whiplash injuries, these are still the major reason for a traffic accident compensation claim.
The remaining traffic accidents can be divided almost in two between external physical injuries (back/spine injuries, fractured limbs, etc.) and internal physical injuries (brain damage, abdominal/diaphragm injuries etc.) with varying grades of severity. One significant observation made about road users severely injured in traffic accidents is that 25% are likely to experience some level of permanent psychological damage – a factor often overlooked in a claim for traffic accident compensation.
What to do After a Traffic Accident
Most road users are fairly familiar with the procedures after a traffic accident. Exchange insurance details with other drivers involved in the accident, never admit liability (this can sometimes void your insurance policy) and call an ambulance if somebody is badly injured. You should also call the police if vehicles involved in the accident are blocking the highway, or if the party responsible for causing the accident has fled without stopping to give his details.
If you have been involved in a traffic accident for which you were not to blame, and you or one of your passengers has suffered an injury as a result, it is often difficult to remain calm – but stay calm you must. The police, together with any witnesses and insurance investigators, will be able to ascertain who was to blame for the traffic accident, and your solicitor will gain access to their reports to prepare your traffic accident compensation claim. You should focus on your health and get to a hospital as soon as possible for a precautionary check-up as many symptoms of road traffic injuries (whiplash for example) may not manifest for several days – by which time you could have increased the level of damage.
Traffic Accident Compensation Solicitors
Traffic accident compensation solicitors are personal injury solicitors who have a wealth of experience in dealing with the police, insurance investigators and any public body who may be partly liable for the injuries sustained in your traffic injury (for example a highway agency who has failed to keep the road in a safe condition). Your traffic accident compensation solicitor will be able to deal with all the paperwork involved in filing a traffic accident compensation claim, and advise you how long the process will take and how much traffic accident compensation you should receive.
This figure would include damages for the physical pain and suffering you have experienced, any psychological injury (as mentioned above), recompense for loss of earnings due to your traffic accident injury and any out of pocket expenses you experience in seeking medical treatment or due to a change in your lifestyle because of your injury (for example taking taxis when before you were able to drive). Knowing how much traffic accident compensation you are entitled to will be of benefit to you should you be approached by the negligent party´s insurance company with an inappropriate offer of early settlement for your traffic accident compensation claim.
No Win, No Fee Traffic Accident Compensation
There are so many consequences of being injured in a traffic accident, it is impossible to list them all on one web page. Furthermore, your personal circumstances may influence how much traffic accident compensation you receive as much as the injury you sustain.