Road traffic accidents are extremely common, with the PSNI reporting that 5,749 injury collisions occurred in Northern Ireland in 2018. Whilst many accidents are minor, unfortunately, some people may obtain more serious injuries. If you have been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and were injured, then you may be able to claim compensation. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the injury, you may be able to claim for the injury in addition to any out of pocket expenses.
Whether you were driving the car, were a passenger or a pedestrian hit by the car, you have the right to be compensated. This may be in terms of your medical expenses, lost income, lost potential future income or any other expenses directly related to the accident. Here, we outline what you need to know about claiming compensation for a road traffic accident.
How To Make a Claim
Whilst car accident claims may seem daunting, enlisting the help of an experienced solicitor will make the process a lot easier. At H McPartland and Sons, our solicitors will provide you with support and assistance through every stage of the process. Initially, we will gather information about the accident to allow us to assess your eligibility to make a claim.
Once the claim is deemed eligible, we will arrange a medical examination to assess the severity of your injuries and the estimated recovery time. In addition to this, we will gather evidence about the accident. This will include asking for details such as when, where and how the accident occurred. We will also help you gather additional evidence including photographs, witness statements and your medical records. It is vital that we gather as much information as possible as this will create a strong case for your claim.
In most cases, the claim will be settled outside of court; particularly where there is strong evidence of negligence and liability. If the defendant seeks an out of court settlement, we will discuss an appropriate compensation settlement with their representatives. On occasion, the case may go to court. This is likely if the negligence is disputed or is shared between more than one party. Regardless of the situation, we will be there to support you every step of the way.
Collating Evidence About the Accident
As soon as you are able, we recommend making notes about the accident. It is important to include as many details as you can, even those that may seem insignificant. You should also maintain all documents and receipts associated with the accident. These may include:
- Photographs of the vehicle, the scene of the accident and any injuries after the crash
- Documents related to your medical care i.e. X-Rays, details of doctors’ visits or prescriptions
- Receipts of all miscellaneous costs i.e. taxis or childcare
- Letter from your employer verifying any lost work hours and stating how much income you would have lost
You should also maintain a daily diary to record all details relating to the car accident such as the treatment involved and any discomfort and pain you experienced. Additionally, you should keep a note of your emotional state, outlining any difficulties you overcome on a daily basis. Gathering this evidence will help to strengthen your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Long Will the Claim Take?
The length of the claim will depend on two things; the seriousness of your injuries and whether the other party admits responsibility. For example, if you suffer a relatively minor injury and the defendant accepts responsibility, then your claim could be settled in a matter of months. However, if you are suffering from more serious injuries, then the claim may take longer as more medical evidence is required.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. Additionally, any costs or losses you’ve experienced as a result of the accident will be taken into consideration.
Compensation claims are based on the following:
- Medical and travel expenses you’ve incurred
- Your care and support needs
- Current and future loss of earnings
- Modifications to your home
- Your pain and suffering
We understand that road traffic accidents, regardless of the size, can have a significant impact on the individual. Due to this, our experienced solicitors treat every client on an individual basis to assess their claim and assist with any questions. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a road traffic accident and you think you may have a claim, contact us today and talk to a member of the team to find out how we can help you.