What to do if you are involved in a road traffic collision
Road traffic collisions can cause devastating injuries. According to the National Statistics, in the year ending June 2021, there were 119,850 reported road traffic collisions in which an injury was sustained.
Road traffic collisions include any crashes that occur on the road. You may be able to make a claim if you sustained an injury on the road as a car driver, cyclist, biker, e-scooter rider, passenger or a pedestrian.
What steps should you take immediately after the collision?
If you are injured in an accident and need to be transported to a hospital by ambulance, it is likely that the police will be gathering evidence of the crash for you. However, if this is not the case, the below steps should be followed as much as possible.
Call the Police
If you are able to, you should report the crash to the police. Police collision reports can sometimes be invaluable in personal injury claims, as the report can be used to establish that the injuries you sustained were caused by the collision itself, and not for any other reason. They can also help demonstrate who was at fault.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have sustained an injury in the incident, no matter how minor, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical records are used to support a claim and detail the injuries you sustained. They will confirm the medical treatment you have received and whether the treatment for your injuries is ongoing. The contents of your medical records will also enable your solicitor to evaluate the potential value of your claim.
When you seek medical treatment, it is important that the hospital staff and/or your GP document the incident circumstances accurately, as the records will be used as evidence in your claim.
Following the collision, if you are able to do so, you should obtain the name, address, contact information and insurance information from the driver you believe is at fault. You will need to pass this information onto your chosen solicitor so that they can contact the driver’s insurance company in order to start your claim. You should also make a full report to your own insurance company about the incident.
If you and the passengers in your car are not severely injured, it may be possible to gather some additional evidence at the scene. You should take photographs of the scene and the damage to any vehicles before the evidence has been removed by police. If there were any witnesses to the crash, you should obtain their contact details, as their statements may be needed to support your claim. You should also check to see if there is any CCTV in the area that may have recorded the collision. This includes asking whether anyone caught the incident on their dash cam.
Hit and Run
If the driver fails to stop at the scene or you are unable to obtain their contact or insurance details, this will not necessarily prevent you from making a personal injury claim. If all reasonable attempts have been made to identify the driver, but such enquiries have been unsuccessful, you may still be able to make a claim for your injuries through the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). The MIB allows people to claim when they have been involved in a collision with an uninsured or untraced vehicle.
Making a Claim
Unfortunately, road traffic collisions do occur. If you have been injured in a road traffic collision and can show that it was not your fault, or that you were only partly to blame, you will be able to make a claim for compensation. A civil claim can compensate your for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity and any associated financial losses you have incurred – it’s purpose is to put you back into the position you would have been in had the crash not occurred.
If you have been injured in a road traffic collision and would like to make a claim, then you will need to do so within 3 years of the date of your crash. Court proceedings must be issued ahead of this deadline in order to protect any right to compensation that you may have. Whilst there may be some limited exceptions to this rule, which may apply to your claim, it is very important to take legal advice as early as possible.
What to do next
At Bolt Burdon Kemp we have specialist solicitors that can help you to bring a claim if you have sustained injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.
If you think that you may have a claim, you can speak with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors who will advise you accordingly. If you do have a claim and would like to pursue this then they will be able to put your mind at rest in relation to the legal process and what will be expected of you as a claimant.
Our exceptional personal injury solicitors have the necessary experience to act for people who have suffered the most serious injuries in road traffic collisions, including brain injuries, spinal injuries, loss of limb and death. We can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. A successful legal claim could help you get your life back on track.