What Is Road Traffic Accident Compensation?

Being involved in a road traffic accident can be a frightening ordeal. Not to mention a potentially life-changing experience for some. Unfortunately, the stress of finding yourself the victim of an RTA doesn’t always end once both you and your vehicle have started out on the road to recovery. Seeking compensation for a road traffic accident can itself be a journey filled with potholes you’ll need to navigate. However, DIYPI can steer you in the right direction. Allowing you to do it yourself, with a little bit of help from us.

Although the UK boasts the second safest roads in Europe (after Sweden), nobody can say that roads aren’t dangerous places and without sounding too pessimistic, you can be involved in an RTA when you least expect it.

With an increasing number of vehicles on our roads, the chances of being involved in an RTA is on the rise. Since 1996, the number of cars on UK roads has rocketed by a staggering 42.5%, to a figure of 32 million at the end of 2020. This massive spike in traffic volume, creates circumstances for numerous types of road traffic accidents to pan out, and subsequently makes us all the more susceptible to being the victim of an RTA, simply by law of averages alone.

Traffic Jam

What Are the Different Types of RTA?

Unsurprisingly, collisions involving two vehicles comprise the largest percentage of RTA’s. Based purely on the sizable 32 million vehicles which are registered on UK roads. That being said, a road traffic accident doesn’t necessarily have to include two (or more) vehicles colliding with one another.

RTA’s can also refer to incidents where other, more vulnerable road users are identified as being at risk. While accidents which involve the driver – or occupants – of cars are the most prevalent, collisions where other types of road user figure can tend to be more serious. Especially in terms of the personal injuries suffered as a direct result.

As an example, RTA’s which involve a pedestrian cyclist or motorbike/scooter rider. All of whom can come off a lot worse when in collision with a car, and which also contribute to RTA personal injury claims, annually.

Then there’s the other type of road traffic accidents which don’t implicate another road user at all. Additional RTA types might include any of the following:

  • Poorly-maintained road surfaces or hazards discovered on road surfaces (eg, spillages)
  • Defective parts found on a vehicle
  • Defective safety equipment, which if fully functioning would have offered levels of protection from injuries sustained (or reduced severity of injury). For instance, airbag deployment.

Admittedly, such occurrences are rarer than the typical two vehicle collision and will ultimately lead to claims for compensation being made against more unconventional parties. Such as the Highways Agency, road maintenance departments of local councils and even car manufacturers, so as to pursue cases of suspected negligence on the part of the accused.

Road Traffic Accident Compensation

The bottom line is that if you’ve been on the receiving end of wrongdoing, you’re entitled by law to financial compensation. The money which is awarded after making a successful compensation claim are to cover every eventuality. This is where DIYPI can help, we’re here if you need us, you can also head to our FAQ page on the website or give us a call, 7 days a week.

Along with the more obvious physical injuries that an individual might sustain in an RTA collision, there are other negative effects which could manifest, and be just as harmful to the victim’s mental health. For example, psychological symptoms can just as readily impact your quality of life, and the lifestyle that you lead, pre-road traffic accident involvement. Both circumstances can lead to compromised income levels too.

While money alone can’t change the outcome of a RTA, the receipt of compensation packages alleviates some of the issues which present as the victim looks to move forward with their life. Especially when working through more challenging situations.

Man with wrecked car following a crash

What Does Road Traffic Accident Compensation Cover?

RTA compensation is there to help you in the event that you suffer a personal injury after being involved in a collision which wasn’t your fault. The extent of the compensation you gain largely depends on the severity of the injuries you sustain as a direct result of a road traffic accident. However, there are various ways in which RTA compensation generally offers peace of mind to all victims, irrespective of the degree of their injuries.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Early access to treatment is vital to ensure that everyone involved in a road traffic accident has the best possible chance of returning to their usual levels of pre-accident health and fitness ASAP. When turning to DIYPI to guide you with a personal injury claim, we’ll immediately put you in touch with our partner medical agencies to arrange the timely clinical treatment you require without delay. Avoiding often long NHS waiting lists in the process. This also extends to cover psychological needs and ongoing rehabilitation in both physical and mental health requirements.

Financial Worries Covered

Away from the more obvious health impacts, road traffic compensation provides a financial easing to any burdens which can quickly accumulate in the aftermath of being involved in an RTA. Perhaps you find yourself unable to work due to your injuries, which will ultimately have an adverse effect on your pocket. This is an added stress which nobody needs when their attention and strengths should be on getting better. Compensation received after pursuing a road traffic accident claim can help alleviate any financial anxieties which emerge for both you and your family.

Making a Wrong, Right

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time or a victim of circumstance. Call it what you want, but if you’re unwittingly involved in a road traffic accident where someone else was at fault, then it’s only right and fair that those responsible face justices. After all, it’s another party’s carelessness or poor driving which has caused you pain and suffering, both physically and financially. Claiming compensation that you’re entitled to ensures that your ordeal at the hands of others has been recognised. Bringing with it a sense of closure.

What Qualifies Me to Be in a Position to Pursue a Claim for Road Traffic Accident Compensation?

Away from the more recurrent and headline-making RTA scenarios, it might just be that another driver cut you up on a roundabout or reversed into you in the supermarket car park. Either way, if someone else is found to be responsible for damage to your vehicle and/or yourself physically or psychologically, then that party is legally liable. The same rule applies if you were a passenger in the vehicle that was impacted by another.

Although it may seem like you’re taking a giant leap of faith by pursuing compensation for your involvement in a road traffic accident, the entire process doesn’t have to be complex and anxiety-inducing. DIYPI exists to ensure your road traffic accident compensation journey is as smooth as possible from the outset. The points flagged up in the next couple of paragraphs afford you more of an overview of the process, to highlight how relatively straightforward everything can be. Specifically, when you choose DIYPI to take on your RTA claims management case.

Taking a photo of two wrecked cars following a collision

Key Ingredients of a Successful Road Traffic Accident Claim?

Establishing liability, causation and damage are the fundamental principles of furthering any road traffic accident compensation claim. Yet a significant part of the claims process centres around compiling evidence.

This evidence needs to determine:

A) Who was responsible for the accident, and
B) The extent of the harm which the accident caused you.

Gathering this crucial evidence requires several sum parts being brought together.

Having an independent medical examination arranged on your behalf, is one core element, and as a means to support the injuries you’re claiming compensation for. The unbiased opinions of clinical professionals and expert witness statements are imperative to the documentation of your symptoms. Within this, injuries caused by the accident will be confirmed, while prospects of recovery and rehabilitation will be detailed.

Evidence retention is also another hugely important factor and necessary to support a victim’s other losses. Receipts, quotes, employer payslips, details of care and other records of what items, or services required payment for – and how much they cost – are pivotal to your RTA compensation case.

The other critical part of the evidence jigsaw focuses on things such as engineer’s reports, photographs of vehicles involved in the collision, statements of anyone present who independently witnessed the RTA, police reports from the scene and any other materials which can strengthen an individual case. As well as corroborate your version of events and which ultimately help underline the fault for the accident lying with another party.

What Can I Claim for Following a Road Traffic Accident?

In the aftermath of an RTA, it’s likely that you’ll experience some financial woes. Especially if you’ve suffered a personal injury which has significantly compromised your lifestyle both now and looking towards the future. To offset the losses incurred, your compensation settlement figure will be arrived at by taking into account a number of contributing factors. These include:

  • Medical expenses/treatment costs
  • Travel expenses to and from hospital/clinics/etc
  • Lost earnings if you’re unable to work as you did before the accident
  • Care/assistance to help you cope and manage your injuries and the legacy of

How Much Will I Receive in Compensation for an RTA?

This is typically the million dollar question. And a largely unanswerable one. While most losses can be calculated mathematically, there are – at first glance – various grey areas. Physiotherapy sessions, along with salary shortfalls due to being unable to return to employment can be worked out, of course. Yet placing even approximate values on a whiplash or spinal injury are a lot more difficult, as there’s a lot of differentials from case to case. 

To mitigate this, determining values with reference to personal injuries sustained in road traffic accidents traditionally tend to address two key elements first and foremost.

They are:

  1. Establishing the pain and suffering the injury has caused.
  2. The ways in which the injury has impacted on the victim’s life.

Establishing these pivotal facts act as the springboard for working out the rest. Solicitors will examine these facts and consider what compensation a judge might award for your injuries, should the claim end up in the courts. Something which seldom happens, as DIYPI’s team of experts work diligently to avoid RTA claims reaching a legal impasse between parties.

In terms of an actual starting point to compensation amounts due, the claim management sector’s blueprint comes in the guise of the Judicial College guidelines. It’s here that solicitors and judges can bookmark figures commensurate with the personal injuries resultant of a road traffic accident. This claims tool is an invaluable means by which to measure injury values in the real world.

Who is Responsible for Paying Road Traffic Accident Compensation?

At the end of the day, the insurance company acting on behalf of the driver who caused the road traffic accident in which you were directly involved, will pay your compensation. As motor insurance is a legal necessity here in the UK, it’s the providers of these services who are charged with settling compensation claims should one of their policyholders be found guilty of causing a collision which either harms other road users and/or their vehicle/property.

Lawyer and claimant shaking hands

When Can I Expect to Realistically Receive a Compensation Pay-out?

Again, it’s impossible to put a date stamp on this question, as every case timeline differs according to the degree of personal injuries and how soon blame is accepted by the guilty party so as to move the claim process on. Also, it’s worth noting that as an injured party in a road traffic accident you must lodge your claim for compensation within 3 years of the date of the accident. Allowing this time to elapse means you won’t be able to pursue compensation thereafter.

Once your claim for RTA personal injury is successful, compensation usually takes the form of a lump sum payment at the end of the process. Whether that comes once a settlement figure has been agreed between all parties concerned or, in rare instances, after a court judgement has been made.

The New Whiplash Reform

The new Official Injury Claim portal has been in the news a lot just lately, and as of the end of May 2021 its ramifications become law.

In a nutshell, from June 2021 onwards the small claim amount has increased from £1,000 to £5,000. This increase will mean claimants involved in an RTA with whiplash injuries will be unlikely to recover their legal costs, causing claims of up to £5,000 in value to now fall into the new portal.

Therefore, you’ll need to represent yourself or alternatively fund legal support personally.

In addition to this, personal injury tariffs have been revised too. Where until now, a neck injury with a 3-month prognosis sees a value of in the region of £2,300, under OIC adjustments, you’ll be looking at a value of £240. Exceptions to the rules include those considered more vulnerable road users. For example, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cases which involve children. The small claims limit in these instances will remain at the £1,000 mark.

But worry not, as DIYPI are still very much on hand to help you on your road traffic accident personal claims journey. You can still instruct our dedicated team to run your claim. After all, we’re all about doing it yourself, as the government themselves are now telling us all to do. Only in our case, with a little help from us. We can arrange all your medical consultations, organise a hire car for you and get your vehicle repaired. Basically, we will do everything we can to counter the trauma of being involved in a road traffic accident. And what’s more, we can do all of this for free.

Get in touch with us right now if you’ve been involved in a RTA that wasn’t your fault, on 0800 368 9181.

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