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Road traffic accident claims

Being involved in a road traffic accident can be hugely traumatic - from physical injuries to psychological effects. For lots of people, their injuries can cause significant disruption to daily life while in others it can cause long-term injuries or devastation.

According to government statistics, there were 5,587 road casualties in 2022. Car users had the highest number of casualties with 3,179, followed by pedestrians at 904 and pedal cyclists at 478.

But at Digby Brown, we understand that behind every statistic there is a person or family coming to terms with life after an accident. This is why we deal with more road traffic crashes than any other form of accident. It is also why our specialist personal injury lawyers have decades of experience in helping people affected by all types of road traffic accidents. Whether it is related to pedestrian accidents, cycling accident claims, motorcycling accidents or car crash injury claims.

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How to claim for a road traffic accident?

A key aspect of building a strong case to make sure you get rightful compensation means gathering all the right evidence. So what follows are some basic, yet important, steps that are not only the right thing to do – but could prove to be vital in the future should you make a personal injury claim following your road accident (even if it’s for something as simple as a whiplash claim).

  1. Make sure you are safe
    The first thing you should do in an accident is to make sure everyone involved is safe, and seek medical attention and treatment immediately if anyone is hurt. It is important that any injuries that you have sustained are examined and recorded. Without this evidence, it becomes difficult to prove your claim.
     
  2. Report the accident
    You should report the accident to the police as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of it happening. This will also count as evidence to support your claim. If you leave it too long, the likelihood is that some details may be lost which in turn means that the party you believe to be in the wrong may get away without any consequences for their actions or negligence.
     
  3. Get the evidence
    When making a road traffic accident claim, it is important to present as much evidence as possible. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved or who witnessed the accident. You should never admit fault or apologise, as rude as this sounds, it could be taken as accepting blame for the accident and used against you.  Always be polite, it is a stressful situation.
     
  4. Contact Digby Brown
    Once you’ve contacted Digby Brown, a solicitor will be assigned your case to help and guide you every step of the way.

No win, no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win, no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win, no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

What is the road traffic accident claims process?

Making a road traffic accident claim is a legal process and can be very complicated. Every case and each person affected is different and therefore there are certain aspects of a personal injury claim that are unique. However, in general terms, there are also aspects to every road traffic accident claim that are the same.

To help you understand these key aspects or milestones we have outlined them below so you know what to expect and so you are reassured that your case with Digby Brown is fully taken care of.

Statements

The first thing we will do is take a statement from you, to find out exactly, in your words, what happened. This will allow us to understand the circumstances of the accident and assess whether we can help intimating the claim

Intimating the claim

This is simply telling the driver at fault’s insurer that we are making a claim against the driver. This starts the process of dialogue between us and the insurer’s legal representative.

The crash

We will obtain crash reports from police or other relevant bodies, and gather witness statements and other key reports to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

Your injuries

If you sought medical treatment then we will collect all the medical evidence and, where appropriate, ask you to have additional medical experts assess your injuries to accurately calculate what future impact those injuries may have.

Your financial losses

We will gather the evidence of your present earnings but also work with employment experts to assess if your injuries could prevent you from working in your present job or have limited your career progression. One of our clients experienced the difference a solicitor can make when trying to deal with insurers. His insurer offered only £2,000 for a back injury but after coming to Digby Brown his road accident claim settled for more than £26,000.

Agreement on liability

We discuss whether the insurer accepts that the other driver was to blame.

Agreement on quantum

the amount of damages sought – We discuss whether the insurer accepts our valuation of the damages.

Settlement

If all is agreed upon, the case is settled. If an agreement cannot be reached and Digby Brown believe that the amount of compensation or who was at fault is disputed, then we might eventually have to take the case to court. Please note, this is rare - most cases will settle even once court proceedings have been initiated.

How long do I have to claim after a road accident?

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and want to claim compensation, you can make a claim up to 3 years after the date of the crash. If a child under 16 was involved, you can claim compensation at any point until they turn 19, regardless of what year they were injured.

However, we recommend making a claim as soon as possible so crucial information like witness testimonies are more accurate.

It also makes it easier to stay on top of important updates, especially if the police are involved, so that evidence of a criminal nature can also be obtained and included in your civil claim investigation.

Do I have to tell my insurance about my road traffic accident?

Yes, you should tell your insurance company that you have been in a crash. However, you do not have to use their legal provider to help with a claim for a road traffic accident. In fact, choosing to go with the solicitor your insurer picks for you could result in your claim being under-settled. We fundamentally believe it is in your best interests to use an independent, specialist law firm that will, of course, act on your behalf to establish fault and properly value your loss.

What can I claim for in a road traffic accident?

At Digby Brown, our solicitors will work to ensure you are able to recover fair compensation and put you back in a financial position as if the accident never happened. However, the compensation you receive is not just a sum that is plucked out of thin air – it has to be properly calculated, justified and proven with precise and thorough calculations that are then backed up by supporting evidence.

But more importantly, the amount you receive is not based on how you were injured but based on how that injury affected your life. This means your final compensation payment is actually the total value of smaller sums known as ‘heads of claim’ which may include:

  • Your personal injury (solatium)  this aspect of your claim reflects the nature of the injury and compensates you for any physical pain and suffering as a result of your accident.
     
  • Lost earnings – if your injury prevented you from working then we will seek to recover any lost wages and even any impact on your pension. This is often the most high-value aspect of any claim.
     
  • Medical treatment/rehabilitation – if there is evidence to show your recovery would benefit from enhanced treatment then we can add the cost of this to your case (even if it means having to go private).
     
  • Damaged belongings – if you suffered a loss of goods then this can also be recovered as part of your personal injury claim (especially important for cyclists who often wish to recover the cost of their damaged bicycles etc).
     
  • Future care needs – people who suffer serious or life-changing injuries may require ongoing support or even home adaptations as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault. In these circumstances, your Digby Brown solicitor can include these future costs in the value of your claim.

Why do I need medical evidence? 

You need medical evidence because it is the best way to fully understand and evaluate the extent of the injuries you have suffered - without this you cannot establish how long it will take to recover or if indeed you will fully recover. We can then look at your medical records and, if needed, seek the expert opinion of other medical experts who will be able to provide reports that support your case.

Can I claim compensation if I was a passenger?

Yes, you can make a compensation claim if you were a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident because as a passenger you are an innocent party caught up in the accident.

It is also common for passengers in the vehicle at fault to make a claim, even if they are family members of the driver. This can often be the case where a single vehicle has lost control due to the driver failing to pay due care and attention.

What happens if the insurer doesn't accept fault or the value of the claim?

In our experience, insurance companies frequently try to wriggle out of their obligations to compensate injured people fairly. Alternatively, if they do agree to pay then they’ll frequently dispute the value of the claim. However we are always prepared for this – which is why, unlike many other firms, we are prepared to take liable parties to Court to make sure they pay you the compensation you deserve. That being said, it is rare for things to ever get that far as most of our cases actually settle out-of-court.  

What happens if the driver was uninsured?

You can still make a claim if the driver was uninsured. It is believed that 1 in 20 drivers have no insurance, however, this is not something to be concerned about as the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) will take the place of the uninsured driver. Find out more about claiming against an uninsured driver

Can I claim if I had a road traffic accident abroad?

Yes, you can make a claim for a road traffic accident abroad. It might seem daunting task to undertake but our dedicated Foreign & Travel department can act on your behalf and guide you every step of the way. Whether Europe, America or beyond, the team has the relevant experience of the international law as well as in-house foreign language speaking legal staff.

0333 200 5926

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Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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