Injuries can be caused, through an accident, to a driver, or a passenger of a vehicle, to a rider or pillion passenger of a motorcycle, to a pedal cyclist or to a pedestrian. The person who is liable to pay compensation is the person whose bad driving or riding was the cause of the accident. Often the faults of two or more persons can contribute to a collision.
We offer a specialist service to clients with road traffic accident claims in Stoke on Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and East Shropshire particularly in motorcycle claims where injuries can be severe.
Personal Injury Solicitors and Road Traffic Accident Claims in Stoke on Trent
The law in this area is the general law of negligence, though there are some modifications and extensions from statute law. There is a duty on the driver of a motor vehicle to observe ordinary skill and care towards other road users if that driver can foresee that his actions or the way he/she drives might cause injury to other road users. The Highway Code is often relevant to determine the standard of driving skill to be expected of a motorist, and an accident caused by a driver of a works vehicle who is on works business at the time may render his employer liable, as well as himself. A passenger who is injured must always consider whether the vehicle he or she was being carried in was being driven safely.
Difficulties can arise in this area when the motorist or driver who caused the collision is not insured or is untraced following a ‘hit and run’ incident. In such cases the Motor Insurers Bureau is under an obligation, within the overall restrictions of the relevant scheme, to provide compensation to the person injured.
If you have been involved in an accident as a driver, rider, cyclist, passenger or pedestrian your interests would be better served by appointing a local firm of solicitors and insist that your case is handled by or supervised by a member of the Personal Injury Panel.
Under no circumstances should you negotiate directly with the opposing insurer. They can quite lawfully under-settle your claim and will attempt in most cases to do so – this is known by them as “third party capture”
There are numerous reported instances of insurer’s deliberately under-settling claims against them for less than their true value in order to preserve their profit margins. The duty of an insurance company is first to its shareholders and secondly to its policyholder. It has no duty at all to one who brings a claim against it.
In one case we had an insurer attempting third-party capture who represented to our injured motorist that the claim was worth less than £2,000. We subsequently settled that claim for in excess of £10,000, so don’t be captured!!
If you are a driver, with insurance and consider that another driver is wholly or partly to blame for your injuries you should specifically refer to the link below which contains information you should be aware of if you are considering the appointment of a solicitor from your insurers recommended panel.
Whiplash Claims – What You Need to Start Your Claim
Whiplash is the medical term to describe a soft tissue injury that occurs following a sudden acceleration and deceleration force. This can happen due to forward and back motion, snapping the neck or torso back like a whip or because of a sudden side-to-side to movement.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
• Neck pain – difficulty moving up, down or side to side
• Upper and lower back pain
• Pain or discomfort in shoulders or arms
• Pain when walking
• Blurred vision
• Swelling and inflammation
• Dizziness, fatigue and nausea
• Difficulty sleeping
• Psychological symptoms – flashbacks, travel anxiety, avoidance of travel, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms etc.
With the rise of ‘fake’ whiplash’ claims greater scrutiny is now placed on these cases, with the law stating if an accident occurred on or after 30th April 2010 and the claim is worth between £1,0000 and £25,000 this will be dealt with in accordance with the Low Vale Personal Injury Protocol. This is known as the Portal Process, whereas for cases above £25,000 where more serious injuries or losses are pursued, the claim will be dealt with outside the Low-Value Process.
Here are the five steps to pursuing a whiplash claim –
1. Exchange Details – Swap details with all parties involved and make sure you note the number plate. If you are involved in a hit and run or the party refuses to provide insurance details, it is important to report this to the police and obtain a crime reference number.
2. Gather Evidence – If possible, take photographs of the scene or any damage incurred. Also ask for contact details of any witnesses as their independent view could help to build a strong case.
3. Get in touch with your Insurance – If you are the driver of a vehicle you have a duty to report the accident and injuries to you and your passengers sustained to your insurance company within 24 hours. Even if you’re not responsible you will still need to let them know about the incident and explain what happened.
4. Seek Medical Attention – It’s crucial to seek medical attention at your GP, hospital or walk-in centre as soon as possible following the accident, so you can report any injuries and get the appropriate medical advice. It’s important to monitor your health as whiplash symptoms we listed above can take a few days to display. If the pain or symptom can be treated with painkillers (or lasts just a few days) it’s unlikely to be a serious injury. If they continue to cause discomfort longer than 7-10 days then you will need a GP, hospital or walk-in centre to help with your recovery. By doing this it will also act as a record of your injuries and can be referred to at a later date as part of your medical records to prove the injuries you sustained.
5. Contact a Solicitor – Now it’s time to contact us here at Salmon’s Solicitors and get a better idea of the financial and rehabilitation assistance you could receive with a claim. This can also help you recover any financial losses incurred from your injuries. We’d recommend you retain your receipts and documentation to prove your losses as these will be needed to pursue reimbursement on your behalf. Photographs of damaged items will help to prove your loss when we present the case to the responsible party.
Contact our Personal Injury Solicitors for Road Traffic Accident Claims in Stoke on Trent
We are one of the leading firms for personal injury as a result of road traffic accident claims in Stoke on Trent. If you’d like professional advice and clarity on whether you are eligible for compensation – speak to our personal injury solicitors.