Home Insights & Advice How to determine if you’re entitled to compensation after a car accident

How to determine if you’re entitled to compensation after a car accident

by John Saunders
26th Jan 22 3:00 pm

Car accidents are traumatic experiences for all parties involved. Depending on the severity of the accident, they can lead to physical and emotional suffering and cause damages to your property, affecting your overall wellbeing.

Although money might not be the first thing that comes to mind after being involved in a traffic accident, it does play an essential role in your recovery. Therefore, it’s important to know if you are entitled to receiving compensation for the losses you’ve suffered in a car accident. The money you could receive can help cover medical expenses, loss of income, and support during the recovery process.

But since the world of law is extremely complex for those who don’t work in the field and are not familiarized with it, it’s not always easy to figure out if you have a case or not. That’s why getting educated on this topic is crucial if you want to make a smart decision.

So, if you want to find out what chances you have to win a compensation claim after a car accident, or if you simply want to be prepared should you ever be involved in such an event, here are a few factors that can shed light on the matter.

What’s the time limit for making a car accident claim?

The possibility to file a claim for a car accident very much depends on when the accident happened. If the event is relatively recent (it happened a few weeks or months ago) you can start the car accident claim process. But if it’s been three years or more since the accident occurred, you’ve missed the deadline for making a claim.

Under UK law, you usually have a three-year window to make a claim. This period starts from the moment the accident in which you were injured happened. There are exceptions to the rule though, and in certain circumstances, a court may decide to extend the time limit, but there’s no guarantee that this will apply to your situation. Therefore, it’s better to act sooner rather than later to make sure you can still make a claim.

In most cases, you won’t need to go to court to receive compensation, but missing the filing deadline can put you at a disadvantage. If the other party is aware of this, you’ll lose the possibility to negotiate the settlement and you’ll probably have to accept any amount given to you.

Who was responsible for the car accident?

Determining legal responsibility for a car accident is a crucial element in any claim process, but unfortunately, it’s not always easy to answer this question. While in some cases it’s crystal clear who was at fault for the event, in other circumstances finding the culprit can be rather complicated, especially if there were multiple parties involved in the accident.

Lawyers and insurance companies will take into consideration all the available evidence in order to get to the bottom of things and determine who was at fault. This includes police reports, medical reports, statements given by witnesses to the accident, etc. If you were cautious enough to collect evidence yourself right after the accident happened, in the form of photos, videos, or contact information of other drivers and witnesses, this can ease the whole process.

Did the car accident cause you any injuries or loss?

If the car accident you were involved in didn’t cause you any injuries, you should be grateful for it. Very few people are lucky enough to walk away from a traffic accident without even a scratch, so you’re a rare exception. Bear in mind though that some injuries might not be visible immediately after the accident, so make sure to get checked out by a doctor. In this situation, if you receive an offer from the insurance company covering damages to your car and personal assets, it’s not worth taking matters any further.

However, if you were seriously injured in the car crash, causing you to experience physical and emotional suffering, as well as loss of income, you are in your right to pursue compensation for all these damages. For example, lower back pain after a car accident is a frequent and serious injury. Consulting with a legal professional about the possibility to receive compensation can help you analyse your options and decide on the best course of action.

Was the at-fault driver carrying insurance?

Let’s say you are able to prove that the other party was at fault for the car accident and they also carry insurance. If their insurance policy can cover all the expenses resulting from the accident, including medical bills, loss of income, car damage, etc., chances are your claim process will run smoothly, so you don’t have much to worry about.

But if the driver who caused the accident was uninsured, things can get a lot more complicated. You still have chances of receiving compensation for your loss, but you’ll probably have to go through a long and cumbersome process to get there. So, arm yourself with patience and get yourself a good personal injury solicitor to help you out.

Do you have a solicitor to support your case?

Speaking of solicitors, there and instances where their help is invaluable and instances where you can handle things on your own. It all depends on the specifics of your case. For example, if the damages you’ve suffered are minor and the other party makes a reasonable offer, there might be no point in hiring a solicitor to make a claim.

On the other hand, if your damages have been extensive and your case looks complicated, a solicitor can make the difference between winning or losing. Either way, if you are unsure whether you have a case or not, consulting with an experienced solicitor is always a good idea.

Car accident claims can be quite complicated, so it’s in your own best interest to educate yourself on legal matters and learn as much as you can in this respect. You never know when this information might come in handy.

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