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Understanding the impact of your road traffic accident and how to make a claim

We know that the impact of a road traffic accident on your life can be considerable. Aside from the physical pain of your injury, the psychological effect of being injured while walking down the street, cycling to work or travelling as a passenger is often traumatic.

Add that to an injury that takes time to heal, may be life-changing and permanent, or may cause further health complications, and the effect of your road traffic accident is devastating.

We can't take away what you've been through, but we can guide you through the first steps of making a claim so you can get the support and finances you need for your recovery.

When you contact us about your injury and accident, we won't just consider the severity of your injury - though we recognise this is extremely important to you - we'll also consider the full impact of your injury on your life and your family.

That means we'll take the time to listen to what you say and make sure we fully understand how your injury has affected you, your loved ones, your future, your work life and your spare time.

Where there's been change to your normal routine, whether temporarily or permanently, we'll look to recover compensation for that change.

Amelia was sitting in the passenger seat of a car which was hit on a roundabout. Her injuries started to show 48 hours later, and she struggled to do physical jobs at work and go to the gym.

Customer stories: Amelia | National Accident Helpline

Amelia was sitting in the passenger seat of a car which was hit on a roundabout. Her injuries started to show 48 hours later, and she struggled to do physical jobs at work and go to the gym.

Can you make a RTA claim?

To be able to make a claim with us and our expert solicitors, your road accident must have:

  • Happened within the last three years
  • Been somebody else's fault
  • Caused injury to you

While there are some circumstances where the time you have to start your claim can be longer (for example, if you or a loved one has suffered a head or brain injury) we're generally only able to help if your accident happened within the last three years.

If you're feeling unsure, you get in touch with us for free, impartial advice on . We'll be happy to answer all your questions and can let you know whether we think you can make a claim.

As part of our promise to you, we'll never rush or pressure you into making a claim. But if you do decide you'd like to go ahead, we can pass you on to one of our specialist road accident solicitors.

Common types of road accidents

Nearly all road traffic accidents fall into the following categories:

However, your experience may not fall into any of these claim types. If this applies to you then please don't worry, it's likely we can still help you.

As each claim is completely unique to the person involved in the accident, what's considered and makes up your compensation may vary.

To give you an idea, typically our solicitors look to recover compensation for any impact your road accident and injury has had on your life. This could include:

  • Your time off work and loss of earnings
  • Your future loss of income and effects on your career prospects
  • Any changes to your ability to work
  • The care or support you've received, even if this has been given for free from family or friends
  • Any adaptations you might need
  • Any travel costs you've had to cover

Because there are so many factors considered when your expert solicitor negotiates your compensation, we're not able to tell you how much you could receive before you begin your claim. But you can try our compensation calculator, which can give you an estimate.

Are you entitled to early compensation payments?

You may be entitled to early compensation payments following your road traffic accident if your accident and injury are particularly serious.

Early compensation payments, also known as interim or immediate needs payments, are given to people who need financial support sooner than their compensation claim will be settled.

This could be for several reasons, but is typically because the immediate costs of your injury can't be covered by your current financial situation.

For example, this may include the cost of housing your family somewhere near your hospital or rehabilitation centre, or it may be covering the cost your rent, mortgage or bills because you're on reduced or statutory sick pay.

Whatever your immediate needs, if you're not able to cover the costs because of your injury, your solicitor can negotiate to secure you a quicker compensation payment while they continue to negotiate for your final settlement.

Once we've connected you to a specialist solicitor, we'll invite you to attend a free medical assessment. This is so that we can assess your injury to see what extra care, rehabilitation and support you might need to get you back on your feet.

Our solicitors work with a wide range of rehabilitation providers so that they can provide you with the support you need.

So, whether your road traffic accident has left you needing physiotherapy to regain mobility, counselling to help you feel safe and adjusted, or an occupational therapist to assess your needs, we're here to help you make it right.

Working as one of our legal support advisors means putting ourselves in your shoes and helping you understand how we can help.

What is it like to be a Legal Support Advisor for National Accident Helpline?

Working as one of our legal support advisors means putting ourselves in your shoes and helping you understand how we can help.

Who pays your road traffic accident compensation?

Road accidents caused by another motorist

If your road accident was caused by another motorist, whether they were a lorry driver, motorcyclist or the driver of a car, then your compensation will be paid by their insurance.

This means you don't have to worry about the other driver being left with a bill they can't afford, because it won't be paid by them personally.

Road accidents involving uninsured drivers

If your injury was caused by an uninsured driver, you may be worried that you won't be able to make a compensation claim. However, claims made against an uninsured driver will be paid by the Motor Insurer's Bureau (MIB).

All UK-based motor insurance companies are legally required to pay into the Motor Insurers' Bureau each year so that people who are injured in an accident involving an uninsured or untraceable driver can still receive the compensation they deserve.

Hit and run road accidents

We know how frustrating and upsetting it can be when someone refuses to face the consequences of an accident which was their fault.

If you don't have the details of the responsible party because they can't be found or traced, then your compensation will usually be paid by the Motor Insurer's Bureau.

Accidents caused by poor road conditions

Road accidents can be caused by poor conditions of road and pavement surfaces, such as potholes and cracks.

Someone is responsible for every stretch of road, and it should be well maintained and safe for use. If your road accident was caused by badly maintained surfaces, then your compensation will usually be paid by Highways England or your local council.

Find out how we can help you claim compensation, let us call you back

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