By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 13th February 2024. In this guide, we are going to discuss car accident claims in length, and how to claim for a personal injury when the crash wasn’t your fault. This includes a discussion on road traffic accident compensation claims eligibility criteria, as well as how to begin an injury claim for a car accident.
We have many years of experience helping with personal injury claims. We have put together this guide to help answer some of the questions that people might have if they consider making a compensation claim for a car accident.
We will look at how you could go about making a claim, how to prove fault in a car accident and what you may be able to claim for. If you have any questions regarding the details of your claim that we haven’t answered, or you would like a little more information, then why not give us a call on 0800 073 8801.
Choose A Section
- How To Prove Fault In A Car Accident Claim
- What Makes A Valid Claim?
- What Could Cause A Car Accident?
- Time Limit For Car Accident Claims
- Compensation For A Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault
- No Win No Fee Car Accident Claims
- Essential Links Relating To How To Prove Fault In A Car Accident Claim
Proving who is at fault for a car accident is an essential part of the road traffic accident claims process. This is why collecting sufficient evidence could help support your claim, as it could help with proving who was liable for the accident and the types of injuries you suffered.
Some examples of the evidence that could be used to support car accident claims include:
- The offending driver’s details, including their vehicle registration number.
- The contact details of any witnesses willing to give a statement about what happened.
- Any visible injuries, such as a laceration or scarring, could be photographed.
- Dash cam or CCTV footage of the accident, if possible.
- A copy of your medical records, stating the type of injury you suffered and the treatment you are receiving for it.
For more information on the types of evidence that could be sued to help support your claim, and how one of our solicitors may be able to assist you with this, you can contact our advisors.
All road users have a duty of care to use the roads responsibly and avoid causing harm to each other. They should also adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and follow the rules set out in the Highway Code. If another road user were to breach this duty of care, this could cause a road traffic accident.
To be eligible to make a personal injury claim following a car accident, you would need to demonstrate the following:
- Another road user owed you a duty of care.
- They breached their duty of care.
- This breach caused you to suffer an injury.
For more tips on how to prove fault in a car accident claim, please contact our advisors for free today. They can review your potential claim and, if they establish it’s valid, they may also connect you with a personal injury solicitor who can support your case.
There are several ways a road traffic accident could occur. Some examples include:
- Speeding – If another driver is speeding, this could prevent them from being able to stop in time and could cause a rear-end collision.
- Driving under the influence – Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs can result in impaired ability to operate the vehicle as well as slower reaction times.
- Distracted driving – If someone is using their phone while driving, for example, this could result in a car accident as they may fail to notice that the vehicle in front of them has come to a stop at a red light.
If you have any questions regarding making a claim for a road traffic accident, such as ‘How can I determine who is at fault in a car accident?’, you can contact one of our advisors. They may also connect you with one of our solicitors, who could guide you through the car accident claim process if you have a valid case.
As well as knowing how to establish fault for a car accident, you will need to know how long you have to start your claim.
Generally, you will have 3 years to start your personal injury claim from the date that the accident occurred. This is as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are some exceptions to this time limit.
For example, if someone is at fault for a car accident that injures a child, the child would not be able to make a claim until they reach 18 years of age. While the time limit is frozen, a litigation friend could bring a claim forward on the child’s behalf. If no claim is made, and the child turns 18, they would then have 3 years from their 18th birthday to start a claim.
Furthermore, the time limit is frozen indefinitely for those who lack the mental capacity to make their own personal injury claim. Once again, a litigation friend could act on their behalf. Should a claim not be brought forward, and the injured person regains this mental capacity, they will have 3 years from the recovery date to start a claim.
To find out whether you are within the time limit to start your personal injury claim, please contact an advisor.
Now we have discussed who is at fault in a car accident, we can move onto discussing the compensation that you could claim if your case is successful.
A successful car accident compensation claim could result in a payout that includes general and special damages.
General damages compensate you for the suffering and the pain caused by your injuries, and those calculating such payouts could refer to a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for reference. This publication gives guideline compensation brackets for a range of injuries at different severities. You can see some figures from the 2022 edition of the publication in the table below. However, this should only be used as guidance. The first and last two entries in this table are not taken from the JCG.
|Severity of injury
|Multiple Severe Injuries + Financial losses
|Combinations of severe injuries that result in pain and suffering and financial losses, such as lost earnings and home adaptations.
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Most serious injuries impacting spinal damage and nerve root damage.
|£91,090 to £160,980
|Full recovery within 2-5 years to nuisance level.
|£7,890 to £12,510
|Associated with incomplete paraplegia, for example.
|In the region of
|Fracture/dislocation causing severe immediate pain. May require fusion of the spine.
|£24,990 to £38,490
|Extensive fractures causing damage to bladder (for example).
|£78,400 to £130,930
|Loss of function of the wrist.
|£47,620 to £59,860
|Simple fractures and soft tissue injuries.
|£3,530 to £4,740
|Including severe crush injuries, for example.
|£14,450 to £29,000
|One or more whiplash injuries paired with psychological injuries
|Less than 2 years, longer than 18 months with psychological injuries
|One or more whiplash injuries.
|Less than 2 years, longer than 18 months
As well as this, your payout could include special damages to compensate you for the costs and losses caused by your injuries. These costs and losses could include:
- Travel expenses for costs incurred as a result of medical appointments or to meet with your lawyer.
- Care costs for care at home due to your injuries.
- Medical expenses for prescription costs or mobility aids, for example.
- Loss of income due to time off work needed to recover from your injuries.
You will need evidence to support your claim for special damages. This could include bank statements, receipts and bills, for example.
Whiplash Reform Programme
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident depending on the value of that injury or injuries will determine whether you are impacted by the changes brought about by the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP). So if;
- You were injured in a car accident as a passenger or a driver of a vehicle while aged 18 or over
- You suffered injuries that are valued at £5,000 or less
- The accident happened in England or Wales
You will make your personal injury claim through a different avenue. Along with these regulations came the Whiplash Injury Reforms 2021 which sets a tariff for whiplash injuries. You will see examples of these tariffs in the bottom two entries of the table.
To ask further questions about compensation payouts for a car accident, fault in a car accident, or whether the Whiplash Injury Regulations apply to your claim, please contact an advisor.
Have you been in an accident that wasn’t your fault? You could potentially claim, even for a car accident that no one else was involved in. As long as you were injured due to a third party’s negligence, such as a pothole accident caused by council negligence, you could have a valid claim.
Our No Win No Fee solicitors could represent your claim for an accident that wasn’t your fault. If you have a valid personal injury claim and decide to proceed with our services, you could be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) by our solicitors.
A CFA is a funding arrangement. You won’t be expected to pay an upfront solicitors fee. Instead, successful claims have a fee taken from the final payout. This is called a success fee. This has a legal cap in place. If your claim isn’t successful, you won’t be asked to pay a success fee.
If you have been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you can discuss your claim’s potential with our advisors. Should your claim seem like it could be successful, you could be passed onto our solicitors.
To learn more about getting support from a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can call our helpline number 0800 073 8801, where you will be able to speak with one of our advisors directly.
If you prefer to file a claim via email, then you can get in touch with us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also the option to contact us for legal advice using the Live Chat feature on our website.
Still asking “how can I prove fault in a car accident claim?” These additional research links could be of use.
- Car Accident Claim Guide – The information in our guide on car accident claims may be helpful.
- Whiplash Claims – If you have suffered a whiplash injury, you may like to look at our compensation claims calculator.
- Taxi Accident Claims – Our general guide on Taxi accident claims might answer some of your general questions.
- Highway Code – If you are unsure what to do in an accident, the Highway Code has some useful information.
- Whiplash Treatment – You can find the NHS guide on whiplash treatment options here.
- MIB – Has an untraced or uninsured driver caused an accident? Your solicitor could still help prove fault in a car crash of this type to help your claim with the MIB.
- Wondering how long you have to report a car accident? Find out in our helpful guide.
- Need help on claiming for an accident at a roundabout? Our guide offers more information on claiming for a car accident.
- Find out how to claim compensation for a bus accident through this informative article.