Car and Traffic Accidents

Car and Road Traffic Accidents

Being involved in a car or other road traffic accident can be a very worrying experience and can leave you with injuries that range from minor through to life-changing and severe.  Such injuries can also have a huge impact on your daily life even aside from the pain and discomfort you may be in. For example, if you are unable to work because of your injury this could put you and your family under financial strain.

In addition, if you depend on your vehicle for work or family responsibilities and it needs to be repaired or replaced due to the car crash, this could have a financial and practical impact on your life.  

If the road accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation for your injury and financial losses.



Click here to read a full transcript of this car and traffic accidents video. Or alternatively you can select captions in the video panel.

Mrs K received £3,750 after she was knocked off her bike in a road traffic accident.  

"Getting knocked off my bike wasn’t something I ever expected to happen to me but Thorntons made the whole claims process straightforward and stress free from start to finish. The compensation money helped me replace my bike and get treatment for my neck and knee injuries. Hopefully I don’t suffer another accident but if I did, I would have no hesitation in using Thorntons again."

Types of traffic incident

Most accidents on the road occur due to a lapse in concentration or a misunderstanding of the "rules of the road". Every case is individual and we assess each on a case-by-case basis to ensure we are always acting in the client's best interests. However, there are some common accident scenarios: 

Crash at a roundabout

Car crashes can often happen on or approaching roundabouts. Other drivers can fail to give way to oncoming traffic that has priority on the roundabout or even try to pre-empt the actions of the driver in front on approach to the roundabout by expecting them to continue on and failing to leave sufficient stopping distance should they need to give way or brake suddenly. Such incidents can result in collisions and potential injury and vehicle damage. 

Crash at a junction

Junctions are a common source of accidents and road traffic collisions. Most commonly, this is down to a failure to give way to oncoming traffic and pulling out when it is not safe to do so. However, many of these collisions could be avoided by drivers increasing their awareness of the road around them and improving observation skills. Additionally, ensure that you leave a safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front should they suddenly turn off the road.

Crash at traffic lights

It is unfortunately widespread that many drivers fail to pay proper due care and attention at traffic lights and even try to 'beat the lights' as they change. This can cause serious injury to those involved if an accident occurs. It is particularly dangerous when you are crossing over the path of oncoming traffic even if a filter light is in use.  

Drivers should always make sure they have sufficient time to safely make their way through the traffic lights and be prepared to stop and wait if they do not.

If you are involved in a collision at traffic lights, it is often helpful to obtain photographs of the lights and establish their pattern. Our dedicated team of personal injury specialists can advise you and help in recovering any evidence in support of your compensation claim.

Rear end shunt

Many people fail to leave a sufficient stopping distance between them and the vehicle in front and, as a result, a sudden stop or lapse in concentration can result in a rear end shunt. Some drivers will try to pre-empt the actions of the driver in front of them, particularly when on roundabouts or pulling out of junctions, and consider what they themselves would do and not what the driver is actually doing. For example, their car may have faster acceleration and they may take a risk on a smaller gap for pulling out into the road. In these circumstances, the vehicle behind may start to move off expectantly and find themselves colliding into the rear of the vehicle in front, causing damage and possible injury. 

Car left the road

A vehicle can leave the road due to many reasons. There may be contributing road conditions factor such as mud, oil or ice on the road for which a third party such as the local authority or a nearby farm may be responsible. Or it could be that the driver simply loses control of his vehicle. Our specialist team can help you to establish the responsible party and guide you through the process of making a traffic accident compensation claim. 

Bus accident

Travelling by bus can often be convenient and easy but carries with it the additional risk that you are not in control of the vehicle. Also, many buses are not fitted with seatbelts and this can result in serious injuries to their passengers if they are involved in a road traffic accident.

 If you are involved in an accident as a bus passenger, it is important to note as much information about the bus and service as possible to help your claim and we can advise you on what you need to do. 

Multiple vehicle pile-up

If you are involved in a multi-vehicle collision, it can often be difficult to determine who is at fault for the accident and which insurance company should be paying out compensation. You may be left feeling confused as to 'who hit who' when the incident happens so suddenly. Our professional personal injury team will investigate matters and make sure your claim is quickly intimated against the responsible party. 

Bicycle accidents

Cyclists are one of the more vulnerable groups of road users. Unfortunately, bicycles and motorcycles can be easily obscured in a vehicle's blind spot or in their windscreen pillars meaning that drivers can be left with limited or even no time to react and prevent a collision. Cyclists should always be given the same amount of room as a car for their road positioning and when overtaking. Cyclists can also be injured as a result of the poor road surface or potholes.

You may be able to claim compensation for not only your injuries but also for any damage to your bike or cycling gear if appropriate. 

Car accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers

Unfortunately, sometimes in collisions and road traffic accidents the driver responsible flees the scene. In those cases, the accident should be reported to the police immediately.  

The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) will step into the place of an insurance company if the injured party has been unable to identify the driver responsible. The MIB will also accept compensation claims from those who have been involved in an accident with a vehicle that is not insured. We regularly handle claims to the MIB and work on our client's behalf to ensure they get the correct compensation they should. 

Injury as a passenger in a car accident

If you are travelling as a passenger in someone else's vehicle and are involved in a road traffic accident then you can still claim for compensation against the driver responsible, for example where you are involved in a rear end shunt.  

However, there are sometimes occasions where the collision may be the fault of the driver of the vehicle you are travelling in. In such cases you can pursue a claim against that driver as your safety is their responsibility, for example if they collide with another vehicle at traffic lights. You may feel concerned about raising a claim against someone that you know but our professional Personal Injury team will help to address any concerns you may have and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Injury as a pedestrian

Pedestrians are probably the most vulnerable group of road users and road traffic collisions involving them can result in some of the most serious injuries. Accidents affecting child pedestrians can be particularly difficult and stressful for the families involved. 

Sometimes, it is not clear who is to blame for the accident. Our team of Personal Injury lawyers can investigate matters and provide advise on who is to blame and guide you through the process of claiming compensation.

Accidents due to driver error

Most accidents occur due to driver error in some form. Whilst there may sometimes be contributing factors, it can often be the case that the driver loses concentration or starts to doze off at the wheel. They may also make a conscious choice to use their mobile phone whilst driving or become distracted by the radio or their music. Such errors can easily result in road traffic collisions causing injuries which may range from minor injuries to life-threatening or even fatal injury.  

Regardless of whether criminal proceedings are being brought against the driver, we can help you to make your claim for personal injury compensation using legal knowledge and skills to achieve the best result for you.

Speeding incidents

Despite speeding being a criminal offence, it is very common for drivers to take a chance with the speed limits. Speeding can cause a driver's reaction times to reduce significantly and can prevent evasive action being safely taken by reducing your safe stopping distance if you need to brake suddenly. Speeding also reduces the driver's control of the vehicle and means they are much more likely to cause a more serious impact and injury than a low speed collision.  Always respect the speed limits of the road and remember that they are there for the safety of all road users. Even if criminal charges are not brought, if you have been injured in a collision with a speeding driver we can still help to secure you compensation. 

How can Thorntons help?

Thorntons friendly and experienced Personal Injury team are here to help you through this worrying and often confusing time. We are specialist Personal Injury Solicitors who can guide you easily through the process of making a claim for personal injury compensation because of your involvement in a road traffic accident. Usually, we deal with these types of cases on a no win, no fee basis so that you have no financial risk in pursuing the claim and to help make the process as worry free as possible for you.  

You can start your claim today by calling us free on 0800 731 8434 or complete our enquiry form. We will talk through your situation, answer any questions you may have and advise you if you can make a road accident compensation claim. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim. You can also take a look at our Claims Calculator to find out how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Useful Information

Some of our other clients found the following information helped them understand the claims process better.

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