Claiming Against the at Fault Driver after a Road Traffic Accident

Check your Insurance Cover

Report the accident to your insurance company. Check if you have Comprehensive and Legal Expenses cover. Comprehensive cover means that you will be able to claim for the repair of your vehicle. However, this will mean that your No Claims Discount/Bonus may be affected until your Insurance company is able to re-claim all monies paid for the repair or write-off of your vehicle from the at fault party’s insurers.

Legal Expenses Cover

If you have this cover, advise your Insurance Company that you would like to make use of this cover to make a claim. They will then notify the relevant law firm they usually use and send instructions for them to contact you. You should usually get a letter in the post from the legal expenses law firm within 2 weeks of your notification. You will then have to complete a form with your details, details of what happened and what you will be claiming i.e. insurance policy excess, any property damage e.g. spectacles, mobile phone, car; or personal injury. 

Once liability has been accepted by the third party insurers, the value of your claims will be negotiated between your legal expenses solicitors and the third party insurers.

If you do not have legal expenses cover, you will have to instruct your own solicitors to represent you and although their costs are recouped from the third party insurers, you may still have to bear responsibility for their disbursements. They may also charge you a success fee if you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement with your solicitors and this may be deducted from you settlement payment.

Vehicle damage

If you have the benefit of Comprehensive cover, it is usually recommended that you get your insurance company to repair your vehicle as soon as possible or compensate you accordingly if it needs to be written off. Most garages that insurers use provide courtesy cars whilst your vehicle is being repaired. If you decide to go into a private hire vehicle, be prepared for this claim to be challenged by the third party insurers especially if you hire a vehicle which is more extravagant than your original vehicle. You may also be challenged on the duration of the hire if it is unreasonable.  

You will be legally bound to reimburse the car hire company for any unpaid charges that the third party insurers have successfully challenged due to the contract you signed when going into hire.

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For more information on:

  • Personal Injury
  • Medico-Legal Reports
  • What happens if no settlement is reached?