How to make an insurance claim after a road accident?
Accidents can happen anywhere be it office, home, school, college or even in transit, but one of the most unfortunate and infamous trends in accidents seems to have emerged in the form of road accidents. Legally put it is any happening that results in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person.
Traffic collisions can result in either injury, damage to property/goods, death or both. There may be multiple factors at play that contribute to the risk of collision including; vehicle design, speed of operation, design of the road and even and driver impairment.
Road accident types
Motor vehicle collisions can be categorised by mechanism of the vehicle. From common mechanisms including head-on collisions to run-off-road, rear-end collisions, and side collision, rollovers, etc.
What to do just after a Road Accident?
The next best thing to do is to call the police. They supply some instructions that are in the best interest of all. Finally even if you are unsure of the cover from your insurance provider it is important to not defend your interest at the cost of manipulating their opinion by lying or misleading the investigation.
Insurance Claims Following a Road Traffic Accident
Many people are unaware while making an injury claim after a road accident.
Confused about the correct procedure they either depend fully on the insurer or emotionally overdo it. Although cases differ from people to people, generally the steps to follow remain broadly the same towards making a claim.
Who Can Make a Claim?
Anyone injured or grieved by the accident is legally entitled to make a claim for compensation. Even pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists can contest a claim if they are able to prove that the resulting accident was not their fault. The claim towards compensation of a road accident claim should be made within three years of the occurrence of the mishap.
Claiming Through Your Insurance Company
Most people realise their responsibility of contacting their insurer in order to initiate the process of compensation when involved in an accident.
The process is made simpler if there are witnesses and police at the scene of the accident to testify. Though the insurer will seek full details and still investigate the situation, it helps to have evidence ready to support your theory.
How to Make a Successful Road Accident Claim?
Taking court action
Filing a road accident insurance claim without being properly prepared may lead to following scenarios you could either get less than you deserve, lose, draw your case out for a long time or worse still, end up with lesser than you started.
In England and Wales, if one does not have an insurance company acting on their behalf, one has to have to sue the liable person himself, to recover uninsured losses.
Following points are noteworthy:
If the claim is defended and is allocated to the small claims track (i.e. claims of £5,000 or less), you will not be entitled to claim solicitor’s costs, will have to bear the coast of paying for a solicitor.
If the claim is defended and allocated to either the fast track or the multi-track court, you will be able to file a claim for your costs against the other party with no guarantee of recovering the cost.
Some other things that you can do to bolster up a strong claim are
Getting photos of the accident scene may help the jury to identify with the case better. A picture is worth a thousand words and in order to supplement one’s argument documentary proof in form of pictures can help.
Testimony from a witness
Nothing helps more than to have witnesses at a crime scene. How many people saw what happened? The more the merrier. However, they must be willing to testify in your favour too.
Knowing the New Fast Track System
Since the late 90s solicitors in the UK have handled Car Accident Injury Claims under the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) system. The CFA system was designed to expand public access to professional legal representation, with solicitors taking up cases on a “No Win No Fee” basis. It simply means that if you win your case then your solicitor’s fees are paid by the defending party.
As of April 6th 2010 a new “fast track” car accident injury claim compensation system has been introduced in the UK. The system is designed to make it faster, economic and simple to make a personal injury claim if you have been the victim of a road traffic accident.
Claimants can now obtain full payment in a matter of weeks, as compared to months and in years to settle earlier. Also, there is also the option of getting part settlement of up to £1,000 before the claim has completed. This is a fast track claim.
Personal Injury Compensation Claims
If you are a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision, your claim would be directed towards the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident. This is irrespective of whether that is the driver of the vehicle you were travelling in or a third party driver, or both if necessary.
In case of a pedestrian, a motorcyclist, a pedal cyclist or a driver, the insurance claim would be made against the insurance company of the person driving the vehicle.
Insurance claims for compensation can also be made if you are involved in a road accident abroad or on holiday.