Road Traffic Accidents

accident claims

 

Road Traffic Accidents causing injury to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike are an unfortunate fact of modern life.  The consequence of a moment’s lack of concentration can be inconvenience, out of pocket expense or at worst personal injury or death.

Lawson Lewis Blakers are able to provide you with expert and effective representation if you have unfortunately suffered an injury in a road accident.

Liability

It is a basic legal principle that all road users owe a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of others.

To succeed in establishing liability you must therefore prove (on the balance of probability) that the other party has broken their duty of care.  It can be helpful to be able to show, for example:

  • Breach of the Highway Code – for example, driving at excessive speed, failing to accord priority at junctions and so one will be helpful
  • Criminal Convictions – the burden of proof in criminal courts is higher than in civil courts and so demonstrating that the other party has been convicted of, for example, careless driving is often a good way of establishing liability.

Insurance

It is of course a criminal offence for the driver of a motor vehicle not to have insurance providing cover against claims arising from injuries arising from a motor accident.  For claims involving drivers who are either uninsured or untraced there is a statutory compensation scheme through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau – see separate briefing note.

Compensation

The process of determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled is known by lawyers as the assessing “quantum of damages”.

In order to be claimed any loss it must be reasonably foreseeable and directly caused by the accident, so that for example:-

  • A claim for compensation for an injury may be reduced if there is a pre-existing medical condition.  A good example is the passenger of a motor car who suffers a whiplash neck injury – but had an existing back impairment.
  • A claim for compensation may be reduced by a percentage if a court concludes that the claimant is partially responsible.  An example might be the passenger of a motor car who sustained injuries in a motor accident – but those injuries are made worse by their  own failure to wear a seat belt.

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