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5 questions to ask your road traffic accident solicitor

man sat next to car after crash

If you are injured in a road traffic accident, it’s important that you take down the right details and find a personal injury solicitor to take on your case. Here we explore what a victim of a road traffic accident should do, and the important questions to ask to find the right solicitor.

What to do if you have a road accident?

Being involved in a road traffic accident is a sudden and often frightening experience. It can be difficult to gather your thoughts, but taking down as many details as possible is crucial. This information will be invaluable if you make a personal injury claim:

  • The registration number of the vehicles involved
  • The model, colour and year of the vehicles involved
  • The amount of immediate damage
  • The road name and exact location of your accident
  • Date and time of the accident
  • The weather conditions at the time of the accident

Once you have taken these notes you should:

  • Share your details with the other driver
  • Take contact details of any witnesses
  • Take photographs of the accident scene
  • Report the accident to the police
  • Inform your insurance company of the accident

Making a road traffic accident claim

If you have been injured through your road accident, you may consider making a personal injury claim.

Questions to ask your road traffic accident solicitor

To make sure you choose the right specialist for your personal injury claim, here are five initial questions to ask your solicitor:

1. Do you have experience in road traffic accident cases?

It may be that your car insurance company recommends a firm, but it is your prerogative to choose your own solicitor. Look for a solicitor’s practice with experience in road traffic accident cases. Personal injury solicitors will usually have a specialism that they have extensive experience in, so look for somebody who has dealt with road traffic accident cases in the past.

2. What details will you need from me?

A well-practised solicitor will know that a road traffic accident requires a number of intricate details. They should recommend that you collate as many of the details of your accident as possible, as listed under ‘what should I do if I have a road accident?’

At this point it’s also crucial that you mention any specific details. Perhaps you weren’t wearing a seatbelt at the time, or you feel you may have been partly to blame for the accident. It may also be that the car you collided with is not insured. Though you may be worried about the outcome of disclosing this information, it’s crucial that you and your solicitor discuss this early on. You can still make a personal injury claim, though it’s important you are honest and accurate so your solicitor can offer informed initial advice.

 3. Will my case be taken on a ‘no win no fee’ basis – without any extra costs?

If you have chosen a ‘no win no fee’ solicitor, the answer should be “yes”. Your solicitor should assure you that the firm he or she works for offers a genuine no-win no-fee service and that you don’t pay a penny if you lose your case.

Some solicitors might charge fees for medical reports related to your accident. These come from independent medical experts, so the cost may vary. The earlier you clarify any potential charges, the less of a surprise this will be during your case.

 4. How long will my case take and how much compensation could I get?

Without knowing your case, no solicitor should promise a sum or give a solid timescale. Though it can be frustrating, a solicitor should never give vague promises based on a brief summary of your accident. Instead, they may offer case studies from their experience, or highlight the variables that might affect the outcome of your case. After a road traffic accident, the following will be taken into account when accumulating your pay-out:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Any loss of earnings
  • How your injuries affect your life, including your ability to work or enjoy your hobbies

A solicitor will only be able to give you an idea of your potential compensation settlement once they understand the details of your case.

5. What percentage of my compensation will you charge, if successful?

Your conditional fee arrangement, which is the written arrangement between you and your solicitor, will explain the percentage that will be deducted from a successful claim. This is capped at 25% of your compensation, and should not deter from the amount that is agreed upon. Some solicitor’s fees differ, so it is best to ask about this straight away.

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10/08/2018 No Comments

Are you sitting comfortably?

Motor bike diagram

An important topic is missing from learning to ride a motorcycle and that is how to sit on it, or more specifically, how to position ourselves on it.

The only official advice I recall is in the Highway Code, but that is directed at pillions where Rule 85 states:

“Passengers MUST sit astride the machine on a proper seat. They should face forward with both feet on the footrests.”

Great advice, but what about the rider?

Q1: Is riding causing you back, wrist, shoulder or neck pain?

It’s likely this is caused by your posture, rather than the design of the bike.

The head and helmet can weigh more than 6kg. Having the head in front of the shoulders means the neck muscles have to hold this weight up, causing pain and discomfort. With our neck already bent backwards, any buffeting can damage both the vertebrae, discs and nerves in our neck as we lose the normal flexibility.

Pain and discomfort can quickly cause fatigue and can become a distraction from riding.

Q2: Does your bike feel nervous? Is it hard work to get it to steer or change direction?

This can be caused by the way you hold yourself on the bike or hold the controls. The following guide will not only improve your comfort but will make a positive change to the way your bike feels and handles.

Like our bikes, we come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so this guide is intended to help you to find the best riding position. Try the following to find a good position on your bike. It’s best to try this while the bike is stationary, so stick it on the centre stand or get a couple of people to hold your bike upright. It’s also good to do this with your bike kit on as this can restrict movement.

Finding the correct seating position

  • Sit upright astride your bike and try to position your backside directly above your feet  providing your bike’s design allows this.
  • Your weight is now correctly supported through the seat and foot pegs. You may now be sitting closer to the petrol tank than usual, which is a good thing.

Diagram how to sit straight on a bike

Holding onto your bike

  • Still sat upright, squeeze your thighs enough to have a grip on the tank but without causing discomfort.
  • You should be able to lean the top of your body to the left and right without holding the bars and without feeling like you’re going to slip off.
  • This is how we hold ourselves on the bike, NOT through the handlebars.


  • We control the bike through the handlebars, so of course we need to be able to reach them.
  • From your upright position, lean forward, pivoting at your hips without stretching your back or shoulders.
  • Keep going until you can rest the palms of your hands on top of the grips with thumbs underneath and fingers resting on top of the levers.
  • Keep pivoting forward until the bottoms of your forearms are roughly parallel with the tops of your thighs.
    Motor bike diagram
  • Drop your shoulders and relax your arms.
  • Drop your fingers under the levers so you have a light hold on the grips and your wrists are slightly higher than your hands.
  • Adjust your body position considering all of the above.

Are you now sitting comfortably?

You should now have an idea of your basic riding position but at this stage, it’s still work in progress. You will need to ride your bike to make further adjustments, while remembering the following:

  • Backside above pegs (if the bike design allows it)
  • Grip bike with thighs
  • Pivot at hips
  • Hold your body up with core muscles
  • Relax your arms and upper body
  • Drop your shoulders
  • Avoid leaning on the bars

This isn’t just about comfort. Positioning yourself correctly on a bike will change the way it handles and make controlling it easier, especially when turning and even more so when turning from one side to the other.

Riding with straight arms, elbows locked and leaning on the bars means you’re acting against the bike’s natural desire to turn. When you lean at higher speeds this, in turn, makes the bike feel nervous. It will also transfer all the bumps in the road through the forks up into your wrists, elbows and shoulders. It can also push your shoulders up, restricting head movement.

Your new, more relaxed riding position will allow you to drop your shoulder in the direction you are leaning, making it easier to turn your head to look towards the exit of the bend. All this will have a positive effect on the way your bike feels and handles.

Your elbows bent with arms and shoulders relaxed gives you a much wider range of movement when steering the bike at slower speeds; it also helps with balance at low speed.


It may take some getting used to, and from time to time you may forget and slip back into old habits. Simply remind yourself to relax, breathe out and drop your shoulder and elbows.

Guest Blog by Chris Harrison

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24/07/2017 No Comments

Increasing number of motorbike accidents calls for greater care from all drivers on UK roads

Jane woodcock banner

By Jane Woodcock, senior legal executive at Hudgell Solicitors

Never has more been done to raise awareness around the dangers associated with riding a motorbike, and the need to be careful and responsible at all times.

Campaigns, such as the nationally recognised ‘Think Bike’ message, are continually pushed out across the UK, yet accident figures suggest they are not having the desired impact.

It has now been revealed that the number of motorcyclists killed or injured on roads in Wales has risen for the fourth year in a row, reaching a seven-year high.

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29/07/2015 No Comments

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