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Tag Archive: Road Traffic Accident Compensation

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

Would automatic bans for drivers using mobiles finally prevent people from putting lives at risk on the roads?

Man In Car Talking On Mobile Phone Whilst Driving

It may well be the driving offence now most commonly committed on the UK’s roads – using a mobile whilst behind the wheel.

Whether it be spending just a few seconds to answer a call, glancing at an incoming text, or, more blatantly, using a smartphone for social media or even to take pictures and videos, most people would find it hard to deny using their phone when driving at one time.

Over the past 10 years, more than 200 people have been killed in Britain in accidents involving drivers using hand-held mobile phones at the wheel.

The number of accidents in which phones have been involved is increasing, with almost 500 accidents caused by drivers who were using a hand-held phone in 2014, the highest number on record. Of those accidents, 21 proved fatal.

Research by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has shown that drivers using any type of mobile phone – hands-free or not – are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and other people.

However, it is a message which is largely ignored, as research recently conducted by our road accident claims team at Hudgell Solicitors has highlighted.

Asked which single new law would make the biggest difference to road safety in the UK, 45 per cent of respondents said an instant ban for being caught using a phone.

Interestingly, just 15 per cent thought a total ban on drinking alcohol before driving would result in less accidents on the roads.

In my view, these figures give an indication of acceptance that the law regarding mobile phone use is routinely broken and is not strong enough. It suggests tougher punishments are needed to make drivers think, and not pick up their phone.

Without stronger punishments, many – and perhaps even those who consider themselves safe and considerate drivers – will take the risk.

Ministers last year announced plans which will see most first time offenders offered an educational course to learn about the risks of their behaviour after they are stopped by police.

Those who are ‘persistent offenders’ will face an increase from the current three penalty points to four, while fines will rise from £100 to £150.

The flaw here is that ‘first time offenders’, on the vast majority of occasions, will not be that. They’ll more likely be regular offenders who have been caught for the first time.

Also, why should there be such a thing as ‘persistent offenders’? Do we get persistent offenders of drink-driving being allowed to hold onto their licence? Certainly not.

I have previously written about my belief that such punishments are not strong enough, as I believe people currently do not associate the risk of being caught and punished for using a mobile anywhere near that of being caught drink-driving.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many don’t stop and think of the possible victims of their reckless actions, instead focussing on the punishment they’ll face for breaking the law rather than the damage they can do to the lives of others.

As well as potential technological innovations and continued publicity of the dangers of driving whilst using a mobile phone, more serious punishments for mobile phone use are needed. Only then can we make a difference and improve safety on the roads.

At present, the punishment certainly doesn’t fit the crime. In order to combat the culture of driving whilst using a mobile phone, that simply has to change. Before more lives are lost.

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08/04/2016 No Comments

Summer should be safer on the roads, so why are child casualties highest in July?

stop sign children

With the lighter nights now upon us, it is assumed by many to be the safest time of the year when driving on the UK’s roads.

However, new figures published by the RAC Foundation have painted a very different picture, as they have revealed more children are killed on the UK’s roads in the longer summer days than throughout the winter months.

There has been a six per cent increase in child casualties on the roads since 2013, a huge reverse of a trend which had previously seen numbers fall every year since 2004.

Better weather and longer hours of sunlight results in more children playing outside or cycling and walking to school, which in turn leads to a greater exposure to risk, the RAC Foundation says.

Accident figures are stark warning to drivers

But as specialists in handling hundreds of road accident compensation claims each year, we at Hudgell Solicitors see how driver complacency and distraction also often results in devastation.

These new figures act as a stark warning to each and every one of us who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, at any time.

Based on a five-year average from 2010-14, they have shown July to be the month with biggest number of child road casualties in Britain.

Over that time, 227 under-15s were killed or seriously injured in July from a total of 1,733 casualties in that age bracket. Lowest monthly averages were recorded in December, when there were 122 children killed or hurt out of 1,103 casualties.

Significantly, the statistics show half of child road casualties happen when they are not in vehicles themselves, with 40 per cent being pedestrians and 13 per cent being cyclists.

It highlights how our level of care and attention needs to be the same on a bright summer’s day as it is on a cold, dark, icy winter morning, as only that can guarantee our reactions are as they need to be.

All drivers should hold this thought – the figures actually suggest drivers are more likely to injure a child either walking or cycling than any children travelling in a vehicle with them.

The bigger danger is to others out on the roads, not to the driver themselves or their own passengers. How often do we think of that when we set off on a journey?

Pete Williams, a trustee of the RAC’s Road Safety Awareness Charity, has said it is the ‘responsibility of all drivers to be mindful of the risks of young road users and children playing around and near roads and to reduce their speed and increase their vigilance’, and we would certainly agree.

However, his words come as a survey involving national road safety charity Brake has revealed almost half of drivers polled admitted to breaking a 20mph speed limit – which are commonly found close to schools – last year.

It also showed that a quarter of drivers admitted to driving too fast in a 20mph area at least once-a-month, whilst 20 per cent of motorists surveyed said they break a 20mph speed limit on a weekly basis.

With the peak hour for child road casualties being between 3pm and 4pm, and a spike also in the mornings also between 8am and 9am coinciding with school rush hours, it is clear that messages over safety are being ignored by far too many.

Accident victims supported through compensation claims

Over a 12-month period, we supported more than 1,500 victims of road traffic accidents in settling compensation claims, and in each of those cases, fault for the accident was either admitted or proved.

We see the devastation caused to families, particularly as a result of accidents involving young children. We are dedicated to securing compensation settlements for those seriously injured at a young age which can help them rebuild their lives and provide life-long support and care where needed.

However, we know legal action can never turn back the clock.

Each and every accident claim we settle represents an accident and injury which could and should have been prevented, and with a total of 17,755 child casualties over a five-year period, there is clearly plenty of work to be done to make our roads safer for all and bring the number of casualties down.

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29/03/2016 No Comments

Launch of Brake’s National Road Safety Week is time for us all to consider how we could become safer drivers

RTA-page-imgv4By Matt Tuff, a specialist in serious road accident cases at personal injury specialists, Hudgell Solicitors

Today marks the start of National Road Safety Week, an annual event with a simple but very important goal – to make our roads safer to reduce the number of serious accidents and injuries we see each year.

Founded in 1997 by campaigning road safety charity Brake, the annual event seeks to raise awareness about road safety and promote simple steps that everyone can take to stop the many needless deaths and injuries year-round.

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23/11/2015 No Comments

Hudgell Solicitors backs Brake campaign for ban on hands-free calls when driving

Lady driving while on her mobile phone

Hudgell Solicitors is supporting the campaign by national road safety charity Brake to introduce new laws banning the use of hands-free phone systems in vehicles, as statistics have shown talking at the wheel makes drivers four times more likely to cause injury.

Despite using a hand-held phone while driving being made illegal in 2003, thousands of drivers still blatantly flout the law, putting themselves and others at great risk.

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28/09/2015 No Comments

Mobile phone addiction is a real danger as a fifth of young people use them when crossing roads

crossing the phone with mobile

Is your addiction to checking your mobile phone putting you in physical danger?

You may not immediately think so as you go about your daily life, but as personal injury lawyers with decades of experience, handling hundreds of road traffic accident cases each year, we can see an increasing danger of distraction in society.

New research from a survey by Deloitte has today shown that some people admit checking their phones hundreds of times a day (the average being 27).

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08/09/2015 1 Comment

All drivers have a massive part to play in making the school run safer for all

Patrol highway sign

6280605595_3a642634de_bWhilst millions of parents across the country will no doubt be celebrating the return to school for their children after a long summer break this week, few, if any, will have been looking forward to the daily chore of the school run.

The picture is pretty much the same across the country.

Roads around schools are heavily congested, with one in five cars on the roads at 8.50am said to be involved in the school run.

It is therefore no surprise that in 2013, Road Safety Analysis found that in the previous six years, around 6,500 children had been involved in traffic accidents within a 500-metre radius of nearly 30,000 schools.

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01/09/2015 No Comments

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