Road Traffic Accidents

Helping to get you back on track after a road traffic accident

If you’ve had a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault either as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, IMS Law can help you get back on track.

Our experienced personal injury team are just a phone call away and provide a friendly approachable service throughout the process of claiming compensation after a road traffic accident.

What we will do for you:

  • Assess your claim for injury compensation
  • Arrange a full examination by a suitable medical professional
  • Arrange early Physiotherapy, Counselling or other necessary treatments
  • Recover compensation for your injury and any financial losses incurred

What we will arrange for your vehicle:

  • A complete assessment by a professional engineer
  • Vehicle recovery and storage
  • Replacement car hire
  • Repairs or replacement vehicle costs
  • Reclaim any loss in value to your vehicle due to the accident

We’re here to answer all of your questions about making an RTA claim

If you’d like to speak to one of our friendly specialists about making a claim, you can use our live chat function now, request a call back using the tab on the right, give us a call on 01744 612549 or fill in our contact form.

If you have some questions and would like to know more, check out our Frequenty Asked Questions below to find an answer.

What information do I need to give to start my claim?

It is essential that you are able to provide relevant information and evidence to be able to start a claim. This includes:

  • Proof of your identity
  • Details and photos of your injury/injuries or any scarring
  • Details of the accident site which show the aftermath of the accident and photographs of the area if possible. If this is not possible, return to the scene around the same time of day your accident took place for the most accurate representation of the conditions at the time of the accident.
  • Reports from police or emergency services if they attended the scene of the accident. (In the majority of cases, your instructed solicitors will obtain the police report and/or medical records.)
  • Witness statements from anyone who witnessed your accident take place
  • Dates of any appointments you attended as a result of your accidents. This includes appointments regarding your physical and mental state
  • Details and receipts of any expenses incurred as a result of your accident
  • Proof of ownership of any personal belongings that were damaged during your accident that you wish to claim compensation for

How long does a personal injury claim take?

The length of time it will take to settle you claim depends on several different factors. These include:

  • The type and severity of your injury or illness.
  • The circumstances of your accident.
  • The amount of time it takes to gather medical evidence.
  • The complexity of the case.
  • Whether the other party accepts liability.
  • Whether the identity of the other party is known.
  • Whether the claim proceeds to court.
  • What do I have to do during the claims process?

If you’re thinking of making a claim, the first step is getting in contact with one of our trained legal advisors here at IMS Law. Call us on 01744 612549, use our live chat functions or use our online enquiry form. Speaking with our advisors will help them to learn more about you and your case; they will be able to tell you if they think you have a claim and answer any questions you have.

If you wish to open a claim, your advisor will put you in contact with one of our personal injury experts. There isn’t much else you need to do from here, there will be some paperwork involved and you may need to attend a medical if we arrange this for you, but we will handle the rest!

Do I need to contact my insurance company following a road traffic accident?

As soon as possible after your accident, get in touch with your insurance company even if you do not wish to make a claim and if you weren’t at fault. It is important they are aware in case other parties try to claim against you. If you fail to contact your insurer after an accident, they have the right to refuse you cover in the future. Most insurance companies require a road traffic accident is reported within 24 hours of the accident occurring or sooner depending on the details of your insurance policy.

What are the types of damages I can claim for?

General Damages: This award of compensation directly to your injury or illness and covers any pain and suffering you have endured, as well as any loss of amenity. The amount you are awarded will therefore depend upon the severity of your injury or illness and the extent to which your quality life was affected following your accident.

What is loss of amenity? Loss of amenity simply means your quality of life has been negatively impacted due to the accident. This could include things such as the loss of ability to travel, compete in a sport you previously enjoyed, use of equipment to perform your job or enjoy a hobby, or any other area of your life which has been directly affected by an injury.

Special Damages: The second part of a compensation claim is special damages. They are designed to help you get back to the financial position you would have been in, had you not been involved in an accident. Not only do they cover expenses that you have incurred as a result of your accident, but they also cover any expenses you may have in the future. These can include:

  • Loss of earnings/ Future loss of earnings
  • Treatment, rehabilitation and care costs
  • Aids, equipment and adaptations
  • Loss of property
  • Travel expenses
  • Costs for replacement of vehicle/ or costs for damage to vehicle
  • Policy excess payment recovery

Should I liaise with the other drivers insurance company directly?

You should never speak directly to the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver was at fault for the accident as their insurers will not represent your interests, they represent the fault driver. This leads to a conflict of interest and can result in your claim being compromised if the other driver’s insurance company contact you direct and ask you for information about the accident. If you are injured you should therefore always seek your own independent legal advice and not liaise directly with the third party insurers.

Will I have to have a medical in order to make a claim?

In most cases in which you are making a claim for personal injury, you are required to attend a medical examination to help us understand in depth the injuries you have sustained as a result of your accident. After your appointment, a medical expert will prepare a report on the injuries you have sustained and this will help us to accurately value your claim and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation that you are entitled to. The main circumstances in which you would not have to undertake a medical examination is in the event the third party insurers make a pre-medical offer and you choose to accept this.

What is involved in the medical examination for a personal injury claim?

Before attending your appointment, in most cases you will complete a pre-examination questionnaire that is often sent to you by the medical expert. This will need to be completed and given to the medical expert prior to your appointment. On the day of your examination, you can expect your appointment to last for around 30 minutes and the procedures involved will largely depend upon the nature of your injuries. You should expect questions about your health prior to your accident as well as your health since the accident took place. The doctor may also undertake an examination of your injuries and ask you to perform some movements to establish the extent of the damage.

The medical expert may also request sight of your medical records in order to prepare their report and in the event they do, we will obtain copies of your records for the experts consideration. This information all goes towards the report, which gives an expert opinion on how your accident has affected you. Both you and your solicitor are able to check that you are happy with this, and then sign a medical agreement form to report that the information is correct.

Can I choose a doctor close to where I live to examine me for my personal injury claim?

You cannot choose a specific doctor that you want to carry out your examination. We will arrange an appointment with a trusted and qualified medical professional that is as local to you as possible. Not all medical experts are qualified to prepare reports for personal injury cases and the medical experts who prepare reports are required to be qualified medico legal experts and to have undergone the relevant training.

A claimant is also not able to choose their own GP to undertake the examination, if indeed their GP is qualified to prepare medico legal reports, as the medical expert has to be independent and cannot be their own GP or doctor as this could lead to a conflict of interest and may result in he third party insurers trying to discredit the medical evidence.

Do I need to attend a medical if I’m no longer injured?

In the majority of cases you have up to three years from the date of your accident to make a claim, which means it is possible that any symptoms you suffered from as a result have subsided completely by the time you take your case to a solicitor. Even if you are no longer injured, it is still important that we obtain an official medial report from a doctor. This will assist us in establishing the extent of your suffering and how long it took you to recover. It is important that you still attend your appointment even if you are not in pain anymore, as it will help us to secure the correct amount of compensation for you.

How are personal injury claims calculated?

The amount of compensation you can receive varies greatly from case to case. It will depend upon the extent of your illness or injury which you suffered as a result of your accident, the type of injury or illness you suffered from and how this impacted on your life. Personal injury claim valuations are predominantly based on the diagnosis and prognosis given within the medical report by the medical expert and the valuations given are based on case law of similar injuries that have occurred in other similar accidents and proceeded to court.

What is a pre-medical offer?

A pre-medical offer is an offer of compensation made by the defendant’s insurance company at the same time they admit liability for the accident and before a medial examination has taken place to report the extent of your injuries. If you accept a pre-medical offer this means you will not have to undergo a medical examination, however we would always advise clients to undergo the medical examination if they have ongoings symptoms to ensure they receive the correct compensation for the injuries they have sustained.

Will I have to go to court?

Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court and will usually only go to court if a settlement could not be agreed in the early stages of your claim, the other party is unresponsive or there is a dispute in relation to liability. If your case is taken to court for disputed damages awards you will most likely will not have to appear in court as we will represent you. If for instance, your case proceeds to court in the event liability is disputed, you may have to attend court and give evidence and we will discuss all possibilities with you before committing to issuing proceedings in any case.

How long following a road traffic accident do I have to claim?

Adults have three years from the date of their accident to make a claim. If a claim has not been settled or Court Proceedings have not been issued by the 3rd anniversary of the accident, a claim may be considered ‘time-barred’ leaving you ineligible for compensation.

For children who have sustained injury as a result of an accident the three-year time limit still applies, however a child has three years from the date of their 18th birthday in which to process a claim.

A claim processed after the date of a child’s 18th birthday must have either settled or Court proceedings issued before they reach their 21st birthday. Again their claim may be considered ‘time-barred’ leaving them ineligible for compensation if either of the above has not been completed.

What if I’m involved in a hit and run, or if there’s no insurance? Can I still make a claim?

If you have been involved in a hit and run incident, making a claim becomes more complicated. If the vehicle can be traced, you will be able to make a claim against the driver’s insurance company. However, it may turn out that the driver was uninsured, which means they have no means to pay you damages. If this is the case then a claim can be made with the Motor Insurers Bureau under the uninsured drivers agreement and we can assist you in these matters. Alternatively if you are unable to locate the driver, we can submit a claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau on your behalf under the untraced drivers agreement.

How cases are funded

At IMS Law our claims are funded on a No Win, No Fee basis, which is known as a ‘conditional fee agreement.’

With a No Win, No Fee agreement, there are no financial risks to you. You do not pay any upfront costs to start a claim and you will only be required to contribute towards your legal fees if your claim is successful.

In the event your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay us anything.

If we are successful in assisting you in securing compensation after a road traffic accident, the contribution you make is capped at 25% from the award you receive. At IMS Law we fully explain funding arrangements during our initial consultation.

What does no win no fee mean?

A no win no fee agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor, which means that if you are unsuccessful in pursuing your claim, you will not have to pay any legal fees.

What happens if I change my mind about claiming?

You have the right to change your mind at any time during the claims process, you just have to contact your solicitor and advise as to why you do not wish to continue.

Do I have to attend your offices to make a claim?

Although our office is open Mon-Fri from 9am until 5pm, you do not have to attend in person to be able to make a claim. You can call us on 01744 612549 or email to speak to one of our trained legal advisors regarding your situation completely free of charge and without obligation to claim.

Can I still make a claim if a road accident was partly my fault?

The only circumstance in which you will not be eligible to make a claim is if an accident was entirely your fault. You will be able to make a claim if both you and the other party are partly to blame for the incident and may for instance accept liability on a 50/50 basis which means you would accept that you and the other driver were equally at fault. Accepting an offer on a 50% liability basis would also mean that your compensation award is reduced by 50% reflecting the partial liability you took in the matter.

Does car insurance go up after an accident?

Unfortunately many insurance companies may increase your insurance premiums in the event of an accident regardless of who is at fault even if you don’t make a claim. Once the claim/liability aspect is resolved, the insurance companies should then look to resolve matters and reduce your payments. However this is subject to your insurance policy and the details contained within.

My claim has settled but I am still waiting to receive payment?

The amount of time it takes to receive payment after your claim has been settled can vary, but normally it can take between 4-6 weeks, if not sooner. The compensation is paid by the defendants insurance company so the cheque has to be released by them first before you can receive any payments.

Can I claim on behalf of a family member?

Anybody who is injured in any type of no-fault accident may be eligible to claim compensation for their injuries. In most cases, the injured person is the one who speaks directly to a personal injury solicitor and liaises with them throughout the claim. If the claimant is too ill to do this or too young, a family member or friend may speak to the personal injury solicitor on their behalf.

If the injured person is a minor or an adult who lacks the mental ability to make decisions, they need a person capable who will look out for their welfare and protect their legal rights. This person is known as a litigation friend. A litigation friend could be a parent, guardian, family member, friend, professional advocate or social worker, a solicitor or someone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney.

I have received an ‘interim payment’ for a claim. Does this mean I am accepting this as a final offer?

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim whilst we try to pursue a further amount for you. This does not mean you are accepting this payment as a final offer.

Can you take over my claim from another solicitors?

In most circumstances, yes. However, it all depends upon your specific case and the stage it is currently at with your existing solicitor. Call us on 01744 612549 or email us at to see how we can help.

Can I claim if my accident made my existing symptoms worse?

Yes. You are able to claim for new illness or injury you have obtained as a result of your accident as well as any worsening of any pre-existing symptoms you may have suffered with.

Free initial consultation

At IMS Law we offer a free, no obligation initial consultation, call 01744 612549 for instant support.

Get in touch with us

Where to find us

89 Corporation Street
St Helens,
WA10 1SX
Call: 01744 612549

Mon to Fri – 9:00 to 17:00

Corporation Street, Saint Helens WA10 1SX, UK

Request Callback