Road Traffic Accident Claims: Compensation and Damages

Road Traffic Accident Claims: Compensation and Damages
5 min read

Road traffic accidents can have a serious impact on anyone involved, including drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Injuries can cause significant damage to property, result in medical bills and lost income, and change your quality of life. Compensation is awarded to address these losses and provide you with some financial security after the accident. To do this, a valuation of your injuries needs to be made.

Calculating Compensation

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, it is likely that your injuries will impact on many areas of your life. These impacts can be financial (such as loss of earnings or medical expenses) but also can include physical symptoms and the impact on your quality of life. In order to claim compensation for these losses, it is important that you are able to provide evidence of the harms you have suffered.

This evidence can be in the form of medical reports, CCTV footage or photographs of the accident scene, witness testimony or expert opinion. It is important to gather this evidence as early as possible after the accident so that it can be used in support of your claim.

One of the most common kinds of road traffic accidents involve car collisions. This may be another vehicle cutting you up on a roundabout, changing lanes into yours or reversing into yours in a car park. In these cases, it is important to exchange details with the other driver such as their insurance company and contact details. It is also a good idea to take photos of the accident scene including the post-impact position of each vehicle and any damage to both vehicles. You should also take note of the time & date, weather conditions and street/vehicle lighting.

Economic Damages

For many people, being involved in a motor vehicle collision can be devastating. Not only does it lead to serious physical injuries but also significant intangible harm that can be difficult to quantify. It is important that you consult a solicitor to discuss the consequences of your road traffic accident and how best to approach the compensation process.

Your specialised legal team can assess the extent of your losses and determine the value of your claim for special damages (also known as economic damages). These are payments made by the at-fault party to cover costs that have a measurable financial impact. They include medical expenses, loss of income, and vehicle property damage.

In a car crash, this may include the cost of repairs to your vehicle or other cars involved in the crash as well as any lost income or wages if you have been prevented from working while you recover. We will review receipts, invoices and other financial documents to calculate how much you are owed in special damages.

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Non-Economic Damages

For most victims of road traffic accidents, the most significant costs are their economic damages. This includes things like medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and loss of income due to injury. These are concrete numbers that can be clearly calculated with receipts and other evidence.

In contrast, the 'general' or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are not as easy to quantify. It is hard to put a dollar value on the physical and emotional suffering you have experienced due to your injuries.

However, it is important to note that these types of damages are not exempt from compensation. Your solicitor will be able to establish the amount of your non-economic damages, and this is typically determined by using one of two methods.

The most common method involves establishing a fair daily rate based on your injuries, the impact on your life expectancy, and other factors. Then, the total of your economic damages is multiplied by this number to determine the total damage award for general damages. This is known as the per diem method. Alternatively, the general damages can be established by adding up your special medical and other quantifiable damages and multiplying that sum by a figure between 1.5 and 5 (this is known as the multiplier). The higher the multiplier, the more your non-economic damages will be.

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Tom Cruise 17
American actor & Producer
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