There’s a saying that every road traffic accident is preventable, and in a way, it’s true. About 50 million injuries occur because of incidents involving vehicles. In an accident, drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and cyclists are all, legally, entitled to compensation if injuries sustained aren’t their fault. The hard part is proving it.
Understanding the intricacies of injury claims is a job best left for lawyers, but the basics and the process you’re likely to experience are invaluable pieces of knowledge to have if the unfortunate happens.
First Things First
While there are plenty of types of injury claim, we recommend the same course of action regardless of the specific circumstances of your claim. Contacting a lawyer is one of the first things you consider in the event of a road accident, second only to medical treatment if needed. Legal advisors can provide aid by assessing key aspects immediately and often offer this as a no-fee service. The fundamentals are:
- The potential defendant in the case owed you (the claimant) a “duty of care”. Typically, in a claim, proof of this is the foundation of any successful claim.
- That “duty of care” was compromised due to negligent behavior on the part of the defendant.
- That proven injury was sustained because of the incident.
These might seem obvious, but no matter the type of injury claim, each is judged by these basic facts. If a lawyer feels these factors are likely provable, they’ll proceed with a claim.
A Helping Hand
You can do your part to support your own case by working closely with your legal team to locate key evidence that often features in road accident claims. This evidence could be:
- Dashcam footage
- Witness testimony
- Driver details
- Medical evidence
- Photographic proof
These pieces of evidence can be hugely helpful for not only winning a case but also closing a claim quickly. Many claims aren’t challenged and settled in arbitration if these sorts of iron-clad evidence are collated early on.
Proof Of Intent
Negligence is a nebulous term to some extent. Lawyers look for some very common behaviors from a defendant to prove negligence that are most common in road accidents. These can include actions like:
- Driving Recklessly: This could be something like braking unexpectedly or showboating in their driving style.
- Speeding: A very common and relatively easy to prove with speed cameras, speeding is clear proof of negligence.
- Driving Dangerously: Different to reckless driving, dangerous driving can include being under the influence of a substance or aggressively.
- Driving Mistakes: Pulling out of junctions incorrectly is a very common example of negligent driving.
- Being Distracted: A driver being distracted by, for example, a passenger, is a more complex form of negligence and often results in sharing of culpability if distractions are provable.
While road traffic accidents are obviously very difficult and unpleasant events to go through, you can take some solace that you’re unlikely to have to experience the stress of a courtroom. Many road accidents and injury claims are settled out of court. Often this is because of the abundance of surveillance on the roads and witnesses who can testify to events.
Another comfort is that your injuries, whether physical or mental, are all considered and can be compensated if evidence can be presented. Recovering from injuries can often be an isolating thing, but thankfully the legal process should afford you the dignity, justice and opportunity to be fairly compensated when these unfortunate incidents do happen.
And after all, forewarned is forearmed.