Road traffic accidents unfortunately are an ever increasing occurrence. With the amount of cars on the roads doubling it's not hard to see why there are so many accidents. Every morning in the school term time the emergency services are called out to accidents where a school child has been knocked down by a car. However as sad as it is the figures are falling and in 2007 the amount of children killed due to road traffic accidents was at its lowest ever recorded figure.
According to the Department for Transport there were 247,780 road casualties in Great Britain in 2007 which is 4 per cent less than in 2006. 182,115 out of those involved personal injury which is 4 per cent fewer than in 2006. Sadly 27,036 accidents involved death or serious injury but again it is 3 per cent fewer than in 2006.
The number of children killed or seriously injured in 2007 was 3,090 which is down 6 per cent on the year before. 121 of those children died which is 28 per cent fewer than in 2006. If you are a driver then you are bound to experience a crash or accident at some point in your driving life. Most likely the injuries you receive will be quite minor cuts and bruises or mild whiplash; however some people receive a lot more severe.
If you have just recently or within the last 3 years been involved in a read traffic accident that was not your fault then you will be entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. Many people who have suffered due to injuries caused by a road traffic accident don't put in for a claim. These people may be scared of legal fees and worried about the stress that might be involved but the stress is minimal and the cost is nothing. You used to be able to claim legal aid to cover the legal costs but this was changed to make it fairer for the rest of the population. A person who suffers because of an accident that wasn't their fault should be allowed to claim compensation regardless of their income. This is why they brought out “CFA" agreements or better known as “No Win No Fee" agreements. These came into place in 1999 when legal aid was dropped for personal injury claims. With “no win no fee" agreements anybody of any background and financial status can enlist the work of a solicitor or lawyer to claim accident compensation. In basic terms the solicitor is taking on your case and working for free. Once the claim is won they can then get their legal fees from the losing party. However if your case is unsuccessful there is ‘after the event’ insurance that will cover your costs. So either way you can't loose. Also a lawyer will not take the case on unless they are 99.9% sure they will win.
Claiming compensation does have a bit of a stigma attached to it thanks to America's compensation culture. But they do have a point. If you have an accident then you should be compensated especially if you lost wages due to time off work and hospital appointments. Remember as well as physical pain and suffering there is also mental and emotional pain and suffering that needs to be compensated for. And not claiming will be more lose. The amount of damages you are entitled to will depend on the severity of your suffering. If the pain was minimal but the emotional pain was a lot more severe then this will get taken into consideration when working out your compensation award.
So if you have had an accident recently you should write down all the details as soon as possible while it is fresh in your mind. Take a note of the date and time of the accident and any witness's names and addresses. Then contact an accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. They should be able to tell you straight away what the chances are of a successful claim, plus they won't take you on unless they are confident.
Finally, remember it is your civil and legal right to claim for compensation. All of the expenses and damages come from insurance companies and we all know they make plenty of money. So don't delay, claim what is rightly yours today.
Carolyn is the webmaster of Accident Consultant experts in road traffic accident claims , and personal injury claims .