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Road Traffic Accident

Road traffic accident compensation claim

June 19, 2024

If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident as the driver or passenger in a vehicle, a motorcyclist, a pedal cyclist, or a pedestrian, you may be able to claim compensation. 

What are road traffic accidents?

Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are incidents that involve at least one vehicle and result in damage or injury to people, animals, other vehicles, or property.

Common road traffic accident causes

The main causes of road traffic accidents are:

  • Distracted driving: If a driver is texting, making calls, eating, tuning the radio, grooming, or drinking, their full attention is not on the road, making an accident more likely.
  • Aggressive driving: Drivers who tailgate (meaning they drive too close to other cars), weave in and out of traffic put drivers, pedestrians, and others at greater risk.
  • Drunk or drug driving: Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is particularly dangerous as reaction times, coordination, and judgement are severely impaired.
  • Fatigue: Not dissimilar to drunk or drug drivers, drivers experiencing drowsiness are slower to respond to changes in road and traffic conditions and more likely to make errors.
  • Reckless driving: Unpredictable behaviour and not following the rules of the road with actions like changing lanes quickly and ignoring stop signs and red traffic lights make accidents more likely.
  • Road conditions: Driving on roads with uneven surfaces or potholes is riskier because of the effect on vehicle handling, tire traction, and braking ability.
  • Speeding: Speeding reduces the reaction time drivers have to respond to changes in traffic and road conditions.
  • Vehicle defects: Brake failures, steering issues, and tyre blowouts are among a range mechanical failures that can lead to accidents.
  • Weather conditions: It’s much harder to steer on slippery roads caused by rain, ice or snow.

Common traffic accident injuries

RTAs cause a wide range of injuries from minor to severe. Below are some of possible injuries resulting from RTAs:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when your head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backwards and forwards. Symptoms include headaches, stiffness, and neck pain.
  • Neck injuries: These can range from soft tissue injuries like muscle strains to more serious conditions like disc injuries, nerve damage, or even breaks and dislocations.
  • Head injuries: In some accidents, you might suffer mild concussion and headaches. The most serious accidents may result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) if your head hits the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, or car frame with great force.
  • Facial injuries: Depending on the severity and type of collision, you may experience cuts and bruises to the face, severe dental damage, and fractures.
  • Back injuries: Road traffic accidents can cause a range of injuries from sprains and strains in less serious cases to herniated discs and fractured vertebrae in more serious cases which can be extremely painful and limit mobility.
  • Spinal cord injuries: The impact experienced by your back and neck in a car accident can lead to a range of spinal injuries from nerve damage to paralysis and loss of function.


  • Limb injuries: Broken bones, dislocated joints and limb damage can occur from the impact of a collision. In the most severe accidents, amputation may be necessary.
  • Psychological injuries: Many people involved in an RTA experience emotional impacts from their experience from travel and driving anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

How to make a road traffic accident claim

You can make a road traffic accident claim if:

  • You were injured in a road traffic accident as a vehicle driver or passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, pedal cyclist, or horse rider.
  • You were not responsible for the accident.

If you believe this is the case with you, please contact one of our auto accident lawyers as soon as you can on 0330 013 0247, by email, or by completing our “Make a Claim” form.

How much time do I have to claim?

You can make a road traffic accident claim within three years of:

  • The date of the accident
  • The date on which you discovered you were injured as a result of the accident.

In certain cases, a court may extend this time limit. However, this is not guaranteed so you should speak to a car crash lawyer as soon as you can following the accident.

If you were under 18 at the time of the accident, you have three years from the date on which you turn 18 to make a claim.

If a person making a claim has a mental disability, there is no time limit. However, when a person recovers from a period of reduced mental capacity, a three-year time limit begins at this point.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

Some car accident attorneys, including the ones here at Fletchers, operate on a contingency fee basis. This is better known as a “no-win, no-fee” arrangement,

What this means is that, if a road traffic accident solicitor believes you have strong enough legal grounds to claim compensation, they will charge you a percentage of the total compensation you receive. That’s only payable after an agreement has been reached with the other side.

If your car crash lawyer is unsuccessful, you don’t pay them anything.

Why choose Fletchers Solicitors?

We are one of the UK’s leading personal injury compensation law firms. In the 30 years we’ve been here, we’ve grown from a team of nine to over 700 members of staff.

The Times newspaper rates us as one of the UK’s leading legal firms. We’re also recognised by the prestigious Legal 500 and Chamber & Partners organisations.

We know that pursuing a legal case after your road traffic accident can seem daunting.

We’re always here to listen and answer any questions you may have. You can reach out to us at any time. Rest assured, we will support you every step of the way throughout your case.

Road traffic accident cases

Managing your case will be one of the UK’s leading auto accident lawyers. Settlements we’ve achieved recently for clients involved in RTAs include:

  • Jack: We first met Jack after a friend recommended he contact us following a car accident. The RTA left Jack with a spinal cord injury that affected both his balance and mobility.

    We secured Jack with a settlement he and his family were very happy with. Since then, he has passed his driving test and has taken up wheelchair basketball.

  • Janice: Janice was involved in a motorcycle accident which caused a brain injury. She had trouble walking afterwards and also experienced issues with her vision and memory.

    We represented Janice as she pursued compensation for the changes in her life caused by the RTA. She’s very happy with the outcome we achieved. Now, she happily spends her time caring for animals and indulging her love of ballroom dancing.

  • Mike: Like Janice, Mike was involved in a motorbike accident. He was left with a serious back injury that greatly impacted his quality of life. We managed Mike’s claim, securing an admission of full liability from the other party.

    Mike still loves to get out on his motorbike and is currently aiming to build a career working with bikes, including as part of the Blood Bike team.

Road traffic accident claims experts

Choose Fletchers to represent you with your road traffic accident claim and you’ll be represented by experienced RTA solicitors like Mary Lomas, Jayne Orme, and Julia Eyton.

Their track record gives you the confidence in knowing that, from start to finish, your claim is being expertly managed. They and their team pride themselves on the level and quality of service they provide to clients at all stages so you’re always up to date with the latest developments.

To speak with one of our road traffic accident solicitors, please call 0330 013 0247, email us, or complete our “Make a Claim” form.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most common motorcycle accident?

The most common motorcycle accidents occur when a rider (or driver of a vehicle involved in an incident) doesn’t look properly, fails to judge another’s direction or speed, is in a hurry, or is being reckless or careless. Motorcycle accidents also occur because of excessive speeding, loss of control, and inexperienced riders or drivers.

Find out more about our motorcycle accident claims service.


How safe is cycling on UK roads?

There are fewer cyclist fatalities on British roads today than they were ten years ago. Accidents are more likely to happen on built-up and urban roads however accidents on rural roads are more likely to result in fatalities.

Find out more about our bicycle accident claims service.

How much compensation for whiplash and anxiety in the UK?

Compensation for whiplash caused as a result of a road traffic accident ranges from £240 to £4,215. If you experience shock or anxiety as a result of your whiplash injury, the compensation you receive may range from £260 to £4,345.

Who pays compensation after a car accident?

The organisation that pays compensation to you after a car accident is the insurer of the other party if they’re found at fault. If the other party is uninsured or has broken the terms of their insurance policy, your solicitor will approach the Motor Insurers Bureau to seek compensation for you.

How long does it take to receive an offer of compensation?

Once your solicitor has reached an agreement over the amount of compensation you’ll be paid with the other party’s insurer or the Motor Insurers Bureau, you’ll generally be paid within 5 to 14 days. If it goes to court, you should expect to receive your settlement within 21 days. The legal process up to this point though, can range between a few months and a couple of years, depending on the severity and complexity of your case.

Related information and guides

For more information on road traffic accident claims, Fletchers Solicitors provide the following resources: