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Car accidents - making a compensation claim

A car accident can be defined as an unintentional damaging event involving one or more cars. They may damage other vehicles or property and cause personal injuries to car passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Worldwide, around 1.2 million people die as a result of car accidents every year and around 50 million more sustain personal injuries. 1,675 of these fatalities occurred in the UK during 2005.

Those injuries most commonly sustained as a result of car accidents include whiplash injuries, back injuries, chest injuries and head injuries.

Why car accidents occur

The phrase "car accident" is slightly ambiguos since as many as nine out of ten of all car accidents in the UK are a result of driver negligence. Speeding, tailgating, driving without qualification, driver fatigue, drink driving, drug driving and driving while ill are all preventable causes of car accidents. Read more about reckless driving.

Other causes of car accidents include driver distractions, poor road or weather conditions, poor road design and layout and mechanical failure.

Car accidents and the law

Many car accidents occur as a result of reckless driving which is a serious motoring offence. For some minor driving offences, such as travelling at 35 miles per hour in a 30 zone, a monetary fine or a few points on your licence may be an appropriate penalty. However, a driver who kills or causes personal injuries while driving recklessly is more than likely to face a jail sentence.

What to do following a car accident

Although you are likely to be in a state of shock and confusion following a car accident there are some very important steps that can be taken which may not only save a life but could prove useful if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

By law, you are required to stop if involved in a car accident otherwise you will be seen as committing a hit and run offence. You should also exchange insurance details and identification information with the other parties involved and inform the police that the accident has occurred.

You should also observe the accident scene and call an ambulance if anyone has been injured. You should then wait for the emergency services to arrive before departing.

If possible also, make a note of the events that led up to the accident, either sketch or take a photograph of the accident scene and obtain the details of any witnesses. This information may be vital if you decide to make a car accident claim.

Car accident prevention

The Government is active in reducing car accident incidence rates in the UK. Specifically, THINK! campaigns have been established to help make drivers more aware of the hazards involved when driving.

Television, radio and poster campaigns have all been utilised to raise awareness about issues such as drink driving, speeding and driving while fatigued. These support the Government's road safety initiative which aims to reduce the number of casualties caused by car accidents by 2010.

Making a car accident claim

The majority of our personal injury solicitors are members of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), which aims to bring justice to those who have been involved in road traffic accidents.

We can help you to claim for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, medical costs such as prescriptions and any valuables that were lost or damaged during the car accident.

Our personal injury solicitors have an excellent success rate, will offer you free legal advice and guide you through each stage of your claim, fighting to get you the most compensation available for your personal injury.

We offer a no win, no fee service to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Just fill out an online claim assessment form or call our 24-hour claim team on 0800 197 32 32 to make a car accident claim today.