Claiming Compensation after a Car Crash – The Basics

With more and more cars and drivers on the road these days, the chances of being involved in a car accident are increasing. Of course that’s not to scaremonger – driving safely and defensively can reduce the threat of being involved in a nasty collision or worse. But it’s always good to be prepared for any eventuality. And in the case of a car crash, that doesn’t just mean knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath – it also extends to considering whether you have a valid personal injury claim.

The fundamental question therefore is

Can you claim compensation for an injury incurred as a result of a car crash? And the short answer is: yes, of course, in principle you can make a claim. What it comes down to (as with all personal injury claims) is the circumstances surrounding your claim.

Let’s start with the most important issue of all: who is at fault? Because establishing who is at fault is central to whether you will be able to pursue a claim. It’s common sense really. To be able to claim for compensation you need to be able to provide evidence that the accident and any injury you suffered as a result were the direct or indirect result of another party’s behaviour. Most commonly that will refer to reckless or illegal driving manoeuvres on the part of another driver, but sometimes may stretch to the actions of pedestrians  or the intervention of other parties. The facts are key.

To establish the facts of the accident, it’s important to gather as much information as you can from the moment the accident happens. The trouble is of course, that we’re only human and after the inevitable trauma of being involved in a car accident, it’s not always easy to think straight. But that’s where a reliable witness at the scene of the accident can prove to be truly invaluable.

Witness statements are often used in the course of making personal injury claims. Along with medical evidence from a medical professional (specialist, GP, etc), they can form the backbone of a claim and add weight to your version of events. But what if you don’t have witnesses?

Well, it’s not always the case that being without witnesses in the event of claiming after a car crash will jeopardise your case. So being in that position shouldn’t necessarily deter you from making a claim. However, it is important to accept the advice of a trusted and reliable personal injury lawyer, even if they conclude that your claim will have little or no chance of success.  Pursuing a claim doggedly in the face of definitive legal advice or facts which overwhelmingly point to there being no-one at fault, will only waste time and money and is more bother than its worth for all concerned.