Road traffic accidents are no respecters of national identity – they can happen anywhere at any time. But if you’re living in the UK, what are the rules governing where you can claim if you are involved in an accident? After all, we’re all British aren’t we?
Whatever your views on that subject, the hard facts are that the UK is made up of 3 countries and a province: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. And there are distinctions between how you would make a personal injury claim in each part. The most significant difference exists in Scotland, which has its own distinct legal system.
So, does that mean things are much more complicated in Scotland if you think you have a valid claim for compensation after a road traffic accident? The simple answer is: no. But there are certain differences you need to be aware of – most significantly where you make a claim. Time to take a look at those differences in a little more detail.
Where to claim in Scotland
If you suffer an injury after a road traffic accident in Scotland and you think you have a claim for compensation, you need to make that claim through the Scottish courts. And to do this you need to use a Scottish solicitor or rather a Scottish solicitor firm with lawyers qualified in Scots law. Because remember, the law is different from English law.
For example, ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements for whiplash injuries do not apply in Scotland. That said, there are some similarities between the law in England in Scotland.
But the geography does matter. Put simply, if you have suffered the injury due to an accident within Scotland’s borders, you need to claim through our courts system and use a Scottish solicitor. Does that mean you have to travel to Scotland, if you don’t live here?
Not necessarily. You can conduct your business with a Scottish solicitor remotely, through email, post and telephone. But you need to be aware that if the case came to court in Scotland, you would need to attend the hearing in person. That’s not something to be intimidated by – it’s standard practice. And your presence does not in any way indicate a flaw in the case or that somehow your version of events is ‘on trial’.
Overall, however, as with any personal injury claim of this nature, the first port of call after the trauma of the accident and any medical attention, is to consult a reliable and trusted personal injury lawyer. At Watermans, we have a team with the experience and expertise to help you through the process in Scotland and make it as stress-free as we can. Our compensation calculator can also give you an idea of how much you could claim.