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Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 22 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Accident Claim Small Claims Court

A road traffic accident compensation claim may be dealt with in the small claims court if:

  • The value of the claim is £5000 or less; and,
  • The value of any claim for damages for personal injuries suffered is £1000 or less.
People may claim for injuries or damage suffered in a road accident whether they were in a car, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or if they were a pedestrian.

Do I Have a Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?

Compensation may be payable in a car or motorcycle accident claim if:
  • Your property or vehicle was damaged as a result of the accident; and / or,
  • Any injury resulted from the accident. Injury can range from very minor injuries - such as bruising - to death. However, because of the strict rules which apply to the value of personal injury claims in the small claims court it is likely that only very minor injuries would be dealt with at this level.
  • What To Do if You Are Involved in a Road Traffic Accident

    Anyone who is involved in a road traffic accident should stop if any injury or damage (whether to a vehicle or any other property) resulted from the accident. Names and addresses of all involved should be obtained and those involved may have to provide insurance details. The accident should be reported to the police within 24 hours.

    If the other person or people involved do not stop the registration and make of their vehicle should be noted. Depending on the circumstances of the accident the police may attempt to trace the driver. Alternatively, individuals can request the details of the registered keeper of a vehicle from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

    Uninsured Drivers

    All drivers on the road should, as a matter of law, have insurance to cover any damage or injury caused to a third party. The insurance company of a driver at fault will then pay compensation to any third parties who suffer injuries or damage as a result of the driver’s actions. However, it is a fact of life that there are many uninsured vehicles on the road. In 2007 the insurance industry stated that 10% of all road traffic accidents were caused by uninsured drivers.

    The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) is a limited company funded by all insurance companies who provide cover for motorists. The purpose of the MIB is to compensate road users who suffer injury or damage at the hands of an uninsured driver. Individuals may make claims directly to the MIB.

    Road Traffic Accident Cases in the Small Claims Court

    If a road traffic accident claim is allocated to the small claims court directions will be given to help both sides prepare for the final hearing. In most small claims court cases the directions given will be very simple. Usually the parties will be told to send copies of all the documents they intend to use at the hearing to the other side and to the court at least two weeks before the hearing.

    In road traffic accident claims the court is likely to give more detailed directions because it will need specific types of evidence to help it decide the case. The court is likely to direct that parties provide copies of:

    • Witness statements for themselves and any witnesses;
    • Invoices and estimates for any repairs carried out;
    • Invoices and agreements in relation to the cost of any replacement car hire which is being claimed;
    • Any Police report on the accident;
    • Photographs of the location of the accident and any damage caused;
    • A sketch showing how the accident occurred.
    The parties will also be told to bring the originals of all documents with them to the hearing.

    Most small claims court hearings will take no longer than a few hours and can be much shorter – especially if one side does not attend. One or either party may be represented by a lawyer, however, the usual small claims court restrictions on the recovery of legal costs apply.

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    Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
    Hi All, A courier driver did a hit n run on my parked car in front of my house - I had witnesses so could track the van and person down. The van was a rental vehicle - contacted the manager who was the owner as well. He did not agree to pay for the estimated cost but confirmed in writing - I also raised the above with the police. As he was refused to give his insurance details out but accepted liability I contacted MIB and submitted a small claim. In the meantime I received a compensation from MIB for the damage caused to the car - but my court case is still ongoing. I do not want more than that just teach the person a lesson that he could not get away with every thing here. Can you please advise me whether I should inform the court of the compensation and cancel the claim or can I still proceed with that despite the fact I received compensation for the damage.
    IK - 22-Nov-17 @ 9:58 PM
    Kel - Your Question:
    Hello, I was stationery in a car park waiting to go into a parking bay and I guy driving past turned to soon and crashed into the back end of my car and carried on driving and scraped all down the side. He stopped and we exchanged details both our cars had big superficial damage. I have texts with him admitting to it being his fault and he said sorry and can I not go through his insurance, I gave him a few days to try get the money together after I got a quote for the damage he said he would pay but took to long so I went through my insurance. My insurance then informed me that because he won't answer the phone they can't do anything about it. It has been over a year now and my car is still damaged as I can't afford the repairs. I want to take him to small claims court to recover the cost and get it fixed. How do I do this?

    Our Response:
    Please see link here. It will show you how to complain and how/whether you can trace the person who smashed into you. If you get this far, the texts will be good evidence to help your case. You have six years from the date of the accident to bring this to court.
    AboutSmallClaims - 21-Aug-17 @ 10:59 AM
    Hello, I was stationery in a car park waiting to go into a parking bay and I guy driving past turned to soon and crashed into the back end of my car and carried on driving and scraped all down the side. He stopped and we exchanged details both our cars had big superficial damage. I have texts with him admitting to it being his fault and he said sorry and can I not go through his insurance, I gave him a few days to try get the money together after I got a quote for the damage he said he would pay but took to long so I went through my insurance. My insurance then informed me that because he won't answer the phone they can't do anything about it. It has been over a year now and my car is still damaged as I can't afford the repairs. I want to take him to small claims court to recover the cost and get it fixed. How do I do this?
    Kel - 19-Aug-17 @ 11:23 AM
    Hello i was working away and I had a phone call to say a guy from work who didn't have any insurance on his car and was drink driving has crashed into my car, the back end of my car is smashed to bits and the boot doesn't shut properly anymore because it's a rear wheel drive bmw 5 series and the amount the vehicle has moved since he hit is a lot, I keep getting told I have to go through my insurance company but why should I lose out on money and NCB and be without my pride and joy and out of pocket because of someone who's drink drived and crashed into my car can i take the individual to court
    Adz - 27-Feb-17 @ 10:18 PM
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