Making a Claim After a Car Accident

Being involved in a road traffic accident is stressful and traumatic, particularly if you have suffered an injury. And what can make the experience even more traumatic is a lengthy or drawn out claim for compensation which involves a court case and legal wrangling on all sides. This is why it may be a good idea to seek guidance on accident claims.


The road traffic accident claim process really begins the moment you have the accident, even if you don’t formally make your claim for a few months or even years after the accident (you can start a claim process up to three years after you have your accident) The first thing to establish is who was at fault. Legally, the person said to be at fault is the driver who broke the traffic law; for example, someone who ran a red light, was speeding, or was driving under the influence. It may also have been the case that someone pulled out into the road without properly checking for oncoming traffic. In this instance the driver would have been driving without due care and is to blame for the accident.

All insurance companies will advise their customers not to admit fault in the event of an accident, so if you do have an incident, it’s unlikely that the driver at fault will rush over to say sorry straight away. This is why it may be important to get the police involved immediately so that a thorough investigation can be initiated in order to establish what happened. If there were any witnesses to the accident then it’s important to get their details as it may help your claim if they provide a statement to explain what they saw and back up your version of events.

Once you’ve decided to make a claim, it will be up to the other driver’s insurance company to pay the compensation. In most cases, the process should be pretty straightforward, but if both parties are disputing what happened then you will need to ensure you have the best legal representation to make sure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Wherever possible, choose a legal firm that specialises in this area of law, as they will have lots of experience in dealing with tricky claims and will work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for you. For the most part, your insurance company will provide you with a lawyer since the money comes out from their pocket if you lose.

Photo by Luis Tamayo.

About the Author

By , on Dec 27, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of

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  1. Jason More says:

    Keep in mind that you should be able to prove that another person was at fault for your road accident. Any kind of personal injury claim demands evidence, and it is considered one of the most vital features of a successful claim. However, you must be sure that when you are choosing your representative, he or she has the right qualifications/experience to deal with your case effectively.

  2. Being on the other side, I would also caution against trying to get as much money as possible out of the other party. If you go over their insurance limits, your insurance company will then go after the other driver. If they can’t pay, then all you are doing is ruining someones life over money you aren’t even getting!

  3. Pauline says:

    Me too! But with injuries it is very hard to determine what is fair and I would rather forget it and go on with life than having a painful experience waiting years to try and get what is mine, if the resolution is not straightforward.

  4. Michelle says:

    I still wish that I would have made a claim after one of my accidents!

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