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Claiming compensation after a road traffic accident

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to sufficient compensation to put you back in the same position you enjoyed before the accident. Financial compensation falls into two broad categories and is intended to:

Special damages

  • Allow repairs or replacement of any of your property that has been damaged;
  • Compensate you for wages or salary you have actually lost and that which you have the capacity to earn in the future;
  • Cover the costs of any medical expenses you may have incurred as a result of your injuries, together with any medical expenses you might need to pay in the future;
  • Since these are damages which may be calculated according to actual prices, they are also known as “economic” damages;

General damages

  • Also known as “non-economic” damages, these represent your entitlement to losses that are less easily quantifiable in money terms, and include compensation for;
  • The physical pain and suffering you have been caused;
  • Psychological damage and mental anguish;
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement;
  • Reduced quality of life;
  • Loss of companionship – if the accident has resulted in the death of a spouse or other close family member.

Making your claim

Following any road traffic accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to claim both special and general damages.

But it is apparent that the whole question of calculating damages – particularly general damages – is likely to be very complicated if you have suffered any kind of physical injury. It is one thing to be entitled to damages, therefore, and quite another to ensure that you receive the full compensation which you are due.

If you were driving a car that was involved in the accident, your insurance company is obliged to help pursue your claim for damages. Insurance companies have considerable experience and expertise when it comes to seeking general damages in particular and you are likely to submit your claim to such an insurer in the first instance.

However, insurers typically refer questions involving personal injury and claims for the related special and general damages to specialist lawyers with whom they are accustomed to dealing.

You might have greater confidence and the reassurance of a professional working exclusively in your own interests, however, if you instruct your own legal experts – such as the team here at Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors.

If you were not driving when involved in the traffic accident or have no insurance cover for the damage sustained, of course, then there may be even greater reason for your instructing your own firm of solicitors.

A certain amount of background to instructing solicitors to handle your personal injury claim is contained on the government website. Having chosen your firm of solicitors, the process is simple and straight forward and set in motion by your describing the circumstances of the road traffic accident in which you were involved and the nature and extent of the injuries you sustained.

After that, every aspect of your claim is handled by your appointed solicitor and you may sit back in confidence that they will be working hard to get you your cheque in full and fair settlement of your claim.

 

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