How Long Do Car Accident Claims Take And When Can You Claim Compensation?
Within this guide, we aim to answer the question, ‘How long do car accident claims take to settle?’. We will also explain the eligibility criteria that need to be met to be able to make a personal injury claim following a car accident and the time limits that must be adhered to when starting legal proceedings.
Additionally, this guide will share the importance of gathering evidence as part of the road traffic accident claims process, as well as some examples of evidence you could acquire to support your case.
We will also explain how compensation is calculated, the different heads of loss you could be awarded for a successful claim, and how these aim to address the different impacts of your injuries. Furthermore, we will share how one of our personal injury solicitors for car accident claims could help you through the claiming process on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you have any questions regarding how long a personal injury claim takes to settle or would like to receive free advice following your car accident, you can contact a member of our advisory team. You can reach them today by:
- Calling 0151 375 9916.
- Filling out our “Contact Page” to receive a callback.
- Using our live chat function below.
Select A Section
- How Long Do Car Accident Claims Take?
- Eligibility Criteria When Making A Car Accident Claim
- How To Prove A Personal Injury Claim For A Car Accident
- How Much Car Accident Claim Compensation Could You Receive?
- How No Win No Fee Personal Injury Solicitors Could Help You With Claiming Compensation
- Learn More About How To Claim For A Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident and are considering claiming compensation, you may be wondering, ‘How long do car accident claims take to settle?’.
There is no definitive answer to how long a personal injury claim could take to settle. Various factors will affect how long your claim will take, such as:
- The extent of your injuries. For example, more time may be needed to understand the full extent of severe injuries compared to those that are more minor.
- The type of car accident you were involved in.
- The expected recovery period of your injuries.
- How long it takes for the necessary evidence to be gathered.
- Whether the other party will accept liability or if they admit fault.
- How quickly the insurance company processes your claim.
- The nature of your claim. The time complex claims take to settle can vary significantly to a more straightforward case.
If you choose to work with a solicitor on your case, they could help guide you through the claiming process and help you understand how long your case could take to settle based on the unique and specific circumstances of your particular claim.
Is There A Personal Injury Claim Time Limit?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, the personal injury claim time limit is 3 years. Generally, this starts from the date of your car accident, meaning you have from this point to start legal proceedings.
There are certain exceptions to this limitation period. This applies to those lacking the required mental capacity to make their own claim and those injured under the age of 18.
If you would like to learn more about these exceptions, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They can also help you if you are still wondering how long car accident claims take to settle. Additionally, they may connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel who can ensure legal proceedings are initiated within the relevant time limit for our case.
Road users owe one another a duty of care. This includes motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Per their duty, road users must navigate the roads safely and responsibly to help prevent causing injury and damage to others on the roads and themselves. Furthermore, to uphold this duty they must adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code.
To be eligible to make a personal injury claim following a car accident, you will need to demonstrate the following:
- A road user owed you a duty of care.
- They failed to adhere to this duty.
- You suffered injuries as a result of this breach.
If you are still wondering ‘When can you make a car accident claim?’ you can contact a member of our team. An advisor can check the validity of your case for free.
Proving how your accident occurred, who was liable, and the types of injuries you suffered is an important part of the personal injury claims process. Some of the evidence you could collect to support your case include:
- Photographs – This could be of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and your visible injuries.
- Medical evidence – This could be a medical report or a copy of your medical records stating the injuries suffered and the medical treatment you received for them.
- Witness contact information – If anyone witnessed your accident, they may be able to provide a statement at a later date.
- Video footage – This could be a dashcam or CCTV footage that captures the accident taking place.
- Police report – If the police were called to the scene of the accident, you could submit a copy of their report.
Additionally, independent medical assessments are required for car accident claims. This means an independent medical professional will assess your injuries and produce a report to help give insight into the full extent of the harm you suffered. The report can be used as evidence to support your case and to help value your injuries.
Contact our advisors today to discuss your case. If they think you may have a strong claim, they could pass you on to one of our expert car accident solicitors, who could assist you with gathering evidence.
Everyone who makes a successful personal injury claim will be awarded general damages as part of their compensation award.
General damages is the head of loss that compensates you for the injuries suffered and the pain and suffering they caused you. This includes both physical and/or mental injuries.
Various factors will impact how much compensation you could be awarded under general damages, such as:
- The severity of your injuries.
- What treatment was needed.
- The expected recovery period.
Those valuing this head of loss may use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them as well as a medical report from the independent medical assessment. The JCG document lists various injuries at different severities alongside compensation guideline brackets.
Using some of the compensation guidelines listed within the most recent edition of the JCG, we have created the following table. Please note that this should only be referred to as a guide.
|Multiple Serious Injuries With Financial Losses
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Compensation for the physical and mental impacts of multiple serious injuries and their financial losses, such as lost wages, medical fees and at-home care costs.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Full-time nursing care is required due to poor language function and double incontinence.
|£201,490 to £270,100
|Below the knee amputation of both legs.
|£96,160 to £130,930
|Where the claimant is little better off than had their arm been amputated due to the injury being extremely serious.
|Injuries Resulting in a Substantial and Permanent Disability
|£39,170 to £59,860
|Where one or both forearms suffer serious fractures that results in permanent and significant disability.
|£65,740 to £130,930
|Substantial loss of neck movement and loss of function in one limb because of serious damage to or fracture of the cervical spine discs.
|£39,170 to £52,500
|Injuries could include the acetabulum suffering a fracture and leading to leg instability and degenerative changes.
|£38,780 to £69,730
|Chronic conditions caused by disc lesions or fractures such as severe pain and discomfort.
|One or multiple whiplash injuries with one or multiple minor psychological injuries
|Symptoms lasting between 18 to 24 months.
|One or multiple whiplash injuries
|Symptoms lasting between 18 to 24 months.
Please note that the first entry for multiple injuries and the last two entries for whiplash have not been taken from the JCG. The whiplash figures are fixed amounts.
What Are Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims?
Special damages is the other head of loss you could be awarded as part of your settlement for a successful car accident compensation claim. Any financial expenses and losses you have experienced due to your injuries could be compensated under this head. Some examples could include:
- A loss of earnings – If your injuries required you to take time off from work, you may have experienced a loss of earnings. Future and current lost income can be compensated for under special damages.
- Medical expenses – This could include prescription fees and physiotherapy costs.
- Travel expenses – For example, the cost of taxi and train fares to medical appointments.
These expenses will need to be proven as part of your claim for special damages. Receipts, bank statements, invoices, and payslips could all be used as evidence in this regard.
When Can You Make A Whiplash Claim?
Due to the implementation of the Whiplash Reform Programme, if you have been involved in a road traffic accident in Wales or England, the way you make your claim may have changed. Your claim will now need to be made via a different avenue if you meet the following criteria:
- You suffered a driver or passenger injury while in a vehicle.
- You are aged 18 or over.
- The injuries you suffered are valued at £5,000 or less, such as a minor soft tissue injury or whiplash.
Additionally, all whiplash injuries will now be valued in accordance with the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 tariff. These amounts are fixed, and we have provided two examples in the table above.
Additional injuries you are claiming for that are not covered under this tariff will be valued in the traditional manner. Also, if the total value of your claim comes above £5,000, you will claim via the traditional route, but any whiplash injuries will still be valued using the tariff mentioned above.
If you are unsure which avenue you should take when making your personal injury claim, you can contact one of our advisors. They can also provide you with a free valuation of your case and information on how to use a car accident claims calculator to get an estimate of the compensation amount you could potentially be owed.
If you have a valid personal injury compensation claim, one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you through the claiming process. As part of their services, they could help you with collecting evidence to support your car accident claim, arrange independent medical assessments, and negotiate a compensation settlement on your behalf.
Furthermore, by offering to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will not need to pay them anything upfront to retain their services. You also won’t have to pay them for their work while your personal injury claim is ongoing or if it fails.
Should you successfully be awarded compensation, your personal injury solicitor will take a success fee from this as a percentage. There is a legal cap in place for the percentage that this fee can be, which helps to ensure that you keep the majority of what is awarded to you.
If you have any questions regarding the personal injury compensation claim process, such as, ‘How long do car accident claims take?’, you can contact a member of our team. They can offer you free advice for your case, and may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors who could help you seek compensation for your mental and/or physical injuries.
To contact them today, you can:
- Call 0151 375 9916.
- Complete our “Contact Us” form so we can call you back.
- Chat with an advisor using our live chat function below.
Here are some additional guides by us:
- A guide about public transport road traffic accident claims.
- Details about making a neck injury claim following a car accident.
- Advice on how to claim for cycle accident injuries.
Additional external resources:
- Department for Transport – Road safety research and statistical reports.
- Think! – Road safety laws.
- NHS – Health A to Z.
If you are still wondering, ‘How long do car accident claims take?’ or have any other additional questions regarding the claiming process, you can contact a member of our advisory team using the contact details above.