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Serious road traffic incidents highlighted during Road Safety Week

View profile for Dan Thompson
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This week is Road Safety Week, a time to raise awareness of how we can all make our roads a safer place for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.   Organised by road safety charity, Brake, this year our road safety heroes are being celebrated, including the professionals who work hard to reduce casualties and care for those affected by incidents that happen.  Dan Thompson, Partner in our Personal Injury department, explains more here about the serious injuries that can result from incidents on our roads and how we can support you and those closest to you should the worst happen.

Why is Road Safety Week important?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), statistics from June this year show that 1.3 million people die each year across the world as a result of road traffic crashes, and between 20 and 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries resulting in a disability.  Here in the UK, on average five people are killed every day on our roads and over 22,000 are seriously injured every year.

“Every 22 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on our roads, which is a shocking fact,” explains Dan.  “There are a variety of ways that crashes can happen on our roads, including speeding, distracted or dangerous driving, driving under the influence, incorrect use of helmets, seatbelts and child seats, as well as unsafe pavements and roads.  Incidents such as these can be preventable which is why awareness weeks such as Road Safety Week are so important to make us all consider how we can be safer, more considerate road users.”

Can I claim compensation if I sustain a serious injury following a road traffic collision?

If you have been involved in an incident on the roads that was caused by a third party and you have sustained a serious injury then you may be able to claim compensation to support you financially with your care and future life. 

It is a common misconception that a road traffic incident refers solely to a vehicle collision, however the most serious injuries also involve vulnerable road users such as:

  • Injuries as a pedestrian – these can cause some of the most serious injuries as pedestrians tend to be the least protected. 
  • Injuries as a passenger – all drivers have a duty of due care to their passengers whether you are a passenger in a car, bus, train, lorry or planes and boats. 
  • Motorcyclist injuries – while motorcyclists do have a level of protection in the form of their helmet, gloves and protective clothing, they are still open to serious injury. 
  • Cyclist injuries – cyclists are also classed as vulnerable road users and even a low speed incident can result in serious injuries. Claims can be made by cyclists if there is an incident caused by another road user, if there is faulty equipment involved such as with your helmet or your bike itself, or if there are defects with the road.

We know that your physical injuries will only be one part of your story as you will be coming to terms with the emotional and psychological distress of having your life turned upside down.  We can support you if you or your loved ones have sustained any of the following serious injuries on the road:

  • Serious brain or head injury resulting in a loss of mental capacity
  • Broken neck or spine
  • Chest injury resulting in breathing difficulties
  • Amputation or partial loss of a limb
  • Fractures and dislocation
  • Penetrative wounds
  • Psychological impact of the injury

How do I make a claim for compensation following a serious road traffic incident?

Following an incident of this nature, you will need time to adjust to the impact of your injuries and you may not initially consider bringing a claim as you come to terms with your medical needs.  Time is of the essence however as seeking advice early will not only assist with meeting the time limits to bring a claim (generally this is three years of the incident taking place for adults and three years within the date of a child’s 18th birthday) but can also provide you with the financial support to rebuild your life, whether that is to make alterations to your home, provide you with long term care or pay for private medical treatments. 

The first step in making a claim is to discuss the circumstances surrounding the incident so that we can ascertain who was at fault.  We will need to review various points of evidence such as witness statements, police reports and CCTV if these were present, as well as your own account of what happened. 

Once liability has been confirmed, we will put you in touch with medical experts to obtain our own medical report and discuss with you the impact the injuries have had on your life and on the people around you.  It is during this stage that we will also connect you with our rehabilitation experts to review your future requirements and make recommendations. 

The medical and financial implications of your incident and subsequent injuries will both be taken into account when considering the amount of compensation that you may receive.  Your medical treatment may be costly, and may be required for the rest of your life.  You may need to make alterations to your home, or perhaps you have been off work for a considerable amount of time or are unable to work again.  We can discuss your options with you at the time of your initial contact with us when we will take the time to listen to you before explaining what will happen on every step of your journey with us.

We know that making a claim for compensation following a serious injury will be a life-changing decision, and we are here to help.  To discuss your situation with Dan or a member of the team, contact us today on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.