Accidents on the Road - Car Accident Claims & Legal Advice
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To begin with, it is necessary to establish
precisely what type of injury the accident victim suffered. The vast
majority of low-speed car accidents cause a soft tissue neck
However, more high-speed collisions can cause multiple injuries. If there is a head injury, then some considerable time may elapse before the long term and subtle effects of the injury become known.
Whiplash injuries can resolve at different speeds. While majority of people find that their whiplash symptoms subside over a period of time, a significant proportion of people develop chronic pain. For this reason, most orthopaedic surgeons will prefer to wait for several weeks after the accident before examining the patient and writing a medical opinion.
In most back injury claim and back injury compensation cases, the orthopaedic surgeon will prefer to carry out a review appointment say 12 months post accident.
Once the final medical opinion can be achieved in respect of all the injuries, then a valuation can start to be made. Lawyers, insurers and judges make use of a number of reference works that have detailed the awards for different types of injuries over the years. Suitably updated to take into account inflation, these previous awards are the starting point in valuing the claim.
In addition to the pain and suffering award, the accident victim may have suffered financial losses, such as loss of earnings. If family and friends have had to assist with household tasks, then this also can be compensated. Other common items of loss can include damaged clothing and the insurance excess.
Once all the above has been taken into account, the next factor to consider is whether in the case of a driver being injured, that person was to blame any respect. For example, if the facts suggest that both drivers were equally to blame for the accident, then any damages award would be reduced by 50%.
In practice, the vast majority of road traffic accident claims do not lead to a major dispute on the question of liability. It is far more common for there to be a dispute concerning the value of the claim, and if this cannot be resolved between the parties then a court may ultimately have to decide the appropriate level of compensation.