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Road traffic accidents: who’s involved and what to do if you’re involved in one

Having acted on behalf of many clients who have sustained spinal cord injuries, we have witnessed first hand the life-changing consequences that spinal injuries can have on both an individual and their family.

Road Traffic accidents are one of the most prevalent causes of spinal cord injuries within the UK, second only to severe falls.

Part of our job here at Thorneycroft Solicitors is to ensure that our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation they deserve for the injuries they have sustained. However, our priority is to also ensure that each of our clients who have suffered a spinal cord injury receives the treatment and rehabilitation that they need to assist in their recovery and enable them to lead a full and independent life after their accident.

Whilst a number of safety measures have been implemented across roads in the UK in recent years, serious road traffic accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries do still occur.

Whilst two vehicles colliding may be the first thought that springs to mind when one thinks of a road traffic accident (RTA), there are a variety of ways that an individual can be involved in an RTA..

A driver

Firstly we’ll look at the driver that is involved in a road traffic accident. In order for a driver to bring a successful claim, they must prove that the accident occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence and that the fault doesn’t lie with them.

It’s important to remember that the driver of the vehicle is responsible for all the passengers inside their vehicle, as a result those passengers may potentially bring a claim against the driver if it’s found that the RTA was the driver’s fault.

A passenger

A passenger is not in control of the vehicle they are in, therefore they are not directly responsible for the safety of the other people inside the vehicle or the safety of the other vehicles on the road.

As a result, passengers who are involved in a road traffic accident have a choice, they can either make a claim against the driver of the vehicle they are in, if the accident was their fault or they can make a claim against the driver of the other vehicle if the fault lies with them.

However, passengers should take note that if they are over a certain age, they will be expected to adhere to safety measures including wearing a seatbelt and not distracting the driver.

A pedestrian

Similarly to passengers inside a vehicle that is involved in an RTA, pedestrians are merely bystanders as they are not in control of the vehicle involved in the accident.

Again, as with passengers, pedestrians can bring a claim for compensation for any injury they sustain whether to their spinal cord or otherwise as a result of a road traffic accident, provided they can prove that the driver of a vehicle was at fault.

Where pedestrians may appear to be at fault, for example, a pedestrian runs into the middle of the road unexpectedly, the driver will still be primarily liable for any damages for injuries caused.

However, the passenger must still show that the driver was driving negligently at the time that the injuries were sustained.

A cyclist

Cyclists are at risk of being involved in an RTA whenever they venture out on the roads. They are at increased risk of suffering a serious injury as they have a lot less protection against an impact than other road users.

Visibility is often a key factor in a road traffic accident involving a cyclist. It’s important that cyclists use all the appropriate safety gear and equipment available to them to ensure that they can protect themselves at all times.

An uninsured or untraceable driver

In the event that you are involved in a road traffic accident involving an uninsured driver or untraceable you may bring a claim against the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) providing that certain conditions are met.

The MIB is a Government body that deals with personal injury claims that are a result of a road traffic collision with an untraceable or uninsured driver.

We are here to help

If you have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a road traffic accident, whether you were on a motorcycle, in a vehicle or a pedestrian, our specialist large loss team can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

We understand how damaging a road traffic accident can be and how the injuries suffered by those involved can potentially be life changing.

At Thorneycroft Solicitors our experience extends across a wide range of catastrophic injuries including amputations and limb loss, severe burns, crushing injuries, falling injuries, paralysis and we have particular expertise in the areas of brain injury and spinal injury. We have highly regarded partners who work closely with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and the Spinal Injuries Association and by doing so our team has the knowledge and understanding required for dealing with catastrophic injury claims.

If you would like to speak to a member of our large loss team to discuss your case, please call us today for free on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form.