Road traffic accidents are a common occurrence, and it can indeed be daunting for one to be involved in an accident no matter how minor it may be. It is worse if you are a victim of another’s negligence on the roads and suffer injuries or in the most horrifying case —when a family member loses their life.
There are many questions we get from our road traffic clients when they come to see us which others may have too. I will share some of these and my answers and I hope this post will be both insightful and helpful to all.
If the other driver is uninsured or has no valid insurance in place, your claim will be handled by the Motor Insurer Bureau (MIB). They will step into the shoes of the insurer and negotiate with your lawyers to see how the claim can be settled and if it is not settled, just like insurers they will appoint their own lawyers to handle the claim with your lawyers.
You can make a claim for compensation so long as you are verified by a medical practitioner to have been injured as a result of the accident or if your existing injuries have been aggravated by the accident. The amount you will be compensated will of course depend on the seriousness of the injuries and ensuing disabilities and also if you are at fault in anyway.
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It is necessary that you visit a doctor after the accident to rule out any injuries or onset of injuries. It is important to take advice from qualified third parties like doctors and physiotherapists, who will confirm the severity of your injuries and estimated recovery time. These are crucial for any compensation claim as the same will determine what claims you can make for instance; potential loss of earnings in the future or loss of earning capacity, future medical treatment costs and how injuries may impact your life.
One can ask the insurers to make an interim payment of monies, that can help you pay for expenses. This sum will be deducted from the final award you will get. It is like a payment in advance pending settlement hence it is termed as interim payment.
It is always good to know what you are settling in case you compromise your claim and rights.
For injury claims, you can claim monies as compensation, and these are referred to as damages.
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It can be very daunting and inconvenient for you to juggle your recovery and a legal process. It is best to consult an experienced lawyer so that the claim can be handled by them whilst you concentrate on your recovery and getting back on your feet.
As a passenger, largely you are not at fault unless you have not put on a seat belt, in some cases. Your lawyer will look at the circumstances of the accident and will be in the best position to see whom the claim should be lodged against – it maybe against one party or all the parties involved.
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When there is a death, it is termed as a fatal accident and the dependants of the deceased can claim damages for loss of dependency, bereavement, and any other consequential losses that the estate will have to incur.
For road traffic accidents, legal costs that are awarded as per the Rules of Court will be apportioned to your lawyer by the Public Trustee and thus you will get your compensation less the fee determined by the Public Trustee and your lawyer will also get his or her fair sum of legal fees.
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