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.
𝟏. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐧𝐨 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭?
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.
𝟐. 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐬𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐲?
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.
𝟑. 𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐈 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐟 𝐬𝐨, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨?
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.
𝟒. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?
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.
𝟓. 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞?
It is always good to know what you are settling in case you compromise your claim and rights.
𝟔. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬?
For injury claims, you can claim monies as compensation, and these are referred to as damages.
𝟕. 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐝 – 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞?
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.
𝟖. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭?
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.
𝟗. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭? 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦?
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.
𝟏𝟎. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐬?
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.
𝐀 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬. 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭.
𝐃𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 us 𝐮𝐩 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦. Our 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐮𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐱𝐢𝐦𝐮𝐦 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐞.