Car accidents caused by family

Car accidents are stressful enough, however when you are involved in a car accident caused by a family member, the stress can be intensified. Being a passenger of a car leaves your safety completely in the hands of the driver. Making a claim against a relative often feels harder because you may feel as if you are betraying them, even though you are within your rights to claim compensation.

Will it affect my family member’s insurance if I claim compensation?

It is quite possible that the insurance premium will be affected if you are claiming against your family member’s insurance. It is worth bearing in mind you are not claiming against a member of your family but the insurance company.  The process itself should involve the family member’s insurance company and solicitor, rather than the family member personally.

This is the same with any insurance and is to be expected. Insurance premiums generally always increase when a claim has been made. The amount the premium increases by will depend on the amount of compensation being claimed.

In some cases, an injured car passenger is unable to get the necessary physiotherapy and psychiatric help they need to recover from the accident, due to the cost. Compensation is intended to enable injured people to pay for such expenses.  why should you be left with pain and suffering due to someone else’s negligence, and not get any compensation? So no matter who the person is who is liable, if the accident is not your fault and you’ve been injured, then you’re entitled to make a claim.

What are the types of car accidents caused by family?

Generally there are two types of car accidents whether they be car accidents caused by family or non family:

Collision with another vehicle or object:  You and any other passengers can make a claim against the driver responsible, regardless if they are a family member or not.

Deliberate low velocity crashes: These are accidents when two cars collide at a low speed, usually around 5mph or when the other vehicle is stationery.

These are rare and tend to be fraudulent and are subject to a lot of scrutiny because of this.

If you believe you have been involved in a low velocity crash and have suffered an injury, you may be able to make a claim.  However, bear in mind these claims are not always straightforward and because of this you may need a solicitor to assist, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to validate your claim.

Common Personal Injury’s from a road traffic collision

  • Head Injuries- Brain and head injuries vary in severity. It might be self resolving short term concussion or it could be a more severe traumatic brain injury requiring medical interventions Open head injuries include lacerations and cuts to the exterior which can be painful, need stitches and leave scarring.

 

  • Neck Injuries- Whiplash, the injury most associated with road traffic accidents, comes under the neck category but other more serious neck injuries include things such as a disc injury.

 

  • Facial Injuries- The soft, exposed nature of the face’s flesh makes it an easy target from anything that shatters or splits resulting lacerations. This can all result in nasty bruising or even fractures to the cheekbone or serious dental injuries.

 

  • Back Injuries- The shunting movement involved in most car accidents means your back is often compromised. Spinal injuries can be extremely painful and difficult to live with, some are easily resolved with the use of simple analgesics, more serious can lead to chronic long term pain.

 

  • Psychological Injuries- Many passengers and drivers involved in road traffic accidents suffer short term psychological injury whilst others are left with long term emotional distress or stress. More severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder too can be diagnosed post road traffic accident. The Courts now recognise that the emotional impact of a road accident can often be as disruptive as the physical injuries. This post-traumatic stress can be aggravated in cases where a family member was responsible for the accident.

Car accidents caused by family if you are under 18

Claims do not have an age limit, If you are under 18 and injured in a car accident caused by a family member, you may be entitled to make a claim.

Car accidents caused by family when you are under 18 will require the assistance of a parent or guardian.  Or, you may want to appoint a litigation friend to assist when making a claim for compensation.  The courts will check that they are suitable to assist you, however if the court does not approve then they may appoint the official solicitor to step in.

If a parent was the driver, the parent cannot act on the child’s behalf as this would be deemed as a conflict of interest.  However, the non-driving parent, grandparent or family friend can step in and assist with the claim.

What to do if you are involved in a car accident causing injury which was caused by a member of family

  • The most important thing to do is get medical attention whether it be at the scene of the accident or a follow up with a GP, They will be able to document that you were involved in a RTC, examine your injuries, prescribe any medications required and refer you to see a physiotherapist.

 

  • Take photos – If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident, the damage to the car, condition of the road etc. Also take photos of your injuries as visual proof of the pain and suffering you have endured due to the accident.
  • Witnesses – Get any witnesses contact details so that you can get a statement from them. Witness statements are really good for strengthening your case. These can not be other passengers and must be a independent source.

 

  • Proof of expenses – Keep record of all the expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident such as prescription fees, treatment costs, traveling costs for examinations etc.

 

  • Medical report – Make sure you see a medical professional so that a medical report will be made about your injuries, suggested treatment and recovery period.

 

  • Write it down – Try to write down everything you can remember about the accident and the circumstances around the time of the accident, such as date and time, how many vehicles were involved, what was the weather like, how fast was the car going and so on. All these details may be taken into consideration by the court when deciding on your claim.

 

  • Report to the Police – All accidents are required to be reported to the authorities. Although as a passenger, it isn’t technically your responsibility to do this, make sure that it is done. Apart from fulfilling a legal obligation by reporting to the Police, it could be helpful for your case if you could get a copy of the Police report.

How long will a claim for car accidents caused by family take?

It is irrelevant if the car accident is caused by a family member or not.  The court will come to a decision on the information put forward.

Mostly claims are straightforward and won’t take long in reaching a settlement agreement.

However, more complex cases may take a lot longer to settle.   For example there might be serious injuries resulting from the accident, the court will take this into account but the process may take longer to finalise.

Car accidents caused by family, how much compensation will I get?

The court will assess all the information provided and make a decision based on this.   It is irrelevant if the car accident is caused by a family member or not.  The final decision will be based on the information put forward.

The more serious the claim and the injuries the more you will receive.  In more difficult cases you may be awarded interim payments; however these will only be awarded if the other side has accepted liability.

Legal Advice following car accidents caused by family

Our team of personal injury solicitors will handle your claim in a professional and friendly manner, we work on a no win no fee service meaning that you will not pay a penny unless your claim is successful

If a family member is liable for your car accident injury, your solicitor can help by assisting you by sensitively handling a claim on your behalf.  For further help and advice on claiming for car accidents caused by family and to discuss what your options are, then why  not give us a call on 0330 053 7117 or request a call back.

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