Your Rights after a Road Traffic Accident

8 March 2016

If the accident is another person’s fault you are entitled by law to be put back in the position you would have been in had the accident never occurred. You are entitled to recover the reasonable costs of doing so. In particular you can claim:-

1. Personal injury
If you have been injured in the accident, you can make a claim against the at fault insurers. Contact a lawyer for a proper assessment of your entitlement.

2. Wage loss
If you have been absent from work, you are entitled to claim any resulting wage loss.

3. Legal costs
You are entitled to recover your legal costs.

4. Your vehicle is a write off
You are entitled to the market value of an equivalent vehicle of similar age and condition as yours before the accident. The market value assessment is usually based on publicly available information.

5. Temporary replacement or courtesy vehicle
You are entitled to hire a car that is equivalent to your vehicle with a zero excess on the hire.

6. Repair to your vehicle
You can choose to have your car repaired by a repairer of your own choice. The repair should return the vehicle to its pre-accident condition.

7. Miscellaneous
You are entitled to recover other miscellaneous losses including damage to personal items such as clothing or glasses. You are entitled to claim for the inconvenience to you caused by the accident.


You have the right to use a lawyer to pursue your claim against the other party, or you can choose to make a claim on your own insurance policy.

If you claim on your insurance policy and you have comprehensive cover this will probably provide for the repair of your vehicle or payment of its pre-accident value if it is a write off. It may also cover you for a temporary hire vehicle. However, you should know that any claim you make will require you to pay the excess on your insurance and it is likely initially to affect your insurance premium and your no claims bonus. Some insurers may waive the excess if you are not at fault and you might be protected against the loss of your no claim bonus if you have taken out no claims bonus protection. If your insurers establish liability against the other party, you are entitled to recover from the other party any excess you have paid and any loss of no claims discount. Almost all insurers will initially expect you to meet any excess, will reduce your no claims bonus at first instance , and will likely make a premium rise at least in the short term.

Where liability is clear cut it doesn’t make sense for you to claim on your own insurance policy.

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