Car accidents account for more accident compensation claims than all other personal injury damages actions added together. Over 300,000 people report injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision every year and this is almost certainly an underestimate of the true figure as many of those injured do not bother to obtain medical assistance. On average 10 people are killed on our roads every day with a large proportion being child pedestrians. Whilst it is correct that injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions are decreasing in severity this has probably got more to with enhanced safety features to be found on modern vehicles rather than as a result of a change in driver behaviour.
Drivers Passengers Pedestrians Motorcyclists Cyclists
Personal injury solicitors specialize in accident compensation claims on behalf of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycle riders. They deal with a very wide range of injuries from minor cuts and bruises and whiplash right through to injuries of the utmost severity including brain damage and spinal cord injury.
Car accident solicitors refer to specialist panels of consultants for medical support and to quantum and value analysis experts to put onto paper the intricacies of the financial aspects of any claim. They are also able to call upon many other disciplines for advice and assistance including accident reconstruction technicians in order for us to ensure that we have the best possible chance of proving your claim and of receiving damages. With the help of experts you can maximise the potential value of your claim.
Damages paid in accident compensation claims, are for the sake of convenience divided into two main categories :-
General Damages represents compensation for losses than cannot be calculated on a mathematical basis and need a degree of assessment. This category includes pain and suffering and also the concept known as loss of amenity which means a deterioration in the everyday enjoyment of life which can include sport, walking, sex and a whole host of other everyday activities.
Special Damages represents compensation for items that can be mathematically calculated with a reasonable degree of accuracy and includes wages losses, medical costs, legal charges and other general expenses.
Perhaps the most common personal injury sustained as a result of a road traffic accident involves whiplash injury. This is a hyper-extension or stretching injury to the neck, often, though not exclusively caused as a result of being carried in a vehicle which is struck from behind by another motor vehicle in a collision. It is quite possible to suffer this injury from a side or frontal impact and indeed it can be caused in several other ways including as a result of a fall or as a result of an impact in a contact sport.
The mechanics of whiplash injury in a road traffic accident are thought to be as follows: The victim may be first pushed or accelerated forward by the initial rear impact collision. This pushes the body forward, but the head remains behind momentarily, rocking up and backwards as a result of which some muscles and ligaments may be stretched or torn. These muscles, in a subsequent reflex action, contract and at this point there may be overcompensation when the head is travelling in a forward direction in any event as the vehicle decelerates. This may rock the head violently forward, again stretching and tearing more muscles and ligaments.