Road Traffic Accidents in the UK
Although Britain’s roads are much safer than they were a few decades ago, the huge increase in traffic means that figures for reported casualties are still worryingly high.
While all road traffic accidents can cause serious injuries, many can cause fatalities, and the accident involving the pedestrian in Leeds recently is a prime example. Pedestrians are the group who have the highest risk of being seriously injured when involved in a road traffic accident, so it’s always important for motorists to give them right of way. However, when it comes to traffic accidents involving pedestrians, it might not always be the motorists fault.
The way responsibility is assigned to road casualties is slightly different to other types of accidents and this is why roads are heavily controlled environments, by dedicated prevention staff. If you are interested in guidelines about where responsibility lies when it comes to road accidents then there is a lot of information here.
Before we go into the steps you should take if you’ve been unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident, or to prevent an accident happening in the future, have a look at CrashMap. This is a great place to go if you want to know more about road risk in your area.
Road Traffic Personal Injury Next Steps
- Stay Safe
First, and most importantly, you must make sure you stay at the scene in a place which is safe for you to wait. It is important to contact the police and report the incident immediately, especially in cases of bad injuries, then you must call for medical assistance.
The next step is to make sure you gather as much information as possible about the accident. Including the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. If possible, it’s a good idea to also take photos of where the accident happened, the vehicle positioning, and the registration plates etc, but only if the environment is safe enough to do so.
The most important detail to write down, preferably yourself, is the vehicle registration of any other vehicles involved in the accident. Do not worry so much if you are unable to take down all of these details as you may still be able to pursue a personal injury claim with experienced solicitors.
As with all compensation claims of this type, as long as you can prove that you were not responsible for your injury and that it was due to, in this case, the driver of the vehicle who collided with you while you were a pedestrian, you may be able to pursue a claim. So the more information, the better!
The Claims Process
If you did suffered an injury then the next step would be to make a claim for the pain caused to you, as well as any losses or expenses such as medical costs. Most importantly, you will want to appoint an experienced accident solicitor who can then help you compile the evidence and put your case together.
Claims must be made within three years of injury, beyond this is will almost definitely be too late. This is often regarded as the general limitation rule.
There are many expert pedestrian accident solicitors out there offering ‘no win no fee’ compensation claims. The benefits of this are that firstly, in the event that your claim for financial compensation fails, you won’t have huge expenses. Secondly, the solicitor working under this agreement will likely be very confident with your case. However, it is still important to weigh up all the pro’s and con’s with each independent agreement.
Road Safety in the Future
Whether you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident, or not, road safety is of utmost importance. The Green Cross Code is there as a guide for all pedestrians to follow, in order to help them cross the road safely.
Something we may all remember learning at school; the code guides you on finding the safest places to cross, followed by the famous ‘stop, look and listen. It may seem simple, yet there are still so many pedestrians involved in road traffic accidents. These accidents often result from motorists not driving with care and attention, yet are possibly helped by pedestrians following the Green Cross Code and taking extra caution around traffic.
A final thought: Will we see a decrease in accidents with the technological advancement of self-driving cars, not just for drivers themselves but also for pedestrians and the drivers of other cars? Honda recently claimed this is their aim with their recent development in hands free driving. While the Honda self driving car is only a prototype, we could see the technology appearing on Honda cars in as soon as 2020.