How to deal with car accidents involving families
By Croftons Injury Claims
Car accidents involving relatives are stressful, especially if it turns out they were to blame for the incident. A solicitor can explain how to deal with this.
Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough at the best of times, but it becomes even more so when family members are involved.
While your immediate concern will obviously be caring for anyone who has been injured in the collision, it is also important to consider your legal reaction to any incident. As we will see, this largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Scenario A: Your family car is hit by another vehicle
Manchester-based Croftons Solicitors are experienced in dealing with challenging car accident claims traffic accident claims centre around a crash involving two parties, with the claimant seeking to prove that the blame for the incident lies with the other driver.
However, if your family is in the car with you and they also suffer injuries, it is important that you all know how to most effectively pursue compensation from the negligent driver
Any adult family member would have the same rights as you. That is, they have up to three years to make a claim before they become ineligible for compensation.
If a child is hurt in the accident, you may make a claim on their behalf at the same time as pursuing compensation for yourself. If you do not, they will have the option to do so for three years from the date of their 18th birthday.
Victims of accidents involving an uninsured driver or ‘hit and run’ incidents may be concerned that they will not receive any compensation if there is no one to claim against. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) ensures this does not happen, but it is likely that your case will take longer to reach a conclusion if you have to go down this route.
Scenario B: A family member is responsible for the collision
A slightly less conventional car accident claim may occur if you are involved in an accident that was the fault of a family member.
This clearly puts the claimant in a rather awkward position. On the one hand, they are injured and need to be compensated for all the usual reasons such as medical costs and loss of earnings. On the other, the prospect of claiming against a family member is evidently more than a little awkward.
In this situation, many people are understandably nervous about causing tension within their family if they go ahead with a claim, and may be concerned that it will be seen as ‘blaming’ their relative or getting them into trouble. They might also be under the impression that any compensation they are awarded will come out of their relative’s pocket.
In fact, compensation in these cases will come from the at-fault driver’s insurer or the MIB, not from the driver directly. If explained in this way, it could reassure the claimant that they are not entering into direct opposition against a family member, which in turn will hopefully prevent a row from developing.
Incentive to act quickly
In both scenarios, the benefits of addressing the situation as soon as possible are clear. Quite apart from the fact that you will receive compensation quicker and be able to return to normality, the legal three-year time limit means failure to act promptly could see you miss out on compensation altogether.
Additionally, if we consider Scenario B, leaving the situation to fester could allow a family dispute to develop unnecessarily, as relatives enter into an argument without being in possession of all the facts.
It really is in your best interests to secure the help of an experienced road traffic accident solicitor as soon as possible, so don’t leave it too late to get the legal guidance you need.