Coach Passenger Injury Claim: High Speed Collision On Motorway
Coach passenger injury claim question answered by specialist road accident solicitors.
Discover the advantages of using a solicitor compared to making your own coach passenger claim, how to calculate compensation values, forms of funding including no win no fee and legal protection, types of financial loss and claiming for more than one coach passenger.
Coach Passenger Injury Claim Question
I was injured as a coach passenger during a high-speed road accident on the motorway in the North of England heading towards Scotland.
I was sat close to the front of the coach when it went into the back of a truck that had slammed on its brakes quickly & unexpectedly.
My mother was also injured in the accident as she was sat next to me.
The police report currently blames the driver of the coach as dash cam footage shows no sign of braking prior to impact. I have the police incident number.
An ambulance was called to the scene and we have since seen (and continue to see) various medical professionals for treatment.
To briefly highlight some of my injuries, I have a broken bone in my left arm which the hospital suggested may require surgery, my left wrist and hand also has severe swelling and bruising which I’m still suffering from over 1 month on.
I also experienced back pain and ringing ears in the days immediately after the accident.
My mother injured her head as she hit a rail on impact, resulting in immediate extreme pain, swelling, dizziness and headaches. She is also currently being treated for sprain/ligament damage to her wrist and fingers.
In addition she is suffering with pain to her neck, shoulders and back which has also resulted in lack of movement, constant headache and difficulty sleeping.
We’ve looked at submitting a claim direct with the insurance company of the coach company. However, we would like to discuss possibilities of legal representation and the benefits. I have a few initial questions –
1. As per above we were originally planning to handle a claim ourselves, but the insurance company have been bad at responding to us. What benefits would there be to using a solicitor & what are the associated costs/fees?
2. On top of the impact on our lives the injuries have resulted in many extra financial expenses from loss of earnings to private treatment to having to get trains everywhere whilst not being able to drive for previously booked event to annual gym memberships I regularly use and currently unable to. Therefore, we would also be looking to claim these back from the insurance company. I hope these would all be covered in addition to any compensation related to the injury?
3. Would you be able to offer a guide of what sort of settlement you would expect to be able to receive on our behalf based on prior experience?
4. Would there be any cost benefits of handling our cases together, or would you need to deal with them separately?
Road Accident Solicitor Response
Given the situation you have described you might best first check to see if you and your mother have the benefit of legal protection cover.
Firstly, ask the question – was the accident as part of a trip or holiday?
If the answer is “yes” – check to see if you had travel insurance as you would most likely have the benefit of legal protection on your travel insurance policy.
You might find legal protection on household contents insurance (this typically does not cover road accident claims when you are a driver, but might cover passenger claims), some bank accounts and credit cards. Such a policy will often cover the cost of an insurance panel solicitor to assist with a claim without a charge (subject to an excess).
If you are a member of a union you should also have access to the union solicitor free of charge.
So far as your other specific questions are concerned:
1) If no legal protection is available – see our article funding a road accident claim (provides details of funding options including no win no fee and the potential 25% deduction from compensation for unrecovered legal costs).
The advantages of using a solicitor are that you will recover the correct amount of compensation for your injuries and financial loss & expense. The correct evidence in support will be obtained and all claimable losses considered.
When you use the coach insurer to make your claim – it is not in their interest (as they are the paying party) to notify you of all your potential heads of loss, obtain all the necessary evidence, offer the correct amount of compensation or argue to increase your compensation.
2) There are a number of types of financial loss and expense as a direct result of an accident that can be claimed. The burden of proof however is on the Claimant to show actual loss and such loss was caused by the accident & injuries.
The gym membership might be too difficult to justify, especially as most gyms have the option to freeze the membership, cancel and might have health club benefits, such as sauna, etc.
3) To establish how much your claim is worth a process must be followed. Comprehensive independent specialist medical reports must first be obtained by a solicitor acting on your behalf to describe, on the balance of probabilities with a duty to the court, your physical and psychological injuries together with recovery periods and/or ongoing disability.
The injuries set out in such reports are then compared by your solicitor to case law and judicial guidance to determine a likely pain, suffering & loss of amenity award known as general damages.
In addition, specific losses unique to you (special damages) are calculated and added to the general damages figure to give your overall figure of likely compensation.
See our guidance for injury amounts giving examples of amounts for various different injuries.
4) Each claim would be a separate claim – it is best to use the same solicitor, but the funding arrangement for each client is as described in 1 above.
Specialist solicitor free help with coach passenger injury claim
To make a claim you must have a funding arrangement in place – but it is likely before you decide to claim you would like discuss your potential concerns with a solicitor in person or have further questions you would like to discuss.
See our online solicitor free help options including arranging a solicitor callback to discuss your coach passenger injury claim.