Vans have long been a great way of transporting goods and people around from place to place. Used by a wide variety of different people and organisations, they are perfect for solving all manner of logistical problems and are perhaps best known in the UK for their association with the building trade, exemplified by the ubiquitous “white van man”. For the most part, van drivers are amongst some of the most competent and capable on our roads, meaning that it remains a relatively safe way of travelling about. However, this is not enough to ensure complete safety compared to various other forms of transport as there is always the possibility of other road users causing an accident even if the driver of the van does not.
Indeed, it remains a sad and unfortunate fact that van accidents do happen and can happen at any time and when they are least expected. Van accidents happen either as a result of carelessness on behalf of the driver or other road users with the added difficulty of not being able to see through a back window (as is the case with other road vehicles such as cars) being amongst the contributing factors. Being involved in a van accident either as a driver or passenger can be extremely traumatic both physically and mentally and can have lasting long-term consequences for victims. If you have been involved in a van accident that wasn’t your fault but that of someone else, you may be eligible to make a personal injury compensation claim.
What are the most common injuries caused by van accidents and how are they caused?
There are many different ways in which van accidents and injuries can be caused. Many van accidents are caused by careless driving and may happen as a result of the driver accelerating and braking suddenly and driving round corners at high speeds. Perhaps the most common injuries that result from this are broken, and fractured bones as are laceration injuries to the skin and cuts and bruises. Being involved in a van accident can also cause more serious injuries such as internal bleeding if the accident happens at very high speed and anyone inside the van is not wearing a seatbelt. In cases such as these, the driver or passengers may be moved around violently inside the van or may more seriously be propelled through the windscreen of the van. This often results in internal damage and bleeding which usually requires lengthy surgery for ruptured blood vessels to be repaired and can be fatal if surgery is unsuccessful.
Whiplash and other spinal and neck injuries are also common in van accidents. These injuries are commonly caused by other vehicles crashing into the back of the van at high speed when the van is stationary, causing the necks of anyone in the van to move backwards and forwards again suddenly. These injuries can be very serious indeed and may end up lulling the victim into a false sense of security as symptoms can take many hours to develop fully. If the spinal cord is damaged or severed completely, the victim will also suffer some degree of paralysis with severity varying depending on where along its length the damage occurred. Additionally, the victim may suffer a brain injury if they suffer excessive trauma to the head. These injuries can leave the victim with brain damage which may mean the victim is requiring round the clock care and can also lead to other conditions such as post-concussion syndrome and a raft of complex psychological problems.
What should you do after being injured in a van accident?
There are some things you should do in the immediate aftermath of a van accident to give yourself the best chance of receiving the maximum amount of compensation to help you get back to living as normal a life as is possible again as quickly as possible. If your injuries are not too serious, it is a legal requirement that you phone the police and report the incident to them immediately. They will then arrive at the scene and take statements from you and anyone else involved in the accident including any eyewitnesses. In the meantime, you should make notes of where, when and how you believe the accident happened as well as the time and the details of other drivers you believe were responsible for causing the accident such as their full name, their car registration number and their insurance details. Taking notes concerning the environmental situation at the time of the accident such as weather conditions and the degree of visibility will also help.
Eyewitnesses are extremely valuable and can help to establish who may be to blame for accidents as they provide an impartial view of what exactly they saw happen. Compiling the personal details of eyewitnesses and their testimony will help you immensely. Taking photographs of the crash scene either with a camera you may have on you or your mobile phone will also help enormously. If your injuries are more serious, the police will likely be contacted by someone else, and you will then be taken to hospital for treatment. Once there, the doctors treating you will take notes that will then be added to your medical records about your injuries and their overall magnitude. This information will then be used in a court of law should you decide to make a personal injury compensation claim for a van accident that wasn’t your fault. Not doing any of these things could mean that the accident is considered a hit and run crime instead of an accident, making it instantly much more serious.
What factors determine how much I could claim?
Typical amounts that are awarded to people who have been involved in van accidents is dependent on various factors surrounding the accident itself. If you are thinking about making a claim for an injury sustained in a van accident, you should do so sooner rather than later as three years is the maximum time limit for personal injury compensation claims in the United Kingdom. Doing this is also in your best interests as the accident will be fresher in your mind as well as those of witnesses. To have any chance of receiving compensation of any amount, you must also be able to prove that you were not to blame for causing the accident. If you weren’t and the witnesses agree you weren’t, your chances of being awarded a sum that is at the upper end of what may usually be awarded for the injuries you suffered is likely to be the result.
As the largest and smallest sums are normally awarded for the most and least severe injuries respectively, the overall extent of the damage to your body is another important factor in determining how much you could receive. If the accident was another road user’s fault, then the claim will be made against them. Alternatively, if the accident happened as a result of a poorly maintained road with potholes, for example, the claim will be made against the local council authority responsible for the maintenance of roads in the area in which the accident happened. The wearing of a seatbelt is also an important factor in determining how much you may receive. It is against the law not to wear a seatbelt in any personal road vehicle, but that isn’t enough to prevent some road users from not wearing theirs. You should still be able to make a claim, but the chances of you receiving a reduced amount are greatly increased as your injuries would not have been as bad had you been wearing your seatbelt.
How much compensation could I be entitled to?
Every accident is unique, and therefore there is a high likelihood of victims suffering a wide array of different injuries in them. For this very reason, it is quite difficult to outline amounts that may be typically awarded for injuries sustained in van accidents as victims may suffer a variety and combination of different injuries. For example, one case may involve a victim suffering a head, and spinal injury whereas another may involve a leg and arm injury. Likewise, some victims may suffer an injury to only one particular part of their body, and some may suffer injuries to more than two parts of their body.
If you’d like to get a better understanding of all the different injuries, it’s possible to receive in road traffic accidents as well as a basic guide as to how much you may be entitled to claim for the damage your body has sustained in various degrees of severity then you can visit the compensation claims calculator.
Brake.org are a charity supporting road safety with the mission to save lives and reduce accidents. Their victim support helpline has over the years helped thousands of people who have stories because they have or a loved one has been injured or lost in a road accident. If you would like to help them win the fight on the road, visit their website.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on some factors. However, every claim is different; nominal amounts go towards damages including loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, pharmaceutical treatments, and travel costs. Here is a list of common injuries you can claim for in the event of an injury from a van accident.
- Neck Injury – up to £27,o00
- Back Injuries – £8,000 – £27,500
- Moderate Leg Injuries – £6,000 – £28,000
- Concussion – £1,500 – £3,000
What can compensation be claimed for and how can it be used?
Should you be successful in your claim, the money you could be awarded can be used to pay for various things directly related to the injuries you have sustained in the accident. Your overall financial losses form the basis of how much you could receive and covers the money you may have spent pursuing recovery. This would include such things as travelling expenses if your injuries were bad enough that it meant you had to travel to appointments at your local hospital or doctor’s surgery to discuss and receive further treatment after being given initial emergency treatment immediately following the accident. The money can also go towards paying for any adaptations you may need to make to your home or car if you have been left with any degree of residual disability following the accident and any medication that you have been prescribed by your doctor to take.
Compensation can also be used to cover the costs of any private medical treatment you have been given if you have chosen this route instead of the services provided by the NHS. It can also cover the costs of the amount of money equal to the amount you have lost as a result of having to take time off work to recover if you have had to. As well as all this, an amount could also be awarded for the general pain, suffering and inconvenience you have endured as a result of the accident and for any psychological damage you may have suffered. Your chances of being awarded with compensation are greatly increased if you retain important items that could help your case such as receipts for any petrol or bus tickets you may have bought to get you to and from hospital appointments as well any important documents which detail costs for any private medical treatment you may have received or medication you have had to pay for yourself.
How Tylers Can Help Move Your Van Accident Claim Forward
Making a personal injury compensation claim with Tyler’s solicitors could not be easier. Our highly professional team of personal injury solicitors have many years’ combined experience and have helped many victims of van accidents claim the compensation that is rightfully theirs. Over that time, we have also become conscious of just how troublesome and distressing being involved in an accident such as this can be and realise that whilst not being able to turn the clock back and make things how they were before the accident again, compensation can at least help by putting you back in a financial situation that makes it seem as though the accident never happened. Our solicitors’ experience in dealing with cases such as these is unmatched by anyone else in Greater Manchester, and we can assure you that we will do all we can to help you. They will use all their skill and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve and keep you updated every step of the way through the claims process should any developments in your case arise.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of being involved in a van accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be able to make a claim. So take that first step towards justice and recovery and give us a call today on (freephone): 0800 699 0079.