How long does it take for Insurers to get in touch after a road traffic accident?
That’s a question we received recently in the following terms:
“I was involved in an RTA two months ago. I have not heard from the insurance company yet. How long does it take for them to get in touch? The accident was not my fault.”
A significant collision – with lots of post-accident worries
It turns out this accident involved a rear end shunt at a junction.
The vehicle was pushed right off the road by the impact.
The injured driver who contacted us had been knocked unconscious as a result of the crash.
He spent two nights in hospital, was off work for several weeks and lost wages.
An incorrect assumption
He had been driving his works van and thought that his employers’ motor insurers would take care of his claim for his injuries and his financial losses, including his loss of earnings.
This was a classic situation where you, as the accident victim, have suffered injury through no fault of your own. The accident is clearly due to the negligence of the other driver.
The financial loss is significant.
Though you are back at work you have ongoing pain and restriction of movement.
You have financial pressures brought about by the period during which you were unable to earn.
You are also worried about the future, whether your continuing aches and pains will get worse to the point where you have to take more time off work.
Why insurers probably would not be in touch
We had to advise the person making this enquiry that, given the passage of time, it was unlikely that they would now hear from any insurers.
If you are in a road traffic accident and you are not the insured person for the policy covering the vehicle at the time, there is no guarantee that help from insurers – or solicitors appointed by insurers – will automatically be forthcoming.
In this case, the employers’ motor insurers would cover the cost of any repairs to the vehicle or, more likely in the circumstances, the write-off value of the vehicle (which they would be able to claim back from the insurers of the vehicle which ran into the back of their works van).
However, the injury to the driver – and the financial losses which flow from that – are “uninsured” losses and not something the employer’s motor insurers would be directly interested in.
Sometimes, in that situation, motor insurers will pass information to solicitors with whom they have a relationship. By referring the injured party to those solicitors, the insurers can often claim a referral fee and those solicitors will then help the injured person to claim on the insurance of the driver of the vehicle which ran into the back of them.
In the current situation – without any insurers or solicitors getting in touch – it was clear that the onus was on the injured driver to make a claim himself and we are able to do that for him.
The claim is directed to the insurers of the vehicle which ran into him.
A common misconception
It is a common misunderstanding in our experience that the driver of a vehicle who is at work at the time of a road traffic accident which is not his fault will somehow be able to make a claim through his employers’ motor insurance.
Often, the employers are under the same misapprehension.
It is worth bearing in mind that there will not automatically be someone there to help you and our recommendation would be that you seek independent legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims, preferably an accredited specialist.
Contact us for help
If you have any questions arising from this post or regarding any aspects of a possible personal injury claim, feel free to contact us.
All initial discussions are free of charge and without obligation.
We will do our best to help you whether that is by taking on the matter ourselves or recommending someone else who would be better placed to assist you in the circumstances.