I was involved in a car accident a few weeks ago and suffered serious nerve damage, the driver of the car was my best friend. If I make a claim for nerve damage from a car accident will they be liable?
Making a claim for nerve damage from a car accident can be an emotional experience if a friend or relative is responsible for your injuries; however, the important thing to remember is that you are making a compensation claim against your friend’s insurance company and not your friend.
Nerve damage can have a significant impact on your life and if you are unable to complete day-to-day tasks or maintain your enjoyment of social activities or a leisure pursuit that made up a part of your life before the injury. In such a case you may be entitled to claim compensation for what is referred to as ‘loss of amenity’.
Along with compensation for pain suffered you may also be entitled to compensation for emotional trauma, particularly if you become anxious or depressed during your recovery, although your psychological illness must be first verified by a psychologist. To aid this part of your claim it is recommended you maintain a diary so you can chronicle the times your injury impacted on your quality of life. Age, sex and the general health of the claimant are also factors that can alter the value of a claim for nerve damage from a car accident.
Of course if your friend admits to negligence for the car accident, you will not have to pursue your claim through court if a compensation settlement can be negotiated, it is advised that you consult with a personal injury claims solicitor before you reach this stage.
The insurance company will want to limit the amount of compensation they pay out and therefore they may make you an upfront offer known as a direct or unsolicited offer of compensation. Offers such as these should always be referred to your solicitor as they will be able to evaluate your claim and ensure you are not at risk of being undercompensated for your injuries if you accept the offer. Your solicitor will then enter into negotiations with the insurance company to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to, or if he or she fails to reach a settlement with the insurance company they will initiate legal proceedings once you grant them your consent. Even then, there is no guarantee your claim for nerve damage from a car accident will end up in court as the insurance company may decide to settle rather than risk being liable for legal fees in court.