How to claim for compensation after getting injured at a traffic accident?

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Traffic accidents per year in Hong Kong
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Injuries and deaths involved

On average, there are more than 10,000 traffic accidents and 20,000 counts of injuries and deaths in Hong Kong every year. If the traffic accident is caused by a driver’s negligence, the injured or the deceased’s family members can claim against the driver and his third-party insurance company, and (if the driver was working at the time of the accident) the employer of the driver by virtue of vicarious liability.

If the injured person encountered the traffic accident in the course of employment, the injured could also instruct a solicitor to claim against his own employer under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance.

Quite often, the injured persons and their families have never experienced a traffic accident, nor have they handled litigation or instructed a lawyer before, they may have various misunderstandings about traffic accident related personal injuries claims. Some of them are even misled by unlawful “recovery agents” who sometimes hold themselves out as loss adjusters, and lose their right to claim for compensation due to wrong or improper advice.

After a traffic accident, the injured person and their family should take the following steps:

  1. Report to the police;
  2. As some symptoms may not appear immediately, the injured should visit a doctor to receive treatment and diagnosis ASAP;
  3. Provide a witness statement to the police (Pol. 154);
  4. Seek advice from and meet with a solicitor (lawyer) to learn about the claims procedure, and to obtain medical reports and police documents via the solicitors;
  5. Instruct a solicitor to write and send out a pre-action letter to the negligent driver, the driver's third-party insurance company, and the employer of the negligent driver (if applicable);
  6. If the negligent driver or his third-party insurer is willing to admit liability, your solicitor will conduct one or multiple rounds of negotiation on compensation with them;
  7. If the negligent occupier denies liability or no settlement is reached on the amount of compensation, you, the injured, may wish to file a claim in the District Court or the High Court via your Solicitor.

It is noteworthy that some injuries caused by traffic accidents may not appear immediately, especially injuries related to cervical spine, fracture of bones, psychological illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) etc. Therefore, it is most advisable to receive prompt medical treatment and proper diagnosis, as it could also affect the possible amount of compensation when you do lodge a claim against the negligent driver.

In traffic accident personal injuries claims, compensation is generally divided into the following categories:

  1. 痛楚及生活便利損失 (PSLA)
  2. Loss of income and loss of earning capacity;
  3. Special Damages such as medical expenses etc.

Generally speaking, the expected amount of compensation will be assessed by your lawyers with reference to case law. For example, our lawyers acted for a client who suffered from a fracture because of a traffic accident and he received over $600,000 in compensation. Given that each case has different fact-patterns, and the injured person may suffer from distinct and different injuries, there can be no standard formula of expected compensation. Our lawyers will conduct a detailed assessment and analysis for each and every client.

Furthermore, our Principal Solicitor,Eric P H Chanhave years of experience in acting as a fiat prosecutor for the Department of Justice and in criminal defence, and has prosecuted and defended cases involving careless driving on a great number of occasions. Therefore, he is familiar with the relevant criminal procedure and the police's investigation process. Building on these experiences, we are able to possess a unique point of view in helping our injured clients in their personal injuries claims, and proactively follow up with the police and continuously pay attention to the prosecution progress.

Traffic Accident Personal Injuries Claims - Do's and Dont's

交通意外索償常見問題

剛發生交通意外

1. 交通意外後,一定要報警嗎?
2. 交通意外後,在現場時需要做甚麼?
3. 上救護車後,需要做甚麼?

報警及落口供 

1. 交通意外後,需要落口供嗎?
2. 為甚麼警察不約我落口供?
3. 有哪幾個種類的口供?
4. 警察什麼部門負責處理交通意外?
5. 警察建議我們私下和解,甚麼意思?
6. 落口供後,需要索取副本嗎?
7. 警方話我有錯,我還可以進行民事索償嗎?
8. 警方不檢控對方司機,我還可以進行民事索償嗎?
9. 我需要等待警方檢控對方司機才可以進行民事索償嗎?

睇醫生篇

1. 意外發生後,一定要坐救護車送院嗎?
2. 意外發生後當日自行回家休息,第二天發現身體痛楚,依然可以索償嗎?
3. 一定要索取病假紙嗎?
4. 照X光後確定沒有骨裂,但身體依然痛楚,該怎麼辦?
5. 一定要到政府醫院就診嗎?能否睇私家醫院或診所?
6. 如果醫生只簽了兩天病假, 對索償有沒有影響?

聘用律師索償

1. 遭遇意外受傷就一定可以民事索償嗎?
2. 民事索償的律師費用會否很貴?
3. 不聘請律師自行處理,可以嗎?
4. 如何選擇好的律師進行索償?
5. 索償時要簽署授權信給予律師樓嗎?
6. 索償程序歷時多久?
7. 我可以索償多少賠償?
8. 進行意外索償有否任何風險?
9. 進行意外索償會否很麻煩?
10. 進行意外索償一定要上法庭嗎?
11. 什麽叫訴訟前和解 (Pre-action Settlement)?
12. 已經出律師信給予對方,為什麽對方遲遲未回覆?
13. 意外索償在什麽情況下需要入稟法庭?
14. 入稟法庭後會發生什麽事?
15. 什麼叫附帶條款付款(Sanctioned Payment)?
16. 交通意外後司機無報保險,會影響傷者索償嗎?

If you or your family member/friend have been injured in an accident, and the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, you can consult us for free via our WhatsApp hotline 6103 0006 or email us to set up a free telephone consultation.

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