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What to do at the scene of a road traffic accident

Some keypoints and advice on what to do at the scene of an accident.

  1. Don’t make a phone call whilst sitting in a car immediately after an accident and then get out of the car with the phone in your hand. It will only encourage the other driver to allege you were on the phone when the accident occurred.
  2. Don’t just get a mobile telephone number from the other driver. It’s very easy to take these down wrong and it is very easy to be given a false number. Ask for a name and address. Ask to see a driving licence. Ask to see insurance. Take photos of the driving licence. Take photos of the insurance certificate.
  3. Don’t take photographs too close up of the damage. It is more helpful to take a photograph from a distance as it would help explain how the accident occurred. Always take a photograph of the registration number of the other vehicle and a photograph showing its make, model and colour. If a vehicle turns out to be uninsured, all this information is vital. Don’t assume that you will remember what the other driver looks like. Take a photograph of them if you can. Again, if they are not insured, you need to be able to provide a description, and if somebody alleges that they weren’t driving, it is important that you have captured this image.
  4. Don’t say sorry. People sometimes say sorry out of embarrassment or because they are worried they will seem uncaring if they don’t. Words can be twisted. You should always make sure that you do tell the other driver exactly why you feel they are at fault.
  5. Don’t allow the other driver to convince you not to contact the police. Even though the police are unlikely to come to an accident unless there is significant injury, it is still a legal obligation to report the accident to the police and it is always better if you can say that you were the one who contacted the police.
  6. Don’t assume someone is insured. If you contact us even from the scene of an accident, we can carry out a Motor Insurers Database check and ensure that the vehicle is legally insured and compare that database information with the make and model to guarantee you that it is not a ringer.
  7. Don’t tell the other driver that you are “absolutely fine”. Its too early at the scene of an accident to know that, and again those words can subsequently be used against you.
  8. Don’t agree to go to the other drivers’ nominated garage to get your car fixed! You lose control of the process when you do this. You have no comeback if the repairs are unsatisfactory and you can often be mucked about. It is much better to simply get the insurance details and let us make the at fault insurance company deal with it. Don’t forget that the at fault driver’s insurance goes up just as much if he or she is claiming for their own vehicle damage as it does if you claim against them.
  9. Don’t forget to look for CCTV from any surrounding buildings, shops or garages.
  10. Don’t forget to ask anybody who approaches you if they saw the accident, and get their name, address and contact telephone numbers.
  11. Don’t forget to download and save any dashcam footage.
  12. Don’t forget to ask any witnesses whether they have captured the accident on dashcam.
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Narrow Country Road Accidents

If you have had a collision on a narrow, rural road – know your rights.

Keypoints to consider are;

  1. A narrow road means a road where the tarmac width, when measured, is too narrow for two cars to safely and successfully pass each other. This measurement does not include any grass verges.
  1. In a narrow road collision, don’t assume that it’s simply 50/50 or that there is nothing you can do.
  1. A narrow road collision does not equate to a knock for knock where neither party can pursue a claim. Instead, it means you can usually get back a minimum of 50% of your uninsured losses and injury compensation entitlement.
  1. Even if the road is too narrow for two cars to pass, if you can prove you got stopped, it is the other driver’s fault. Dashcam footage can be absolutely vital.  If you regularly travel on narrow rural roads, we strongly recommend that you purchase a forward-facing dash cam.
  1. If you managed to manoeuvre your vehicle onto the grass verge and gave the other driver enough room, but they still hit you, then you may be able to prove that they were totally at fault. It is important to take photographs of the vehicles from about 10 yards away to show their position and also take photographs showing any tyre marks on the road or the verge which support your case.
  1. If the other driver has cut the bend giving you less time to take evasive action, they can be held wholly or mostly at fault.
  1. If the other person’s vehicle is an HGV, we can check if it is prohibited from the nature of road it was on.
  1. If the other vehicle was a wide tractor or other farming vehicle, was it appropriately displaying a beacon?
  1. Were there other factors such as dangerous overhanging branches that forced either vehicle to the middle of the road?
  1. Was there mud on the road from farming activities which prevented either vehicle from stopping?
  1. Did the other driver ignore a suitable place to pull in and stop but instead drove on?
  1. It is only 50/50 if both parties fail to stop in time and the road is genuinely too narrow for two cars to pass.
  1. Even at 50/50, you can still claim back half your insurance excess or half your repair bill and recover half the full value of your injury.
  1. Take advice from us and remember any passenger in your vehicle is entitled to pursue the other driver’s insurance company only and not claim directly off your insurance even in a 50/50 agreed liability split scenario.

If you’ve been involved in a narrow country road collision on Northern Ireland Roads contact our Accident Claims Specialist on 028 27 66 30 33 or Request a Call Backs

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Brain Trauma & Serious Injury Claims

We have built up extensive experience in this field over forty years.  Thankfully, there are less brain trauma and serious injury cases as crash helmet and safety and vehicle technology has developed.  However, sadly, these injuries do still occur and we have access to the appropriate brain injury rehabilitation teams, neuro-surgeons, neuro-psychologists and nursing care experts to ensure that the victim is properly compensated and obtains sufficient funds to manage their tragic circumstances into the future and to provide for their families and care needs.

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