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Road Traffic Accident Liability

Here you will find all of our general advice in respect of road traffic accident liability. The majority of the advice is applicable to all types of road traffic accidents, however advice can only ever be generic and it is important, where you are thinking of bringing a claim, to seek legal advice specific to the situation you find yourself in. More specific liability advice is given in our sections on motorcycle accidents, cycle accidents and car accidents. If your accident was caused by a Highway defect, an animal, a pedestrian or a child, a foreign driver or an uninsured or untraced driver (MIB claim), we can also advise you on whether you can make a claim and work out liability.

We can help. Call us on 01935 823883

Questions You May Have About Road Traffic Accident Liability

What evidence is needed to prove liability?

People rarely want to accept liability (or responsibility) in a road traffic accident, even though they could be responsible for seriously hurting someone. Liability can either be reasonably straightforward and clear cut, where one party is 100% liable for an accident, or extremely complicated and time consuming, in a situation where multiple vehicles were involved. It will very much depend on the facts and the evidence available. If someone is injured in a road traffic accident, the police must always be called and they will produce a police report, which will contain all parties contact details, witness contact details, plus a description and possible diagram of the incident. This report could be the lynchpin for your case, however, it will not include witness statements or photos of the scene. Any additional information that can be provided, the stronger your case will be.

Here are the types of information needed to help prove who was liable for the road traffic accident:

  • Date, time and weather conditions
  • Who was involved in the accident – names and contact details
  • Where the accident took place
  • Speed of vehicles before accident
  • Position of vehicles after accident
  • Which drivers/riders were obeying the Highway Code?
  • Eye witness statements and any photos
  • Police reports
  • Photos and diagrams of accident and road layout

Some people think liability is merely a question of who was obeying the Highway Code and who wasn’t, but it isn’t always the case. While a failure to observe the Highway Code may be evidence of blame for an accident, the whole of the circumstances have to be taken into account. If the breach did not cause or contribute to the accident it will be ignored in deciding who was to blame.

How does liability effect my damages?

Liability has a direct impact of the damages you receive. For example if you are found to be 10% liable for the accident and you are awarded £10,000 damages, you will lose 10% of the award. This means you will receive 90% of the damages i.e. £9,000.

When considering liability for an accident you need to consider matters from the perspective of all parties and consider who did what wrong. In complicated scenarios, more than one person can be to blame for an accident. Where more than one person is to blame, they are each entitled to bring a claim, but the damages are reduced to take into account their responsibility or liability for the accident.

Can I change Solicitors?

Many people don’t realise you have the right to choose the solicitor you want to deal with your personal injury claim. Often when you have had an accident, your insurance company will allocate a solicitor to your case. Sometimes you might not get the level of service warranted and this is generally because a legal executive is dealing with your claim, rather than an experienced solicitor. Most cases are covered by Legal Expenses Insurance, so your case can be dealt with by any solicitor you choose. If you don’t think you are receiving the level of communication, service or advice you would like, then call us today so we can put your mind at rest. We will ask you some questions about your claim, to see if it is proceeding as it should, or whether perhaps you should think about changing solicitors, to someone with more specialist experience of road traffic personal injury claims.

How can Routh Clarke help you?

The first thing to do is contact us, so we can talk to you about your accident and help you decide your best way forward. Nick Routh is a keen motorist, biker, cyclist and runner and is on the road everyday, using at least one of these forms of transport. He was brought up on a farm and could drive a tractor before a car. He closely followed this with a motorbike, learning to ride on his father’s old Royal Marine display team bike. He has driven/ridden/run in all weathers and on all terrains and has even been much closer to the underside of a London bus than he would have liked, or was healthy for him! He is also a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). So if you want someone to represent you, who knows what they’re talking about and who can explain the legal process in a language you will understand, call Nick now for a no-obligation chat about your accident.

Call us now to discuss your road traffic accident on 01935 823883