Avoiding Liability Disputes

Road traffic accidents can often be traumatic events, but sometimes being on the ball following an accident can pay off later. It is a common theme where a third party may admit liability at the scene of the accident, only to change their mind and tell their insurers a different story.

Therefore, if you have taken the other party at their word and just taken their contact details before leaving the scene of an accident, you can be at a disadvantage later on. It is always worthwhile gathering as much evidence as you can at the scene of an accident in case this information is needed during the course of your claim.

It is important for your Insurers / Solicitors to have as much information as possible be able to make their own investigations and assess liability. It is important that they are able to contact any witnesses as soon as possible after the accident, whilst it is still fresh in the mind of the witness. If they are not contacted until a long time after the accident, it may be difficult to get them to co-operate at this stage.

Sometimes, if there is minimal damage to a vehicle, a third party may try and get the vehicle repaired themselves and then deny being involved in an accident. Therefore, it would assist to get photos of the damage to both vehicles and also a photo of the third party registration number.

To try and support their case, a third party may tell his insurers that he was travelling in a different lane or direction than he actually was. In this instance photos of the vehicles on the road will assist, as this will show their positioning immediately following the accident. This may be difficult as a driver’s first reaction may be to pull over to avoid traffic. However, even photos taken from inside the car to show the positioning of the vehicles immediately after the collision, may assist with liability investigations.

Therefore, some things to consider in the event of an accident

  • If possible, take photos of the vehicles on the road before they are moved, to show the positioning of both vehicles at the time of the collision.
  • Has anybody witnessed the accident? If so, ask them for their contact details.
  • Take a photo of the third party number plate
  • Take photos of the damage to both vehicles so this cannot be disputed at a later date.
  • When taking details of the third party driver, ask to see their photo driving licence to make sure the name they are giving you is correct and not an alias
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