The Importance of Independent Witnesses

We received instructions from Mr Bhatti, who had been involved in a road traffic accident on a roundabout in Manchester.

Mr Bhatti was driving round the roundabout, intending to take the third exit, when the Third Party, in this case a taxi driver appeared from the second exit of the roundabout and drove into him. Mr Bhatti sustained injuries to his neck.roundabout

He exchanged details with the taxi driver at the scene and he took photographs of the damage to both vehicles.

Fortunately, another driver, Mr Khan stopped and offered help to Mr Bhatti and said that he had seen everything and gave him his contact details.

Mr Bhatti contacted Express Solicitors to pursue a personal injury claim.

The insurers of the other driver did not accept responsibility for the accident; they stated it was Mr Bhatti’s fault. They said that Mr Bhatti had changed lanes and drove into collision with the taxi.

We contacted Mr Khan, the independent witness, and asked him if he would provide a Statement.  A Statement is a detailed document and this would set out what Mr Khan witnessed.

Mr Khan provided a very helpful statement which supported Mr Bhatti’s version of events and blamed the other driver for the accident.

We sent Mr Khan’s statement, together with photographs of the damage to both vehicles, and an offer to settle the claim to the insurers of the other driver.

The insurers failed to respond.

We advised Mr Bhatti that the because the insurers were failing to respond we should issue court proceedings and sue the other driver.

This was in the hope that the insurers would then respond and settle his claim. By issuing court proceedings we ask a judge to make the final decision as to who is at fault for the accident and the value of the claim. This process forces them to respond and deal with claims.

This tactic was successful, and the insurers responded and settled the claim in full. Mr Bhatti won his case and he received £2,110.00 in compensation.

The main reason Mr Bhatti  was successful is because of Mr Khan’s statement. The importance of Mr Khan was not only that he supported Mr Bhatti’s version of the accident circumstances, but also that they did not know each other.  Family and friends can often be a witness to accidents and will support a client’s version of events.  Often this is the helpful, however if a statement can be obtained from someone who is independent this will be more supportive as Mr Khan gave a true, unbiased version of events.  This means that their evidence is the best evidence you can have.

At the time of an accident there are so many things occurring and to think about. It is incredibly stressful and often painful. However, if you do decide to pursue a claim for personal injury later down the line it is useful to do the following:

  • Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the Third Party vehicle
  • Take photographs of where the vehicles come to rest
  • If there are witnesses to the accident, obtain their name address and telephone number

In cases where accidents occur on roundabouts If there are no independent witness’ the decision may be taken that liability or responsibility for the accident will be split between the client and the other driver, if there is no independent evidence to prove the client’s version of events and could often be a case of one person’s word against another.

However, in this case because we had an independent witness that supported Mr Bhatti’s version of events, he succeeded in full.

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