Archive for March, 2013

From Snow at Bank Holidays to Motorcyclists and a daft dog

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Accident Claim Birmingham Easter eggs in basket

Easter Eggs

Could this be a first?  Snow on the ground on a Bank Holiday?  I live in Telford in Shropshire and it has been a weekend of shovelling snow to get the car off the driveway.  We tried to buy a snow shovel, but they were all out of stock.  Yes people panic bought snow shovels!  We should be buying seeds, compost, paddling pools and barbecues.

For those who do not work, on a usual spring Bank Holiday, you will probably head out somewhere.  Whether it be a meal out, the shops or further afield such as AltonTowers or the coast.  It is a time to relax with our families or friends.

One thing I have noticed, which is upsetting, is that if you pick up a local paper after a Bank Holiday weekend there will be a report of a road traffic accident, probably involving motorcyclists.  I assume that motorcyclists take to the road to go to bike meetings or just go on a day trip with other riders.  They use the country roads and as I understand practise the bends, some maybe in training for the TT races on the Isle of Man.

I have actually seen two riders come off their bikes, but fortunately they escaped serious injury.  One came off going around a bend of a country road, the other on a bend in a town.  On both occasions we stopped to help.  Neither of the riders would have been able to claim because the accident was their fault.  To claim you must be able to blame another driver.

I accept that usually with motorcycle accidents, however, it is not the rider’s fault.  Car drivers do not always ‘Think Bike’ when pulling out.  I have dealt with a claim whereby a car driver pulled out from stationary as a motorcyclist was overtaking.  The motorcyclist was knocked off his bike and was injured.  He succeeding in his claim against the car driver.   This accident occurred because the car driver did not look over his right shoulder to check for traffic before pulling out.

It is probably therefore a perception that there are more accidents involving motorcyclists on Bank Holidays than car drivers.  Unfortunately their accidents tend to be more serious and hence why they are reported in the press.

Whether you are a motorcyclist or car driver please drive carefully over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekends.  If you are unfortunate to be involved in an accident don’t forget that Personal Injury Pal can help if you are considering making an accident claim in Birmingham.  Please contact us or turn to our ‘Free Advice’ pages.

Accident Claim Birmingham dog jumping out of car

Daft Dog

I do recall a funny incident on a hot summer day. 

The ring road around Telford Town Centre has three lanes all in one direction.  All of a sudden a Labrador dog jumped out the open front passenger window of a moving car which was in front, but to the left of us.   The dog rolled, but got to its feet and shook itself down.  The owner pulled up sharply and got out to retrieve the dog.  All was fine but things could have been a lot worse.  Cars behind could have crashed into the owner’s car or the dog could have been run over.  People could have been hurt.

Personal Injury pal hope you enjoy the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekends, but please keep safety in mind when out on the road.

The Importance of Independent Witnesses

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The Importance of Independent Witnesses – Helen Powell, Solicitor, Personal Injury Solicitors Birmingham

If you are involved in an accident, the chances are that passers-by will stop to help.  If a passer-by stops to help it is very likely that they have witnessed the accident, but it not, they are on the scene moments later.  Either way, their evidence as to what they saw or heard can be crucial in determining the outcome of who is to blame for causing the accident. This is because prior to the accident they did not know either party and therefore they have nothing to win or lose by making a witness statement as to what happened.

I have acted for personal injury clients now for 12 years now and believe it or not it is rare that a client will provide a name and phone number of an independent witness.  Don’t get me wrong, 99% of the time passers-by do stop to help, but injured clients don’t think to get their details.  Not surprisingly, they say they were in pain and shock and “did not think”.  You could simply ask others around you to ask witnesses for names and addresses.

The opposing insurance company or a judge in court will place more reliance on the evidence of an independent witness.

Please click on our advice page for more simple step by step Advice and Tips on what to do in the event of an accident, both at the scene and after.

Uninsured/Untraced Drivers – Motor Insurers Bureau Claim

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Motor Insurers Bureau Claim uninsured vehicle

Motor Insurers Bureau Claim

 

I first started working in personal injury back in the Year 2000.  By that time I had worked in a legal environment for 5 years and had a law degree under my belt, but my knowledge of personal injury law and procedure was limited.  One thing I did not know, which many people also do not know, is that you can claim for compensation if you are a victim of a road traffic accident involving either an ‘uninsured’ or ‘untraced’ vehicle.

How does that work?

Where does the money come from?

In 1946 the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (known as the MIB and based in Milton Keynes) was established to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists.  Every insurer contributes money to the fund which is administered by the MIB.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident involving a motor vehicle and the accident was someone else’s fault and that driver was either ‘uninsured’ or ‘untraced’ then you may be eligible to claim under the ‘uninsured’ or ‘untraced’ schemes.

Motor Insurers Bureau Claim insurance policy

Motor Insurers Bureau Claim

You may instruct a solicitor to handle your claim.  The first step is to complete a claim form, either a paper claim form or a claim form online. This is then submitted to the MIB and the claim process commences.

Important Points

  • You must make your claim for injury within 3 years of the accident
  • You must make your claim for damage to personal property within 9 months of the accident
  • You must report the accident to the police within 14 days of the accident for personal injury, within 5 days of the accident for damage to personal property

 

What you can claim for

  • Cost of repairs to vehicle, or losses arising from damage to vehicle eg hire car
  • Treatment or rehabilitation
  • Compensation for injury or death, or losses arising from injury or death eg loss of earnings
  • Damage to property – non vehicle

Please note if you are claiming for repairs to vehicle or damage to property in the ‘untraced’ scheme, there is a £300 excess.  For example if you claim £1,000 for vehicle repairs, then you will be subject to the £300 excess and will only receive £700.

The MIB also operate the ‘Green Card System’.  They compensate UK citizens who are involved in accidents with foreign-registered vehicles, either in the UK or within the European Economic Area.

The MIB believe that the UK has one of the worst records in Western Europe for uninsured driving with an estimated 1 in 20 cars on the road being driven without the correct insurance.  A motor Insurance Database (MID) has been set up to combat this crime, reducing the number of uninsured motorists on the road, therefore reducing the cost to the industry of compensating victims of accidents involving ‘uninsured’ motorists.

Over the years, I have developed my knowledge of personal injury law and procedure, but as with any job, there is always something new which crops up.

If you require any help or advice on personal injury claims, please telephone Personal Injury Pal on 0121 643 5531 and one of our team will be happy to help.