DON’T ACCEPT 50/50 ON AN ACCIDENT IN A COUNTRY LANE
By Katherine Flashman Kitson
Here in Devon and Cornwall we are all driving on single lane country lanes all the time. It’s part of life. Accidents do happen on these lanes. Insurance companies/lawyers will try to persuade you that it has to be knock for knock / 50/50. Don’t accept this. It doesn’t.
Accidents on country roads are like accidents anywhere. You have to examine the facts to find out who was to blame for the accident and that frequently does not lead to a conclusion of 50/50 although the insurers will try this on every time.
In determining where liability rests you need to look at the respective speeds of the parties, the positioning of the vehicles, how the accident actually occurred, what each party said and whether there were any witnesses, even just passengers in the vehicles as there are unlikely to be independent witnesses.
In most accidents that we see there is a party at fault and liability should rest 100% with that party, not on a 50/50 basis between the parties.
Think about it, this makes a huge amount of difference to a claim. If your car gets written off and you have suffered injuries your losses may run into tens of thousands of pounds. If you accept 50/50 you would only get 50% of that loss. Plus if you accept 50/50 the other driver would claim 50% of their loss against you when the reality is you should be getting 100% of your loss and they should not be able to make any sort of claim against you/your insurers, which could affect your no claims bonus.
It is not only insurers who try to argue that accidents on country lanes are 50/50. We see lawyers advising clients to accept 50/50 deals on these types of accidents all the time. These are lawyers who are not familiar with driving on country lanes in Devon and Cornwall and are probably based in city locations and have no idea what the actual facts of driving are down here. Don’t accept their advice.
A recent case we were involved in highlights this point perfectly. Our client was driving his tractor along a country lane when another vehicle came around the corner too fast, not positioned correctly and collided with him causing an accident. His vehicle was damaged and he suffered injuries and brought a claim. He was referred by his insurers Cornish Mutual to their panel solicitors. A claim was made and the other side offered 50/50. At first he rejected it. Six months’ later the offer was made again of 50/50. He wanted to reject it but his lawyers to whom his insurers had referred him, told him that he should accept it. He wasn’t happy as he knew he had done nothing wrong in the accident and the accident was entirely the fault of the other driver.
Thankfully he instructed us and within a couple of months we had persuaded the other side’s insurers that this was not a 50/50 case and they admitted liability fully on a 100% basis.
In his case his claim is worth tens of thousands of pounds, which he therefore stood to lose half of if he had accepted the deal his lawyers were telling him to.
Therefore if you are involved in an accident on a country road make sure you have the right lawyer and ideally instruct us. I drive on country roads every day and I know exactly what that is like and I would never advise a client to accept 50/50 in an accident that wasn’t their fault. It comes down to getting the right advice from someone with the right experience and from a firm who gives clients the best service. Don’t do what insurance companies tell you, don’t go to the lawyers that your insurance companies suggest you go to. Go to a lawyer you can trust to do the best job.
For more information please contact Katherine Flashman Kitson at Parnalls. 01566 772375 firstname.lastname@example.org
Been Asked to Sign an Employment Settlement Agreement? Seek Advice Urgently...
Services Update: Continuity of Legal Service Provision
Advising You in Uncertain Times
Could carelessness on social media land you in court?
Is an electronic signature on a commercial property document acceptable?
What happens when there is no health & care LPA in place
Social Media Training for Businesses
Information to gather for your probate solicitor
Gazundering, what it is and how to avoid it
Relief from forfeiture – what happens if the tenant forgets to pay the rent?
Not so safe at work - compensation for an accident at work
New organ donation law: giving you control
Running a business from home
Have nude photos of you or your teenager been posted online?
Landowners’ rights and the Electronic Communications Code
Building in your back garden
Christmas is a time for giving (and inheritance planning)
Buying the freehold of your leasehold house
Redeveloping an empty pub for commercial use
Why it takes time to obtain the Grant of Probate
Social Media: The unconscious privacy threat
Is your reputation being threatened?
Making a will after your spouse or partner has died
Interns celebrate completion of internship at solicitors
Selling your home in a flat market, some top tips
Claiming compensation for a serious road traffic accident
New Media and Communications Court list reflects surge in internet defamation claims by Laura Baglow
Has your personal information been shared without your permission?
Planning your escape to the country, what you need to consider – part 2
Government consultation on new national model for shared ownership
Choosing a partnership structure
Planning for what happens when you die by Deborah Adams
Changes to legislation could offer protection for tenants in the private rental sector
Move to the country - Part One
The risks of DIY probate
Will your septic tank still be legal in January?
The death knell for ‘kiss and tell’?
Making a will when you retire
Selling your property at auction
Not looking so good - your guide to compensation for botched non-surgical cosmetic procedures
New threshold of seriousness in defamation proceedings
Legal considerations when building a granny annex
Choosing the right person for your power of attorney
Formal Interviews - Do you need legal representation?
Privacy rights and aerial images
Trustees’ duty to give information to beneficiaries
Five problems with a leasehold property
Taking your first commercial lease
Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk?
Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?
Farmers be alert when being inspected
Help for House Sellers?
Don’t let your digital assets end up in a digital grave
Valuing an estate for probate
Development proposals and your local authority search
What can you do if your child is injured in a serious accident
NetRights welcomes new protection for social media users
SHOULD I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING OFFENCE?
Supreme Court recognises that social media is a “casual medium” in libel battle
Choosing the best conveyancer who is right for you
Making a will after a second or subsequent marriage
Option or promotion agreement – which is best for landowners?
Anonymous pub and restaurant online reviews leave a bad taste
Have you had an accident involving a horse?
Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure
Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney
Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords
Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation
New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year
Tax Planning for your inheritance
Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable
Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider
Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit
Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News
Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation
Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea
Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?
Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?
HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments
Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor
The potential implications of Brexit on employment law
Appointing a guardian for your children
Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018
New Agriculture Bill published
Will Brexit affect my pension?
Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up
Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams
Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager
How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die
How overage agreements can boost profits from your land
Top tips for first-time buyers
How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?
Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams
Brexit – an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation
Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK
Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell
Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money
Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home
Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member
Considerations when buying a heritage property
Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers
Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.