Rear-End Shunts: Who’s Fault Was It?

Hundreds of thousands of road traffic accidents occur on UK roads every single year and research from various insurance bodies has estimated that rear-end shunts account for 1 in 4 of all road traffic accidents. When it comes to rear-end collisions, there is a strong assumption that the rear vehicle is at fault, regardless of whether or not the driver of the front vehicle drove in a manner which may have contributed to the accident.  

This is because motorists are expected to allow sufficient distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, so to avoid a collision if the vehicle in front were to suddenly stop. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states: “Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly stops. The safe rule is never to get closer than the overall stopping distance.”

However, we understand that no two accidents are ever the same and it always depends on the individual circumstances. As with all personal injury claims, you need to show negligence on the part of the other driver or drivers, involved in the accident.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims so if you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch today or keep reading to find out exactly what a rear-end shunt is, how to determine who is at fault and the steps you should take if you are injured.

 

What is a Rear-End Shunt?

A rear-end shunt is when one vehicle collides into the back of a vehicle in front. This might be when the car in front is stationary, for example at a junction, roundabout or traffic lights, or when congested traffic is moving slowly. Accidents such as these are common when the driver of the rear vehicle has a momentary loss of concentration or when they’re perhaps travelling too close to the vehicle in front. Multiple rear-end shunts can also be common in lines of queuing traffic and can create a ‘domino effect’, where the impact of a car hitting the end of a queue can push other cars forward into the back of the cars in front of them.

 

Who is at Fault?

The reason most rear-end shunts are the fault of the rear driver is because they can see what is ahead and take the necessary measures to prevent the crash. Whether it’s by paying attention to the weather conditions, the road conditions, or the traffic ahead, it’s our responsibility as motorists to stay alert and keep a safe distance between ourselves and the vehicle in front of us, so we can stop in time in the event of an accident. The driver of the vehicle in front should be taking these same steps, and therefore, may be unaware of the accident that might be about to occur behind them or have no way of preventing the rear driver from hitting their car. This is especially true when the front driver is stationary at traffic lights or a junction.

With that said, there are occasions when the actions of the front driver may make it impossible for a rear driver to stop in time and in those circumstances, the front driver may be at fault for the accident. For example, if the driver in front comes to a sudden and abrupt stop, at a time and in a location that couldn’t be foreseeable or if the front driver’s tail lights aren’t working.

 

What do I do if I am Involved in a Rear-End Shunt?

We completely understand that at the time of the accident you may be too shaken to clearly identify who was at fault. If you aren’t sure, then do not admit liability or responsibility for the accident. Rather just stay calm and try to remember as many of the details as you can as these can help to support your claim if you weren’t at fault. Especially in the case of rear-end shunts, evidence retrieved from dashcam footage or witness accounts can hugely back up your claim. Other details you should obtain at the time include:

  • The other driver’s name, address, contact details and insurance details
  • Videos or photographs of the scene and of any damage to your car if possible
  • The contact details of any witnesses
  • The registration, make and model of the vehicle
  • The date, time and location of the accident

If required, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any admission to the hospital. And as ever, always report the accident to the police.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

 

It is estimated that every year there are over 1 million uninsured drivers on the roads in the UK. Even more shocking, is the fact that uninsured drivers are involved in more than 25,000 road traffic accidents each year.

Car insurance is there to protect people who are involved in road traffic accidents, as insurance makes sure that the driver at fault is able (through their insurance company) to cover the cost of any damage, loss or injury and help put the victims back in the position they were in, prior to the accident.

Valid car insurance is a mandatory requirement for motorists in the UK, it is illegal to drive without it. Yet sadly, thousands of drivers continue to take to the roads each year without insurance, putting others and themselves at risk.

It’s important to know that regardless of whether or not the driver at fault has insurance, you may still be eligible for compensation. Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims and can help you every step of the way.

How do I know if I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver?

It may happen that the other driver is upfront and honest with you. However, as driving without insurance is illegal, it’s, unfortunately, more likely that they will be reluctant or outright refuse to pass on their insurance information.

If the other party does refuse to give you any information, or you’re sceptical about the insurance information they have provided, you can check for yourself at the time of the accident by using the Motor Insurance Database (MID). There’s a small charge for a one-off search, but all you need from the other driver is their registration number and the MID will tell you instantly whether a vehicle is insured or not.

 What should I do if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it’s vitally important that you gather as much information and evidence as possible at the time. This includes

  • The registration, make and model of the vehicle
  • The date, time and location of the accident
  • The other driver’s name, address, contact details
  • Videos or photographs of the scene if possible, to back up your claim

We understand that, regrettably, uninsured drivers are less likely than most to stick around in the event of a road traffic accident. In this case, still take as much information as you can as this will help your case.

If you discover the other driver is uninsured, or if they refuse to give you their details or leave straight after the accident, you must notify the police. Refusing to give insurance information is as much of an offence as driving uninsured is.

Can I claim against an uninsured driver?

If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can claim through your insurance company only if you have fully comprehensive cover. Unfortunately, this means that if you only have a Third Party, Fire or Theft policy, you won’t be covered for claims against an uninsured driver regardless of whether it was your fault or not. Not to worry though, in this case, you can make a claim through The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

MIB was set up to help drivers in the event they’re involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured driver. MIB will carry out investigations, like an insurer, to establish the facts and may access police reports and witness statements, before they issue their response. There are certain criteria you have to meet, such as how quickly after the accident you file a claim, but they can assist you and may be able to compensate you in the absence of an insurance company. 

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we can make a claim on your behalf via MIB and are well versed in dealing with claims against uninsured drivers.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver?

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver – Drunk driving accident claim

Despite stringent laws and social pressure, drunk driving is still a serious problem within the UK. On average, around 3,351 people are injured and 666 deaths are recorded due to drunk driving incidents every year. Most would never consider anything so dangerous and disrespectful of human life as drunk driving, but we may not be able to control whether or not we might encounter a drunk driver on the road: so what steps can we take to stay safe?  

 

  1. Be safe. 

    Always encourage people around you who have been drinking either to stay home, get a taxi or use public transport – the national drink-drive limit in Scotland is just 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath or 50mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood. This means that just one drink is too much to drive safely. However, these can change depending on where you are in the country, so be sure to check the drink driving limits where you are to avoid any penalties. 

 

  1. Stay alert

     If you see someone driving on the road and you suspect they may be driving under the influence of alcohol, keep your distance, and have a passenger in the car phone 999 to report the location of the vehicle and the license plate number. 

 

  1. Be vigilant during peak times.

     There is more drink driving arrests over the weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. BE sure to be especially vigilant at these times late at night when pubs, clubs and other establishments are likely to close. 

 

Can I claim if I’ve been hit by a drunk driver? 

Yes – if you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you could be due compensation either for your injury or even for mental trauma.  

Firstly, if you suspect the driver of the other car has been drinking, call the police to issue a breathalyser test. 

Secondly, following the incident, be sure to gather as much evidence at the scene as you can. This could be by taking photos with your phone, possibly asking for witness statements from people who may have seen the accident and taking down the drivers details.  

Finally, if for whatever reason you are unable to gather evidence at the scene, possibly due to the nature of your injuries, make sure to get a police report following the accident. 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our no win no fee solicitorsroad traffic accident claim.

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