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.

Understanding Whiplash 

 

Understanding Whiplash, What is Whiplash

Understanding Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in those who have been involved in road accidents. Although it may not be debilitating to the point of being unable to work, whiplash can be extremely painful and can introduce neck and shoulder pain or even headaches that could stay with you for life.  

 

What is whiplash?  

Whiplash occurs usually when you are in a vehicle which has been hit from the rear, the head is thrown forward with the momentum of the collision but the seatbelt stops the body from moving more than an inch or so, meaning that the neck and head extend forward in a jerked motion.  

Although this is more common if your car has been hit from behind, it can also occur in the rear car or can occur due to a sports accident, fall or physical abuse.  

The resulting injury varies in severity depending on the speed of the collision, but often manifests in at least a very sore neck, and at most severe pain in the neck and shoulders, debilitating headaches and nausea.  

 

How long will it take to recover?  

For most people, it will take about two to three months to make a full recovery, however, there are some cases that will take longer to heal properly due to the severity of the accident. In rare cases, people experience chronic pain after a whiplash incident.  

 

Whiplash and the Law 

Whiplash is a very common injury, but many are unaware of what the law says about whiplash. Like all injures, you must have proof that an independent medical practitioner has assessed you and given you a diagnosis if you are to make a claim. Although whiplash injuries vary in severity, we understand that no injury is just a nuisance. If you suffered whiplash in an injury that wasn’t your fault, you could be due compensation.  

 

What can I do?  

If you’ve been in an accident and you feel you may have whiplash, contact your GP immediately to start medication and exercise to put you back to rights.  

 

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 solicitors 

Staying Safe in Extreme Weather

With Storm Dennis only just getting started, slip trips and falls in the ice and wind are a serious risk. 

It’s important to remain cautious and vigilant in such extreme weather conditions. If you are in an area of high risk do not travel. Nothing is as important as your safety, so don’t risk it.

Make sure you look out for areas of black ice when walking and driving, and ensure your car is equipped to deal with emergencies (i.e. breakdowns in negative Celsius temperatures).

Be wary of public spaces like train or bus stations that will have slippery floors due to water being tracked in by commuters and crowd.

A seemingly simple fall can actually have severe consequences – don’t write off your injury if it has affected you with regards to your ability to work or travel, has taken away from your daily activities or has knocked your confidence. If you’ve had an accident within the last three years, you could have a claim, so contact Bonnar Accident Law and speak to one of our personal injury lawyers today to have an easy discussion about what you could be owed, absolutely free of charge. No win, no fee.

Immediate independent legal advice is available for anyone in Scotland, so please call us free of charge on 0800 163 978 or complete our Free Online Claim Enquiry form.

Trips, Slips and falls: How to Claim Compensation 

Slips, trips and falls are extremely common, and can result from misplaced equipment, unmarked wet areas, or defective flooring. If there is a person who should be responsible for your safety (whether at work, or out and about in public areas), then  you could be owed compensation. Call us today to speak to one of our friendly experts to have your case reviewed for free.

Possible injury-causing defects:

  • Broken pavements or walkways
  • Broken or inadequate handrails
  • Road or street repairs
  • Missing drain/manhole covers
  • Construction work
  • Pipe or cable laying
  • Damaged floors
  • Food or drink spillages
  • Wet floors
  • Snow or icy conditions – if the area has not been treated according to an agreed schedule. (The specific conditions underfoot at the time of your accident need to be assessed and the responsibilities of the property owner determined before a claim can be made.)

 

Let our expert legal team help you today — Find out if you have a claim. 

If you’d like to speak to us to assess your slip, trip or fall compensation, don’t delay.

You can complete our Free Online Claim Enquiry or Call us now on 0800 163 978 , and let us help you, today. 

 

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Earlier this month, Mark Allen, fraud and financial crime manager at the Association of British Insurers, said:

“The extent to which people think it is acceptable to lie to the insurance industry is shocking. All law-abiding motorists end up paying the bill for fraudsters who invent and exaggerate injuries to claim compensation they are not entitled to.”

He went on to say that:

“The Government’s reforms to shut down the whiplash gravy-train cannot come soon enough and in the meantime, people should be warned that the insurance industry is determined to root out and prosecute those who try to take advantage of the system.”

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