Posts

How to Stay Safe on the Roads This Summer

How to Stay Safe on the Roads This Summer

As UK lockdown measures are beginning to ease and the weather is slowly heating up as we head into the summer months, it’s predicted that ‘staycations’ will be the most holiday of choice for many across the UK, whilst travel abroad remains relatively restricted.

Combined with more people heading back into work and an increase in people travelling for social reasons, there will be a significant rise in cars returning to the roads. Unfortunately, the more cars there are on the roads the higher the risk of road traffic accidents. Especially as many drivers have had some time off driving during the lockdown, it’s understandable people might be feeling a little rusty behind the wheel, especially if they are setting off on a midsummer road trip.

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 our top tips to staying safe as we all get back behind the wheel.

 

Safety Checklist

Taking some sensible precautions before getting back behind the wheel for the first time in a while, could help you and others to stay safe, as well as helping you to avoid committing any motoring offences. If your car has been sat stagnant in your driveway or garage through lockdown, make sure to check your tyres, engine oil and breaks are all to standard before you set off. Also, it’s worth double-checking that your vehicle tax or insurance hasn’t expired in the time you haven’t been driving.

 

Summer Considerations

If we’re lucky enough to get a hot summer in the UK, make sure you take this into account before you set off on any longer road trips. The heat can cause a host of problems from dehydration to tiredness behind the wheel so try to keep your car as cool as possible, make sure to keep yourself hydrated and always remember your sunglasses. If you’re using a sat nav to guide your trip, make sure it’s positioned safely before you set off somewhere where it’ll be safe from any screen glare.

 

Drive on the Left

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of the global population drive on the right-hand side of the road? The UK, alongside just 75 other countries, compromise the other third who choose to drive on the left-hand side of the road. As such, although we can likely expect less tourists on UK roads this year as travel restrictions remain commonplace, it’s worth keeping in mind especially in tourist spots that there may be drivers around you who aren’t as familiar with our rules of the road. The best course of action? Stay calm, be extra careful when driving on roads that are less familiar and keep on the lookout for other drivers who may make sudden turns or stops.

 

Be Alert

Whether a tourist or not, many drivers may be lacking confidence if they haven’t driven for some time. Misjudging another driver’s speed or path is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents in the UK. Examples include misjudging a gap when pulling out of a junction or when attempting to negotiate a busy roundabout. Another is to wrongly assume that another vehicle will make the manoeuvre that you expect them to make. Whilst anticipating the actions of another driver is an essential driving skill, never assume that the action you’d take would be the exact same for another driver.

 

Know Your Surroundings

If you are driving on one of the many single-track roads in the UK, whilst you may feel more confident knowing the rules of the road more than a tourist would, before driving we’d recommend a quick refresh of the rules of single-track road driving. Do stop in designated passing places to let approaching traffic pass and for other motorists to overtake, however do not park or block a passing place. Keep a close eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, as well as sheep and wild animals. Make sure you have a full tank of fuel before you set off and take it slow, it’ll make the road safer for everyone.

 

What do I do if I am Involved in a Road Traffic Accident?

If you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It’s very 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 drivers name, address, contact details and insure details
  • Videos or photographs of the scene, if possible, to back up your claim
  • The contact details of any witnesses
  • If required, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any admissions to the hospital
  • 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.

 

 

 

 

car accident

British insurers and your car accident claim

Got a car accident claim? Well look out because The Dalton ‘gang’ plan to carry out daylight robbery. 

ABI does not stand for The Association of British Insurers, it stands for Anti-Britain’s Injured and in its howls of hubris-fuelled hyperbole, it never ceases to amaze in its crass attempts to hijack the accident compensation agenda and engage in behaviour befitting Wild West outlaws.

Read more

whiplash

The AXA man and the Straw man claim there is no such thing as whiplash in the land of Oz….

Apparently, a few days ago, in the mythical land of Oz, the AXA man (distant relation to the Tin man) and the Straw man presented a wizard idea to an invited audience. ‘There is no such thing as whiplash’, they declared, ‘even if it existed, which it doesn’t, it doesn’t hurt. If you think something might be wrong and if you hurry, you can see one of our approved doctors over in Munchkin Land who will tell you how to get back to work asap. Naturally, the Wizard will not be paying compensation under any circumstances – premiums are high enough around here, what with accidents happening every day.’

Read more

Secrets and lies – The dysfunctional car insurance meerkat (and other animals)

bonnar accident law

bonnar accident law road traffic accident Glasgow, Scotland

Monday’s Dispatches investigation on Channel 4, presented by Harry Wallop certainly packed a punch and was a welcome riposte to the insurance lobby’s PR deluge of misinformation, miscreancy and mendacity.

We hope it is the first of many broadsides in the fight to redress the balance in favour of the British public’s entirely reasonable expectation to be treated fairly by some of the world’s largest corporations.

Not much to ask you would think but these guys have had it their own way for so long now and have so successfully weasled their way into government circles that they are setting the insurance agenda for all of us. A concerted effort by the concerned is required NOW to identify the real villains of the piece and the true insurance scammers operating in this dysfunctional market.

In our opinion this documentary was a good first step because it exploded the myth that insurance companies are primarily concerned about us, their customers.

The film absolutely nailed the point that the insurance companies and accident management firms are only concerned about maximising their profit margins as they pressurise motorists to deal with their ‘approved’ body shops and pressurise the garages to carry out work at minimal cost., often using non-standard parts.

Now this would not in itself be such a problem if savings were shared between insurance companies and policy holders and work was carried out to a high standard but this does not happen…and our premiums go up and up.

Evidence from experienced people in the trade confirmed that the pressure insurance companies put on body shops to cut costs compromises the integrity of the damaged vehicle and the safety of the driver and their family.

The story gets worse.

If a driver is involved in a no-fault accident his/her insurance company will seek to max out the ‘value’ of the claim by shamelessly inflating the cost of the repairs and hitting the other side for all they are worth….and who pays for this?

Correct. We do every day.

Whilst the insurance companies are busy portraying themselves as ‘holier than thou’ and the nation’s protectors of the vulnerable, they are busily scamming the market for every penny they can extract from supplier rebates and other kickbacks and exploiting their customers without any regard to the principles of good business practice, far less business ethics.

The insurance companies then have the bare-faced audacity to stuff their own pockets with all this extra ‘bunce’ and then claim that innocent accident victims who have the temerity to claim compensation are responsible for the hike in premiums which the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) states are inflated to the tune of at least £250m per annum by the industry’s own malpractices.

Their underhand tactics have thankfully not gone completely unnoticed. The OFT has announced that it will be investigating the insurance market, despite the best efforts of a toadying government to foster the myth of a compensation culture and agree to virtually everything the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has demanded in recent years.

In typical weasel word fashion, as befits its modus operandi, the ABI claims that it welcomes an investigation. Aye right, we’ll see…as we live in hope.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the ABI to explain why its members are paying out on claims known to be fraudulent.

If a claim is known to be fraudulent why does the industry not take action to prosecute the fradusters? The conclusion must be that the insurance companies are spending a hefty chunk of our car insurance premiums on fraudulent claims. Perhaps the ABI’s Nick Starling can explain why this SCANDAL is allowed to go on unchecked.

Could it be that there are far fewer fraudulent claims than suits the ABI position and that the creation of the ‘bogeyman’ of an insurance fraudster is a very useful whipping boy when it comes to peddling lies about whiplash claims and the impact on premiums?

We will be asking the OFT to look at this matter very closely…and checking with Harry Wallop to see if he is planning to look at the government’s and the insurance industry’s perverse approach to dealing with personal injury claims.

Written by Andy Thorogood, Business Development Manager, Bonnar Accident Law. 

 

Referral fees in personal injury cases – the real culprits

How would you feel if your solicitor had sold your personal details to an insurance company, a claims management company, a car hire firm or a vehicle repair garage? …Exactly.

…and how would you feel if your insurance company had sold your personal details without your knowledge??

The fact is that insurance companies have been making money this way for years, by selling accident details to third parties.

Now, having been found out, they now have the bare-faced cheek to welcome the proposed government reforms announced last week by Jonathan Djanogly MP, Under Secretary of State for Jusrtice. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is on record as stating that they didn’t actually want to charge referral fees in the first place but felt they had to otherwise someone else would.

Well that’s alright then. What they really meant to say was that they could not possibly ignore a lucrative, no-cost, income generation stream, so why not have the moral fibre to say so?

Then they shamelessly turn the heat up on innocent accident victims claiming that people who have the temerity to actually seek compensation are the main cause of increases in car insurance premiums.

It is really quite nauseating to hear the insurance companies bleat their belated concerns on referral fees from their newly discovered moral high ground.

As personal injury solicitors helping hurt and injured people every day, we regularly have to dispel the myths and set the record straight on what’s involved in making a compensation claim.

We never have and never will pay an insurance company for a road traffic accident claimant’s details and we would be very happy to see the back of referral fees for all types of personal injury cases.  We would welcome much greater transparency at every stage of the claims process, because for the most part most of the public have got it wrong through no fault of their own.

They have been fed a line by the insurance companies that claiming compensation is borderline immoral in this current climate and conversely  ‘sold’ an idea by the claims companies that they only need to register aclaim to be awarded damages. No wonder people are confused…and no wonder most people with a genuine claim still do not make a claim for compensation (The Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux research).

The problem,however, is that the current heated debate has not shed much light on the real culprits, namely the insurance industry and claims management firms.

The former uses its slick PR machine to vilify and stigmatise legitimate claimants and actively discourages accident victims from making a claim. The latter get in between claimants and professionally qualified legal advisors and have created a commodity market in accident claims which they seek to trade.

The real losers are the claimants. Many car accident victims are discouraged by their own insurance company from appointing an independent solicitor and furthermore claimants are generally unaware that they are often not dealing directly with a qualified solicitor but with an unqualified and unregulated claims management intermediary who is normally unable to do anything for them other than ‘find’ them a lawyer – at a price…expensive televison adverts have to be paid for somehow. 

The answer is simple. Let claimants shop around..as most are now already doing.

There is no shortage of advice available to help people make an informed choice and by advice I mean proper independent advice such as that provided by the CAB, The Law Society of Scotland, The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers or organisations such as Headway UK – the Brian Injury Association – none of which have a financial interest in recommending the best solicitor for the job.

As a final check claimants should always seek out and study testimonials from satisfied customers of their preferred law firm.