Sheppey Crossing – Car crash victims

Posted by Neille Ryan

Partner & Head of Personal Injury

The police are apparently proposing to offer 32 people involved in the Sheppey Bridge pileup driver alertness sessions instead of prosecuting them for driving offences.

There may be concerned amongst victims of those 32 drivers that the lack of a police prosecution against them might in some way hinder the victim's entitlement to compensation.

However a victim needs only to prove that the person against whom they are bringing their claim was at least partly to blame for the accident. They do not have to prove that the other driver was driving so badly that they committed a road traffic offence.

In my experience of more than 20 years representing the injured victims of road traffic accidents is actually pretty rare for the other driver to be prosecuted, but that does not mean that the other driver was not wholly or partly to blame for the accident.

Admittedly a conviction against the other driver for a motoring offence can help a claimant, but the lack of conviction does not absolve the other driver from blame . What matters is whether or not the other driver was negligent.

It should be possible to obtain the full police accident report, in the event that there is a dispute over liability, and if the police truly have enough evidence to potentially prosecute 32 people then there must be plenty of information in the police records which would be of assistance to claimants.

Like most things in life it pays to seek out an expert, as there are plenty of so called lawyers offering advice to claimants despite few qualifications, little experience and questionable expertise. My advice to anyone who either is undecided as to whether or not to claim or who is having difficulty with their claim would be to contact a Solicitor with accredited claimant injury expertise. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers or a legal directory such as Chambers guide to the legal profession, or The Legal 500 would be a fine place to start looking.

For further information about personal injury claims in relation to road traffic accidents, contact Neille Ryan on 01227 763939.


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