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Road Accidents Drop During Lockdown

With many staying at home due to lockdown measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, emerging evidence suggests a drop in road accidents across the UK. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) released data exhibiting the drop, as there were 2.1 million claims made in 2020 (with the national lockdown commencing in March) which was a 19% decrease from the number of claims made in 2019. Furthermore, there were 1,580 reported road fatalities in the year ending June 2020, which exemplified a statistically significant decrease of 14% from 1,827 in the previous year. These statistics which were reported by the Department for Transport reinforce the original hypothesis suggesting that lockdown measures contributed to the drop in road accidents.

Despite the drop in road accidents, many of us unfortunately still are victims to this problem. Many have heard of stories and dread being caught in a road accident, yet here at Noble Solicitors we have an expert team to guide you through the aftermath of a road accident. We have created a guide below to assist you, but please get in contact and we will be pleased to provide further support through this tough time.

What Does the Law State?

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states: “If owing to the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, injury or damage is caused to a third party or animal, (which for the purpose of the act is defined as any horse, cattle, ass, mull, sheep, pig, goat or dog) then the drivers involved must: stop, exchange names and addresses of the drivers of the vehicles, exchange names and addresses of the owners of the vehicle, exchange details of registration marks, and in the case of injury, produce a valid certificate of insurance or security to any person with reasonable grounds to so require these details”. However, if the law is not complied with, then drivers must report the accident at a police station within 24 hours of the occurrence of the road traffic accident.

What to do immediately after a Road Accident

If you have been in a road accident, it is advised that you follow these steps based on section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1998 immediately after the accident:

  • First and foremost, drivers should always stop after a road accident. Failing to stop is regarded as failing to report, which is likely to exacerbate the situation.
  • If the car is still driveable, drivers must find a safe place to stop and switch the hazard lights on and turn the engine off. It is advised that passengers stand well away from the road and wear reflective jackets.
  • Unless someone has been injured, everyone should step out of the vehicle and stand in a safe space. If there are any injured, either call 999 or 101 based on the severity of the injuries.
  • If the accident is serious and drivers/animals have been injured, police will arrive on scene to assist. However, if the accident is minor, drivers should exchange details as discussed above (names, addresses, registration marks, insurance) and the accident should be reported within 24 hours. If it is safe to do so, drivers should take digital photos which can be used when making insurance claims.

Making an Insurance Claim

It is always advised to contact your insurer as soon as possible after a road accident to avoid your claim being invalidated. Drivers should provide insurers with as much detail as possible, including the name, address and insurance details of the third party involved in the road accident. Afterwards, the driver should outline the event in as much detail as possible and where possible, details of any witnesses could help a case. In some cases, relevant CCTV or dash cam footage may be available to assist with an accurate depiction of the event. Even if you believe yourself to be liable for the road accident, do not apologise or admit liability on the scene of the accident, as this can affect your legal and insurance position.

In the event that an insurer makes an early offer of compensation for any injuries, but the driver does not deem it suitable, drivers are advised to contact a specialist road traffic accident solicitor to take impartial legal advice before accepting/declining the offer.

Although only a small minority of personal injury claims in the UK go to court, if you are worried about this please get in touch with Noble Solicitors, who can guide you through these proceedings.

Penalties as a Result of Road Accidents

The court treats road accidents quite seriously and can hand out the following:

  • Terms of up to six months’ imprisonment
  • An unlimited fine
  • A discretionary disqualification
  • Between five and ten points
  • Other driving offences which may have been committed, such as dangerous or careless driving

Contact Us

It can be very traumatic being caught in a road accident, yet Noble Solicitors are on hand to guide and assist with the compensation and justice which you deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact Noble Solicitors and an expert solicitor will be in touch to discuss personal injury and an effective solution to your situation.

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