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Tag Archive: insurance

All is not lost if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver

tailgating


It can happen to anyone, at any time. Unfortunately, road traffic accidents are part and parcel of modern day-to-day life.

When it happens, first and foremost the concern is for the health and well-being of all involved, and if everybody walks away without having suffered life-threatening injuries, we thank our lucky stars.

For some drivers though, that is where their luck ends, and a potential nightmare begins, as they discover the other driver was uninsured, or perhaps driving a stolen vehicle, and the details given to them, if provided at all, turn out to be false.

Every week, about 2,000 vehicles are seized because owners can’t provide proof of insurance, while 15,000 letters are sent out to those suspected of keeping an uninsured vehicle.

It means the chances of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver are on the up, and as anyone who has found themselves in this situation will know, it brings an extra mountain of concern and worry as to how the matter will be resolved.

As specialists in handling claims against uninsured motorists, we at Neil Hudgell Solicitors deal with many such situations, and it is in these circumstances that our expertise in working with the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) plays a key role.

Following an accident, it is at an insurance company’s discretion as to whether they will deal with a claim if the other vehicle involved has been stolen, or was being driven by someone who is uninsured.

It is obviously a cause for concern, and can leave a law-abiding motorist fearing the worst.

All is not lost, however, if the insurance company will not pay out, or there isn’t a policy in place, as a claim can still be made.

Our team of specialist lawyers have the knowledge and experience to pursue the case on a driver’s behalf through the MIB, helping to ease the stress of the situation, and hopefully secure compensation on a no win, no fee basis.

With the recent change of season, the falling temperatures and the nights drawing in quickly, we all need to play our part in ensuring the roads are as safe as can be, adapting the way we drive to suit the conditions.

For the Government’s part, it has to continue working to tackle the problem of uninsured drivers, and it will therefore be interesting to see how the recently introduced automated tax system will play its part.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will now be making regular checks of number plates through cameras, and although this move is to be welcomed, the problem is not one likely to disappear overnight.

It will continue to be a reason for law-abiding drivers across the country facing rising insurance premiums, and those flouting the law will continue to be a threat on the roads.

The best advice is to take care when you drive, and ensure you are being driven by the right legal team should you be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

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15/10/2014 No Comments

Whiplash claims debate rages on



By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Whiplash injury claims seem to be a real bone of contention at the moment. Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has been particularly vocal on the topic, veering between demanding a reform of the claims system and calling for a ban on whiplash payouts altogether.

Amongst the company’s recommendations is the introduction of a new process whereby victims put their claims directly to the insurer of the driver who caused the crash. By cutting out the middlemen, Aviva expects that car insurance premiums will be cut by, on average, £60 per year – a real coup for motorists no?

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06/08/2014 No Comments

Poll refutes claims of growing ‘compensation culture’



By Sean Gordon, Senior Solicitor, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

The term ‘compensation culture’ seems to have been bandied about somewhat excessively of late, with insurance companies blaming disingenuous claimants for a surge in premiums and rising litigation costs.

Yet it appears that such statements may, in fact, be unfounded. A recent poll conducted by YouGov has discovered that the proportion of personal injury victims willing to claim compensation following an accident has actually decreased, from 29% in 2013, to just one quarter.

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05/08/2014 No Comments

Aviva calls for ban on whiplash payouts



By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has sparked controversy of late, with a call to ban whiplash payments for motor injury victims, in an effort to combat the country’s burgeoning ‘compensation culture’.

The proposed revision is expected to save Aviva an estimated £900million, with the insurer only remunerating rehabilitative treatment for whiplash claimants, as opposed to paying out financial compensation.

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29/07/2014 No Comments

Christmas floods: What to do if you were affected



Christmas 2013 brought stormy weather and high winds to much of the UK, causing widespread flooding in Kent and other parts of the South East.

Thousands of people were affected over Christmas and it’s likely there will be plenty more storms in the future, with The Environment Agency estimating that one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding at some point.

We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what you can do in the event that you are affected by flooding – either now or in the future.

Protecting against future flooding

Prevention is better than cure, so if you live in an area vulnerable to flooding, sign up to the Environment Agency’s Floodline, a free service which sends a message to your phone or email when flooding is expected. You can also monitor flood warnings through the Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service. Be prepared for the emergency services to evacuate you  from your home or business if there is a substantial risk of a flood.

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16/01/2014 No Comments

Don’t get mugged by an insurer: brain injury victims may lose out on vital compensation warns the Law Society

Blog by Andrew McGowan

Neil Hudgell Solicitors is backing a plea from the Law Society that personal injury victims who have suffered brain damage should seek the advice of a specialist personal injury solicitor.

According to the Law Society, vulnerable individuals who often have especially complex claims will greatly benefit from the legal expertise of a solicitor.  In a recent press release, the Law Society quotes research from the Financial Services Authority which revealed that personal injury claimants who turned down an insurer’s initial offer and took legal advice from a solicitor received, on average, almost three times more compensation.  The Law Society’s release goes on to say that pursuing a claim with a solicitor will mean you will get what you are genuinely entitled to.

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29/07/2013 No Comments

Is your dentist insured against accidents?

Dental negligence claims | Man receiving dental treatment


Picture the scene; you’re joining a new dental practice, just before you go for your first appointment you search for your dentist on the General Dental Council. You find your dentist is registered and an address is there on screen to reassure you that all is above board and legitimate.

Well that’s ok then, right? If anything goes wrong, you have the reassurance that your dentist is registered with the General Dental Council and that offers you some protection.

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26/02/2013 No Comments

In the Deep Mid Winter…

snowplow removing snow in bad weather


Extreme Winter weather, and in particular snow and ice, is a nuisance for us all.  As temperatures plummet, we’re often advised only to venture out if our journey is absolutely crucial.   That’s all well and good, but the fact is that life can’t just come to a standstill because the roads and footpaths become more treacherous, and no matter how much care you take, the fact is that accidents are going to happen, and people are going to get injured.

So if you injure yourself like this, when can you claim compensation, and who can you claim against ?

Slipping on Public Highways

Any local authority has a duty, enshrined in the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highway at public expense (Section 41(1)), which has been updated more recently to confirm that they must  “… ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice “ (Section 41(1A)).

A “highway” for this purpose would include any public road or footpath.

The key here is the phrase “ ….so far as is reasonably practicable…”.

The Court does not expect a local authority to grit, or clear, snow and ice, from every inch of the highway that they are responsible for.  What is expected is that they have a reasonable gritting policy in place, and that they can show that (when needed) that gritting policy was actioned as it should have been.  Such a policy would include details of how and when weather forecasts should be monitored to predict bad weather; what kind of forecasts should trigger gritter lorries being sent out; and which streets or footpaths should be gritted (and in what order).

The Courts have traditionally been reluctant to pin blame on local authorities in claims relating to accidents in the snow and ice, and that approach continues today.  Unless there is no gritting policy in place (which would probably never happen in reality), or it has not been carried out (which can be hard to prove) then legal liability is unlikely to attach to the local authority in question.

In practical terms, therefore, unless you slip on a main route, which has obviously not been gritted, your chances of succeeding with a claim against the local authority are quite small.

Slipping On Private Land

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 places a duty on occupiers of premises to “… take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that the visitor is reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted to be there “ (Section 2(2)).

An “occupier” is the person with main control over the premises in question.

The word “premises” is construed to mean land (whether or not a building is present), and includes places such as railway lines, airport runways, private footpaths and car parks.

So if you slip and injure yourself on an icy car park, or footpath, on private land then it will be up to the occupier of that land to prove that they did everything which was reasonable to avoid the accident occurring.  What is  reasonable will depend upon a number of factors, but may vary depending upon such matters as what the land is used for; whether the occupier knew or ought to have known about the hazard having developed; and whether it was foreseeable that any accident would happen if the hazard wasn’t identified and cleared.

Generally speaking, it will be easier to attach legal liability to the owner of private land if you slip and fall on their property.

Slipping at Work

Any employer owes each of their employees the duty of care in their capacity as occupier of their work premises (or areas where their employees are sent to work, subject to their having a certain level of control over the same)

However, on top of this, employees also enjoy the benefit of a raft of health and safety regulations which place obligations on their employers to (for example) provide a safe place of work and carry out risk assessments to identify and avoid potential dangers in the workplace.  In particular, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, specifically state :

12.—(1) Every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the requirements in that paragraph shall include requirements that—

(a) the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety

An employee who slips on ice and injures himself whilst at work, therefore potentially has far more potential arguments as to why his employer is legally liable for that injury, than those who slip on the public highway or on private land.

A common feature of all of the above claim types is that the Defendants (and their insurers) are likely to argue strongly against any liability, right from the start.

If you slip and hurt yourself this Winter, our experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to advise you (at any early stage, and free of charge) whether your claim has realistic chances of being successful, and if so, work for you on a no win no fee basis, to maximise your chances of receiving compensation.

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16/01/2013 No Comments

Do we have the weakest necks in Europe?

Britain has more claims for whiplash than anywhere else in Europe, and the government is holding a summit today (2 May 2012) on how to tackle the problem.

The Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly  has told the BBC that over the last five years the number of road traffic accidents has fallen by 23%, but the number of claims has risen by 70%, with an average of 2.7 whiplash claims for every accident in the country.  He admitted that nobody knew how many of those claims are false.

It is claimed that whiplash claims add on average £90 a year to the cost of car insurance.

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02/05/2012 No Comments

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Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90