UK road traffic accident solicitor explains how to establish who is responsible for a motorway pile up when you are a middle car and your collision was initially caused by a car pulling in to your breaking zone and breaking heavily
Motorway pile up accident victim question
I was travelling along the M25 in London in the middle lane when a car in the outer lane pulled in front of me and slammed on the brakes. This car did not give me enough space or time to react such that I collided with the rear of his vehicle and I in turn was hit from behind by another vehicle.
There were only 3 vehicles involved in the accident – the motorway was blocked off as a result and the police and ambulance called. I was taken to hospital and I was diagnosed with whiplash to the neck and shoulders and a sprained right wrist.
I have been contacted by the motor insurer of the car in front of me suggesting that I should settle my claim on a 50 / 50 basis.
I do not believe that this accident was caused in any way by myself and I wish to know how I can claim 100 per cent of my compensation.
Car accident solicitor response
From the facts you have described it does appear that the lead vehicle primarily caused the accident such that you did not have time to stop when the lead vehicle slammed on.
Clearly a driver should keep a safe distance on the motorway, but if another driver pulls in front of you and breaks sharply -which appears to be the case here – you should not be held liable.
The vehicle which collided with the back of your car should also make a claim against the lead driver or alternatively it could be that driver’s responsibility for not driving at a safe distance.
The difficulty in a motorway pile up is the evidence available. It might be the case that the lead driver is suggesting that the accident was your fault as he manoeuvred sometime prior to the accident in to your lane or alternatively was already in your lane before he applied the brakes.
He may be suggesting that you were not travelling at a safe distance and you had appropriate time to respond.
In the event of a motorway pile up – there are typically a number of independent witnesses that the police will have obtained details from who could verify exactly how the collision was initiated This information should be recorded in a police report.
To prove your claim – your solicitor should obtain a copy of the police report, which should set out all of the details accident scene, including measurements of skid marks, witness details, evidence and statements.
So long as your version of events can be proved you should not settle your claim on a 50 / 50 basis. This type of settlement effectively says the accident was as much your fault as it was the other driver’s fault, which clearly is not the case in this instance.
To prove your claim you will need the help of a specialist RTA solicitor.
Motorway accident solicitor online help
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