Witness to a strange accident - hassle

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Wetneck, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. Hi All,

    Was driving northbound along the A21 earlier, stuck in some stationary traffic when the car directly in front of me suddenly leapt forward and into the oncoming lane (single lane either way at this point of the road) and hit the rear of the car coming the opposite way, before hitting the front of the car immediately behind that. It then narrowly avoided the next two cars ( all of which were moving at around 30mph) before swerving back into the northbound lane and coming to rest partly on the verge, part in a hedge, and blocking the lane.

    Here's a terrible little diagram done in paint, with the offending car and it's path in Yellow.


    After checking everyone is ok a discussion with the old boy driving it brings to light he is claiming that "My brakes failed, couldn't stop in time"

    The thing is, we were stationary at the point he jumped off, and even after hitting the first car AND the second car, he was still accelerating before he pulled back in. At no point during the accident did his brake lights come on. The people in the two other vehicles involved both assumed he had a heart attack or blacked out, one saying he looked hunched over the wheel as he hit them.

    I'm the only person who was stupid enough to give my details as a "not involved" witness at the scene and now it seems that my account is being brought into doubt by the old boy's insurance company.

    There's talk of having to go to court with it and having insurance bods visit my house to take more statements, which all sounds like terrible hassle.
    Anyone got any experience of such situations and a clue about what the hell I should do?
  2. Tell the truth about what you saw to whoever asks in an official capacity.

    I fail to see any other option or why you'd consider them?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Yeah it happened to me a few years back, get them off your back by telling them that this was the statement given to the police and cannot be altered. It worked for me.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. I truly cant believe that I actually tried to understand what this is about.
  5. Tell the truth as you see it, the old boys insurance is trying to avoid paying out. Underminding your credability/honesty etc.

    Or it could be a 'HUFF & PUFF' letter to get you to withdraw your statement.

    Was the old boy driving a automatic and depressed the acelerator instead of the brake whilst in drive?

    Ensure you have a witness to any 'formal type' interviews from the insurance company. May be a mate or a mate of a mate who is a Solicitor, and ensure the insurance company are aware prior to the interview that they are paying for the Solicitors and your time.

    Contact the other parties insurers and advise them, they may be they will support you etc.

    If my statement was question having taken the time and effort etc to assistance at the scene I would be very hostile to the defendant/defendant Insurers.
  6. It's up to you fella.

    What court is it going to - Civil (county) or Magistrates?

    If youve already given a statement to the insurance companies then fuck em, they cant make you give one, or make you give an additional one.

    If you want to - then fine, they may just want more detail.
  7. Spooky when you recall Arte_te_Marte's very (very) recent posts upon a closely related subject.

    I fear dark magic is afoot.
  8. Er-well firstly putting your witness account on the internet may not help.

    And all though I cannot find any personal details in the meta data of the imagine you have uploaded doesn't mean it cannot be done-unless you're careful (got to assume every contact leaves a trace).

    Doubtless if your account is not favourable to their client, they may very well wish to test the evidence if it were come to civil court or were he facing prosecution for any offences arising from the incident-or more likely if they were facing having to pay some money.

    If you have given an account already (ie, has someone written down what you said) or if you have given a statment then your responsibilty is to the court to be a witness of truth. That bit is quite simple really.

    You are at not fault or facing an allegation? (Perhaps even less of a question to debate on tinternet!) So really no skin off your nose? No good deed goes unpunished, sadly.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I will bet you any money you like he was driving an auto

    Doddery old fuckers trashing garage doors, spouses and neighbours vehicles were the bread and butter of the car accident repair game.
  10. The "accident" was only at 1420 this afternoon so details not cleared up yet. All that has happened so far is I got a call from his insurers this evening who said:
    "Our client has indicated that he was driving along at normal speeds when he applied the brakes which failed, he steered into the centre of the road to avoid as much traffic as possible and this is where the collisions occurred. Are you willing to state that this appeared to be the case from your point of view both in writing and in a court of law, which we hope to take it to if the others involved wish to fight the case"

    I told them I'd email them my statement (which is what I have posted above) and that'd be as far as I go. At that point they said that they'd want someone to come and visit me at home to take a statement in person and I might be required to do say so in court too. Anyway It's online and if they want to look at it there they can, I shan't be changing anything I say as it was all exactly as I recall it and although the reasons for it may not be clear cut. The facts of what actually happened, from my point of view, won't change.

    I think I'll just send it in writing to all 3 insurers tomorrow and let them know that's my final statement. They can't want more than that can they?
  11. F*ck me that is an extraordinarily leading question!

    Are you willing to state that this appeared to be the case from your point of view both in writing and in a court of law, which we hope to take it to if the others involved wish to fight the case

    Tell you what, why don't they just write your statement for you and get you to sign it!

    Jesus, people slag off the old bill-at least I have never asked such a blatant leading question.

    They must be shitting themselves that there's money at stake!

    When they say statement they means something which has this at the top;

    Criminal Justice Act 1967, S9
    Magistrates Courts Act 1980, SS5A(3)(a) and 5(B)
    Criminal Procedure Rules 2005, r 27.1

    This statement (consisting of: pages each signed by me) is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated anything in it which I know to be false, or do not believe to be true.

    This is the s9 declaration and means it is basically up to standard for courts. Well, the form is anyway. What's written on it can be utter shite (frequently is)

    What you have given is your account, not a statement.

    This is why people can get caught out if there are differences between the two. If you account is not favourable, your exact words and drawings will become subject to the most minute examination because to introduce doubt, undermines credibility. If your evidence is not helpful to the parties, then they will test it (that's lawyer speak for try to rip it up for arse paper). it is not credible, then they can try to get more favour put on their clients point of view.

    I'll have a bet with you that if you version suits someone's purposes, what you have written on that email will be winging it's way back to you on a s9 before I have my aftenoon dump.
  12. My serious advice? MILK THEM!

    Consider this. Every person dealing with this claim will get paid something for their time, etc. Each firm involved won't work for nothing, and their cost get added to the final bill.

    Yet they will expect you to give up your time for nothing. It could even cost you postage and phone calls. Well, don't let it. Charge them. Make it very clear that if they want further statements or information from you then it will cost them, and that you expect to get paid!

    I have been the "good guy" several times and been hassled over it, and I have known a witnesss to an accident that I was involved in [blamelessly] get so pestered by several agencies with forms etc. That she regreted it and was close to dropping the whole thing till I send her a thank you card and chocolates. Yet, all the firms and people involved are doing it for a job and expect to get paid, so why not you as well?

    Go for it, and charge them for your time.
  13. In Britain, are you allowed to say "You're an insurance company, not the coppers. Now fuck off and don't call me again"?
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Shit, I didn't think of that before I put my post on.


    I didn't even book on with force control room, so I can't claim the overtime.