If you are involved in a car accident or other type of road traffic accident where liability is disputed, having a local solicitor handle your claim can increase your chances of securing fair compensation.
There are a number of reasons a local claims specialist is likely to be the best choice, including their local knowledge, ability to take a ‘hands on’ approach and their connections with other local road traffic accident experts.
In this article, we will cover some of the key ways using a local road traffic accident claims solicitor can increase your chances of securing compensation in a disputed accident claim.
Making use of local knowledge
An experienced local road traffic accidents solicitor should have strong knowledge of local accident hot spots, traffic conditions and other factors that could be highly relevant to your claim. They will typically have dealt with many other claims similar to yours, possibly even at the same location and in similar circumstances.
This specific local knowledge can help your solicitor to ensure all of the relevant information is brought to light to support your claim (e.g. that several other people have had similar accidents at the same location in recent years).
This type of background information can be crucial to building your case, so its value should not be overlooked.
Visiting the scene of the accident
Where there is a dispute over liability for a road traffic accident, police reports and police witness statements should not be taken at face value when building your case. In our experience, there is no substitute for visiting the scene of accident in person to collect accurate evidence on factors that may have played a part in the events leading to an accident.
This visit should always take place as soon as possible and at the same time of day and under similar conditions to those at the time of the accident to give the most accurate and meaningful information.
Critical evidence a scene of accident visit can produce includes information on:
- Road layout – including width of lanes, bends, crossings and lights to establish what the parties involved could have seen at the time of the accident.
- Surrounding environment – including anything which might affect driver visibility, whether the area is heavily populated, number of pedestrians at the time of the day the accident occurred, any other specific hazards.
- Traffic flow and speed limit – can help judge whether the defendant should have been able to take evasive action at the speed they should have been travelling.
- Distances – these can be deceiving, so it is important to understand the direction of travel of all parties and what they could and could not have seen.
- Common practices of motorists on the particular stretch of road – e.g. whether bus lanes are being used by other vehicles etc.
- Road markings – such as hatchings and signage, which can help to establish whether they may have been reason for confusion over road use.
Non-local solicitors may rely on technology such as Google Maps to judge road conditions, which often miss key details, such as a slight bend in a road that appears straight on a map, or where the images used for Google Maps are not up to date.
Non-local solicitors may also rely on a local agents they do not know personally to visit the site for them and produce a ‘locus report’ or accident reconstruction report. While locus reports and accident reconstructions can be highly useful in disputed claims, it is critical that they be produced accurately and reliably.
For this reason, it is generally safer to work with a local lawyer who has an established working relationship with the road traffic accident experts who produce these reports.
Producing a locus report
A locus report provides clear, detailed information on the place where an accident occurred. It will typically include photos, sketches, diagrams and other types of visual information, as well as a written report on the area.
Locus reports are often critical pieces of evidence during a disputed road traffic accident claim, helping to reduce any uncertainty or leeway for dispute over the traffic conditions or other factors that may have led to the accident in question.
Using accident reconstructions
Accident reconstruction experts will examine the vehicles involved in an accident, as well as looking at the scene of the accident, reviewing evidence from witnesses and any other relevant information to build up a clear picture of what occurred during the accident.
By looking at the damage to the vehicles, the distance the vehicles moved after the impact, any damage to the surrounding environment and other details, an accident investigator can often establish important details, such as how fast the vehicles involved were moving at the time of the accident.
They will then use this information to put together a reconstruction of exactly what they believe occurred in the moments leading up to and during a road traffic accident.
Increasingly accident reconstructions use video and 3D animation to help visualise the events leading up to an accident. This evidence can often be highly compelling in disputed liability cases.
Speak to your local personal injury lawyers in Reading
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, our specialist personal injury solicitors in Reading have the local knowledge and contacts to help you build the strongest possible case, so you have the best chance of securing fair compensation.