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mad4amanda

1,656 posts

50 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I attended a lecture on incident management and investigation which used all the technology and modelling techniques currently available . It concerned a fatal RTA on a dual carrieway unlit at night its fair to say the investigation was amazingly thorough and using the modelling a recreation of the incident showed a completely different conclusion. My first impession was the car that hit the stationary car must have been speeding , how wrong I was! even the most minute detail such as the filaments of the headlamp bulbs made sucha difference to the visibility and hence reaction time of the oncoming driver.

RtdRacer

1,274 posts

87 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
LoonR1 said:
You've now jut completely changed your witness account from one of seeing it to one of supposition and guesswork. Maybe driver 1 has a case after all?

You should say what you said in your witness statement unless you believe that to be wrong. If you've been summonsed I'd also suggest that bunking off isn't a great idea. It isn't your call whether you will add value or not. The court has asked you to attend and they will decide on the value of your testimony.

Is it any wonder people despair of witnesses though you can't even produce a coherent story half am hour apart.
I don't think the OP has contradicted himself. He recounted what, on the face on it happened. And then he said how much he observed. Sure, he could've said "FOr all I know, the taxi mystically teleported in the wreckage, 'cos I didn't see the moment of impact", but that would be silly.

Anyway, OP, can you ask if you can have a witness statement agreed by defence and prosecution?

RtdRacer

1,274 posts

87 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Fish981 said:
Breadvan72 said:
A stationary unlit car, at night.
Pouring rain, no streetlighting at all, facing the wrong way so no reflectors either.
In a place where you don't expect to find a stationary unlit car.

Anyway, I was about to ask who says you have to stop in the distance you can see?

But unlike normally, I thought I'd find out, and yes, the HC says "Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear."

7db

5,951 posts

116 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Lurking Lawyer said:
7db said:
As a witness you can receive some payment for loss of earnings.
I'm rather ashamed to say I don't know that answer definitively, but are you are sure about that?

I know you can claim a certain amount in respect of travel costs in criminal matters, if the CPS requires you to attend, but I'm not convinced that's right in relation to a civil matter - which this is, if it's a claim for damages.

In my experience, if you have to serve a witness summons (i.e. you're compelling the witness to attend at court), you are required to tender "conduct money" when you serve it, which from dim and distant memory is a sum equivalent to the cost of a asecond class rail fare to get to the court. There's no obligation to compensate for lost earnings.
Sorry wasn't more specific. Not 100% sure, no.

I was asked to be a witness for a crash (I was the only bugger who stopped and gave details) and therefore was that rarity: an independent witness who wrote out contemporaneous notes and was prepared to attend. I'm afraid it was a little while ago and I am trying to recall based on what was sent to me at the time. I recall it being a small amount and also seem to recall it was impossible to claim as a (powerfully built) company director, but might have been if there was evidence of loss of earnings. There was certainly a travel component which could be claimed. On seeing a jury summons recently, I recall thinking it was a similarly priced gig.

Of course I can't actually find the summons now. In the event they settled the day before trial and I wasn't needed.

randlemarcus

9,512 posts

117 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Is 10PS around?

Surely the first driver ought to be facing chokey for DD?
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skwdenyer

5,374 posts

126 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
randlemarcus said:
Is 10PS around?

Surely the first driver ought to be facing chokey for DD?
IIRC, in 10PS' case. the oncoming motorcyclist couldn't stop because he was driving too fast around a corner. 10PS nonetheless considers himself at fault. That is his right, but may not have bearing on the OP's situation.

SV8Predator

2,050 posts

51 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
OP:

If you really want to get out of it, then send a transcript of this thread to the defendant. His lawyer will bring it up in court and the case will be thrown out.

If not, at least you will not be regarded as a reliable witness, as you have been soliciting (you see what I did there?) response and opinion from others, and obviously anything you say can not be regarded as the truth and your honest recollections, as it has been biased by the opinion of others.

Breadvan72

19,759 posts

49 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
This thread would have little bearing on the case. It's just chatter.

s3fella

8,073 posts

73 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
What bearing does only drive at a speed that allows you to stop in the distance you can see have on this sort of case?

Fish981

Original Poster:

875 posts

71 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
s3fella said:
What bearing does only drive at a speed that allows you to stop in the distance you can see have on this sort of case?
When it's dark the distance you can see is limited to the dipped beam pattern. I guess we should all drive at 10mph when the sun goes down.

daz3210

5,000 posts

126 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
How long was the driver still in his car before the second impact? Was he too injured by the first impact to get out? On balance, it sounds like the taxi driver was not to blame, unless the claimant can prove that the taxi driver was speeding, but, who knows? The Judge will look at the balance of probabilities.
But is it automatic if the taxi is not to blame that the other driver was? Or in law could it be judged that neither were to blame?


New POD

3,851 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
So the taxi drivers lawyer will argue, that injuries were sustained before the unavoidable collision, and the other guy is to blame for parking without lights in the outside lane.

LoonR1

19,467 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
daz3210 said:
But is it automatic if the taxi is not to blame that the other driver was? Or in law could it be judged that neither were to blame?
No it's not automatic. For there to be liability for an accident then there has to be negligence.

The circumstances of this could be very different to why the OP thinks / assumes he saw. However taking it purely at fce value then the first driver is likely to be liable.

He caused the accident through his negligence in having the first accident which is close enough to be the proximate cause for the second accident.

There are loads of questions that need answering though. Such as was it seconds or minutes between the two accidents? Seconds puts less onus on the taxi driver but might not absolve him completely if the first accident was still in progress. Minutes suggest something could've been done to avoid it. Was the original driver already so injured though that any subsequent injuries are incidental?

This is going to court as neither insurers believe themselves to be at fault so it could be an interesting one.

As a general answer to the question. There are defences such as automatism that remove all negligence and therefore liability from a crash.



Noger

7,048 posts

135 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Interesting, the claimant's side must be fairly certain that their insured wasn't negligent in their crash.

Speed may be an issue, but if the accident would have occurred at any speed, then merely "speeding" would not automatically give rise to liability.

So not a waste of time, quite interesting in fact !

Excellent use of "Proximate Cause" there R1L smile

Edited by Noger on Friday 5th October 06:58

LoonR1

19,467 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Noger said:
Interesting, the claimant's side must be fairly certain that their insured wasn't negligent in their crash.

Speed may be an issue, but if the accident would have occurred at any speed, then merely "speeding" would not automatically give rise to liability.

So not a waste of time, quite interesting in fact !

Excellent use of "Proximate Cause" there R1L smile

Edited by Noger on Friday 5th October 06:58
I thank you. I must have had a flashback to the days when I actually did something with a claim rather than just strategise!

R0G

4,068 posts

41 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Result will be no legal charges brought against the taxi as it seems it did all that was reasonably possible to avoid a collision

Insurers will attatch 10% of blame to taxi for deciding to drive in the first place

LoonR1

19,467 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
R0G said:
Result will be no legal charges brought against the taxi as it seems it did all that was reasonably possible to avoid a collision

Insurers will attatch 10% of blame to taxi for deciding to drive in the first place
I'm hoping that the above isn't serious. First off the court case is insurance related which is a civil matter and has virtually no connection to any criminal matter.

Secondly the insurers clearly can't decide on it so it's heading off to court which will decide on liability.

Pontoneer

3,464 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
LoonR1 said:
If what you say is said in court and any other witnesses statements tally then driver 1 has no chance.

However if you and any other witnesses choose not to turn up then who knows what the outcome will be.

If you believe insurance costs are too high and also in justice being done then you should attend.

Too many witnesses simply don't bother turning up to cases like this and rulings go in favour of the spurious claimant.

Your call but I know what I'd do.
Failing to turn up if you have received a witness citation is an offence and a warrant can be issued for your arrest if you cannot show good reason ( eg you were run over by a bus the day before ) why you are unable to attend .

Pontoneer

3,464 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
How long was the driver still in his car before the second impact? Was he too injured by the first impact to get out? On balance, it sounds like the taxi driver was not to blame, unless the claimant can prove that the taxi driver was speeding, but, who knows? The Judge will look at the balance of probabilities.
While none of us ( apart from the OP ) were there and cannot say what happened ; the taxi driver may not have been 'speeding' ( driving in excess of the speed limit - presumably 70mph , but many dual carriageways have lower limits so perhaps not ) , but the very fact that he was unable to stop before hitting the crashed car arguably makes the case that he was driving too fast for the conditions ( poor visibility due to darkness and rain , impaired stopping distance due to wet conditions ) .

While arguably the driver who first crashed into the barrier on his own is in part responsible for his predicament ( since if he had been driving more appropriately to the conditions he would never have crashed and not been there in the first place for the taxi to hit ) , it is also fair to say that the taxi driver must bear some responsibility for his failure to stop .

It is up to the court to hear the evidence and apportion the blame/responsibility between the two drivers .

Both were probably going too fast for the conditions .

The injuries sustained by the first driver may have been the result of undoing his seatbelt to get out of the car just before the taxi hit - the facts will hopefully come out in evidence .

Thankfully , it sounds as though no one was seriously injured and no one was killed . As long as those involved were properly insured , they should be OK long term .

Pontoneer

3,464 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
7db said:
Sorry wasn't more specific. Not 100% sure, no.

I was asked to be a witness for a crash (I was the only bugger who stopped and gave details) and therefore was that rarity: an independent witness who wrote out contemporaneous notes and was prepared to attend. I'm afraid it was a little while ago and I am trying to recall based on what was sent to me at the time. I recall it being a small amount and also seem to recall it was impossible to claim as a (powerfully built) company director, but might have been if there was evidence of loss of earnings. There was certainly a travel component which could be claimed. On seeing a jury summons recently, I recall thinking it was a similarly priced gig.

Of course I can't actually find the summons now. In the event they settled the day before trial and I wasn't needed.
I can only recount from the POV of Scots law which may differ from down south .

I quite often get cited to give evidence for incidents I have attended in connection with my job ; in those cases the Fire Service still pay my wages so no loss of earnings .

The only other personal experience I have is from about 30 years ago when I witnessed a fracas in Edinburgh outside a pub where someone had a glass put in their face . I gave a statement to the police and was cited as a witness then attended court for a morning to give evidence . I remember receiving a form for travelling expenses and loss of earnings . The travelling expenses were straightforward ; I just completed the part which stated I had come by car , the mileage travelled and handed it into the clerk's office where I was immediately paid in cash . Re the loss of earnings , I had to get a letter from my employer ( Lothian Regional Council back then ) stating what my loss of earnings were , sent that in and received a cheque by return . Back in those days I was a low paid school AV technician so got the full amount back , but I seem to recall there was a cap on the amount that could be claimed .

The situation in England is quite possibly different .
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