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Title: Two accidents - who pays what

Date: 16 November 2012

I was involved in a motorcycle accident about a year ago and the claim is ongoing.  Liability was been admitted in full. A month ago I was involved in another accident that wasn’t my fault.  I was riding my motorcycle on a country road when a car, which was driving on my side of the road, collided with my motorcycle.  I have witnesses who saw that the driver was on my side of the road.  Luckily I wasn’t injured badly but in the first accident I fractured my wrist and hurt my neck and back. 

My neck and back were getting better but not completely healed by the time I had the second accident.  My neck and back are now worse than ever.  The people on the other side of my first accident are telling me they are no longer going to fund the physiotherapy for my neck and back because my ongoing injuries are now because of the second accident.  The people on the other side of my second accident are telling me that because they think I was in some way to blame for the accident, even though I have witnesses, they are not going to release any money for me to get treatment.  Physiotherapy was helping and I would really like to get back to it but I cannot afford to fund it myself.  What can I do?

 Mr Richards, Nottingham

If you hadn’t fully recovered from the injuries that the first accident caused then the Defendant insurance company of that accident is still on the hook and should still fund some of your treatment.  There is of course going to be some overlap between the injuries you sustained in the first accident and the ones you sustained in the second accident.  The Defendant insurance companies involved in both accidents are therefore likely to try and argue that the main injuries and problems you have were caused by the separate accident that has nothing to do with them.  This is a way for them to try and limit the amount of money they have to pay. 

You will need to obtain clear medical evidence from a medico-legal expert, likely a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, to comment on what injuries you sustained as a result of the first accident and what injuries you sustained as a result of the second accident.  Your solicitor should also ask the expert to comment on what percentage of your injuries were caused by the first accident and the percentage caused by the second accident and when you would have likely recovered from the injuries caused by the first accident.  That way your solicitor should be able to clearly work out how much compensation you should receive for your first accident and how much you should receive for your second accident.

It seems that liability for the second accident will be sorted in your favour if you have witnesses who will say the other driver was on your side of the road.  You will need your solicitor to obtain the witness evidence to try and resolve liability as quickly as possible to make sure that you can get the treatment and physiotherapy you need. 

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