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Title: Van hit me now he's blaming me

Date: 10 February 2016

Question

In December, I was overtaking a long lane of stationery traffic. The road was a 60mph long straight road with one lane in both directions with broken white lines in the middle. With no warning at all a van pulled out of the queue and collided with me. I had no time to brake or swerve. I have a long road to recovery and cannot return to work yet due to my fractures.

The van driver is saying the accident was my fault! I’m furious. I was only going 40 / 45mph. I have not seen the police report yet as apparently they are still investigating. I don’t think I should be accepting any blame. What do you think?

Dave Richards, Worthing

Answer

You don’t say (you may not know) what the van driver was doing but I suspect either a U-turn or using a side lane (if there was one) to turn around and escape the traffic congestion. Whichever, on the face of it, he is primarily to blame for this accident, if not completely to blame. The road was long and straight. It therefore follows that you would have been there to be seen for a significant period of time had the he looked in his mirrors or over his shoulder.

You don’t say if he indicated or not and the police report may have witness evidence which helps with this point which may well impact on the result. What you want is a witness just behind him saying he didn’t indicate and just suddenly pulled out. It would be helpful but not essential if others in the queue were aware of your presence. I do not think your speed was excessive for the circumstances. There is a major and supportive case relevant to your accident, a well-known case called Davis –v- Schrogin. Without damning witness evidence you should be looking to get 100% of your compensation.

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