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Yosh89

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 2

Yosh89 says:

Collision with a police car

Could somebody advise me if I should be accepting a 50/50 settlement?


I approached a junction and went through an amber light. A police car came from the left, but could not see me. It ran a red light because it was on an emergency call. We collided in the junction and I flipped over the car and landed on the road. Luckily I had no injuries, and at first the police accepted full responsibility. But later on, they went for a 50/50 settlement and I do not think this is fair as they were the ones who went through a red light.

The witnesses have said I was sticking to the speed limit, and so was the police car.

The police have also said there are about 6-10 witness statements but only gave two of them to my insurance company. After reading them, my insurance company want to go 50/50 and have not even attempted to obtain all of the statements to gather a full understanding of the accident from all perspectives. What can I do?

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  • Posted 3 years ago (15 August 2011 14:16)

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jaffa90

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 8586

jaffa90 says:

ins

Welcome,the police driver is at fault for running a red light and not checking if the junction was clear.I suggest you tell your ins com to claim in full or you will appoint somebody else to look into it on a no win no fee.Also i would post this letter in the legal section for our in house legal expert called Andrew Campbell as ACIC.

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2696

MarcusMarsh says:

Collision

It's going to be tough sorting a collision with a Police vehicle but if you are sure that you have a point then stand your ground.

Bear in mind that, if the car was on 'blues and twos' then the driver is going to be a trained advanced driver.  That does not mean that they don't make mistakes but it does mean that any statement / opinion made by the driver will carry a lot of weight.  Be very sure also that you can justify your decision to cross an amber signal - amber means stop.  (Although there are some cirumstances under which you get away with crossing against an amber light)  You will also need to consider your explanation as to why you did not see and therefore avoid a Police car with its sirens and lights going.  Not exactly easy to miss.  Another point, again if the Police vehicle was running on blue lights, why would he stick to the speed limits?  Blue lights are for emergencies are they not?  

Of course these comments are just my initial thoughts on the matter based on your post.  I would suggest that you get hold of all the available witness statements, read them and consider your position.  If you still feel that you were in the right then stand your ground.  And jaffa is right, you would do well to get the opinion of Andrew Campbell.      

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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def1938

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 11

def1938 says:

trial by jury

Next time, lay on the road screaming "I cannot feel my legs". Ask a bystander to summon a lawyer immediately.

Accept no settlement that does not fully compensate you for you losses. I would also request a jury trial for your lawsuit. Generally, a jury would be sympathetic to you. Here in the colonies, the police would not want to go to trial due to expense and the potential for a large award.:winkie:

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garethjl

Joined:

Mar 11

Posts: 40

garethjl says:

Amber gambler....

As has been said already, Amber means stop. out of interest, What was the reason you kept going through?

With regards to the comment questioning the police car going through at the legal limit, it is extremely difficult to get above it in urban areas even with lights sirens and visible road positions, believe me. (at junctions, personally i would be crawling through them - i know of police cars ending on their roof from the fault of other road users).

another point that may be interesting is what sort of police vehicle it was. eg. Roads Policing, Firearms, patrol vehicle, dog unit. And also if there were any other police vehicles near by or in convoy.

it would be helpful to see the layout at the lights and also where you and the police car have made contact with each other.

feel free to PM me and i can try and give you some observations about the situation (which are going to be my own opinions and not of any police service).

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jaffa90

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 8586

jaffa90 says:

amber

means stop if safe to do so behind the stop line,that means  you can go through a junction with caution (same as green) if you cannot stop in time.Also the police accepting full responsibility means nothing,it`s there ins com that does the talking as in 50/50.Any vehicle running through a red light and causing an accident is at fault and having witnesses is a bonus.

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Yosh89

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 2

Yosh89 says:

Amber light

I didn't gamble the amber lights, they literally changed *as I went through*. It's not as if I saw them and then decided to go through. Witnesses have confirmed this. My insurance company wants to accept 50/50, probably because 'It's the Police' but I am thinking of defending myself personally.. I think I have a good case. If it was me who went through a red light then they'd probably arrest me!

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ACIC

Joined:

Apr 06

Posts: 364

ACIC says:

Motorcycle accident with police car

As with all these cases the result will be fact specific and as such to give a proper opinion I would need to see all the witness evidence and f there is some, the CCTV footage. However there are some basic rules that apply in such circumstances and there is a lot of case law involving accidents with emergency vehicles that assist in providing a view.

 

Firstly if the amber light is illuminated, a vehicle must stop, unless it has already passed the white stop line or the vehicle is so close to the stop line, that coming to a halt might cause an accident. Therefore your exact position and speed will be relevant factors.

Secondly, the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 reg.36(1)(b) allow an emergency vehicle to treat a red light as a give way signal. Clearly the police driver is still under a duty to take reasonable care of other road users. However in this case I think you will be subject to a portion of the blame due to not noticing the sirens/lights and running an amber light. The exact apportionment is difficult to assess without specific evidence of your exact position and witness statement consideration but I can see why your insurer is willing to settle at 50/50. If it was a valuable case involving significant injury clearly they would d be investing more money in precisely establishing liability.

Regards, Andrew Campbell, Solicitor. MCN Law columnist and MCN Legal Expert. andrew@bikelawyer.co.uk www.bikelawyer.co.uk

 

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