If you are injured in a road traffic accident and your insurance
company pay compensation to the other driver, does this prevent you
from bringing a claim against that driver for your own
injuries? Interestingly, it doesn't; provided that your
claim has reasonable prospects of success and your motor insurers
have settled the claim without admitting that you were responsible
for the accident ("without prejudice").
I recently acted for Mrs C, a driver who was hit when another
driver, Mr F, pulled out from a side road and collided with her
vehicle. Mr F was quick to bring a claim against Mrs C and, on
the basis of Mr F's account alone, Mrs C's motor insurers
agreed to compensate Mr F in full on a "without
Mrs C had been my previous client and sought my advice on
whether she could claim for her injuries as she felt that Mr F was
at fault for the accident. Based on what my client told me, I
considered that she had good prospects of showing that Mr F was, in
fact, to blame for the accident if we could substantiate her
account of events. I applied for a copy of the police report (which
presumably my client's insurers did not do), which supported
what she had told me. My client was then successful in bringing a
claim against Mr F's insurers and was compensated in full for
Given that a claim against my client's insurance policy by a
third party would have increased her premium and the fact that Mr F
appeared to have committed fraud (which makes the vast majority of
personal injury solicitors extremely angry given the media's
already less than positive representation of our industry), I
also sent a copy of the police report to her insurers. They
can now pursue Mr F for fraud if they wish to. I was
surprised that my client's insurers didn't investigate this
case properly given that there was objective evidence easily
available in the police report.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Settling contentious claims without prejudice to liability is an everyday occurrence for most Insurers. The vast majority of claims which are subject to litigation are settled at some point in the course of the proceedings, and the settlement is usually expressed to be without admission of liability.
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