The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in staycations and this means many people are making use of caravans, campervans and motorhomes for their holidays.
But what if you're injured in a road traffic accident with a motorhome? What happens if you're the one driving the motorhome? And what happens if you're the person struck by a motorhome?
Here we aim to offer advice on your rights and obligations and explain the legal process so you know what to do and what to expect if you're affected by such an accident.
Can I make a claim if I hired the vehicle?
If you hired a motorhome and become involved in an accident that left you injured as a result of someone else's negligence then you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
This will still apply if you are rented or hired the motorhome or campervan. The only difference is there may be some additional steps to follow or criteria to meet to help you recover rightful damages.
A personal injury claim is designed to put you back into the position you would have been in, had the accident not happened.
This means we will work with leading experts to fully investigate the circumstances of your accident and fully analyse the immediate and long-term impact of your injuries.
Full details of what people can claim for can be found on our road traffic accident advice page but a claim most frequently helps people recover losses like:
- Your injuries
- Lost earnings (if your injury prevented you from working)
- Ongoing or additional medical treatment costs.
What can I claim for?
However in addition to recovering compensation for physical injuries there are other losses Digby Brown can help you recover that you may not have realised.
This might include things like excess payments made to the insurance or hire companies for the motorhome or campervans - some of which can be as high as £2,000.
As a motorhome is essentially a living space on the move it is likely you may have more personal luxuries with you than you'd normally have in a car - if these valuable items are damaged in a crash then we can help you recover the cost of these as part of your claim. It is therefore important at you keep a record of any property that is lost or damaged.
If the accident meant your trip was cut short then it's even possible for us to recover compensation for the loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
Additionally, if the crash meant your motorhome or campervan was left useless and forced you to seek alternative travel and accommodation (that came at extra personal cost) then we can help you recover these expenses as well.
Am I able to recover all my losses?
It is worth bearing in mind that you may not be automatically entitled to all of these elements in your claim and some may not apply to your situation.
If your losses would not be considered "reasonably foreseeable", then it is unlikely that a recovery could be made.
As a result, it may be the case that only a portion of what you required to pay out is recoverable as part of your claim.
This is an element of your claim that will require thorough consideration and our experienced solicitors and paralegals are trained to negotiate with third parties on your behalf to get the best possible recovery.
What should I do after the accident?
As with any accident, it is encouraged that you get and keep hold of any relevant details from any other driver(s) involved.
The information you will want to recover is the driver's name, address, vehicle registration, make and model, and insurance details.
Drivers have a legal obligation to share this information, so you will require to pass on your own details to the other driver as well. If you are in a hired vehicle, you will also have an obligation to pass on the details of the vehicle owner or hire company.
If possible, it is also helpful to obtain the other driver's insurance details. In the event that a driver refuses to pass on their information, you should report the incident to the police.
It is acceptable to take photos of the vehicles involved in an accident at the scene if you wish, however you should call the police and/or an ambulance in an emergency. If you are injured, we recommend that you seek immediate medical attention and follow your doctor's advice.
What if I am hit by someone who is driving a motorhome?
It is worthwhile considering the reverse situation. You may find that you are in a collision with someone else who was in a hired motorhome.
In those circumstances the same principles will apply. You will want to ensure that you get not only the driver's information and their vehicle's details, but also the details of the vehicle owner or hire company. This information will usually be sufficient for us to trace the responsible parties and manage your claim effectively.
Whilst there are many aspects to a claim, and these may appear daunting, there are a few simple tips that we recommend that you follow:
- Keep a copy of any hire/rental and insurance documents (digital or paper)
- Keep a record of any excesses or other charges you have incurred
- Keep a record of any lost or damaged property
- Keep a record of any drivers' and witnesses' details.
Remember - there is no such thing as too much information when providing details to us about your claim, particularly in the early stages.
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.