Road accident compensation claims could rise as the snow falls


The continuing snowfall in some areas of the UK such as Wales, the Midlands and the South of England today will come as a further inconvenience to commuters and drivers.

Local councils have been advised to conserve their grit and salt supplies to prepare for the continuing spell of icy and snowy weather and this means that drivers face difficult conditions on the roads.

Insurers advise that road accidents in 2010 have nearly doubled from last year’s snow related problems. And if you have a road accident that was not your fault you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Drivers have been advised to check weather forecasts before travelling, to travel in warm clothes and boots and to have supplies for emergencies such as spades, water, food and a torch. Whilst you cannot claim compensation for being delayed or stranded by bad weather, if you have a car accident during the continuing snow and icy conditions you could have grounds to claim compensation.

During the bad weather of early 2010, drivers should be travelling more slowly and more carefully, leaving longer distances between cars and ensuring that cars are fully topped up with oil, water and windscreen-wiper solution before setting out. If you do go on to make a compensation claim for a road accident, you must be able to show that you were driving responsibly and well-prepared to drive in bad weather.

For example, less used roads are much more dangerous than main carriageways which are more likely to have grit or salt, and drivers are encouraged to take more care on the first and last few miles of their journey.

If you have a road accident due to the weather and if you have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, you will be covered whether an accident was your fault or not. You may wish to consider, if it was your fault, whether the cost of repairs to the vehicle is more or less than the excess on your policy. However, if you are injured in a road accident and are not at fault, you may want to claim compensation.

This article was written by Jo Milne of the RTA Team.

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