We have all heard of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving, however the Conservative Government are considering if a charge on the statue books can be brought for causing death by dangerous cycling.
Ministers this month are looking into the death of a cyclist where a woman was hit by a bike when she crossed the road. The cyclist was charged and convicted with wanton and furious driving over the death.
Riding a Bike with Faulty Breaks
It was revealed that the bike had no front brake. The cyclists was, however, cleared of manslaughter and convicted of a lesser charge which only carried a maximum sentence of just 2 years.
Increase the Punishment
There is no backing with the Government to review the law when someone is killed on the road or pavement by a cyclists to bring it in line with the law relating to motor vehicles. There has been a recent growth in cyclists over the past 10 years and as a result, the probability is that more people could be injured or killed on the roads.
Parliament is reviewing the law in this area following the sad loss.
Fatal accident claims solicitors have always looked at the risk posed by motorcyclists riding close to cyclists when in race mode.
The motorcyclists are often riding pillion with a camera man on the back to take great shots for those watching on TV or online. However there appears to be many dangers involved in riding so close to the riders that accidents are likely to happen or at least near misses.
So happened therefore, not to a camera crew but a police motorcycle in the Giro d’Italia this on the ninth stage which was won by Nairo Quintana.
It was the police motorcyclist that caused Mr Adam Yates & Geraint Thomas to crash on their bikes and suffered significant time losses.
Cyclists are reported to be a risk to being knocked off their bike almost every 2 weeks which can be the fault of the cyclists not being aware of their surroundings or motorists not seeing or expecting a cyclist close by.
There are also other matters of concern to avoid such devastating consequences on the UK roads and streets. What are they? It is the ‘near misses.’ Those thankful days where a car, van or lorry just misses the cyclist and thus avoiding a fatal accident claim and serious injury.
25 Near Misses A Year
It is reported that almost every 2 weeks a cyclist is almost knocked off their bikes. A staggering statistic. It appears there is confusion over the right of way at junctions in particular which gives rise to most risk to potential cycling fatal accident claims.
On average a cyclist will experience 25 near misses at junctions every year in the UK. The Highway Code is being criticised by cycling organisation to be updated to reflect the dangers and a petition has been set up.
British Cycling Federation have said that there are 14 conflicting rules to consider for cyclists and motorist alike when it comest to rights of way at road junctions.
Dangerous Common Risk
British Cycling have said that the most common dangerous manoeuvre was passing too close to the cyclist by a motorist. It was recorded over 130 times a year and where a vehicle pulling out in front of a bike 70 times.
Contact the Cycling Accident Solicitors
If you have been involved in an accident causing injury or are a family member or friend who has lost a loved one please contact us for legal advice and support. No matter how small the question on blame, liability, compensation or simply what to do we can point you in the right direction or help you submit a claim.
Dramatic increased in court fees are not uncommon with the Conservative Government. Now the bereaved families are set with another tax through probate fees which will come into force in May 2017.
What is Probate in a Fatal Accident Claim?
Probate is the court procedure to ensure that the person who has died is officially recorded and to show the assets and liabilities of deceased immediately before death.
Probate will be obtained by the deceased executors if a will was left behind or through the next of kin (known as intestacy) if there is no will.
The person(s) in charge of the deceased affairs will then issue the relevant paperwork at the local court to obtain permission to officially deal with the legal affairs of the deceased which includes selling or maintaining assets and paying debts of the deceased.
In addition, of course, the person(s) dealing with the affairs of the deceased will also need to file the relevant IHT (Inheritance Tax Forms) to inform the Inland Revenue of how much tax, if any, the estate has to pay.
Fatal Accident Claims Increase Probate Fees
Fatal accident solicitors will need to advise bereaved families of the increase in the probate court fees, which can raise to £20,000 simply to authorise the court to proceed through probate. There is nothing more the court will do for this hefty fee, it is just a backdoor method of gaining more tax from the dead.
Motor policies to rise again – fatal accident claims?
In a surprise move by the Government, the compensation bill for motor insurance companies is due to raise by £6 billion which they claim will add a £60 levy on the average cost of a motor policy to cover personal injury claims such as fatal accident claims in a road traffic accident or where there are non-fatalities but causing serious or life changing injuries.
Sceptics to the motor increase
What the motor insurance industry have failed to say is the dramatic change in the law since April 2013 when insurance companies have restricted fatal accidents claims solicitor costs dramatically and making injured victims as a result have to pay up to 25% of their compensation to their own solicitors where it use to be that the insurance company will pay.
Further there is likely to be coming into force shortly further restrictions on who can claim for motor accidents and reduction in injured victims who can claim and seek legal advice.
The insurance industry cannot have it all their own way. They have to properly compensate victims in fatal accident claims and serious life changing injuries regardless and seek to reduce their dividend to share-holders and profits.
Legal Proceedings v Motor Insurance Bureau – Fatal Accident Claims
One a relevant bereaved family member instructs a fatal car accident claims solicitor proceedings will be taken against the driver said to have caused the fault. Now if that driver is uninsured or untraced a case may be made out against the Motor Insurance Bureau or (MIB).
The MIB will effectively run the case and if the offending driver is at fault will make an award of compensation.
Practical Steps to Issue Proceedings v MIB
There are special rules for fatal accident solicitors to take action where the MIB is involved. Failure to adhere to the rules (Uninsured Drivers Agreement) for instance will mean that a perfectly good claim for fatal accident compensation will have to be rejected. The main points a fatal accident claim solicitor will have to bear in mind is:
MIB claim form, must be completed and submitted to the MIB as soon as possible.
Upon issue of proceedings relevant notice in accordance with the Uninsured Drivers Agreement but be given to the MIB (Clause 9).
Once the court has issued proceedings (the fatal accident solicitor must inform the court NOT TO SERVE UPON THE MIB/DEFENDANT) as the solicitor must then notify that the claim form has been issued within 14 days. The court may fail to inform the Claimant fatal accident solicitors that the claim form was issued in time which may result a failure to provide proper notice.
Upon issue of the claim form the fatal accident solicitor must then serve this upon the MIB and defendant driver (if traced but uninsured) together with other relevant documents which will include the particulars of claim, medical evidence and a schedule of loss. Further all relent correspondence with the defendant and any relevant insurance certificates – Clause 10.
When the fatal accident claim solicitors serve all of the relevant documents it is good practice that notice is provided at the same time that if there is no defence served within 35 days of service, the Claimant reserves the right to enter judgement.
Failure to Comply Will Result in the Fatal Car Accident Claim Being Struck Out
A failure of the fatal accident claim solicitors to comply with the strict time limits set out in the Motor Insurance Bureau Uninsured Drivers Agreement can result in them rejecting a perfectly valid claim. Even if the procedural aspects are complied with when proceedings have been issued and serve, if the fatal car accident solicitor failed to give notice within the 35 day period to enter judgement, again the MIB may reject the fatal car accident claim.
However even if death is caused by dangerous driving, nevertheless it is often said that the jail term does not reflect the offence, often jail terms are between 2 to 4 years.
Using Mobile Phone and Causing Death On the Road
With the recent upsurge in using mobile phones behind the wheel, handsfree or otherwise, there as been a rise in fatal car accidents and non-fatalities on the road due to the distraction when using a phone.
At the present time the maximum sentence of causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years sentence but the average jail term is less than 4 years.
Certainly killer drivers ruing lives, the pain is immeasurable to the families and friends left behind. Whilst it is impossible to compensation a loved one who has been killed in fatal road accident claim nevertheless the Government are determined to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.
Sam Gyimah the justice minster has come out recently and advised that the message is clear:
‘if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.’
It is reported by the DfT that in 2015 there were over 1700 deaths on the roads and over 22,000 people seriously injured.
One of the roads it has planned is for the A32 through Hampshire which has recorded 33 fatal road accident claims and serious injuries. Also there is a stretch of road that is 12 miles long the A285 through South Downs which has 23 major accidents and was named the UK’s highest risk.
Other roads that include fatal car accident claims and life changing injuries that have been targeted is the A588 between Lancaster and Blackpool were there were 28 serious car crashes in 2 years.
In addition to speed cameras other road calming methods are being considered by Councils such as anti-skid treatments and rumble strips to slow down cars.
A spokesperson from the RAC welcomed the initiatives advising that the number of fatal road accident claims have come down but at recent times has remained at 1750 over recent years.
If you have been affected by this story and wish to seek advice about making a claim for compensation for a fatal car accident please contact us now. All advice is under a No Win, No Fee Solicitor service.
It is reported that there are 10,000 motorists have been caught twice for being distracted whilst driving a motor vehicle on UK Roads over the last 4 years.
Many such incidents go without tragic results such as:
quick look at who text
making a call
receiving a call
the list is now endless with smart phones.
However using mobiles phones behind the wheel are distracting to the extent they are akin to a drink driving charge. Of almost 240,000 motorists that have been caught since 2012, only 284 have received a ban.
Put Your Mobile Phone Away In Your Car
To prevent you being distracted but your mobile phone away so that you cannot get access to it such as your glove box. One tragic loss of concentration can result in a fatal road traffic accident. You could kill somebody. It is not worth it.
Police Will Check Your Phone
As is routine in any serious accidents the police will check your mobile phone records to see if you were using your phone immediately prior to a any accident including a fatal accident claim. If there is not a great deal of evidence as to the cause of the accident, if you were using your mobile phone it may be suggestive that you will be at fault and you could be charged with causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving the former can lead to a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
The fact that your own life could be spent behind bars for a long time, you also have the guilt of having to live with yourself for killing someone on the road. Just to check your texts or emails. It is not worth it.
Losing a loved one in a fatal motor accident claim is heart-breaking enough but can you imagine the hurt when the fatal motor accident could be down to a family member or friend?
Dad/Mother/Uncle Driving The Car
The most common example is where parent or other family member is driving a car and a fatal road accident collision occurs. If the parent or family member who is driving the car was at fully at fault in particular, it would mean that in order for the deceased family passenger to claim fatal accident compensation it will have to be directed the driver.
Thus in family situations the deceased passenger in the vehicle will have to claim fatal accident compensation against the driver thus:
Deceased spouse v Driving Spouce at fault
Deceased child v Driving Parent. Uncle, Aunt etc at fault
Deceased Parent v Driving Adult Child 17 years plus
The close family connection makes the fatal car accident claim even more difficult (emotionally) as one would expect. However one has to deal with the case in hand and nothing can be changed. Nobody can turn back the clock.
Who Pays The Fatal Car Accident Compensation?
Whilst it is in name only that a claim is to be made it must be remembered that the compensation for a fatal motor accident is paid by the insurance company. If there is no insurance company there is a scheme available that will compensate the estate of the deceased and the dependents of the deceased if any.
Legal Support and Advice
As fatal accident solicitor we will help you every step of the way to assist you and hold your hand through the most difficult time in your life and your family members. The legal implications to make a claim can be far-reaching and complex so please contact us for the advice that you need.
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