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Published On: July 22, 2016 | Blog | 0 comments

I am not sure who is to blame for my accident. Can I claim from more than one insurer?

Many people are aware of their rights to pursue an injury claim when they have been involved in an accident which was not their fault whether at work, a tripping accident or a road traffic accident.

In some circumstances, it is not immediately obvious who is to blame for an accident and there may be several possibilities. It is always advisable to instruct a specialist injury  claims solicitor who has expertise and experience in pursuing cases to ensure that you have the best possible chance of a successful outcome, especially if there are several potential insurers involved.

A specialist will ensure that thorough investigations are carried out into a liability with all the potential insurers liable for a claim. As is often the case, when there are several possibilities regarding responsibility for an accident each party may have reasons to blame the other parties involved. For this reason, it is important to carry out investigations fully to avoid any risks of paying the costs of bringing a claim against an innocent party.

In one of my recent cases, I acted on behalf of a Mr A, a construction worker who was employed to work on a house renovation. He attended the property and after completing his work in the loft for the day he was preparing to leave when he fell through an opening in the ceiling which had been left unsecured.

As a result, he fell through the ceiling onto the first floor, causing him to injure his knee and right arm as he attempted to break his fall. Also working on the site was another independent contractor company and a project management company which had overall control of the site.

Mr A instructed me to pursue a claim on his behalf and I initially wrote to his employer alleging that they had been negligent and in breach of their statutory duties. However his employers claimed that the independent contractor was to blame for having left the area unsecured and for failing to notify them and Mr A that it had been left in this state.

The independent contractor failed to accept responsibility, claiming that Mr A’s employer should deal with his claim or that it was the fault of the project management company for failing to exercise sufficient control over the site. This lead to lengthy dialogue between all the parties as no insurer was prepared to deal with Mr A’s claim.

In order to push ahead with my client’s claim, I instructed an independent barrister, who strongly supported Mr A’s case and I prepared to issue court proceedings. Mr A was seen by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who prepared a report on his injuries and a schedule of loss was finalised. I issued and served court proceeding against all three of the possibly responsible parties as there were strong arguments why each insurer should accept responsibility for the accident. Whilst each of the insurers provided a defence denying liability, and blaming the other parties involved, I was still adamant that my client should be entitled to receive compensation as a result of the negligence of one or all of them. I pressed for a settlement to be reached amongst the parties and eventually this was successful as they agreed on a liability split of 25:50:25 between them and paid all my client’s damages.

In addition, as all the insurers ultimately accepted some responsibility for the claim, they are required to pay my client’s legal costs of pursuing a claim against all three insurers.

Whilst it may not always appear obvious who is to blame for an accident and there can be lengthy dealings with several potentially liable insurers, the legal arguments in pursuing several parties can be tricky but when pursued correctly often lead to successful outcomes. Having a strong legal team who can analyse all the arguments involved will always be a great assistance when dealing with such complex claims.

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