Minor bus accident - compensation claims...

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by bangor-toad, 17 Aug 2015.

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  1. bangor-toad

    bangor-toad Member

    20 Feb 2009
    Dear All,
    Last week I was on a bus that had a minor accident. It hit the car in front. It was all low speed stuff. As some American's may say - a fender bender. The force of the impact though was enough to make me loose my place in the RailForums post I was reading on my phone. No-one, in the bus, or in the car appeared injured.

    All very much low key stuff and since it was near my house and a pleasant evening I walked home, though nothing more of it and got on with stuff.

    A couple of days later I find out that some of Mrs Toad's acquaintances were on the bus. They'd all already been to the solicitor to get their claims in for whiplash and emotional distress. They were quite open that they viewed it as a money making moment as they weren't actually hurt but they were lucky enough to be on that bus - they were each looking for £5k.

    Am I alone in thinking it's pretty depressing that probably tens of thousands may be paid out over such a trivial and non-consequential bump...

    Mr Toad
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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    20 Oct 2014
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    I agree. I think there needs to be much more control over this kind of thing, so compensation, if given, is much more about offsetting actual financial loss[1] and compensating for actual, provable physical injury that will have a genuinely appreciable effect on the victim's life (minor whiplash mostly won't).

    [1] For example, if delayed but uninjured in a bus accident that was the bus driver's fault, it might be reasonable to expect the bus company to cough up for a taxi for completion of the journey within a reasonable period of time rather than having to await the next bus if it were a long time off. Or if property was damaged in the incident, for it to be paid for. Or if there was damage to teeth, for dentist's bills to be paid, etc.
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2015
  4. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

    12 Sep 2013
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    People can ask for whatever they want, it doesn't mean they will get it. And when these cases get to court they tend to be looked at unfavourably by judges.

    Sometimes the insurers/bus company decide it's cheaper to pay a small amount of money as an out-of-court settlement, and that's a commercial decision they make.
  5. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

    9 May 2012
    OP, I agree completely.

    Have you considered approaching the bus company offering to be a witness able to provide a view / evidence on the complete lack of seriousness and distress apparent at the time? It might be a way of trying to provide some balance against the halfwits.

    In a similar vein, I witnessed a very low speed car shunt in the lane next to me in virtually stationary motorway traffic. There were minor paint marks on bumpers but certainly no dents.

    Anyway, the car behind (whose fault it almost certainly was) asked me for some reason if I'd be a witness......I suspect, just in case the 4 women in the car in front suddenly fell down with heinous neck injuries. At the time they were all friendly, laughing it off and all exchanged details.

    A couple of weeks later I got a call from the insurers of the rear car asking me about speed, likely impact, apparent condition of this in the car in front etc. Apparently, surprise, they were all suffering from whiplash. My response was "you must be joking and if you get anywhere near court with this I'd queue up to give evidence to the contrary". I also offered my rear facing dash cam footage which showed just how slowly the traffic in the other lane was travelling when the crash occurred. They took it and I never heard anything again - I really hope they rejected the claim.

    It really does boil my blood (and other bodily fluids) when people like this have a direct impact on MY insurance premiums and I'll do anything I can to thwart their efforts!
  6. David

    David Established Member

    9 Jul 2005
    The bus company will probably offer them something like £50-100 in this case on a take it or leave it basis, as settling the claims for that amount will be far cheaper than getting the case to court, unless the court rejects the claim, then saddles the claiments with the costs. Costs can potentially be tens of thousands of pounds ....
  7. 34D

    34D Established Member

    9 Feb 2011
    Hmmm. But if everyone claims once every five years it surely evens out?

    I had a slight injury from a car crash several years back: my osteopathy was reimbursed and the insurer offered a sum to compensate me for the injury (low four figures).
  8. hantsman1205

    hantsman1205 Member

    11 Nov 2011

    I work for Stagecoach Bus division and drive a bus funny enough, Stagecoach are very much on the ball re this type of claim and are definitely not a soft touch if claims are false. First stop is any CCTV on the bus available.
  9. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

    10 May 2010
    I made a claim once after (genuinely) suffering whiplash (a condition I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy), all these bogus claims get my goat as well, it's basically fraud (just as bad as these crash for cash scams) and some people need to be made an example of!

    OP, please contact the bus company and offer to be an independent witness.
    Banger Toad, well done, have a (virtual) pint on me! ;)
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2015
  10. Antman

    Antman Established Member

    3 May 2013
    Sadly it doesn't surprise me at all and it really is an insult to genuine victims!
  11. Shrimper

    Shrimper Member

    14 Apr 2012
    I was told as a Stagecoach trainee that one of the main reasons for on-board CCTV is to prevent fraud of this type - as a few incidents were receiving more claims than there were people on the bus! Anyone pursuing a claim will be asked where they were sat and what they were wearing to enable them to be pinpointed on CCTV, if indeed they were even on the bus.

    There was a programme on the BBC on daytime TV about fraud, it featured a First Manchester bus which knocked a wing mirror off a car as it passed. A passenger claimed, First reviewed the CCTV (which clearly showed no jolts or bumps, with the passenger not even noticing the 'impact') and denied her claim and I think they may even have counter-prosecuted for fraud
  12. talltim

    talltim Established Member

    17 Jan 2010
    That bit made me smile.:D
  13. richw

    richw Established Member

    10 Jun 2010
    I had genuine whiplash from a car accident in 2012/3. The other parties insurer offered me a pre-medical amount of £1500, from doctors notes alone.
    I only had 2-3 days off work so my claim was initially for covering lost earnings. I was told by my insurer I could treble the amount if it went to court, but it was a gamble as judge may reject claim, or only award loss of income.
  14. trickyvegas

    trickyvegas Member

    10 Dec 2009
    I have enjoyed an entertaining story from a fleet manager about a Toyota that got a minor tap in the rear and magically reinvented itself as 10 year younger Audi during the claims process. Managed to spin out the dialogue for a few months before finally revealing to the claimant that they had the whole thing on camera.
  15. Amberley54

    Amberley54 Member

    2 Dec 2013
    East Cheshire.
    Ambulance chasing by certain elements of the legal industry have also contributed towards the spiralling volume personal injury claims in recent years.

    I refuse to use the word 'profession' any longer in connection with those involved in litigation after successfully rebutting one and successfully defending another claim in open court - in the teeth of advice/pressure from my legal advisor to settle.

    For them it was a win/win, for our business it was a point of principle against an exaggerated claim in one and a remote connection with the facts in the other.

    One case before us in the list that day on which we attended court saw agreed damages awarded of £3,500 plus costs of just under £8,000 - who was the winner?
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2015
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