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Old 21-08-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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Why can't my passenger (friend) by my witness in my accident?

I had a small bump about 2 weeks ago, a bus went into the back of me at about 5 mph. I was stationary. A few Ł100's of damage.
The other side is disputing the claim saying I rolled back into the bus, the bus driver admited liability to me in person, no other witnesses, apart from my passenger (friend).
Also what are the chances of me using the street CCTV (none I doubt!)?
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Old 21-08-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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if there is CCTV on the street in question then you can use it - i think under the freedom of information act you're entitled to see any footage that you think has been taken of you, be they stills or video

Could be wrong
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Old 21-08-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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Have you officially been informed that your passenger's testament is worthless/invalid? No other bystanders available or came forward?

I guess either the bus company are trying the time-honoured hard-ball approach, or the driver's job is at risk and he told you and them different stories...

A quick enquiry in to the local council offices should find out if any CCTV footage is available.

Hope you have some good luck with this.
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Old 21-08-2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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conflict of interest if you use the passenger that's why they don't really like to accept a passenger...
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Old 21-08-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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you can get the cctv footage, think you have to pay a Ł15 fee though, you could lump that in with your costs. The onus of proof should be on the other guy though, I thought that if your rear-ended then by default it's the person behind who is to blame unless they can prove otherwise.
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Old 21-08-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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Standard defence by any national organisation. Had an army vehicle run into the back of me when payning at the severn bridge tolls. I was stationary, obviously, pre bin days and certainly long before second severn crossing. They held me responsible for the accident. Leave it to your insurance company, but tell them to keep you informed as you don't want an at fault claim on your insurance. You probably pay legal protection so let them sort it.
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Have you officially been informed that your passenger's testament is worthless/invalid? No other bystanders available or came forward?

.

An accident management company is dealing with me for my insurance company, they have told me my passenger is not valid as a witness , very annoying if this is so.

No other witnesses .

This is my first accident in 26 yrs of driving, so it's all new to me this stuff.


Forgot to say thanks so far for the quick replies.

Last edited by AANDYY; 21-08-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:36 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear about this.

The reason your passenger can't be a witness is because technically they were involved in the accident, so cannot be deemed independent. Obviously the point of the witness statement is to corroborate your version of events, so the fact that they're a friend of yours could be challenged. Moreover, they could potentially submit a personal injury claim themselves (however unlikely that may be in this case), so that could also affect their credibility as a witness.

With regard to the bus company's version of events, is the damage inflicted on either vehicle commensurate with your car having simply rolled back? I'd have thought the afternath of 5mph impact would have been somewhat greater.
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:37 PM   #9
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I cant see why your passenger is not valid as a witness. Sounds like smoke and mirrors to me. I suspect if you push harder they will see sense.
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:43 PM   #10
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An accident management company is dealing with me for my insurance company, they have told me my passenger is not valid as a witness , very annoying if this is so..
Absolute rubbish ! it does not matter if the witness is a passenger , your mother , brother or whatever : they were there and saw what happened .

Their testimony will be perfectly valid if the matter goes to court .

Any passengers on the bus could equally have been asked to bear witness .

You are the customer - if the company will not listen to your information - sack them and deal directly with your insurer .
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
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An accident management company is dealing with me for my insurance company, they have told me my passenger is not valid as a witness , very annoying if this is so.
Just talked to SWMBO and it would appear your accident management company may be talking out of their backside, which is not unusual. Here is the official legal guidance.

"The passenger in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) is a valid witness but should the incident result in a court appearance then their evidence would probably be viewed below that of a fully independent witness but it would still contribute to the case and is valid."

"Under the Data Protection Act revision of 2008, you have access to any cctv footage that you think may be relevant to your case, not only do you have the right to view it you also have the right to a copy of it "

You need to apply to the council concerned which will cost you around Ł10 and you will have to give the data controller the exact day and time of the accident so you get only the footage that affects you. They have to comply with your request within 40 days.There also may be a charge for footage provided.

The main reason for lawyers not wanting to use a passenger as a witness is the relationship between them and the driver, particularly with all these staged "accident" scams that are taking place these days. It becomes a question of credibility if it goes to court but a good lawyer wouldn't have a problem with it in the absence of CCTV footage or independent witnesses.

Good luck and if you need anything further we can help with just shout.
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Old 21-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #12
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Is your car an auto? If it is, it would be interesting to hear how it rolled backwards as you were holding it on the brakes
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Old 21-08-2010, 07:15 PM   #13
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I don't believe a passenger can be a witness because you could have agreed to concoct a story of what happened.
Whenever I've had a knock I've been asked if there were any independent witnesses.
Never ended up in court........
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Old 23-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
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I've used a passenger as a witness before (accident with a bus as it happens) surprisingly, they used passengers as witnesses too... I won.

Note that most buses these days have CCTV on board and one camera specifically covering the driver in case they are robbed. Get your legal beagles to check this out as it would show whether the vehicle was moving or not.

YouTube - CCTV footage of bus driver attack

m.
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Old 23-08-2010, 02:16 PM   #15
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Hope it's not 'countrywide accident assistance' if it is tell your insurance co they are the ones you pay and they are the ones you want to deal with it! After 14 weeks, and counting, CAA are going to be coughing up a fair chunk of money for my time if/when I ever get my car back!

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