Even in cases where the issue of liability (fault) for an accident is straightforward, this alone will not be sufficient to succeed in a claim for personal injury. In addition to establishing that the other party is responsible for the accident, a Claimant must also prove that the accident in question was the direct cause of their injuries.
A possible defence in a road traffic accident claim is for the Defendant to allege that the force of the collision was not sufficient to have caused any injury. This is known as a Low Velocity Impact (LVI). Typically, these allegations are made when an accident has occurred at a low speed, for example between two vehicles in a car park, or where there is little or no damage to one or both of the vehicles involved.
It is for the Claimant to prove their case and therefore in order to argue successfully against an allegation of LVI keeping evidence is crucial.
If you are involved in a road traffic accident (at any speed, but particularly if the accident occurred at low speed) then you should remember to do the following:
- Obtain details of the other parties involved and any witnesses who may have seen what happened.
- If the accident occurred in a car park or if there are shops nearby, check whether there is any CCTV and ask the relevant organisation to retain it.
- Take pictures of any damage to both vehicles involved and keep them for the duration of any claim; an allegation of LVI may well be made after your vehicle has been repaired then it is important to have evidence of any damage that the accident caused
- Keep any engineers’ reports and repair documentation
- If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ensure that the medical professional you see takes an accurate note of all of your injuries and the accident circumstances
- If you choose to make a claim for personal injury, be upfront with your solicitors about any previous accidents, injuries or pre-existing health conditions. If you fail to disclose relevant information about previous accidents or pre-existing conditions and it comes to light later then this will undermine your credibility as a witness and could lead to the failure of your claim or more serious allegations of fraud.
It is also worth bearing in mind that allegations of LVI can also be accompanied by allegations of exaggeration or dishonesty which, if proved to be true, can have extremely serious consequences. It is therefore very important that if you have been injured in a low speed collision that you keep all of the relevant evidence and that any record of the accident and your injuries is clear and accurate.
The issue of LVI can be a complicated one to navigate and on top of this an allegation of dishonesty whether implied or explicit can be upsetting so getting the right advice is crucial. If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, make sure you seek prompt legal advice to ensure that all of the relevant evidence needed to prove your case is retained.