His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, started 2019 with a bang (ouch…) with a well- publicised car crash near the Royal residence at Sandringham in January.

He appeared to be pulling out  at a junction when a car coming from his right crashed into him.

There is speculation that the Duke was blinded by low sun on the horizon to his right and did not see the car that collided with him.

It has also been suggested that the junction is in itself dangerous because of the way it is set out.  It is also noticeable that the local council moved very quickly to reduce the speed limit on the particular stretch of the A149 in Norfolk where the collision occurred.  Moving the sun would be a little more difficult!

On looking at the pictures of the aftermath, with the Duke’s Landrover Freelander on its side across the road, the Duke appears to have had a lucky escape with no serious injuries and was well enough to be driving 48 hours later following an overnight delivery of a replacement vehicle from Landrover.  That he seemed to be driving without wearing a seatbelt caused almost as many headlines as the original crash!

Nevertheless, the crash does give rise to a number of interesting legal issues.  We will be doing a small series of related articles looking at:

  1. Who would be responsible for accidents occurring on obscured roads or with poor layouts?
  2. Should older drivers be banned from driving even where they have not had accidents, due to the potential risk? Could driverless cars have a role here?
  3. How not wearing a seatbelt can affect any compensation, even in accidents not your fault.
  4. The Duke of Edinburgh was criticised for not offering an immediate apology to the two women involved in the collision. Should you say sorry, or will good manners affect your insurance position?
  5. Unlike the Duke of Edinburgh, many people are not in a position to immediately repair or replace a damaged or written off vehicle. What if the compensation offered for your vehicle isn’t enough to allow you to buy another one? What can you do to get back on the road and what about losses while you’re off the road?

Watch this space.

For further advice and information contact the Ringrose Law Personal Injury team. We have offices in Lincoln, Boston, Grantham, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark. Alternatively call 01522 561020.

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