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£600,000 Insurance Bill For Car Pile-Up

kent car pile upOne of the UK’s worst ever car pile-up cases took place in Kent yesterday, involving over 130 motorists on the Sheppey Crossing at around 7:15 am. The insurance bill for the vehicles damaged in the accident is expected to top £600,000. Motorists are starting to collect their vehicles today, which were stored in a secure location overnight. The crash left 8 people with serious injuries and 60 others with minor injuries, 35 of which had to be taken to hospital. As many as 120 are thought to have been wounded in the 2 separate rush hour collisions. Affected vehicle owners have to phone the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit in order to recover their vehicle. Police have announced that all victims who were taken to hospital are in stable condition and are expected to be sent home today. Insurance firms are going to have to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds, and the total pay-outs for the accident are expected to top £1,000,000. The pay-outs for personal injury claims are predicted to be much higher, with law firms starting to approach the victims.

The AA’s head of road policy Paul Watters said: “It’s going to be a complete mess for many people, certainly having the car off the road and dealing with the insurance firm because it was a multiple vehicle accident. The average claim, based on AA insurance statistics, could certainly be about £4,000 per vehicle. There are going to be some that are a bit lower and certainly many that are a lot higher than that. There are a lot of figures being bandied around at the moment, but assuming there were over 100 vehicles – with a considerable amount badly damaged – you’re probably looking at £600,000 just for the vehicle damage alone. Then there are all the other bits, such as loss of earnings, pain, suffering and hire car costs. It will be, in total, a figure closer to a million I'm sure. There’s going to be a lot of cost from the crash – and that’s before personal injury claims are considered.” These estimates stem from the experts, who have ranked this crash as one of the worst in British history.

At the end of the day, bad weather has to be respected, with this fog being a sign of what could come in the future. The accident was devastating, but it would have been worse – imagine how catastrophic it would've been if there had been a fuel leak on the bridge which caught fire. It is going to take the authorities a while to find out the cause of the crash, with the current investigation expecting to be finished in ‘months’. Local MPs have criticised the safety of the bridge, with emphasis being put on the lack of hard shoulder and lights. Mike Fuller from Kent Police has blasted the design of the bridge, calling it ‘flawed’ and an accident waiting to happen. The Department of Transport has retaliated to this claim, saying “The curvature and gradients of the bridge and its approaches are consistent with a design speed of 70 mph.”

James Savery, 06 September 2013

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