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Diesel spills and the police


Last summer I lost control of my bike on a bend due to some diesel on the road. I felt a bit shaken up but OK at the time and so I got up, dusted myself off and carried on with my journey. My wrists started hurting when I got home and I later found out that I had broken one of them. A few weeks later I called a local solicitor to see if anything could be done, but he said he couldn’t take the case on because I hadn’t called the police. I didn’t know I was supposed to call them… am I going to have to take the hit?

Lester, by email



You potentially have a claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, a body which compensates the victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.

This is because diesel spills commonly occur due to a deliberate act, such as overfilling a fuel tank (necking), or by failing to properly secure the fuel cap. As in your case, they commonly occur at bends or on roundabouts.

The solicitor you spoke to was using out of date information. It used to be a requirement to call the police in such claims, but that doesn’t apply to any accident which occurred on or after 1st March 2017. That said, as a matter of best practice I would still recommend calling the police in such circumstances and taking photographs of the spill if you are able.



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