First For Precognitions

Civil Claims From Scottish Road Traffic Collisions

It is often difficult to apportion blame after a road traffic collision as driver evidence can be contradictory as each tries to minimise their own blame to protect their no claim discount on their motor insurance policy. Sometimes insurance companies and large firms with many vehicles and drivers advise employees never to admit blame after a collision.

In such problem cases, extra evidence is available from the police officer who attended at the accident scene, as he/she will have taken details from the drivers involved and any passengers or other witnesses to the collision.

The Scottish national police force only provides a brief abstract report on such road traffic collisions, and this abstract may not be enough to fully establish liability. In that event, more evidence can be obtained by taking a statement from the relevant police officer by way of a precognition. The Chief Constable of the Scottish police force insists these meetings MUST take place on a face to face basis at the investigating police officer’s base station, wherever this may be.

Precognition literally means “prior knowledge” and this type of statement allows the investigating police officer to provide fuller details of the road traffic collision, including drivers’, and possibly passengers’, statements made at the collision scene, together with statements from any independent witnesses at the scene. It also allows the police officer to give his/her opinion on blame from the investigations made at the scene and this opinion can be decisive. If the investigating officer says in the precognition statement that he/she feels driver A was to blame, then this means the officer will give this opinion when giving evidence on the case in Court.

Most insurance companies accept the investigating police officer’s precognition opinion as being conclusive and settle claims on that basis.

This explains why obtaining precognition statements from investigating police officers can be crucial to your client/policyholder’s claim, and this is where we come in.

With over 40 years’ motor claims experience working in both insurance companies’ and solicitors’ offices in Glasgow, and taking precognitions all over Scotland for the last 30 years, our Mr Francis McDonnell has extensive expertise, and being based in Paisley means travelling to police stations is very straight-forward.

What We Can Do For You and Your Client

Using First for Precognitions can help stop solicitors and insurance companies losing output hours by having internal staff carry out such work, as we can organise appointments with police officers very quickly and help reduce expenses on these statements. 

We are more than happy to arrange precognition appointments for weekends and for the start of an officer's early shift at 7.00 am, if necessary.

As soon as we receive instructions from a solicitor or insurance company, and a copy of the police letter confirming the precognition can go ahead, we telephone the Scottish police force to arrange the meeting with the police officer. When the appointment has been arranged, we update the instructing office to let them know these details, so they can keep the client/policyholder advised.

Such precognitions occasionally involve a great distance which necessitates an overnight stay - we would always notify the instructing office as soon as we discovered this and obtain approval. Normally, we use 3 or 4 star B&Bs and receipts are submitted with our fee note on completion of the task.

We also carry out face to face liability meetings with clients, policyholders, passengers, and other witnesses, if required, on a similar basis as the police precognitions and can provide general reports with images if a locus visit is required, or if you require a locus review from Google aerial images. 

Excellent quality and speedy precognitions
— Moffat & Co, Solicitors, Edinburgh