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Car crash solicitors?


dantastic
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A while back we were over the border to the UK and we were in a bit of a tip. No personal injuries but the car got a couple of hundred worth of damage. A fella in a company van was going much faster than he was able for. This would be so small I didn't want to involve my insurance, they will load up my premium for next year (In Ireland anyway). As the other party was so incredibly obviously in the wrong I contacted his unsurance directly and through various hoops I was having to deal with a solicitors crowd who do the insurance for this company.

Anyway, after months of just being fobbed off I need to step up my game. Not being from the UK I'm not familiar with the system. There seems to be small claims solicitors you can get for this kind of stuff? Any recommendations? I assume this is an expense I can load their insurance with? Would they be interested in something just worth a couple of 100?

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I don't think you're going to get very far without involving your insurance company, otherwise they will more than likely just avoid you until being presented with a court summons, and even then they may go all the way to the court steps before deciding to settle (or not at all).

suggest a read of: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/cars-and-other-vehicles/driving-and-parking/driving/traffic-accidents/

more specifically: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/cars-and-other-vehicles/driving-and-parking/driving/traffic-accidents/#h-failure-to-respond-to-claim-letters

and: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/cars-and-other-vehicles/driving-and-parking/driving/traffic-accidents/#h-taking-court-action

and for legal claim pursuant route: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-rights/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/

Most insurance policies that I've read state on them that you are not to admit liability (even if you think you're clearly to blame... drove in the rear of someone), because technically you are not at fault until proven so (presumption of innocence until proven guilty concept) http://www.trafficaccidentadvice.co.uk/deciding-who-is-responsible-for-a-traffic-accident.html, hence there is little chance that someone is going to pay up until a court instructs them to [this is why it can be a little difficult when you ask you're insurance company to deal with the matter and they decide to settle [cynical view: maybe a gentlemen's agreement to settle two opposing claims at the same time with no transaction cost to either party other than some numbers (RRP?) on a bit of paper], and you end up suffering the long term cost via loss of excess, and then loss of part or all of ongoing no-claims discount, and increased premiums etc, and you have no where to go).

Being from abroad, they probably think that you'll not pursue the claim fully (as most people don't themselves [i know I've got better things to do with my time for a couple of hundred quid, (writing statements, photographing the scene, putting a small claims court claim in (and paying the fee), responding to any rebuttal, preparing for court (exchanging documents if that is required / further information is required), taking time off work to attend the court hearing should the other party not cave in and cough up, etc etc). Also bear in mind that if you win a claim it does not mean that you will actually get paid all of your money at once as the defendant may have other issues in life, and the payment of a claim cannot create undue hardship (think that is the correct term), hence the reason why some payments may be as low as a few pounds a week for several years if the defendant can claim that they have no / little disposable income and may loose their job, home, loss of child support income etc etc.

Also bear in mind that most policies here have a policy excess that needs to be paid should a claim go in, in order to stop (or minimise) frivolous or non-substantial claims, and if your claim is below that value then there is no interest for the insurance company to pursue given they would just be handing cash across from one party to another and not able to charge a substantial fee via the supporting solicitors and claims handlers costs. [sorry I'm a big believer that there is a nice cosy arrangement between insurance companies, their claims handlers and their solicitors that allows for balanced settlement of claims over time with the insured suffering ever increasing premiums and loss of excesses etc]

Long and the short, how much do you really think the damage has affected your deteriorating asset?

How much has it really affected the resale value of the asset (if you're intending to resell it, or drive it into the ground and dispose of it as scrap [how long do you intend to keep the asset] or non passing MOT stage).

For me, life's too short, I'd probably move on (as I did in one occurrence of someone going into the side of my parked vehicle after parking his 110 on an incline and partially applying the hand brake, no one was hurt and lucky for him my vehicle acted as a chock block as the cliff in front of my car would have totalled his 110, maybe someone will pay me the courtesy if I do something similar in oversight error), I waste too much money on hobbies [and time on forums, but that is another matter!] to be worried about a bit of a dent or scratch if its not major panel and paint work required, or no one was properly injured. A car is a car it gets me from A to B and back, what it looks like is not that important to me in the whole scheme of things as I'll buy another at some point, minor damage is expected and accepted. Yup I have an expensive hobby but its for pleasure the insurance is to allow me to drive on the road with it as it will never ever cover the replacement or rebuild or repair cost. One of the best quotes I read was "if you buy a house in a flood plain hence you know is going to flood at some point, you would not buy insurance.... you would move!" applies to all other avenues of insurance and life, if it's a dead certainty of occurrence within your time frame of concern then insurance is not the best form of prevention of loss, given the insurance actuary probably already knows it and has priced your premium accordingly.

Rob

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Ok so to add to this, this wasn't in my Defender it was in a shiny car. The car has since been repaired, nevermind any perceived devaluation due to a tip or anything but actually repaired and a panel resprayed etc. The yob running in to me initially claimed the incident never even happened. I'm more Mildly miffed off than anything and I'm not willing to let this go. If they would handled this differently I would have been a good sport about it but the arrogance just cannot be rewarded.

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I can't understand why your insurers would penalise you for a no fault incident. I've been hit by another driver and and it had no effect on the cost of my policy. Complain to the regulator - Financial Ombudsman Authority.

Les

Because insurance companies work on statistical risk and being involved in an accident, even if it wasn't your fault, makes you statistically more of a risk. The higher the risk the bigger the premium.

It's just the way the industry works, you'll get nowhere complaining about it.

Often the increase is insignificant and changing insurers, or even threatening to change can negate the increase, all insurers have some room for negotiation.

To the op, small claims is the way to go, very easy to do yourself. Search "money claim online"

Tell them you will take it to small claims with a "Notice before action" letter setting out your claim and give them 14 days to settle.

Then do it! No point in empty threats.

Finally, even if you don't use your insurance company to settle the claim for you, you may still have to declare it, as most will ask whether you've been involved in any accident in the last 5 years and to inform them of any changes to that declaration between renewals. It will depend on your policy wording.

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I think you are best off just letting insurance company deal with it.

The kamikaze spanish lady that wiped me / my land rover out tried to claim she hadn't been in a collision, despite the fact her golf was missing most of it's front end, I had pictures of her in said bent golf, the police attended, took multiple witness statements, and she left in an ambulance.

Insurance co didn't take any carp, nor did the police who charged her with dangerous driving. Not sure how far I would have got trying to deal with that myself.

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You need to go theough your insurer then they will decide the proportion of blame to allocate to each party which usually has nothing to do with what you or the other driver think.

I've had accidents in the past where the other driver has admitted fault and their insurer has contacted me directly and asked if they can repair my car. The advantage to me is I don't have to pay and reclaim an excess but they can only do it if I and my insurer agree.

With protected ncd my insurance didn't go up after the claim. I even went to the extent of getting quotes with and without declaring the accident. I was shocked as I expected it to be higher. I appreciate insurance is different in Ireland but I think contacting them is the way forwards. I've been messed about in the past trying to not involve them and they weren't too happy at not being notified within 24 hours and I would certainly think that road was better than solicitors.

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You are flogging a dead horse , the vehicle has been repaired , so how can you prove what the level of damage was, and that it was down to the other party, especially as your other party doesn't seem averse to being economical with the truth . I dont think you will get anywhere with your ins co , trying to bring them in at this late stage . I would put it down to experience , and follow the correct procedure if there is a next time.

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Too late now I guess. What you should have done is take photo's/video, witness details, etc. Do not effect repairs of any kind until insurance assessor has looked at the damage. Insurance companies will always look for a way out of their responsibilities, and you have handed it to them on a plate.

Les

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