My friend's partner hit my car and is blaming me - should I take him to court?

At a recent family reunion, my friend's partner backed into my car in torrential rain - before I'd even moved - causing serious damage to my car. He shot off at great speed, driving in a highly dangerous manner (according to some of our party who were in the car with him) back to our accommodation without getting out of his car to check the damage. I checked the damage and arrived back about 20 minutes later to find he had gone to bed. I didn't want to spoil the party and assumed with all the witnesses there would be no problem with blame so left it until the morning. I was working the next morning so had to shoot off, I had a quick word with his partner who said not to worry it could be sorted later. However shortly after I got a letter with a totally concocted story saying I ran into him and that I was totally to blame. Everybody at the scene agrees this was not the case and has issued statements to that effect. This was 18 months ago. I've paid to get my car back on the road (£1500), his car needs about the same. It appears the insurers accept his version of events and do not recognise all of my witnesses evidence as it is from family and close friends. What can I do to stop this injustice?

Asked on 9 August 2017 by Mini S

Answered by Tim Kelly
An unfortunate situation to be involved in, but one you need to forget any mention of friendships and revert to law. Contact your insurer and advise them of the events and obtain witness statements from those present. If he did not provide you with his details at the scene or at any time after, contact the police and report him for leaving the scene without exchanging details. He has a legal obligation under the Road Traffic Act to do so. You refer to a letter, who sent the letter? Pass this correspondence onto your insurer. Advise your insurer that you do not accept liability in any way as your vehicle was stationary, and that you wish for this matter to go to court. Your alternative is to issue proceedings yourself in the small claims court against him personally. The court would have no issue with accepting witness statements from all the people present as long as no coercion is apparent. The court would look at the balance of probabilities, your multiple witness to his one would - in my opinion - favour your version of events. It's rare you ever get asked to attend court, so don't worry about that. As long as statements are presented, the court should be happy.
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