Damage from sign and writing off my car. - MudMonkey

Hello everyone,

On the evening of the Sunday 13 th November 2016, at the approximate position of Junction 10 heading north-bound clockwise on the M25, my vehicle was struck by a large metal yellow sign from a moving Highways Agency contractor vehicle. I was travelling in the second lane at 70 mph, and I noticed a large yellow metal sign be lifted out the back of a Mercedes drop-sided van ahead of me in the first lane by the wind. This van was also travelling at 60 to 70 mph. The sign was lifted 15 feet into the air and struck a vehicle to the left of me on the windscreen. The sign then came spinning towards my vehicle. I tried to pick up speed to avoid the sign, but it struck my vehicle on the left-hand side diagonally. I managed to keep my vehicle within my lane, and not swerve into the third and fourth lanes, thereby preventing any further damage to myself, and any other vehicles nearby. The situation only lasted a few seconds, but the resulting damage done to my car caused by the sign, ended up being written off by my insurance company. Luckily my partner and I were not injured as well. I then had to take a day off work to sort the situation out.

The sign should not have flown out of the back of the contractor's vehicle, and should have been securely weighted down. This would have been an easily avoidable if the workers had followed their Health and Safety procedures for securing heavy loads. The whole situation shook me up pretty badly, and I cannot help feeling anxious driving behind any type of vehicle now.

I sent in a claim form to the Highways Agency to claim the cost of my vehicle and time taken off work. I was not planning on replacing my car, and therefore out of pocket. I was told it was not their responsibility, and forward my claim to the contractor. I was later contacted earlier this week by the contractor that their insurance company was dealing with it, and left it there.

I am fuming, as the incident was caused by the negligence of one of their employees, and they seem to be brushing it under the carpet.

Any advice on whether I can further this legally, or any law firms that would deal with such a claim? Thanks for the help.


Damage from sign and writing off my car. - csgmart

I had a similar experience about 5 years ago (sign hitting my car on M42) and took the matter up with the Highways Agency. Initially they were not interested and blamed the sign coming off due to the high winds that day. I persisted and eventually (after requesting to see the logs of the Traffic Officers for that stretch of the m'way) got an offer which I accepted.

As the contractor's insurance company is dealing with it I would let the claim progress but expect to have to fight your corner. Just be firm and polite and in my experience they will cave in - you just have to be persistent.

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - daveyjp
I fail to see how in any way this is being swept under the carpet.

The contractor has insurance and their insurance company is dealing with the claim. That's how it usually works!
Damage from sign and writing off my car. - Simon

I noticed a large yellow metal sign be lifted out the back of a Mercedes drop-sided van ahead of me in the first lane by the wind. .


Lifted out by the wind? Act of God...???

Edited by Simon on 06/01/2017 at 22:06

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - RT

I noticed a large yellow metal sign be lifted out the back of a Mercedes drop-sided van ahead of me in the first lane by the wind. .


Lifted out by the wind? Act of God...???

Really - the effect of airflow on a vehicle, and its load, travelling at speed is hardly an Act Of God

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - skidpan

Lifted out by the wind? Act of God...???

Its an offence to drive a vehicle with an unsecured load. The driver is responsible and should be prosecuted. But their insurer is responsible for repairing your vehicle, its not your problem what they do later.

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - 520i

Have you shared details with the driver of the other car struck by the sign? Two of you visiting a solicitor and taking a joint action would add weight, I would imagine.

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - Palcouk

If the vehicle was written off by your insurance Company any further claim for any consequential loss should have been handled by your insurance company, who would I assume have recovered any losses from the other party.

If any claim was dealt with by your insureres and there was a payout to you, you cannot then start a new claim as the origonal has been settled.

As the claim has been settled by your ensurers, you dont have any further outstanding claim, presumably you signed/agreed the settlement from your insureres.

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - concrete

I wonder if the OP has legal cover with his motor or household policy. A solicitor should be able to sort out this muddle and press a claim for damages. You could insist on being put back into the position you were in prior to the incident. That is a replacement vehicle of the same age, condition and specification. The settlement figure is never anywhere near the replacement cost so you are you going to be out of pocket. Whatever you do you need to get a grip of the facts and insist on some recompense. Stick to it though, most insurance companies are past masters at fobbing you off. Good luck. Concrete

Damage from sign and writing off my car. - RafflesNH

I believe Honest John himself recently advocated contacting Tim Kelly (aka Motor Claim Guru) about these sort of issues.

www.motorclaimguru.co.uk

However, it may be too late now if you have already accepted settlement from your own insurer. No harm in asking him though.

 

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