Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
My mother unfortunately had an accident 3 weeks ago where a child ran out into the road straight into the car, travelling at approx 25 mph. The child was harmed with minor scratches, however, obviously shocked. Significant damage to the bonnett was caused. The police and ambulance were called and 5 witness statements were taken by the police which all stipulated it was the fault of the child. The child was appologetic, admitting it was his fault stating that he didn't look properly. My mother has had a letter form the police stating that they would not be taking any further action. It appears that the family are now trying to sue her over the incident. She was deeply upset about the whole incident as was going to claim through the insurance and not request anything from the family. Now they are suing she is thinking about countersuing for the trauma, distress and damage to the car.

Will the insurance company just pay the family off as it may be a cheaper option? Or does she have a valid case?

Would appreciate comments, Matt.
Suing and counter suing - J1mbo
If the insurance pay out then she would lose her no claims bonus. Your mother won't have liability, that's what insurance is there for. If she had no insurance, that's when you start suing.

How do you know if the family are going to sue? She could ask the insurance company if she can use her legal cover to claim off the family for the repair costs.

I know what kids are like these days, seen a child knocked over near my house, he was chasing after another boy on a scooter. Father turns ups just after the police and starts having a go at the poor driver.

I would'nt want to risk losing my NCB, why should your mother be out of pocket? Let us know how you get on..

James
Suing and counter suing - Altea Ego
My thoughts.

1/ The child, to all intents is fine. It could have been far far worse with real trauma and distress. She should count her blessings.

2/ She should be congratulating herself that she was well within the speed limit, and was in no way to blame. Guilt is a terrible trauma all on its own.

3/ Given 1 & 2 above, that is a real comfort in its own right, what good would be served suing the parents of the child, who probably cant pay if they lost.



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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Suing and counter suing - bell boy
think youve missed the point here TVM the driver had got over the shock of the accident and was happy the kid was ok ,however she now finds that the other party wants to start a civil prosecution against her for driving within the law on the queens highway,as i read it she is as mad as hell and rightly so,therefore her only way to get justice is to counter sue.
As i read the first post it also seems that she was going to swalow the cost of the accident ,so thats what you get for being right eh......?...
Suing and counter suing - component part
What you said-TVM the whole point of this has sailed so far over your head, I think it's in orbit. FWI I would be the same as your mother if the situation occured to me-if it was in no way whatsoever my fault then I think I would let it lie. But for the family of the guilty party to then try and sue you! Takes the cake in my opinion (expressing it mildy!)

In this case I would be considering a couple of things-1) I would fight tooth and nail to stop my insurance paying out any kind of settlement etc as this is a matter of principle, plus any financial penalty it may cause your mother in the future (you may have little control over this) 2) I would sue them back as you suggest, for the cost of repairing the damage to the car at least. The whole psychological trauma thing doesn't hold much weight with me but at least get the cost of repairing the car back.

All that prompted by the idiots who are trying to sue your mother unjustly.
Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
Thanks for the comments. She is not bothered about the loss of No Claims bonus, but the principle of the matter. She is a careful driver and was so upset that she hurt a child. She was so nice to the child when the incident happened, considering it was his fault and followed the correct procedures. I advised her not to take the child a gift when she went to see him a few days later at home as I was concerned this could be seen as a sign of guilt. I'm glad she didn't due to them suing her now. She said she would take the consequences of her actions if it was her fault but she is really peeved as it was fault and he even admitted to it.
Suing and counter suing - Altea Ego
What you said-TVM the whole point of this has sailed so far over your head

I really dont think so. What would you far sooner have? the vision of childs face smeared up your windscreen and the knowledge you had snuffed out a young life, with 15 years of sleepless nights.

or

some chav parents taking a few quid off your insurance company and the loss of a 50 quid NCB?


Think I know which one of those choices if i was offered it.



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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Suing and counter suing - bell boy
TVM i cant believe that you can have this blinkered attitude to the poor innocent womans feelings,i really cant
Suing and counter suing - component part
Ok I see what you're getting at, but it's that kind of attitude that lets scum walk all over people. Of course it's not worth bothering about, not in the grand scheme of things. But what else isn't worth bothering about? If someone walked all over your brand new car, dented every panel, scratched the paintwork to hell-wouldn't kill you would it? But you wouldn't let it ride etc etc. Of course what you have offered above is the more favourable of two outcomes, but they aren't the only possible outcomes. Besides, the kid wasn't badly injured so why conjecture on what might have been-point is, the kid caused an accident in which your property was damaged-you bear no ill will and even want to take the kid a present etc and then the parents want to sue you? I'll be damned if I'd be happy to see my £50 NCB disappear in a situation like that-and all the while I'm supposed to be grateful that it could have been worse? Sheesh.

As for the guilt bit-if I was driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions, within the law, and some kid turned themselves into a bumper ornament and went to that great big playground in the sky-if I wasn't at fault, I'd live with the 'guilt', for sure. I'd be more worried about what people thought of me, friends and family of the 'victim' coming after me etc. But guilt? Nah. If it was my fault I would feel distinctly different. A horrible experience to have for the guy's mother, but don't roll over I say!
Suing and counter suing - Mike-H
It sounds like on of these 'if youv'e had an accident at work or on the road' cases to me, personal injury greed situations. As far as I'm aware, to win a law suit you need to prove negligence or fault, and there doesn't seem to be any here by the lady driving. Mike
Suing and counter suing - Dalglish
It appears that the family are now trying to sue her over the incident

>>

how does it so appear? can you please clarify the meaning of "appear" and "trying" in your sentence.

Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
The accident investigator came around to speak to her yesterday re: the incident. When she enquired he commented that the family had spoken to neighbours about their plans and he stated he could not say, but she would be hearing from the insurance company. When she spoke to the insurance company the day following the accident they said that most people attempt to sue, thus sending the independent accident investigator round.
Suing and counter suing - Xileno {P}
The five witnesses presumably are prepared to document that it was the fault of the child. I therefore don't see what the parents are suing for. There is no claim.

These 'have-a-go' charlies need knocking back otherwise everyone will be onto it, causing premiums for us all to rise.
Suing and counter suing - Bill Payer
Hopefully an insurance expert will be along soon, but the way I understand it is that the driver is liable, however the insurance company stands behind her and picks up the tab.

If this accident is already in the hands of her insurance company then she simply passes all correspondence on to them. If an ambulance was called for the child then she'll get a bill for that too (which the insurance company will pay).

I don't know about suing the child - I guess that would be OK if it was an adult (household liability to third parties insurance would cover them) but a child maybe isn't deemed to be responsible?
Suing and counter suing - Xileno {P}
"The police and ambulance were called and 5 witness statements were taken by the police which all stipulated it was the fault of the child."
Suing and counter suing - LeePower
The insurance company should laugh the childs family out of court.

5 witness statments taken by the police that proves the driver did nothing wrong & it was the fault of the child.

They are trying it on to make a fast buck.
Suing and counter suing - Armitage Shanks {p}
The case seems clear cut to me under English law; no blame attaches to the driver. However the quirky Germans see it differently (of course)! An excatly similar event occured to the wife a friend of mine - a kid on an out of control scooter blatted into the side of her car and was slightly hurt. The German view was that if she hadn't been there, albeit legally, the kid wouldn't have been hurt or so badly hurt and her insurance had to pay out out 'pain money' to the kid.
Suing and counter suing - Altea Ego
Legally, if under the age of criminal responsibility, no child can be at fault for anything. You cant therefore cant sue the child, but if you could prove the parents had be neglegent with the care of the child you could sue them.

Tough to prove that tho.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Suing and counter suing - Dalglish
he commented that the family had spoken to neighbours about their plans and he stated he could not say,
but she would be hearing from the insurance company. When she spoke to the insurance company the day
following the accident they said that most people attempt to sue, thus sending the independent accident
investigator round.


so at the moment, it seems to be you are either jumping to conclusions or jumpting the gun.

relax. wait until they actually do sue. rather than maybe this, or maybe that, or "appears", or " trying" , or making other hairy fairy assumptions.

Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
She is jumping the gun, but wants to be prepared for the worse. She doesn't want to sue anyone, but wants to make a point to the family if they do go ahead with their potential plans. She also wanted my advise, I know very little about these issues so decided to ask you guys for assistance.
Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
TVM: It would be the family she would sue if she HAS TO, for allowing an 11 year old child playing near a busy road unsupervised.
Suing and counter suing - Hamsafar
During late 2002, there was huge furore in the press, and in forums such as this one about new EU Laws being drawn up that made motorists responsible for any accidents with pedestrians or cyclists. Did it ever happen? I thought it happened at the same time as the NHS chargeback legislation. I have found mention with google, but just complaints about it - nothing official.
Suing and counter suing - Vin {P}
TVM said "What would you far sooner have? the vision of childs face smeared up your windscreen and the knowledge you had snuffed out a young life, with 15 years of sleepless nights.
or
some chav parents taking a few quid off your insurance company and the loss of a 50 quid NCB?"


You speak as though that's some kind of choice - it's either (a) kill a child or (b) get sued. If you reread the sentence above, you're saying that. The words "What would you sooner have" imply it's one or the other. What a ridiculous argument. I think this woman wants neither.

Thanks to her sensible driving, she didn't do (a). Why should she tolerate (b)?

V

Suing and counter suing - Altea Ego
Gosh you lot are so up in arms and so mightier than though at times. Some chav parents trying to screw a few quid out of an insurance company is so trivially inconsequential in the grand scheme of things when you consider another possible outcome of the sequence of events.

I hardly think the womans life is going to be changed by an attempt to sue, but would have been if the child had fallen under the friont wheels and been crushed.

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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Suing and counter suing - Altea Ego
I hasten to add, that my parental reaction (and I suspect most here) would be to thank the driver for being so law abiding, slap the child for being an idiot, followed by a couple of days at the seaside to get over it.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Suing and counter suing - Cliff Pope
I hardly think the womans life is going to be
changed by an attempt to sue,


Of course it is. My mother would be absolutely devastated by an attempt to sue her, having led an exemplary law-abiding life. I'd find it pretty worrying too, even though I've just fought off a year-long employment tribunal case at work.
But I don't think counter-suing necessarily relives that. The best course imho is to muster the best possible case (which already seems to have been done) and then see the other side's case laughed out of court. At that stage I think you can claim for costs.
Suing and counter suing - madf
Counter suing = more cost.

Just let it be known you'll apply for costs for any action they may bring. The thought might clarify thinking a little.
madf
Suing and counter suing - Peter D
Obtain copies of the witness statements and the Police report. These parents have gone to a No Win NO Fee Pain in the arse lawyers who are not aware of the statements and police report. I suggest. Speak to your insurance Comapny Legal section and ask advice and detail the statements. I think you will find the No Fee guys will here of this and back off. Regards Peter
Suing and counter suing - Vin {P}
"when you consider another possible outcome of the sequence of events"

But the other sequence of events DIDN'T HAPPEN, so why even bother mentioning it? What HAS HAPPENED is that someone is trying to steal money from this woman. How do you know what her NCB is? Mine's a damned sight more than your "£50"; more like £600. Stop worrying about what might have happened and deal with what did happen... oh, don't bother.

V
Suing and counter suing - Dalglish
Stop worrying about what might have happened

>>

same goes for what this woman is imagining is going to happen. it is all conjecture on her part.
as far as i can see, she has no real evidence of any intent to sue her.

Suing and counter suing - artful dodger {P}
Matt

Tell you Mum to stop worrying.

I would have been worried if the Police were going to prosecute,but they are not. The child and 5 independent witnesses said she was not in any way to blame, so she has nothing to worry about.

If the child's parents want to try taking legal action, then they will fail due to the paragraph above. I agree with a previous post that a chat with her insurance company's legal department would certainly placate her. If she felt the need she could also ring a legal help line (house insurance or AA/RAC) for extra confirmation.

Do not let her loose any sleep over what might happen, as she has done nothing wrong legally. She might still feel remorse that a child was involved, but again there is nothing she can do to change that.

Hope she gets her car repaired quickly, although she might feel happier if she changed it to stop any bad memories.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
Thanks all. Roger, she is thinking about changing the car as she is having the odd 'flash back'. She thinks the car is jinxed because someone bumped it when it was parked before and she has never had an incident ever before in the past 20 odd years of motoring. The car is less than a year old.
Suing and counter suing - Armitage Shanks {p}
I don't want to give the slightest impression that I am trivialising the feelings that your Mother has after this incident. but I have to say that the loss she may incur by changing a 1 year old car (A 30% loss on £??,000) would pay for a great deal of professional help or counselling. The 'odd' flash back is understandable, to think that a car is 'jinxed' because it has been hit while parked is bluntly, not logical. It didn't involve her personally; she wasn't in it was she? Parked cars get hit every day, the aren't jinxed, they are just hit by careless or incompetent drivers. It is a lump of metal, it doesn't have a personality, it isn't lucky or unlucky, it moves you around the place and it costs a lot of money - that's it!
Suing and counter suing - chairmanmatt
Armitage. I agree with your comments, but if it makes her happier then I'm for it. I'm not very supersticious, although I do like Stevie wonders version of the song.
Suing and counter suing - Armitage Shanks {p}
Thanks for taking my comments the way they were inteded! It is just that there could be a shedload of money involved in dealing with whatever problems your Mother has about her feelings for the car. If getting rid of it is the only way, she will be happier, but perhaps poorer. In the end she has to live with or get rid of it and it is her choice, of course.
 

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