Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
Hi all, just pondering over a bit of an insurance claim happening to me at the mo and thought i would put it to the wise folk here for some advice.

About 6 months ago boy falls off bike, i stop to help, next day get call from police, want to discuss accident, appears boy claims i knocked him off.

No damage to car, police take photos, i give statement, advised to tell insurance company, tell them, boy puts a claim in.

Insurance offers boy 50/50, he claims bike wrecked and grazed his arm, bike was an old nacker, graze caused by him falling off bike.(which had carrier bag swinging off handlebar.

He denies that, then comes up with a witness to say the carrier bag was wound tightly round handlebar.

Insurance wants to pay out in full, im not happy with this, and think i should take to court, obviously insurance doesn't want this as costs involved.

I am resonable to ask insurance to pay me out to not take it to court as i am saving them money by no court costs? or should i let them pay him out and end of matter? What is the likely outcome if it goes to court? ( My Insurance company seems to be on his side )

Any comments gratefully welcome.

Edited by Pugugly on 10/08/2008 at 21:00

Nothing to lose? - rtj70
The cynic in me says...

The cyclist has done this before. Wait for someone to help (with witness nearby) and then claim you hit hit him?

I've heard of car accidents where someone breaks hard forcing you to hit them and then claim whiplash. It's a bit of an industry in places.

If this was me I'd want it in court.
Nothing to lose? - Pugugly
Ultimately its a matter for you - I hate lying toerags, if you feel strongly about it it may be worth engaging a solicitor, first of all check if you have legal cover on your this one of the mass-market insurance companies ?
Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
I too hate lying toerags, hes a teenage boy, i think his parents have put him up to it myself, there was no mention of me knocking him off at the time.

I do have legal cover, its one of the biggest insurance companies, am i allowed to name???

Im wondering if there is anything for me to lose by taking it to court? Its no longer a police matter, as far as there concerned its my word against his word, and they are satisfied no offence has been committed.
Nothing to lose? - Pugugly
Based on what you've said I would. But seek local advice first. Again based on what you've said your insurance is being lazy. May be worth a punt. He'll be in Court in his own.

Edited by Pugugly on 10/08/2008 at 20:45

Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
He has a local solicitor already involved, whether thats a "no win no fee" i dont know, if i have to pay out for solicitors it might just be worth letting it go, but it grates me to think hes got away with it!!!!!

Im going to ring my insurance tomorrow stressing that im not happy about the situation and asking them what cover and back up i have from them.
Nothing to lose? - Alby Back
Very hard to be sure unless it was really happening to me but I would like to think, if I were as innocent as you are, that I would fight this all the way. This, even if I could not justify the possible cost. Pond life like this need to see in no uncertain terms that they can not do this.
Nothing to lose? - Pugugly
Ask them specifically about the Legal Cover. Don't name them here.
Nothing to lose? - Pugugly
I've seen many a witness (and offender) wobble at the Courthouse door so to speak.

Will it impact on your NCB, premiums etc ?

Edited by Pugugly on 10/08/2008 at 21:00

Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
I had to declare the accident at renewal as it is still an open case, it made £1 per month difference on my premium. I have protected NCB.
Nothing to lose? - oldnotbold
Fraud, perjury and some more besides. Hope you get the right and fair result.
Nothing to lose? - tintin01
I appreciate how annoyed you are. We were scraped by a lorry which drifted from it's lane whislt moving away from traffic lights. He pretty much admitted it at the time, then next thing we know he claims it was our fault. We hadn't bothered to get witness names because it seemed so obviously his fault. A year down the line we ended up 50/50 - the insurance company didn't want to fight it and reckoned that without witmesses it would end up 50/50 in court anyway.

It's just the thought that they are getting away with something that riles. More so in your case, as I guess he is trying to claim for injuries he hasn't got and you didn't cause. I would say fight it as long as it doesn't cost you money. Presumably if the police thought you had been negligent they would have charged you with something.
Nothing to lose? - Fullchat
If the Police have conducted an investigation then as it was an 'Injury RTC' they should have filed a report. The injured party will probably have applied for a copy of that report - there is a cost. It would be interesting to note what the reporting officers comments would have been when the report was submitted. It may have been something technical like "There is no evidence of a collision and driver xxxxxx denies hitting the cycle. There are no independent witnesses. The collision does not fall within prosecution guidlines. Recommend NFA" or it might say something like "There is no evidence of an impact, driver xxxxxx denies hitting the cycle. The rider was carrying a bag which may have interfered with the front wheel causing him to loose control. I believe the rider is being economical with the truth. Without any independent witnesses to corroborate either account then there is no evidence to continue with a prosecution. Recommend NFA."
Did the rider disclose this 'witness' to the Police? Do they have the details or have they mysteriously appeared? The details would be on the report if provided by the rider.
The Officers recommendations and other details could help you if you wish to fight the claim, but you will need to see the report.

Edited by Fullchat on 10/08/2008 at 23:11

Nothing to lose? - Pugugly
You'll need to write to your Force's Administration of Justice Department - do you have an accident number ?? That will help.
Nothing to lose? - Fullchat
Could be titled 'Collision Records Dept' . If you don't have a reference number then time, day,date, location and names of parties involved will assist with search. The copy will cost you. The figure £60 odd comes to mind for some reason but I could easily be wrong. (Thats in my Force area).
Nothing to lose? - Ian (Cape Town)
I'd suppose it is against 'civil rights'or 'data protection'or something like that to be able to find out if this character has a history of similar 'incidents'?
There's been a bit of a hoo-haa here of late due to all the major insurers going on to a common data system which allows them to share slected information - ie multiple claims for the same accident, many claims involving the same parties, dodginess on the part of window fitters and punters claiming for glass which was never replaced etc

As one poster said, it appears to be a growth injury.
Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
Very interesting points Fullchat thankyou, there is also the report from the Ambulance crew that could hopefully be produced.
Nothing to lose? - Fullchat

I think you will struggle to get note from Ambulance due to Data Protection and Medical Confidentiality however they might be interesting as they might have a 'First Account' of the injured party, likewise hospital notes.
Thats why it can be good to have your day in court as the IP or legal team would have to produce these documents to prove their case.
Unfortunately things will not get that far. In a perfect world your insurance company should be looking for such information to avoid paying out, but they won't. Claimants exploit this laid back attitude.
Nothing to lose? - L'escargot
He denies that then comes up with a witness to say the carrier bag was
wound tightly round handlebar.

A carrier bag attached to the handlebars (loosely or tightly) is asking for trouble ~ I know this from personal experience! Apart from causing unbalance, it also adds mass to the handlebars and makes it more difficult to turn them quickly.

Edited by L'escargot on 11/08/2008 at 08:08

Nothing to lose? - John F
About 6 months ago boy falls off bike i stop to help next day get
call from police want to discuss accident appears boy claims i knocked him off.
No damage to car

The fundamental question is - did you or did you not 'have an accident' . How did the cyclist fall off his bike? If there was any sort of contact with your car, damage or not, there was definitely an accident. If you manoeuvred incorrectly forcing the cyclist to take evasive action resulting in a fall then that is also an accident even if no contact. Either way, you are left arguing the toss and it is hard to advise without a more detailed description.

As a utility cyclist I have a particular interest....last year I received two four figure sums following accidents where a careless woman on a school run broke at least two of my ribs, and a few months later a deluded old man with very thick glasses crushed my cycle and foot under his car as I proceeded past the T junction from which he was exiting oblivious to my presence. He claimed I had caused the accident!!

Our British town infrastructure for cyclists varies from non-existent to disgracefully inadequate in stark contrast with towns abroad -and the attitude of many motorists towards cyclists is abysmal - especially as they probably pay as much road tax as the discourteous drivers do.

Nothing to lose? - Cliff Pope
Doesn't it work like this:

Your insurance company is supposed to be acting for you not someone else. If some one claims you have injured him or damaged his property then he needs to put in a claim. You are free to agree, negotiate if you wish, and then settle or refuse.
If he wants to pursue it then he has to sue you, for which he will need medical and other evidence. He will have to demonstrate the manner in which he secured the plastic bag to the handlebars, and be open to challenge that this is not a satisfactory method. You can challenge him to demonstrate effective balance and use of the brakes.
He will need evidence from a qualified bike repairer as to the extent of the damage, likely cause, speed of impact, and general condition of the bike before the accident. The condition of the brakes and tyres might be important.
Nothing to lose? - Fullchat
Making him work for his money!! Trouble is in this litigious 'no win no fee' and 'where there's blame there's a claim' society and the ease at which insures roll over and pay up rather than make a fight of it; usually due to economies of scale means that it is easy for the unscrupulous to cash in.
Nothing to lose? - Paul I
Simple really your insurance company isn't working for you or him , it is representing it's own interests ie it feels the lowest cost option is to payout and have no further action.
Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
Couldnt agree with you more Paul l
Nothing to lose? - scrapmetal
John f

Yes the police wanted to discuss "accident" because until they got my version of the event that was what they called it.

I also frequently cycle about town and am very aware of the dangers that face cyclists and do give them plenty of room, which is my frustration because i also gave this cyclist plenty of room, it was circumstance that i was overtaking him when he fell off, i am trying to collect evidence to help my case.

Edited by scrapmetal on 12/08/2008 at 23:23


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