Accident questions - SteveH42
I'm hoping someone can advise me as to my best course of action here. About 3 weeks ago I had a minor bump leaving work. The other driver appeared to be pulling out from the driveway, I started off after her, glanced left to make sure the road was clear, but by the time I'd looked back, she'd stopped (for no obvious reason) and I couldn't stop in time to avoid gently running in to her bumper.

At the time of the accident, I said that I'd be prepared to pay for the repair unless it was very expensive, on the basis that it was likely to be cheaper that way than claiming off my insurance. She then got two quotes, one from a main dealer who said it needed a new bumper, one from a garage who were happy to respray it. I suggested she get a quote from a reputable bodyshop to see what they advised. This took her over 2 weeks to do (she said she couldn't find the place at first, but finally did on Friday). She claimed she phoned me on Friday afternoon to advise me of this, but the only call I had was from an unknown number and as I was driving at the time I couldn't answer it.

As a result, on Monday she asked for my registration and said she was phoning the insurance. I had a message today asking me to phone Direct Line, but the number they left doesn't seem to work.

To slightly confuse matters, I've changed my car since the accident, but did not report the incident as I thought we'd be settling it outside of the insurance.

My main question is can she force me to go through the insurance? Even though the bill is £350 (seems excessive to replace the body-coloured bumper on a 97P Polo) it'll still be cheaper than the extra premium I'll pay on my insurance. I'm currently paying £380 with 3 years NCD. Even without taking premium loading in to account, I reckon I'll be paying £600 extra over the next 4 years.

Will the fact she has reported it mean my premium will be loaded from next year anyway?

I have been advised by people at work that as the accident happened on private land she can't actually force me to go through the insurance. Is this correct?

I'm not trying to get out of paying for the repair, I just want to do so at least cost to myself.

All advice appreciated!
Accident questions - crazed
you MUST inform your insurer

but you do not HAVE to claim

you should write to your insurer explaining the events of the incident, but add a line that says "I currently do not plan to claim for this amount, and plan to settle this amount directly, pending confirmation of the settlement amount"

Make sure she commits to £ X, as full and final settlement of all costs and that there were no injuries, in writing, before you pay

Its not unheard for people to change their story, say they got whiplash, and that can be very expensive etc

re the private land bit, dont change the situation at all i think, other than you didnt need to be insured - and therefore dont need to provide insurance details

otherwise see a citizens advice solicitor
Accident questions - Tom Shaw
Sorry Crazed, Didn't realose you'd beat me to it.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I'll write to them tonight then - I wasn't sure if it was necessary when there wasn't going to be a claim. Will the delay count against me in any way? (Especially as I have changed car in the meanwhile)

One problem I am having is that she's more than happy to quote figures at me, but won't actually show me the quotation and wouldn't let me accompany her to the garage when she got the quotes.

How should I deal with the contact from her insurance company? Should I tell them I am dealing with it and refuse to give insurance details?

Do I have any say in where she goes to get the work done? I've had cheaper quotes from other places (still insurance approved) but she is refusing to go anywhere other than this place she went to on Friday, even though their quote is the highest.
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
Will the delay count against me in any way? (Especially as
I have changed car in the meanwhile)


Depends on how long the delay was and whether or not it materially affected the level of their potential losses.
One problem I am having is that she's more than happy
to quote figures at me, but won't actually show me the
quotation and wouldn't let me accompany her to the garage when
she got the quotes.


She doesn't have to. And in fact, I wouldn't let you accompany me, why should I ? At some point when she wants money she'll have to stump up either an estimate if your insurer will deal with it or a pro-forma invoice if you will.
How should I deal with the contact from her insurance company?
Should I tell them I am dealing with it and refuse
to give insurance details?


You do not have to give them insurance details. They may proceed against you directly and you may then find your insurance company will refuse to deal with it.
Do I have any say in where she goes to get the work done?


No. But you can argue the costs. You could end up in court doing it though.
I've had cheaper quotes from other places (still insurance
approved) but she is refusing to go anywhere other than
this place she went to on Friday, even though their quote
is the highest.


Refuse to pay the higher cost. Ask her to submit more than one estimate, and that you will then deal with it as appropriate.

If you ask me, this one is trouble, I would pass it all to your insurance company.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Depends on how long the delay was and whether or not
it materially affected the level of their potential losses.


The delay was approx 3 weeks, but I informed my insurers the day after she informed hers, so will that make any difference? In what ways may their potential losses have increased?
She doesn't have to. And in fact, I wouldn't let you
accompany me, why should I ? At some point when she
wants money she'll have to stump up either an estimate if
your insurer will deal with it or a pro-forma invoice if
you will.


She had a verbal quote, I asked for a confirmed figure, she insisted I give her a cheque for the verbal quote, I refused saying I wanted a confirmed figure, she went to the insurance.

The main reason I wanted to accompany her was that I suspect she was either being led on by the garage, or telling them things that would increase the cost they quoted. However, I do see your point about not wanting me there.
You do not have to give them insurance details.


What I've done is ask them for a confirmed figure on which I can base my decision whether to pay myself or refer the matter to my insurers. Will this be OK, or am I putting myself up for a big claim? I've told my insurers I am intending to pay based on the receipt of a confirmed figure.
Refuse to pay the higher cost. Ask her to submit more
than one estimate, and that you will then deal with it
as appropriate.


She's had 3 quotes. The first was from a local garage which has a very good reputation. They quoted £155 for a respray. The second was the local VW dealer who (naturally, IMO) said new bumper, £350. This latest one also said new bumper, between £300 and £350. So I suppose she can claim that as two have said new bumper, that's a reasonable assumption.
If you ask me, this one is trouble, I would pass
it all to your insurance company.


I'm tempted to, but can I now that I've said I'm intending to deal with it, depending on the confirmed cost?
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
you MUST inform your insurer
but you do not HAVE to claim


crazed is correct. However..

>>"I currently do not plan to claim for this amount, and plan to settle this amount directly, pending confirmation of the settlement amount"

They will probably not accept this phrase. Usually you have to let them deal with it and not be involved at all, or take full responsibility yourself. It would be most unlikely that they would accept a claim back which you had first interfered with.

The way to handle this would be to advise them of the incident (date, time, place, TP) but do not complete a claim form or give them more details. You will get away with that for a short time while you decide what to do.

Make sure she commits to £ X, as full and final
settlement of all costs and that there were no injuries, in
writing, before you pay


Absolutely.
Accident questions - SteveH42
They will probably not accept this phrase.


I've already said something along these lines to them - where will this leave me? I've not had a reply from my insurers yet, but I would like the option to call on them, especially now she is insisting her insurance deal with it, as I know the cost will increase drastically due to this.
Accident questions - Tom Shaw
Mark is the insurance expert here, but I'll stick my tuppence worth in anyway. She cannot force you to go through your insurance. Provided her car is repaired properly, where the money comes from is your business, not hers.

The fact that the accident happened on private land has no bearing on any aspect of the incident. This is a common myth.

You are also duty bound to report all accidents to your insurer, whether a claim is going through them or not, so this should be one of your first steps. Tell them that you are accepting responsibility for settling the claim for damage to her car yourself.

Be careful that she doesn't stick in a claim for whiplash injuries, though.
Accident questions - The Watcher
The moral here is ALWAY, ALWAYS look in front of you before you pull out. The number of times people will look left or right but not right in front of them to see if the road ahead is clear is just frightening.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Yes, I know. Simple mistake to make, especially when I wasn't feeling 100% as I'd just recovered from a very bad cold. (No excuse I know!)

Still, as I said, she had started to pull out, so I assumed she'd continue. As she was in the process of putting her seatbelt on just before I glanced to see if the road was clear, I suppose I should have expected her to be less than ready.
Accident questions - Dave_TD
Still, as I said, she had started to pull out, so
I assumed she'd continue.


Someone told me a long time ago -

When you ASSUME
You make an ASS of U and ME

HTH. Xo)
Accident questions - crazed
Re

I'll write to them tonight then - I wasn't sure if it was necessary when there wasn't going to be a claim. Will the delay count against me in any way? (Especially as I have changed car in the meanwhile)

You have to tell them, but if you dont claim you should not loose your NCB, its a no claim bonus - not a no accident bonus

One problem I am having is that she's more than happy to quote figures at me, but won't actually show me the quotation and wouldn't let me accompany her to the garage when she got the quotes.

Be firm but polite, if she were to sue you - it would end up in the smalls claim court, and the judge would want to see the invoice - backed by a few quotes to ensure it was in the right ballpark - insist on a copy of the invoice or simply dont pay - let her sue you, make all dealings in writing - keep copies


How should I deal with the contact from her insurance company? Should I tell them I am dealing with it and refuse to give insurance details?

Write "Please confirm amount in question, and I will determine how I wish to pay this amount, I am likely to pay myself"

Do I have any say in where she goes to get the work done?

No - but she carnt take it to her brothers garage and get charges over the going rate

I've had cheaper quotes from other places (still insurance approved) but she is refusing to go anywhere other than this place she went to on Friday, even though their quote is the highest.

how much higher is it ?

direct line often seem to force their customers to use a garage they nominate - is she using that garage ?
Accident questions - Blue {P}
As has been said, there's no point trying to hide it from the insurance companies now, they already know, so your best bet is to try and pay yourself...

Mark is the person that you need to speak to, but, from what he told me, she can't claim against your insurance unless you allow her to. If you get it fixed yourself, say that you will only either pay the garage directly, or give her cash once you have seen an official quote/estimate. Unfortunately she is entitled to screw you by showing you the higher quote, getting you to pay it, and then getting it fixed somewhere cheaper! Or at least she can screw the insurance company that way, so AFAIK she can do it to you to.

Best just paying the garage directly...
Accident questions - SteveH42
She is insisting I give her a cheque for the full amount before she get the work done, 'to be sure she has the money'. I am more and more concerned that something fishy is going on. (Not to mention the fact she appears to have gone in to my personal file at work to get my address and phone number - something that isn't allowed...)
Accident questions - Dynamic Dave
She is insisting I give her a cheque for the full
amount before she get the work done,


In that case, ask her the name of the garage you make the cheque out to;
a) You'll have the garage's name so you can phone them yourself, to cross reference the price for yourself,
b) unless she's related to the garage in some way, she won't be able to cash the cheque or get her hands on the money.

Failing that, suggest to her that you'll pay half now, and the rest upon completion of the work.
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
In that case, ask her the name of the garage you
make the cheque out to;
a) You'll have the garage's name so you can phone them
yourself, to cross reference the price for yourself,
b) unless she's related to the garage in some way, she
won't be able to cash the cheque or get her hands
on the money.


You don't have that right, and she is permitted to "get her hands on the money"

Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
She is insisting I give her a cheque for the full
amount before she get the work done, 'to be sure she
has the money'.


I am afraid she can do that. She can even extract the money from you and then not have it repaired. Its up to her.
Accident questions - SteveH42
OK, so if I tell them but without a claim, will everything be as before, or will my premium be loaded from next year? (Just so I can plan ahead as to what I'll have to pay!)

Talking to her at all is tricky - for some reason she is completely ignoring me at the moment. What I can't understand is why she was happy to get quotes and for me to pay until she got this one, where she went straight to the insurance without even telling me how much it was...

As for the cost of the work, she's had £350 quoted from the main dealer and from what is regarded as the best bodyshop in the area. I've had quotes of £60 for a new bumper and £100 to paint it, say another £40 to fit it, so under £200. A chap at work used to work at this bodyshop and reckons their rates are well OTT. As far as I am aware, the first contact with her insurance was after she'd got the quote, so it is unlikely they will let her go there.

What I am slightly concerned about is that she had a similar, but worse, rear-end accident a few months back. She let the driver go on that occasion because she hadn't realised how bad the damage was, so had to get it done on her insurance. How can I be sure I am paying just for the damage I did, or for anything that wasn't fixed properly before?
Accident questions - crazed
dont pay until you have recieved a copy of the invoice for the work, and some quotes to demonstrate the charge was reasonable and in the right ballpark

dont pay in advance of the work

Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
OK, so if I tell them but without a claim, will
everything be as before, or will my premium be loaded from
next year?


Well, it shoudl be fine. But if you feel they will load your premium, then get them to pay the claim. You could just ask them of course, and then ask for written confirmation.

>>where she went straight to the insurance without even telling >>me how much it was...

Annoying, but if its not her fault, and her insurer is willing to deal with it on that basis, why would she take the risk of dealing direct ? I wouldn't. Not even if you offered me the cash on the spot.
As for the cost of the work, she's had £350 quoted
from the main dealer and from what is regarded as the
best bodyshop in the area. I've had quotes of £60 for
a new bumper and £100 to paint it, say another £40
to fit it, so under £200.


I can't help with this - but add in brackets, trim, labour, bots of rubber, hidden bits, new bolts etc. etc.
How can I be sure I am paying just for the damage I did, or
for anything that wasn't fixed properly before?


Exactly the same way your insurance company would - pay to get it inspected by an independant assessor yourself.
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
crazed's advice is pretty spot on for the most part, but do be aware that you cannot insist she has the car repaired. You only have anything to say on the cost.

In the end, if its worth it, pay your local respectable garage to visit the car and give their estimate.

If she refuses without good reason, then document that and no claims court will have anything to do with the case. If she tried, they would probably write the debt off.

If she does, and the claim is substantially less than the other, then in a small claims court it will be decided which is the more reasonable.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
I'm hoping someone can advise me as to my best course
of action here>>
I'm not trying to get out of paying for the repair,
I just want to do so at least cost to myself.
----

All advice appreciated!


Taking you at your word, here is my advice:

From all you have said so far, the impression I get is this that this "she" is not someone you can trust very much, especially if she has accessed your personnel files to get your personal details - this is illegal and she can be sued/displined/dismissed for that.

Based on your account of her actions to date, I would suggest you ask her to deal with you in writing only - no more phone calls or cosy chats. Give her your name and address so that she can send a formal claim to you. You can then pass this information on to your insurance company, either "for information only, not a claim", or ask your insurance company to deal with it completely. The extra £300 in premiums over two or three years that it will cost you does not seem a large enough sum for the stress it appears to be causing. Also, if she puts in a claim for whiplash later, you will have to pay a lot more.

I suggest that you pass it all over to your insurance company, and at next renewal date shop around to reduce your premium. The car insurance market is once again fighting for business and insurers will undercut your renewal premium to attract new customers.

Good luck.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Yep, as she's told her insurance company and no doubt given them your details, it's useless trying to hide it, however, if you don't make the claim then they probably won't load the policy anywhere near as much.

Also, is it not worth telling your employer about her actions with the file? If it was on computer then there will almost certainly be records of when your file was accessed and who by. I know that the acciednt wasn't her fault, but the way that she has behaved in getting it sorted seems bad, and I think getting a formal warning or even the sack for breach of data protection might teach her a lesson! :)
Accident questions - SteveH42
Re: the cost of the work, the bodyshop she has got a verbal quote from will only give a written quote if you pay £25 (refundable if you get the work done there) so she doesn't have a written quote from there yet. She hasn't shown me the other two quotes she got though.

Re: the work needing doing, my colleague who used to work at this place has looked at it and doesn't think anything is wrong with it in the first place, and further says that even if the bumper is bowed in most cases they can heat it and it will return to shape. He has also had a replacement bumper on his Ford Galaxy fitted elsewhere (still an insurance approved place) for £200, so the price seems excessive anyway.

Re: Taking it through the insurance, while I am tempted, the extra cost will be considerably higher. Assuming the NCD goes 30,40,50,60,65%, no premium loading and a rise in premiums of just 5% a year, I'll still pay £629 extra over the next 4 years, assuming I don't need to claim again. If premiums go up more, or my premium is loaded due to this accident, I could be looking at over £1000 extra. In fact, my renewal next year could easily be £350 higher than it would be without a claim.

She's not in work this morning, so I can't find out what is going on, but I'll try and get some answers this afternoon, and if not then I think I'd best contact the CAB.

Oh, and as for whether I can trust her, I don't know. I never had much to do with her before, but as far as I'm aware I hadn't upset her or anything, so it is hard to understand why she has suddenly decided to cause me as much aggro as possible. I sort of assumed that unless you had any reason to make life difficult for someone, most people would at least try and help you out in these circumstances rather than insist on going for the most expensive possible solution...

Is there a limit to the number of quotes you have to get BTW? She was saying she only 'had' to get 2 quotes, implying she was doing me a favour by getting the third one. This to me sounds like she's been telling the garages it was an insurance job from the outset which of course will have increased the cost anyway...

I am tempted to say something about her accessing my records, but I'm not sure I could prove it, and anyway, I think getting her in trouble is likely to make things even harder for me!

Thanks to all who have replied.
Accident questions - Dave_TD
I know that if you run into the car in front it's automatically your fault, but if she's been rear-ended before it could suggest she's an overly-cautious, hesitant or erratic driver... Which I think are just as bad as the over-confident ones! You know the sort, seen several accidents in the mirror but never driven into one themselves. That's assuming she uses her mirrors.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Unfortunately, she is (IMO) a poor driver. I've seen her doing some daft things before while following her, and someone else at work claims to have seen her doing 35 along the M60 in clear traffic. I do agree that over-cautious drivers can be a danger, but I suppose it is up to all drivers to take enough care to avoid accidents no matter what the other driver was doing. (Within reason of course!)
Accident questions - SteveH42
Quick update on the situation:

I've finally got to talk to her, and apparently she has told her insurance about the accident and told them I will pay for the repair. They are going to take her car to have the damage assessed and will contact me to say how much it will cost to repair.

I'm slightly worried as to what this will mean. Will they get a reasonable price, and will I just have to pay for the repair, or for stuff like hire cars etc? I'm also wondering how this will affect her policy - is she claiming off hers, off mine or what? Surely Direct Line wouldn't get it repaired for her without adding something on to either my bill or her policy? If the bill turns out to be excessive, will I have the option to go through my insurance, or once I've said I'm settling it, will that be final? I'm willing to pay the £350 if I must, but can't afford more than that.

I also got another quote today (before she told me this) for £195+VAT to replace the bumper, although he said if it was just the bumper that was bowed, he could likely fix it, but would need to see the car. (Obviously)

I'm still at a loss as to why she felt the need to go through the insurance when I'd already agreed to pay for it. Granted I was trying to persuade her to go somewhere more reasonably priced, but at no point did I say I would do anything but pay myself.

Can I refuse to accept the price from her insurance and insist she has it done privately if it comes to that?
Accident questions - Graham
i would take issue wih the claim that if you run into the back of someone it is always your fault.

generaly yes but not always. you cannot just stand on the brakes for no reason if there is a car behind. that is careless or even dangerous driving! remember mirror signal maneuver?

and as for travelling at 35mph on the motorway that is obstruction and also illegal. thats why tractors and mopeds are banned.
Accident questions - BrianW
There is probably a combination at work.
For example, my daughter ran into the back of a car on her scooter this morning.

Scenario:
Pedestrian at or on Zebra (not sure which at the moment).
Car sees pedestrian and stops sharpish.
Car driver does not check rear view mirror.
Road is wet.
Daughter travelling too close.
Daughter has not looked beyond car for potential hazards.
Skid: Bang.

You could blame the pedestrian for crossing without regard to traffic, the car driver for not slowing progressively on approaching crossing with pedestrian but then braking hard, or daughter for driving too close and not looking further ahead.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Hope you're daughter is OK, it sounds nasty.

Unfortunately the insurance companies will likely blame your daughter as they'll say that she should have left a big enough gap to stop in time if the car in front were to stop sharply. :(

Steve, your best bet now may be to ask your insurance compnay about the likely outcomes of making a claim, ask whether they will load your premium regardless seeing as they know about it.

If they say that they will load it anyway, and they probably will, then ask whether they will load it a lot more if you make a claim rather than pay yourself. If they're gonna load it anyway, which they probably will now, then it may be worth just letting the insurance company pay for it.

It sounds as though this woman could do with a good...er... talking to for making such a mountain out of what should have been a straightforward situation. If she'd just kept her mouth shut instead of going to the insurance company then you could have her car booked in and paid for it to be fixed by now!

BTW, if she starts claiming for whiplash etc. or even hire cars then you can just refer them to your insurance company for the whole bill, you've paid them to insure you against a third party claiming against you, and they have to honour it.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I don't actually have a phone number for my insurance company, just the broker I arranged it through. Will they be able to give me the same answers? Also, I have written direct to the insurance company rather than the broker - is this the correct approach?

The only trouble with going through the insurance if they are going to load it regardless is that means I'll be paying even more extra... How much do they tend to load premiums anyway? And would another company load it as well?

Her main excuse for going to the insurance was that it had taken too long to get a result. The only reason it had taken so long was that she took ages to go this bodyshop for a quote! I'd have happily paid the £150 she was quoted from the garage, but as the two gave different opinions, we thought a third opinion would be worthwhile, but she insisted on going to this particular bodyshop rather than the one around the corner from work... I object to paying £350 for a £200 job, but I'd rather do that than pay that much next year extra for my insurance and as much again over the next few years. There are plenty of other things the money would be much better spent on. Further, the only reason I went ahead and bought a new car was that I thought she was prepared to settle outside of insurance - had I known she was intent on costing me as much money as possible, I would have waited before buying the car...
Accident questions - terryb
But whatever, you should be travelling at a safe distance behind so you can stop in time

So it's always your fault.

Sorry!

Terry
Accident questions - Dave_TD
Is she blonde...?

Sorry, I'm not being much help here, I know, I can imagine how frustrating it is when someone like this makes a simple task 10 times more difficult for you.
I was always taught to think that EVERYONE else on the road is an idiot, unless they can prove otherwise.
Accident questions - Graham
still disagree terry. it is not always your fault if you collide with the vehicle in front.

an example is what happened to me this morning. pulling up to traffic lights in land rover with off road tyres and a guy in a brand new 307 decides that my lane would be quicker; as i would have been "in pole position". so with feet to go he cuts me up and brakes hard. if i hadn't had some braking "in reserve" i would have pushed his bumper in. tempting to do so anyway as it was puring with rain - lost traction officer honest. when the lights change he roars of and cuts up the car in the second lane because that lane now looks faster.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
That obviously wouldn't have been your fault, but that involves the guy changing lanes right into you.

If you are just looking at the situation where you are following a vehicle in one lane, and you then somehow hit that vehicle then of course it is always your fault, as no matter what happens in front of them you should be prepared to stop in time even if they were to slam their anchors on unexpectedly...
Accident questions - GJD
That obviously wouldn't have been your fault, but that involves the
guy changing lanes right into you.
If you are just looking at the situation where you are
following a vehicle in one lane, and you then somehow hit
that vehicle then of course it is always your fault, as
no matter what happens in front of them you should be
prepared to stop in time even if they were to slam
their anchors on unexpectedly...


I agree. There is no justification for assuming the vehicle in front won't slam on the brakes for a reason you didn't see. And because they could always do it for a valid reason that you can't see, you can't claim any excuse if they do it for what turns out later to be no reason at all. The only exception I can think of is if you hit the back of a vehicle with no working brake lights. If someone cuts in front and slows down before you've had a chance to adapt your following distance, that can't be your fault.
Accident questions - SteveH42
If someone cuts in front
and slows down before you've had a chance to adapt your
following distance, that can't be your fault.


Are you sure of this? I had an incident about 5 years back where someone pulled in to my lane close infront of me on the A1 while going slower than me, and almost straight away braked hard for no obvious reason. I'd backed off to increase the gap when he pulled in, but hadn't realised he was braking so hard (it was tipping down as well) and hit him, plus was rear-ended by the car behind me. Insurance didn't even give me the chance to contest his claim saying that the only way it would be his fault was if he was convicted of dangerous driving.
Accident questions - GJD
>> If someone cuts in front
>> and slows down before you've had a chance to adapt
your
>> following distance, that can't be your fault.
Are you sure of this?


Steve

Common sense and what the insurance company says are not necessarily the same I suppose. It sounds like you should not have been found at fault but once the insurance company has spoken, what can one do?.

Their claim that "the only way it would be his fault was if he was convicted of dangerous driving" presupposes that all cases of dangerous driving are prosecuted. Since prosecuting dangerous drivers cost money rather than generating it .... etc.

GJD
Accident questions - Nortones2
Nasty: sounds almost like the mythical? "accidental on purpose" events aimed at getting whiplash gelt! But as usual you can rely on the insurance companies to take the easy way out! For them - just add it to the next general increase. Only way out is to take proceedings for uninsured losses: CSMA have done this for me, on one occasion v. successfully. However, it all depends on having some evidence. For this reason I always carry a disposable camera, with flash. Unless my offspring borrow it. Which reminds me.....
Accident questions - BrianW
"The only exception I can think of is if you hit the back of a vehicle with no working brake lights."

Not sure that would work as an excuse either, surely the brake lights are there as an aid to your observation, not as a substitute.
In any case, with so many vehicles having only one brake light working and the other maybe out of your line of vision it is a mistake to rely on brake lights anyway.
Accident questions - GJD
"Not sure that would work as an excuse either, surely the brake lights are there as an aid to your observation, not as a substitute."

If you were looking in your mirror, you might not notice the vehicle ahead slowing down if its brake lights were out. In the half-second your eyes were not looking straight ahead you could be too close to avoid colliding if it now braked very hard. In that situation I would say the following driver is not at fault.

But since the situation is a tad contrived (though by no means impossible) I expect it would be very difficult to prove so I wouldn't like to rely on it in practice.
Accident questions - Keith S
Look at it from her point of view.

You have damaged her car. She is entitled to a first class repair. £350 is a bargain to avoid the insurance claim.

However you can't avoid the insurance totally.

You won't loose any ncb if you claim but will still be loaded for the accident, just as she will be (even for non fault)

I get the impression she was frightened you would do a "runner" by "obtaining" your details. You should have given her full details anyway. It is the law.

If it was my car I would want the most expensive quote as well. Wouldn't you?

If I was her I would have gone straight to the insurance once you started aksing for lots of quotes. Just as she did.

No offence, just my opinion.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I'm prepared to pay for a good quality repair, but not pay over the asking price for it. If a number of insurance recognised garages will do it for £200-£250, why should I pay £350? But even then, as I say, I was prepared to pay it, but she didn't give me the option, but went straight to the insurance after getting the quote without giving me the chance to pay it.

It's a bit hard for me to do a runner when we work in the same place! I was more than prepared to give her details if she asked for them, but as we work together I didn't think it was too important to go out of my way to do so - she seemed happy to resolve it independently of the insurance and could have asked me for any details she wished at any point when we were at work.

I would only take the most expensive quote if I had some reason to want to screw the other person. I know that as long as the place is a member of a recognised body I have as much chance of getting a good job done as anywhere else. In fact, someone else at work has had bad experiences of this place she was insisting on going to!

She didn't go to the insurance when I started asking for lots of quotes as you put it. She went without even telling me what this bodyshop had said and without telling me exactly what price they had said. At first she said £350, today she said it was going to be between £300 and £350, but as she doesn't have a written quote how am I supposed to know what I should be paying! At the point she went to the insurance, the only quotes under consideration where the three she had got.

Oh, and I will lose some of my NCB - I don't have enough to protect it so I assume I'll go down from 3 years to 1.
Accident questions - Keith S
You will only loose ncb if you claim.

The fact you asked for the quotes probably made her want to avoid hassle and go to her insurance.

Remember this is your problem not hers.

Personally I would pay £350 in exchange for a letter absolving me of any further responsibility and count myself lucky.

I see your point about the cost of the repair. But you are wrong about human nature. Most people would want the maximum cash and not consider it "screwing."

Her car has been in an accident (ok it has been before in this particular case) and therefore will not be worth the same resale value. Plus she now has increased premiums because of you.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I assume you mis-typed when you said:
> You won't loose any ncb if you claim but will still be loaded for
> the accident, just as she will be (even for non fault)

She got two quotes within 3 days of the accident. It happened on October 15th. She had all the time between then and last Friday to go to her insurance if she wanted to, but waited until she had this latest quote. Why? If she was prepared to get this quote, why not give me the opportunity to pay it?

As I say, I'm prepared to pay the £350 to avoid going through insurance. She won't accept this and is insisting her insurance handle this. She only told her insurance about the accident after this last quote, she if she'd accepted the money and got the work done then she wouldn't have needed to tell the insurance and suffer higher premiums. (Ok, so legally she would, but the damage was so minor that most people wouldn't bother)
Accident questions - Keith S
oops.

You have to report an accident whether you claim or not.

If you report a fault accident then they load your premium (no idea how much by unfortunately)

If you report a non-fault accident then thay load your premium.

If you claim then you loose ncb as well just to compound things, Double penalty :(

Even if she goes through her insurance, her company will persue you for the money. You can then pass the matter onto your insurance company or pay.

Bet they add for a courtesy car though.

Wonder if her insurance company will add their costs?

Maybe she never bothered getting the third quote. Who knows? Something does sound fishy.
Accident questions - cockle {P}
I think Mark(RLBS) explained this business of loadings causing premiums to rise regardless of NCD some time back.
Went along the lines of:-
Premium (no loading) =£1000 NCD=60% Premium payable £400
Premium + 10% loading = £1100 NCD=60% Premium payable £440
Net increase £40 without losing any NCD.

This was in answer to someone who had claimed but had protected NCD and was surprised when his next premium still went up, the loading was added because he was now seen to be a bigger risk having been involved in an accident regardless of blame.

Sorry to hear of all your grief Steve but I learnt the hard way years ago to bite the bullet and let the insurers deal, these things rarely end with both parties friends and it is sometimes wise to have a third party(ies) in between to blame.
Had a scrape in a car park and knocked a guys wing mirror off its mounting, cleanly, but it needed a new one. He said he would replace it if I paid, no problem. He gave me the bill, I paid plus a little for his inconvenience and the fact he was fitting it. A week later he was round demanding £250 to get his door resprayed because the screwdriver slipped while he was fitting the mirror, when I said in that case we'd better put the whole thing through my insurers he turned violent and assaulted me starting a saga that went on for nearly two years. Believe me, sometimes it is just better to exchange details and let the insurers deal.
Just hope you get it all resolved soon.

Cockle
Accident questions - SteveH42
Premium (no loading) =£1000 NCD=60% Premium payable £400
Premium + 10% loading = £1100 NCD=60% Premium payable £440
Net increase £40 without losing any NCD.


That's what I thought, but what would a typical loading be? 10%? 25%? Assuming my premium would be £800 (it's a bit under that this year, but allow for the normal increase) then I'd be paying:

10% loading, no claim (60% NCD): Premium £880, payable £352
25% loading, no claim (60% NCD): Premium £1000, payable £400
10% loading, claim (30% NCD): Premium £880, payable £616
25% loading, claim (30% NCD): Premium £1000, payable £700

So the difference between not claiming and claiming will be at least £264 and as much as £300 next year alone, plus a similar amount the following year, and again over the next two years combined. That money has to come from somewhere!
Sorry to hear of all your grief Steve but I learnt
the hard way years ago to bite the bullet and let
the insurers deal, these things rarely end with both parties
friends


Well, yes, I can't really see us getting on well now, after all this hassle. If her insurance (or she herself) insist on assessing the damage theirselves and repairing it then I don't think I'll have any option, as I can see their bill being considerably more than the £350 she has been quoted by the time you add their costs and her expenses to the cost of the repair.

Your experience does sound worse in many ways though. I can't actually see how he could possibly bill you for damage he caused, but all that pales in comparison with an assault. Did it work out well in the end?
Accident questions - cockle {P}
Thanks for your concern, Steve.
Luckily it was only cuts and bruises, I'm not exactly a small chap myself, just allergic to violence unless absolutely necessary, so was able to extricate myself without too much damage.
It took so long to sort out because he did a disappearing act and once the police found him the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly.
Basically he never got another penny from me or the insurers but he got a fine and a community order from the JP's.
Fortunately I can't see your situation getting to fisticuffs but the stress is probably more than enough.


Cockle
Accident questions - Blue {P}
You mean even after his little offence he still tried to claim from your insurers? Or did he just give up?
Accident questions - Jonathan {p}
>>Not sure that would work as an excuse either, surely the brake lights are there as an aid to your observation, not as a substitute.
In any case, with so many vehicles having only one brake light working and the other maybe out of your line of vision it is a mistake to rely on brake lights anyway.

In that case, the car would not be in a roadworthy condition. It should be very easy to persuade the police to press charges, which would also make a claim that the accident was not your fault (had the lights been operational you would have noticed it was stopping).

Afterall that is the reason why brake lights are part of the MOT.
Accident questions - Dynamic Dave
But whatever, you should be travelling at a safe distance behind
so you can stop in time
So it's always your fault.



Terry, I take it you've read this thread from the start?

I agree that it's SteveH42's fault, but what would you say would be a safe distance to travel behind someone that has just moved off then stopped again for no apparant reason?

Hesitant drivers are every other drivers nightmares.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Unfortunately although she can't force you to use your insurance company, it may just be the easiest way out. 'Cos whatever happens you're gonna have to declare this regardless.

The only nice thing about it is that she will have to declare this as well for the next 3 years, but her company probably won't up her premium. I was the car in front recently and have been told that the claim won't affect my insurance next year...

Don't know about the car behind though...
Accident questions - SteveH42
I'm starting to think that as well. I'll be paying double what I would have been paying otherwise, but at least the amount will be spread out a bit.

Will her insurance do the assessment and get a quote without my insurance details, or will they wait for my response before they take it any further? She has supposedly said I'll pay the claim so it seems a bit odd that they are going through the assessment and quote procedure as well - it sounds as if they are expecting my insurance to pay up. And anyway, surely if she is claiming off my insurance, it's up to them to get the work done?

It's more than a tad annoying that such a minor incident that would cost under £200 to fix at any reasonable bodyshop is going to end up costing me so much when I already pay fairly high insurance to begin with.
Accident questions - pdc {P}
I had someone run in the back of me at a red light and my insurance company paid out, as the other person was disabled, was claiming whiplash, and the insurance co felt that if they took it to court, they would be seen in a bad light!

How daft is that?

I wasn't too worldly aware back then and didn't think to ask if it would affect my premium. It didn't, but when applying for new insurance now I have to answer "Yes, a successful claim was made against me"!

Does anyone know if I could have asked my insurance company not to pay out?

My car suffered just a scratched bumper while their Motability car, a Ford, totally concertenered.

Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
>>I suggest that you pass it all over to your insurance company, and at next renewal date shop around to reduce your premium. The car insurance market is once again fighting for business and insurers will undercut your renewal

I heartily concur.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
If my memory serves me right:

1. There is case law that the driver behind is always assumed to be at fault - driving without due care, etc. - except in rare cases such as when you can prove conclusively that the other car reversed in to yours. The general rule in these cases is that you must leave enough space to stop sfely in case the car in front comes to an instant stop eg. by running in to a few tons of bricks/steel/whatever off the back of a lorry.

2. The party that has been disadvantaged is lawfully entitled to be put back in the same position as they were before the incident. They can claim all sorts of damages - for their time, expenses, physical or mental injury, hire car, and so on.

3. They are not required to obtain any quotes. They can have their car inspected for damage, have a report produced to record the fact, and have the damage repaired at a reasonable cost whereever they choose. The reason people are advised to get quotes is to prove that the work and cost can be shown to be within reason if challenged in court. If they get quotes, they do not have to choose the lowest cost.

4. Regarding the debate about duff brake lights etc., it is impossible to prove that the lights were not working before the accident. It is easy to claim that the lights/bulbs/filaments/circuit/whatever was damaged by the accident.

I would again strongly suggest that SteveH42 allows his insurance company to deal with this, and at the end of it all, offer to pay his insurance company the full amount of the claim, if it is still within his budget, to wipe his claim slate clean.

Please keep us updated on the outcome.
Accident questions - Dwight Van Driver
Pugugly

Tell them about Scott v Warren and put them out of their misery.

DVD
Duff brake lights - CMark {P}
Hi M.B.
re: [4] it is possible to prove scientifically that brake lights were working without doubt at moment of impact. This is done by microscopic examination of bulb filament. This is for cases where the bulb glass is broken by the impact and when there is sufficient filament remaining in acceptable condition to examine. A white hot filament will melt the tiny jagged splinters of broken glass into smooth spheres even in the very short time it takes as the filament is blowing/ breaking. I understand that this will be accepted in court.

Consequently, I would imagine that, if these tell-tale glass blobs were not found on filaments then one could assume the brake lights were NOT working at, or just before, the moment of impact. But whether this would stand up in court I am not certain.

What is your opinion on this, Flat in Fifth (having also done this kind of scientific investigation)?

CMark
Duff brake lights - PB
>>Consequently, I would imagine that, if these tell-tale glass blobs were not found on filaments then one could assume the brake lights were NOT working at, or just before, the moment of impact. <<

Absence of evidence is not evidence, unless extensive studies have shown that where lights were on there are always molten blobs present. Or in a very high % of cases at least.
PB.
Duff brake lights - eMBe {P}
re: [4] it is possible to prove scientifically that brake lights
were working without doubt at moment of impact. >>
CMark


I accept CMark's view that this may be possible. Hoiwever,
thanks also to PB for pointing out the flaw in CMark's reasoning.

In any case, assuming PB's point is overlooked, the kind of incident where such forensic examination of "broken bulb glass" would take place is likely to be a serious injury/death case; and the cars would have to be impounded immediately and stored in quarantine until they had been tested.

Digressing a little, last week I had a "chance" to test my emergency braking response. During the stormy weather, just as I was about to pass temporary traffic lights, they fell over just a few yards/metres in front of me - even though the lights were weighted down with concrete filled barrels. My car's large disc-brakes all round on 17" wheels allowed me to stop safely.

Accident questions - SteveH42
I'd suspect it is the case that the driver behind is at fault unless there are very strong circumstances to suggest otherwise, such as someone pulling out right infront of you. I doubt you'd be at fault if someone came to an instant stop due to hitting an obstruction that wasn't there before - you'd have hit it anyway in most cases, and surely it would be down to how put the obstruction there in the first place!

In another development today, I now strongly suspect she is playing me up. Apparently she told someone else at work over 3 weeks ago that she had decided to go through the insurance. I'd like to know why she didn't tell me this at the time rather than waiting until this Monday...
Accident questions - Peter D
Well if you had run into the back of me, God forbid I would have exchanged details with you on the spot and if you had requested a private settlement I would have acquired quotes for the repair within 3 days.

If you had not responded within a further 3 days I would give you 24hrs notice and then inform my and your insurance company.

Lets face it I would want my care repaired quickly and properly and may be the requirement for a replacement car for a day. If you take even a small bit of damage these days lets say a small dent in a door, it costs £150 plus the inconvenience plus a hire car so there's £200/250.

Now you smack a Polo bumper so there is £160 plus 60 for paint plus 3 hours labour at £50 per hour, plus £40 for a car plus Vat at £71.75 inconvenience £50 so you are up for a minimum of £481.75 plus a possible £50 for out of pocket expenses so it could even be £531.75.

Now do you want to pay that or not ?? if you were trying to minimise the damage then you should have been really proactive, arranged to go to the body shop with here agree a price with the garage and let them take an in print of your credit card or given them a cheque on the spot.

I do not think you have any alternative left other than to contact your insurance company. Leanings hard is it not. The NCD by many comapnies is a No Accident Discount and whey will weight your renewal anyway. If you change companies you accident will be in the exchange data base and the premium will be judged on that. Regards Peter
Accident questions - Keith S
Don't think there is a no accident bonus.

No claims bonus is an industry standard surely?
Accident questions - GJD
Don't think there is a no accident bonus.
No claims bonus is an industry standard surely?


I've no specialist knowledge of the insurance industry, but I thought all sorts of loading the premium went on behind the scenes, as well as taking into account the No Claims Bonus.

I was involved in an accident three years ago that wasn't my fault, but the repairs to my car cost over £3000 (all costs recovered from other driver's insurance and I didn't lose any NCB). If everything else were the same, but the accident had never happened, wouldn't I get a slightly lower premium still? Maybe I'm completely misuderstanding something.
Accident questions - Peter D
No you mis understand.

Many insurance companies load the premiums against your accident record and your NCB is OK if you do not claim and it is not your fault.

SteveH42 was at fault and his premium will go up because of the behind the scene weightings, even to the extent that a young driver 18 at fault will receive a heavier loading than a 20 year old.

Expensive Huh

Peter

Accident questions - Graham
fantastic!

so if i see any of you in my rear view mirror i can turn off my brake lights (military vehicle lights) and stand on the brakes! you won't mind a bit when you write off your vehicle because you shouldn't have been travelling so close!!!

rubbish. it would be driving without due care and i would be leaving myself open to prosecution.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
fantastic!
so if i see any of you in my rear view
mirror i can turn off my brake lights (military vehicle lights)
and stand on the brakes! you won't mind a bit when
you write off your vehicle because you shouldn't have been travelling
so close!!!
rubbish. it would be driving without due care and i would
be leaving myself open to prosecution.


Whether you believe it or not, even if you think it is rubbish or crazy or stupid, it does not change the law: just refer to case law. I wish I could quote the relevant reference now, but I will try to find it and post it later.

In simple terms: It is up to the driver behind you to observe that your vehicle is slowing down - whatever the cause - and come to a stop in a safe manner. Brake lights assist following drivers to know that you have your foot on the brake (no more, no less) and act as a safety warning device to alert following drivers to slow down for your protection (to avoid you getting whiplash and prevent damage to your car, etc.), not theirs. If your brake lights are not showing for any reason then that fact could be used in mitigation but would not absolve blame of the driver who hits you. It is still his fault for hitting you. If it could be proved that you had deliberately swithed off your lights, you may face prosecution for another offence but not that of causing the accident.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
just refer to case law. I wish I could quote
the relevant reference now, but I will try to find it
and post it later.


In the meantime, here are some links worth a read:

www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/research26/38.htm

www.t595.net/cm/messageboard/thread.asp?thread=4909

www.dgbell.co.uk/damage.html

www.injuryclaimline.com/rta.html

www.wr.hpv.co.uk/update/

www.nelsonsonline.com/personal/accident_comp.htm#q...s

A good read is at the bottom of:
www.dominicanrep.info/legal.html
Reported there is the novelty that in additon to whiplash, a woman claimed for other pleasures denied her and settled for $25,000!
Accident questions - Toad, of Toad Hall.
fantastic!
so if i see any of you in my rear view
mirror i can turn off my brake lights (military vehicle lights)
and stand on the brakes! you won't mind a bit when
you write off your vehicle because you shouldn't have been travelling
so close!!!


- That is *excactly* how the law stands. You are allowed to brake for no reason if you wish. You are not allowed to ram someone for braking for no reason. Think about it. It makes sense!
rubbish. it would be driving without due care and i would
be leaving myself open to prosecution.


- Possibly Due care (mayby MiLernedFreind DVD can help us with this) but doesn't give someone the right to ram them.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Accident questions - Dwight Van Driver
Toad - your wish is my command....

Whilst infringement of the Highway Code is not in itself an offence, transgressions are looked upon by Plod and used to support Careless, Due Care charges etc. In relation to rear end shunts Rule 57 implores us to drive at a speed that will allow us to stop well within the distance we can see to be clear. We should leave enough space between ourselves and the vehicle in front so that we can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops.

So rear ending the vehicle in front would appear to be an out and out S3. careless driving and an appearance before Their Worships. Not nessessarily so apparently.

I asked PU earlier to comment on Scott v Warren which was in vogue up to 1987. There may have been further case law to negate this but I am not aware of any change. In his occupation PU may be. So unless he corrects:

In Scott v Warren 1974, the defendant driving in a line of moving traffic was unable to avoid hitting the van in front which had made an emergency stop to avoid hitting a piece of metal which had fallen off a lorry in front of the van. The Magistrates dismissed the case and it was stated at High Court when the Prosecution asked for clarification of law (case stated) that if a driver did not leave sufficient space between himself and the vehicle in front to avoid a collision then the defendant was guilty of careless driving as he was in breach of the rule of the Highway Code. The High Court disagreed stating that careless driving is primarily a matter of fact; the duty of a following driver was, as far as reasonably possible, to take up such a position and to drive in such a fashion as to be able to deal with all traffic exigencies REASONABLY TO BE EXPECTED.

This case is well worth remembering so that it can be quoted to Insurance Companies etc who may allege carelessness when you run into the vehicle/driver in front who suddenly and without an apparent need or warning stabs all on and then turns late into a junction or something similar.

DVD
Accident questions - SteveH42
I think it was taken for granted that as we worked in the same office there would be no problems in getting details if needed.

She got two quotes the following day (I believe - might have been the day after) but as both suggested differing amounts of work (one was a new bumper, one just a paint job) a mutual friend suggested she go to the bodyshop he used to work at for a more representative quote. (Neither of the places she got quotes from where actually bodyshops, one was a VW dealer, the other a normal garage) She agreed to this as we both suggested she was more likely to get a good job done at a bodyshop and I was hoping the price would be more reasonable.

If she had insisted on one of the quotes she had already got, I would have paid it, but she seemed happy to get this other quote first.

I'm not sure where you get your figures from - I'm been quoted between £60 and £80 for a (new) Polo bumper, £50-60 for materials and £70-100 for labour, maximum about £250. The £350 she was quoted probably reflects the fact they were told it was an insurance job. I'd offered to collect her from the garage, take her to work and then take her back after work to collect her car, so no need for a hire car and minimal inconvenience. She's going to be a darned sight more inconvenienced going through her insurance company than letting me get it repaired privately.



In a further development, she's just had the nerve to suggest I ferry her around for the week that her car will be away being assessed 'to save me money' as she would be claiming for the taxi fares otherwise. How is it saving me any money when by going through her insurance rather than going to the body shop she is guaranteed to cost me more anyway? Also, would the car really be away for a whole week being assessed? Or will they do the work at the same time? Presumably, I'll get a figure at the end of all this and can then decide whether to pay it out of my pocket or pass it on to my insurance? Will I get, or can I insist on seeing a copy of the assessors report in case I wish to contest any of his findings? (As I say, she has been hit before and I know where I hit her, so I want to make sure I am only paying for damage I caused)

Still, just think of all those lucky people who are making a living out of this. We wouldn't want to do things the easy way and put them out of a job, would we? .......
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
Whatever the motives of this "she" are, and as you accept it was your fault, you are going to have to pay one way or another.

Some years ago, when my car was rear-ended, the inital inspection showed just a slightly bowed bumper. When it was dismantled, further structural damage to the bodywork became apparent and cost more than double the original estimate to put right. All damage and work was inspected by the loss adjuster to make sure that the bodyshop was not doing unnecessary work or at unreasonable prices.
Accident questions - Graham
most interesting DVD.

thanks to all concerned. we all agree, i'm sure, to drive responsibly and are just discussing "pedantics".

sorry to steve for semi hijacking the thread.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
There is no way on this earth that a job like this will take a whole week to assess. I had an identical accident, except my car was more extensively damaged, the bodyshops were all able to examine and quote in the space of 20 minutes.

Even when the insurance inspector wanted to see it the car was only in the bodyshop for one night (they wanted me to drop the car off the day before in case I was late the following day and missed him) I didn't mind this though because they gave me a Mercedes to drive around in! :D

This talk of having the car a week just to assess it is complete rubbish. My car was fixed in a week, and it involved repair of the boot floor, replacement of a panel behind the bumper, replacement of the bumper and of course, a respray.

The silly woman obviously doesn't realise that insurance companies have departments and special rules that are designed to cause hassle for claimants and that she is going to have to explain this accident every re-newal for the next 3 years. This coupled with her other accident sounds like a lot more hassle than just getting the bumper fixed privately. Never mind, I'm sure she won't learn...
Accident questions - Keith S
This business about her wanting to be chaufuered around for a week by you is strange.

I would cut off all informal contact, and communicate through letter or insurance company. Is sounds like she doesn't know what she wants.

Mind you, you offering her lifts to save money sounds bad to me. I don't think you are looking at this objectively enough because you are in the thick of things. If you are not careful you could expose yourself to unneccessary risk.
Accident questions - SteveH42
She said that she would be claiming for taxis while her car was away, so if I wanted to save some money I could give her lifts to and from work. I've said I'll think about it, but am seriously tempted to say no way. After all, if she's going through insurance then it's going to cost me too much to pay myself, so I might as well let her pay for and claim back the taxi fare. She's said she'll be claiming for taxis at the weekend anyway.

My current plan is to tell her tomorrow that I'm not going to give her lifts as if she is insisting on going through insurance then I'll have to use mine anyway so cost saving is irrelevant. I'm tempted to restate my offer of paying for it, but I'm not sure if this is wise.

In what way do you think giving her lifts is unwise? The suggestion at first came as a favour to her and was before things turned bad - I was concerned about having caused her this problem and wanted to help rectify it. If you are meaning what I think you are meaning then maybe it is wise not to expose myself to a situation where we are alone together. I tend to trust people not to take advantage of situations, but in this case, maybe prudence is best.

I am getting some consolation that a lot of people at work agree with me that she is being at best unhelpful to me. That said, I'd rather keep it private, but she seems to be spreading most of the details - I hear more from other people than I do from her!
Accident questions - Nortones2
This is getting stranger! General principle that applies to loss is that is must be minimised, so taxi for a trip where no alternative exists MAY be justified, but saying taxi is to be used, for a week for a 1-day job (at most) is contrary to the minimisation requirement. I'd keep at arms length and ignore all she say's until she provides copies of quotes and even then, exercise caution as it sounds like an attempt at betterment at your expense. Alternative is to hand it all to your insurer or claims adjuster! Good luck.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Surely she'd get a courtesy car otherwise, so paying for taxis isn't too bad? I mean, yes, she could get the bus, but it wouldn't be that convenient - it would mean a change and would take 2-3 times as long. Are her insurer likely to have authorised this, or does it sound like she is taking a flyer? I've written to them stating my position, so we'll see what happens.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
As I read it:
She knows that "you are over a barrel" and that you are unsure of your rights and that you seem desperate to avoid going to your insurance company. So she will try to screw you for every penny she can get. She has another few months to think up a pain in the head to blame on the accident - perhaps her behaviour is symptomatic of head injuries!

Just heed the advice given by most here that you are better off keeping it all on an official level, everything in writing, refer everything via your insurance companies, no direct contact by phone or letter or in person. Stop trying to do her "favours", no lifts in your car, and so on.

In the long term, trying to save money now could cost you dear. As I and Blue Oval have found, apparent minor damage to a bumper can turn out to be much more than that when the car is examined in detail.

But then, we can only advise - its your choice how much stress you want to tolerate.
Accident questions - madf
From the sound of the person concerned, I would not wish to be in the same car as her.

It is amazing how easily you can touch someone in a car by accident and how someone can misconstrue that as deliberate.

All sorts of scenarios come to mind.


madf
Accident questions - SteveH42
At first I would have had no real problem as it appeared she was prepared to accept an amicable solution. Now, I think the advice you and others are giving it correct - stay away and leave others to deal with her.

My previous posting seems to have gone amiss, so I'll repeat the gist here:

My plan at the moment is to tell her that I won't give her a lift as I've been advised not to. I have told both my and her insurance that I'll pay for the work, but I assume that I'll be told how much it will cost beforehand and have the chance to change my mind should the bill be unacceptable. Is this correct? I'll also leave any further communication to the insurers.

Thanks to all who have given advice and encouragement so far. It is appreciated.
Accident questions - Dynamic Dave
I have told both my and her insurance that I'll pay
for the work, but I assume that I'll be told how
much it will cost beforehand and have the chance to change
my mind should the bill be unacceptable.


It's a pity you can't speak the the repairers themselves. They nearly always quote 2 prices: one for if you go through insurance, and another if it's a cash settlement.

Little consolation I know, but when she's got her car all fixed and shining like a new pin, arrange for her to follow you out of the works car park one evening and test her reactions when that imaginary dog runs out in front of you and you have to make an eergency stop. Then you can put her through the hassle she is currently inflicting on you.
Am I being vindictive, maybe :o)
Accident questions - SteveH42
Trouble is that now her insurance is handling it, I don't know where they are taking it, or if I could even find out. And yes, it would have been interesting to give her a dose of her own medicine if I was still in my old car, but I like my new one too much to do anything like that to it!
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
I come to this thread rather late. Since there is a lot here, and I haven't read it all yet, I'll go through answering point by point and hopefully you will excuse the duplication, especially if someone one else has already given the advice.

>>The other driver appeared to be pulling out from the driveway,
I started off after her, glanced left to.......


At one point this was the most common accident in England, although normally at roundabouts. As I am sure you are aware, however annoying it is and however stupid the other person was, its still deemed to be your fault.

She then got two quotes.............
I suggested she get a quote from a reputable bodyshop to
see what they advised.


Let this be a lesson to you. There are enough issues in looking after one's own part of an accident, it is almost always unwise to get involved in her side.
This took her over 2 weeks to do


Unless she is claiming loss of use or other expenses, that is entirely up to her. You would only have ground if the delay at increased either the damage, the repair costs or her other expenses.
To slightly confuse matters, I've changed my car since the
accident, but did not report the incident as I thought we'd
be settling it outside of the insurance.


Always, but ALWAYS, report an incident irrespective of whether or not you will claim. If you do not wish to claim, then mark it very clearly "FOR INFORMATION ONLY, DO NOT DEAL"
My main question is can she force me to go through the
insurance?


No, she cannot. Not under any circumstances. A court could, e.g. in the event of an injury, but she cannot.
Even though the bill is £350......... it'll still be cheaper >> than the extra premium I'll pay on my insurance.


Possibly. Check. Ring a broker you do not use ask for a quote with your expected NCD level. Ring another broker and ask for the same quote, but include the accident and the resultant NCD level. Compare the difference and see where you are. Also bear in mind that, as a VERY rough indicator, if your insurance premium is increased by 100 quid the first year, it will be increased by 50 the next year and 25 quid the year after.

Let us assume that you are correct and its 600 quid extra. (excuse the "quid"s I have no pound sign on this keyboard).

Her claim could look like this...

350 damage
50 damage sundries not in the estimate
150 rental car during repairs
150 loss of earnings taking car to & from twice

Suddenly that is 700 quid. And 700 quid you have to pay now, rather than spread over a few years.

If you do pay for something, then make sure she signs a piece of paper including the words "in full & final settlement.."
Will the fact she has reported it mean my premium will
be loaded from next year anyway?


No, it shouldn't be. Provided you submit a claim form, and insist that it is for information only.
I have been advised by people at work that as the accident
happened on private land she can't actually force me to
go through the insurance. Is this correct?


It doesn't matter whether or not it was on private land. She cannot force you to go through your insurance. And, by the way, the type of land you were on would not affect whether or not you were civilly liable for her losses. It may affect whether your insurance is liable to cover you, but even then only under a very few circumstances.
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
I think I caught all your points. If I didn't point me at them....
Accident questions - SteveH42
I think I caught all your points. If I didn't point
me at them....


Only thing is whether having changed car between the accident happening and reporting it will affect my insurance cover in any way.

And I'd appreciate knowing whether I've saddled myself with this cost now, or whether I can ask my insurance to pay it if the bill comes back very high. I will say that I wasn't aware her insurers were taking the car away for a week when I said that I'd pay, so will this make any difference?
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
Only thing is whether having changed car between the
accident happening and reporting it will affect my insurance
cover in any way.


It shouldn't affect it at all.
And I'd appreciate knowing whether I've saddled myself with
this cost now, or whether I can ask my insurance to
pay it if the bill comes back very high.


How long ago was the accident ?

I think you are going to have to ask them directly.

Accident questions - SteveH42
How long ago was the accident ?


15th October.
I think you are going to have to ask them directly.


Probably best. I'm starting to feel very much out of my depth here. I was hoping for a simple fix-it job and a bill to pay.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I think I caught all your points. If I didn't point
me at them....


Just one other minor thing. Can her insurance company get all the details they need just from the car registration? And will her registration be enough for my insurer?
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
>>Can her insurance company get all the details they need just from the car registration? And will her registration be enough for my insurer?

I would have said not. Whilst they can obtain the rest of the details, it has to be a large claim for them to bother.

However, I do not know the current status of their joint database, so I couldn't tell you for sure - but, as I said, I doubt it.
Accident questions - SteveH42
I would have said not. Whilst they can obtain the rest
of the details, it has to be a large claim for
them to bother.


I should have said, can they get address and phone number from just the registration? They seemingly can't get details of my insurer as they contacted me for that, but they got in touch otherwise.

Does this mean I'll have to ask for her address and contact details before I inform my insurer? Or can I just tell them her insurer (which I know as they have contacted me), her name and registration?
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
Well, maybe she got those details from somewhere as well.

Is there an issue ? Ask her for those details and tell her nothing happens until you get them.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Well, maybe she got those details from somewhere as well.
Is there an issue ? Ask her for those details and
tell her nothing happens until you get them.


There is a suspicion she used her position within the accounts department to access my personal file for my details. Quite why I don't know when she could have just asked me, but it seems odd that she only wanted my registration number and nothing else.

At the moment I'm avoiding her if it all possible as she seems to wind me up more and more each time we discuss this incident. If I can avoid asking her for more information then it would be good from my POV.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Let this be a lesson to you. There are enough issues
in looking after one's own part of an accident, it is
almost always unwise to get involved in her side.


True. At the time, she was happy to go to the garage that wanted to respray it, and I had been advised (and got a quote to prove) that £155 was way over the top for this. I was hoping a bodyshop would give a more realistic price.
>> This took her over 2 weeks to do
Unless she is claiming loss of use or other expenses, that
is entirely up to her. You would only have ground if
the delay at increased either the damage, the repair costs or
her other expenses.


It depends on what the final repair is deemed to be. If it's a simple respray then the delay may have contributed to the damage - she has been very keen to demonstrate how the paint is peeling off by rubbing it and showing me bits flaking off. This could make the difference between a touch-up and a complete respray. However, if it does need a new bumper then that is immaterial.
>> Even though the bill is £350......... it'll still be cheaper
>> than the extra premium I'll pay on my insurance.
Possibly. Check. Ring a broker you do not use ask for
a quote with your expected NCD level....


I've got quotes from online insurers at £350 with the NCD I would have with no claim and £625 with the reduced NCD, no mention of the accident, plus I've messed around with a spreadsheet calculating the difference per year. I guestimate £270 next year, £220 the year after, £120 the 3rd year and £40 the 4th year.
Suddenly that is 700 quid. And 700 quid you have to
pay now, rather than spread over a few years.


Yes, I know. Thing is I was basing this on paying myself for her to take it to a garage. She's changed the playingfield by insisting on her insurance dealing with it which is what is throwing me.

She's using taxis rather than getting a rental car (I assume her insurance has authorised this) and the car has been collected by her insurers for assessing, but I assume this will be added to the cost.
Accident questions - neil
My friend, you are missing the point.

The accident was your fault. The cost will fall to you. You had one chance to minimise it and settle with her for £350 cash, which you blew.

You have been advised 18 times by people who know about such matters to get over it and let your insurers deal - as she has, very sensibly IMO, decided to do.

Your ONLY decision is whether to reimburse your insurers and live with a little loading as opposed to a little loading PLUS a loss of NCD.

IMO, for what its worth, don't reimburse, take the NCD loss, shop around. As you've already been advised - at least 5 times - with an almost unheard of unanimity.

What she does or doesn't do (apart from the Data Protection breach, which is a bit naughty) is really nothing to do with you!

Annoying, but experience is the best form of education - and the most expensive!

Neil
Accident questions - SteveH42
The accident was your fault. The cost will fall to you.
You had one chance to minimise it and settle with her
for £350 cash, which you blew.


Um, no, I didn't blow the chance to settle it. She went to get the quote, the next work day I asked her how much it was, she wouldn't tell me, asked for my registration and insisted on going to her insurance. It took a lot of cajoling to find out what the garage had said, let alone what the cost was. I told her I was prepared to pay for that, she ignored this and went to her insurance. How is that blowing the chance?
You have been advised 18 times by people who know about
such matters to get over it and let your insurers deal
- as she has, very sensibly IMO, decided to do.


Which is what I'm pretty much decided on doing. I've been told she'll know the cost on Monday, so I might as well wait until then before I claim, on the off chance it's a reasonable figure.

The trouble is that this has all caught me by surprise. I was expecting having to pay the £155 she was quoted and was happy with at first. The higher bill took a while to take on board, and exactly what she has told her insurers even longer to find out. I initially thought she'd just reported the accident, it wasn't until Thursday I found out they were actually undertaking the work as well.
Accident questions - Doc
You should let your insurance deal with this, especially as we are now talking about taxis and rental cars. What will be next?

What is the point of having insurance and not using it?

You seem to be getting deeper into the mire with every turn.
Let them sort it out and save yourself all the worry.
Accident questions - SteveH42
You should let your insurance deal with this, especially as we
are now talking about taxis and rental cars. What will be
next?
What is the point of having insurance and not using it?


Originally I thought it would be a simple £100 respray at worst. The impact was so minor she said herself she thought it was just the jolt when she put her handbrake on. For something that small it seems stupid to go through my insurance and cost myself several hundred pounds over the next 4 years, not to mention any potential extra costs if I had another claim to make later on.
You seem to be getting deeper into the mire with every
turn.


Partly because I seem to be finding everything out second hand a few days after the event. Right up until Wednesday I was expecting to be told a figure I had to write a cheque out for. Now the whole thing has gone mad and I'm not sure quite what to do!

Thanks to all who have advised, and yes, I think those who have said so are right - it's getting stupid and it's time for the insurance to have their pound of flesh...
Accident questions - neil
Okay - glad you've got there!

Apart from anything else, how long do you think it might be before someone starts suggesting 'Fraudulent Claims Direct' for a nice little bit of Whiplash??

Some people don't always tell the truth, you know!

Neil
Accident questions - Fullchat
Have followed this thread with interest. I can sympathise to some extent with your predicament and her behaviour is somewhat bizarre and unreasonable especially when you work together. remember above all you are responsible.
You must take the advice that has been offered by our expert contributors but if pride is at stake then you must formulate a game plan.
Remember dont get mad get even. As Mark states you must inform your insurance company and stipulate your wishes as to wether the report is for information only. She may have let her own insurance company deal with it however they should not be reimbursed by your insurance company. Her insurance company may not chase you for the money ( dont quote me on this one!) and hey presto she has lost her NCB and will suffer increased premiums.
As regards the suspected breach of Data Protection. Can you prove it or is it just a hunch? This would be a discipline/sackable offence. You dont necessary have to make an official complaint but it could make her life very uncomfortale if you let her know via a 'confidential' third party that you were considering it.
Seems an awful lot of grief over a scratched bumper but hey people have different priorities in life. I would be interested to know the approx ages of both of you.
Accident questions - Graham
after all this time and her attitude why not give a bit of a shock? tell her you didn't do it! ask her who her witnesses are!

i found out 18 mnths ago that it isn't who is right or wrong in these cases it's down to who has the proof (if any).

the insurance guys will then go 50/50 and she'll have to pay her excess.
Accident questions - SteveH42
after all this time and her attitude why not give a
bit of a shock? tell her you didn't do it! ask
her who her witnesses are!


It's already been suggested that a number of witnesses would deny I hit her car at all, should I desire it. I've actually had much more interesting offers, but TBH, it doesn't alter the fact that I was at fault and it would be being dishonest to try and claim otherwise. (Sorry, I'm just too honest for my own good sometimes!)

Actually, the more I think about things, the surer I am that she was rolling slightly backwards at the time or just before. But I can't be sure and she will no doubt deny it, so it's not worth mentioning. The fact she commented that she thought the jolt was her putting the handbrake on would suggest she was expecting a jolt as she knew she was moving, but when it comes down to it, the only proof either of us have is the chipped paintwork on her bumper to show there was an impact.

I learned today that the car has been assessed and it only needs a new bumper bar (which I assume to mean the steel insert) and a respray, which is considerably less than she claims this bodyshop wanted to do, although now I think about it, she did say at first they said the bumper bar was bent, but that this would require a whole new bumper to rectify things.

Any idea how much her insurer are likely to add for costs? And how realistic the bodyshop prices are considering it's an insurance job? I can't see the bar costing more than £50, and have been quoted £80+VAT for painting the bumper, so even with a bit of labour it might only come to £200 or so. So, unless a lot is added to this then it might be worth my while reimbursing my insurer, provided they will accept this. As an aside to this, she reckons that the bodyshop will only return her car to her home, so she can't get it back and will need to continue using taxis until Friday afternoon. Is this correct? Surely they could deliver it to work, or she could get a taxi from work to the bodyshop (if local) and so minimise the cost of taxis?

(It's an interesting fact that she's told practically everyone but me at work the result of the assessment....)
Accident questions - Toad, of Toad Hall.
She sounds a little mad to me.

Taxi's for a car that has light bumper damage?

Why the hell didn't she just take 350 quid from you and forget it?
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
I've got to admit, if I'd been in her position, I would have taken £300 from you and then fixed the car with a £50 bumper from the scrapyard and pocketed the £250 as a little compo for the inconvenience. Especially as it's an older car, admittedly I wouldn't do that with the Fiesta at the moment, it has to be perfect. :)

She's clearly mad...

On the taxi issue, she dones't need to take them, the bodyshop should provide a free courtesy car...
Accident questions - SteveH42
I've got to admit, if I'd been in her position, I
would have taken £300 from you and then fixed the car
with a £50 bumper from the scrapyard and pocketed the £250
as a little compo for the inconvenience.


I suspect she wouldn't even have thought of that. She gave the impression that she considered anywhere other than the main VW dealer as not fit to touch her car. There are a few people at work who have bodyshop experience - they could have easily had the bumper off, straighten things out, fix it back on and touch it in or even get it done at a painshop and leave her plenty of change from the £300 for whatever she liked, but she just doesn't think that way.
On the taxi issue, she dones't need to take them, the
bodyshop should provide a free courtesy car...


Maybe, but wouldn't the cost of that be passed on to the insurance? Also, as the job was estimated to take a week, would they have enough cars available to provide one? I personally can't see why they needed to collect the car on Friday when they weren't going to assess it until the Monday anyway - surely this is just adding more cost? (Transport for her over the weekend)
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
She has a well proven and frequently enforced common law duty to minimise her losses.

e.g.

She cannot take a taxi where there is a bus route unless she can show that the bus was impractical for some reason.

She cannot refuse a courtesy car when one was available and take taxis or rent a car.

She cannot claim for a longer period than neccessary. (loss of wages or holiday to pick up the car would justify a rental car for that day).

etc. etc.

In a fight there are many battles that you could win to annoy, inconvenience and cost her.

However, I would let it go if I were you. It just isn't worth it.
Accident questions - SteveH42
She cannot take a taxi where there is a bus route
unless she can show that the bus was impractical for some
reason.


In what way impractical? For example, she was talking about taking taxis in to Stockport for her shopping at the weekend - surely a bus would do just as well for this? Even for getting to work, the only disadvantage the bus has is journey time.
She cannot refuse a courtesy car when one was available and
take taxis or rent a car.


I'd suspect there wasn't a courtesy car available, as she 'hinted' that she'd prefer to go through insurance due to the fact she'd get a courtesy car and complimentary valet of her car.
She cannot claim for a longer period than neccessary. (loss of
wages or holiday to pick up the car would justify a
rental car for that day).


She isn't collecting the car, it is being delivered to her, so I assume they could deliver it anywhere she chose?
In a fight there are many battles that you could win
to annoy, inconvenience and cost her.
However, I would let it go if I were you. It
just isn't worth it.


You are probably correct. It depends what figure they come up with at the end and whether I can pay it to maintain my NCD. If the repair was a reasonable amount but she's run up a big taxi bill then it might be worth my while contesting that perhaps. But it they are talking >£300 then it doesn't really matter. If I can maintain my NCD for less than what it will cost me extra next year then I will do so, otherwise she can have as much as she can squeeze out of my insurance.

Ta for your advice and to others for theirs throughout this saga...
Accident questions - Dynamic Dave
>> She cannot refuse a courtesy car when one was available
>> and take taxis or rent a car.
I'd suspect there wasn't a courtesy car available,


What sort of Mickey Mouse place has she taken the car for repair? The extortionate price quoted in one of your earlier posts for the repair of her bumper suggests that for the price the garage are asking, they should have courtesy cars available.

There's a cheap place down the road from me, and they've even got free courtesy cars available. Ok, they're old jalopies, but still better than walking.
Accident questions - SteveH42
What sort of Mickey Mouse place has she taken the car
for repair?


I probably haven't been clear enough on this. The place that quoted £350 was where she wanted to take it, but her insurance company insisted on taking it elsewhere, presumably to a place they have an arrangement with. I don't know where it is, but someone else suggested it might be a certain garage they know does work for this company, and also mentioned they are usually extremely busy with insurance work.

To be honest, if she'd taken it to the place she wanted to go to originally, the car would have been fixed in one day while she was at work so even if I hadn't given her a lift there and back she would only have needed taxis for that day anyway.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Let's face it - the woman is thick.

She went out of her way to annoy you by insisting on the most expensive place, which I can just about understand.

Then, rather than let you pay, she decides to go through insurance so that it's less hassle, despite the fact that it is infinately more hassle.

Then the insurance company won't let her take it where she wanted to go! :) I love it!
Accident questions - SteveH42
Yup, and on top of all that, this place isn't giving her the new bumper she was pushing for anyway! She _could_ have had it sorted weeks ago at minimal inconvenience to her, but thinks it's more convenient and less hassle to be inconvenienced by her insurer...

I think she's getting it back today, so we'll see whether she's happy with the job or not....
Accident questions - SteveH42
She cannot take a taxi where there is a bus route
unless she can show that the bus was impractical for some
reason.


In what way impractical? For example, she was talking about taking taxis in to Stockport for her shopping at the weekend - surely a bus would do just as well for this? Even for getting to work, the only disadvantage the bus has is journey time.
She cannot refuse a courtesy car when one was available and
take taxis or rent a car.


I'd suspect there wasn't a courtesy car available, as she 'hinted' that she'd prefer to go through insurance due to the fact she'd get a courtesy car and complimentary valet of her car.
She cannot claim for a longer period than neccessary. (loss of
wages or holiday to pick up the car would justify a
rental car for that day).


She isn't collecting the car, it is being delivered to her, so I assume they could deliver it anywhere she chose?
In a fight there are many battles that you could win
to annoy, inconvenience and cost her.
However, I would let it go if I were you. It
just isn't worth it.


You are probably correct. It depends what figure they come up with at the end and whether I can pay it to maintain my NCD. If the repair was a reasonable amount but she's run up a big taxi bill then it might be worth my while contesting that perhaps. But it they are talking >£300 then it doesn't really matter. If I can maintain my NCD for less than what it will cost me extra next year then I will do so, otherwise she can have as much as she can squeeze out of my insurance.

Ta for your advice and to others for theirs throughout this saga...
Accident questions - smokie
I haven't read the whole thread so someone may have already said this but...re taxis...

My wife's unoccupied stationery car was hit by another car. While her car was off the road she was not offered a courtesy car, but WAS offered £10 a day "inconvenience" money. We took it, but it may have been negotiable if it could be demonstrated that actual costs were significantly higher, with good reason.
Accident questions - SteveH42
..her behaviour is somewhat bizarre and
unreasonable especially when you work together.


As someone else at work pointed out, it's not the done thing to cause problems for your colleagues - quite aside from having to work with them, you never know when you might need a favour from someone. I try to get on with everyone at work, even those who can be difficult to like, but she seems to have come to be almost universally disliked after this. (And not through anything I've done - part of the reason I don't want to get back at her for this is that I feel sorry for her in a way as absolutely no-one likes her now, and not many did before)
As regards the suspected breach of Data Protection. Can you
prove it or is it just a hunch?


It is a hunch. Our records are all paper, so unless someone actually saw her then there is no way I could prove anything, and even then she could claim she needed to look in my file for other things. The fact she didn't ask me for these details yet seemingly gave them to my insurance company would suggest she has looked, but I can't prove anything. For all I know she may have followed me home to get my address!
Seems an awful lot of grief over a scratched bumper but
hey people have different priorities in life.


Well, yes, but she obviously puts a lot of stock in her car. Despite it being 5 years old and the basic model, she still refers to it as a '£7000 car'. I suspect it's also an over-reaction along the 'once bitten, twice shy' line - she was apparently hit in similar circumstances before but couldn't see any damage so let the other driver leave without getting her details. It turns out that there was significant damage as neither the boot or the rear doors would close properly, so she had to claim that from her insurance. So you can see why she wants to be sure it is done.
I would be interested
to know the approx ages of both of you.


I don't know if I dare guess at the age of a woman! I'm always miles out anyway... I'm 26, although most people seem to think I'm older, and I'd think she is probably in her 30s, but beyond that I have no idea.
Accident questions - svpworld
Wow... what a thread! It was better than reading a novel to go through the 102 replies here!

Just out of interest, a couple of years ago I had a really interesting one. I had just finished washing my car parked on the driveway outside my parents house. The driveway and front garden are surrounded by a 3ft brick wall so it's fairly off road.

Anyway I had just finished vacuuming out the rear of the car when I went in the house for dinner. No sooner had I gone inside when I heard my car alarm go off. I quickly went outside only to see my rear window broken and the top of the rear door distorted. Initially I had no idea what had happened, then I noticed a few yards further down the road (I lived at the bottom side of a hill) lay a car, with 3 wheels! A couple driving an ageing escort cabriolet had decided to lose their rear wheel at the top of the hill. They continued driving down the hill on 3 wheels, whilst the free wheel rolled down the road, mounted the pavement, bounced over our wall and hit the side of my car!

Now was it not for the rather confused driver of the car agreeing to sign a printed letter that I had prepared in a flash on my computer stating that she had admitted all responsibility for what had happened, it could have got very complicated! Needless to say I think her insurance company got a little worried once they realised she had signed this letter as they wrote me a letter indicating it was essential that I should "minimise" my expenses/costs, they agreeing to have the work carried out by their own repairers and so on. I dont recall the exact wording of the letter I had from them, but essentially it seemed that it is the law that I should not induce costs and claims more than is necessary. As it was a quick call to my own insurance company and the entire situation was handled immediately and a courtesy car provided whilst the door was replaced and the car resprayed down the side.

I had a wonderful time explaining it though to the insurance company!!

Regards
Simon


_____________________________________
SVPworld (incorporating PSRworld)
www.svpworld.com
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Wow! What must be the chances of that?

I know what you mean about explaining an accident to insurers though when I tried getting a quote out of interest to see how much my recent bump would cost me (turned out to be nothing thank god) the conversation went like:
***********
-Any Claims?

Yes, I was driving my dad's car when someone hit me at a roundabout, they hit the rear of the car and admitted full liability.

-So your dad's insurance company have admitted liability for his accident?

No and no, my dad wasn't in the car at the time.

-Then who was driving it?

Me.

-So why did your dad admit liability.

He didn't, the other driver admitted liability.

-OK then, that's no problem, it doesn't count.
********

Phew. It took some getting there but i was finally able to get it through, I'm sure that these people are watching Eastenders or something when they're talking to you!
Accident questions - SteveH42
Another question on this one I'm afraid. It's now about 3 weeks since all this blew up, yet in that time the only acknowledgement I've had from either insurer is from the other parties insurer acknowledging receipt of my initial letter.

Am I likely to hear anything? Will my insurer just pay up without contacting me to confirm any details? As I asked to be told the cost with a view to paying it myself, should I not have heard something by now, especially as the car has been repaired about 10 days? Or am I expecting the insurers to work faster than they actually do?

Thanks again for any replies.
Accident questions - HF
Hi Steve,

This is not really a proper answer to your question, I'm not knowledgable enough about insurance to do that.

However, I'd suggest you give your insurance company a ring, to find out the latest position about what's going on - probably better to get in touch with them rather than just be waiting and worrying.

My experience with certain companies is that they need to be reminded, many times, that they have a case to deal with, before they do anything at all about it.
HF
Accident questions - SteveH42
I wasn't worried when I wrote this, just wondering whether I should expect anything and how long it would take.

However, *now* I'm worried, as I've had letters from both my and her insurers saying they can't find any record of my policy! Unfortunately I was late in from work today so I missed their office hours, but I'll be on the phone first thing tomorrow to find out just what is going on! The only possibility I can think of is that the change of car has confused them...
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Well so long as you have your certificate of insurance, who cares?

They can't avoid paying if you have a copy of that.
Blue
Accident questions - Graham
But you do have an ins. certificate don't you? So if they can't find your policy that's their problem (I hope).

Keep going, you'll get there in the end!
Accident questions - SteveH42
Yup, I have a certificate - two in fact, one for the car I had the accident in and one for the new car. And now I think of it, they had no problem finding my details when it came to changing the car, so I suspect they have just overlooked the change of vehicle.
Accident questions - Graham
but I bet it got the old heart going for a moment! Good luck
Accident questions - HF
Yes, good luck from me too!
Accident questions - SteveH42
Right, time to give a final update and thank everyone who has advised me on this.

Finally, 8 months and 2 days after the accident happened, the files are closed. (At least I hope so!)

I had reached the stage of being concerned that her insurer had stopped bothering to respond to my letters or provide any of the details I asked for. This state of affairs ended a few weeks back when I got a letter informing me I would be taken to court if I didn't pay the full amount in 14 days. Tried to point out that some of the expenses weren't justified. The reply was along the lines of 'we think the are and aren't going to discuss it. Pay or else.' Apparently she even claimed to work 'unsociable hours' so 'couldn't rely on public transport'. (OK, so I also think that 8 to 4:45 is unsociable but that's only because I don't like getting out of bed!)

I was going to fight it in court, but luckily I followed the advice given on here and got professional advice on it. As I say, lucky I did, as it was pointed out to me that even if the judge agreed that the expenses were unreasonable, he would still award some expenses, and by doing so this would still count as a CCJ against me.

I must admit this aspect of the legal system strikes me as daft - someone can claim lots of dodgy expenses, but as long as there is a genuine content, you can't risk going to court as the judge might well agree with your offer, but the CCJ still goes against you.

Anyway, to avoid the problems associated with a CCJ I paid the full amount, so the case is now over.

Thanks again to all who offered advice, and let this be a warning to others of the pitfalls on the road to getting accident damage repaired!
Accident questions - Miat
Re "problems associated with a CCJ"

I think you misunderstand what is normally called a CCJ

a "CCJ" held on your credit file as a black mark will only be logged if the court finds against you AND you fail to pay as the court directs in the time the court allows

normally for stuff like this the judge would give a private individual a very fair hearing, especially if up against a professional legal bod - and even if you lost you would get 20 days or more to pay

For case like this is it below the "small claims" amount ? In which case the costs they can be awarded if they win are tightly defined also - for instance their legal costs will not be thrown in

only failure to pay then would result in any of the tradditional CCJ issues
Accident questions - DavidHM
Miat is right. Except possibly in a straightforward action for debt, in which case your credit file will have holes all over it because it\'s gone to court in the first place, a judgement against you in court won\'t hurt your credit rating. It\'s not even recorded for the first 30 days.

Of course, if it had gone to small claims court (as the total amount claimed would have been below £5000) and you\'d been represented, you would have had to pay your solicitor\'s costs, win or lose. (And of course you would have won.)

Secondly you can make what is known as a Part 36 offer to settle for what would have been reasonable expenses, and only if they had beaten your offer would they have been able to recover their costs even in a normal court.

Of course, if we\'re only talking about a few hundred quid, it\'s probably not worth going through all that hassle just to get it over with, but it does seem as if you misunderstood the legal advice given to you, or it wasn\'t of the highest quality to begin with.

This thread is not about to turn into a discussion on how to sue your solicitor though...
Accident questions - SteveH42
Ah. So it appears that several people at the CAB have misinterpreted the law then.. Drat. The opinion there was that as they would find for her, even if not the full amount, it would still count as a CCJ. (The letters from her solicitor sort of confirmed this - they said if I went to court I would get a CCJ)

What is this about a Part 36 offer? I did make an offer - I even sent them cheques to the amount and fully detailed how I'd come to the offer, but they rejected it without even saying why, or telling me what they would accept (as I'd asked) TBH, this has been the most annoying thing about the whole thing - they simply haven't answered any of my questions about the validity of the expenses (some are very dodgy) or responded to my requests to discuss it and come to an arrangement.
Accident questions - DavidHM
They're right that you would get a CCJ, it's just that, given that you want to pay up to a certain extent, you'd have no problems with your credit rating - which is the main reason to avoid a CCJ in a dispute. You'd just have 30 days to sort it.

A part 36 offer to settle is basically what your solicitor, had you had one, would have made to them. They then have a limited time in which to accept it. If they don't accept, it lapses, and on going to court, the judge is expected, if they don't get more than you've offered and they've been unreasonable, to award costs against them even if they've won. It's discretionary but you'd expect to get it. It only really applies to larger claims and when you go to court, as on the small claims track the costs are different and you'd have each paid your own costs.

However, you've paid them now and it's too late to worry about it. As it didn't go to court, Part 36 doesn't come into play and couldn't help you. It's just a way to stop claimants from asking for the world, knowing that even if they get a fraction of what they asked for, they'd still get costs - but if it's unreasonable enough to work in the defendant's favour, it's generally worth litigating anyway.
Accident questions - SteveH42
OK, thanks. The chap at the CAB did say that it *probably* wouldn't affect my credit rating as it wasn't for debt, but as neither of us really knew exactly what a effect a CCJ could have, I thought it best to avoid it, especially as it would stay on my record for about 5 years he reckoned, plus the fact I'd lose stuff like holiday and could well have costs awarded against me, it seemed more sensible to just pay up.

Don't know if you can comment on this, but the main reason I paid up is that even though I was trying to discuss the expenses, and made an increased offer, the solicitor basically kept the clock ticking and took 10 days of their 14 day limit to reply to my first letter, so in the end there wasn't time to wait for a reply to the second as it would have passed their deadline by them. Is this acceptable?
Accident questions - Technoprat {P}
Having come to this thread so late the only comment I would make is that the only information you are required to give in the event of a minor accident is your name and address. You are NOT required to give any details about your insurers. You are required to tell your insurers about any accident, whether you are making a claim or not and you are supposed to report any accident to the police - even very minor ones. The police may ask you for details of insurance, in which case you are bound to produce them within 7 days but you do not have to give this information to anyone else.
Accident questions - eMBe {P}
Having come to this thread so late >>


There was a continuation of this thread entitles "Accident questions revisited", which also ran to many posts. I am reluctant to add to it, and perhaps Technoprat might want to start a new one on his topic; because his statement below is one that I am not too sure about ? I know this is how it used to be but is it still true? :

.... the only information you are required to
give in the event of a minor accident is your name
and address. You are NOT required to give any details
about your insurers.


?? I thought you are nowadays rewuired to do so.

you are supposed to report any accident to the police
- even very minor ones.


?? Is it not ONLY in cases of personal injury that you MUST tell the police?
Accident questions - Technoprat {P}
If there is an accident involving injury the police MUST be called to the scene and you may not leave the scene of the accident until the police say you can. Naturally, you will be asked to provide all your documents either at the time or within 7 days at a nominated police station.

You are not required to call the police to a damage only accident (unless it also involves roadside furniture - street-lamps, bollards, etc) but you are still required to report ANY accident to the police - not that they will be terribly interested - but it is a requirement.

And NO - the only people who can require you to provide insurance details are the police.
Accident questions - RichardW
Technoprat,

You're not quite right, se the highway code here (rules 260 & 261):

www.highwaycode.gov.uk/24.shtml#255

No requirements to call the police in any case. For accident no involving injury / damage to 3rd party property, no requirement to report to police. For non-injury (to another person), report to police within 24 hours if name and address not given at time (no mention of insurance). For injury accident, report to police within 24 hours AND produce insurance cert within 7 days. Also says "...produce insurance cert at the time of the accident to a police officer or to anyone having reasonable grounds to request it".

Amazing how these urban myths / chinese whispers creep in over time!


RichardW

Accident questions - DavidHM
Yes; they can start proceedings any time they want. Limits are only placed on their conduct once they have actually started court procceedings by filling out the proper forms. Once proceedings are started, you have 14 days to acknowledge and 28 days to file a defence.

Up until then they were just negotiating and there is no duty on them to be reasonable, although the less reasonable they are, the more likely the judge is to take a tough line with them on costs.

Don't forget that lawyers are rottweilers. As a client, you want them to be. If you have a problem with that, you should get your own rottweiler.

Incidentally, if it had gone past their deadline, you could still have settled with them without getting a judgement right up until the trial. If she's gone for one of those 'no win no fee' places, they're going to want to get you to court because otherwise they're being paid out of her indemnity insurance, rather than having costs awarded against you.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Daft thing is, I got more actual information out of the solicitors than I did from her insurer who just didn't seem interested. I understand your point about being able to settle right up to the trial, but they said that once proceedings were started, if I did settle they would apply to court for about £200 worth of court, solicitors and barristers fees, which seemed a worse option.

I think I'm probably more annoyed with her insurer who made no effort to settle on her behalf by constructively replying to my letters and questions - the solicitors were fairly helpful if a bit aggressive, but as you say, that is what they are paid to be. I'm not actually sure if it was her that started the legal action or the insurer. In some ways I'd be surprised if it was the insurer as they rejected my offer on the basis of her expenses - I'd offered the full amount for the repair, so I'm surprised they were so bothered.
Accident questions - Technoprat {P}
The fact that you had offered the full repair cost means that taking the matter to court was entirely unnecessary. Any court would have recognised this fact and would have denied any further costs award. Judges are, on the whole, pretty switched on people and do not look kindly on a plaintiff who prolongs a case in the hope of gaining a more than fair recompense.
Accident questions - DavidHM
Up to a point. It's not just the cost of the repair, but the cost of a courtesy car or alternative transport, and for that matter the loss of amenity - i.e., the court acknowledges that taking a bus may be less convenient than driving.

On the other hand, the car you rent must be reasonably adequate for your needs. (I think the case on this (c.1992) was with someone who had an old Granada, rented a then new Rover 800 and was told that a 200 would have been adequate for the driving he did) - so no getting a 911, Novaboys!

Some expenses beyond the cost of repair are reasonable, but not to the extent that anything you might have been done in your car can now be done by a taxi - so if an easycar is available for a tenner a day, that would pretty much be a cap unless she drove something much better than an A Class. I

If she chose to take cabs, they could be reasonable - as long as there's not a bus that goes from her house, to work, at the right times, for instance.
Accident questions - joe
I someone put my car off the road, it would seriously peeve me if they then went over all my extra expenses with a fine toothed comb and caused me no end of grief and hassle. I get the definate feeling from this thread that you would definately not want to be run into by SteveH42.
Accident questions - SteveH42
Maybe, Joe, but would you be happy to pay up if someone ran up over £120 in expenses as well as incurring an OTT repair charge by taking it to an insurer for a job that would take a day at most to repair? I have no trouble with paying reasonable expenses, but I do object to being used as an open cheque book for this woman to take advantage of.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
I someone put my car off the road, it would seriously
peeve me if they then went over all my extra expenses
with a fine toothed comb and caused me no end of
grief and hassle. I get the definate feeling from this thread
that you would definately not want to be run into by
SteveH42.


I think when you read the full thread you will see the unnecessary hassle that this woman has caused by been so fussy about an old Polo. Yes, she may be very proud of it, but a VW dealership could've fixed it quickly and easily compared to dragging a minor little bump out to an 8 month saga. Especially as it was only minor bumper damage and the car was not in fact put off the road, if she had it repaired at a good garage as he offered it would have been gone a very short space of time and she would have got a courtesy car.

Steve would have had this sorted much sooner if she'd let him.

Blue
Accident questions - SteveH42
Thanks, Blue. I should also point out that she wouldn't show me the written quotes she had got from the VW dealer or the other place she went to, but demanded I give her £350. Would anyone just stump up this amount without something to say this was actually the cost? As the repair cost turned out to be under £250, I think I was right in being wary, although she has managed to get me back on expenses.
Accident questions - Blue {P}
Does she still work at your place?

I know lots of people who would probably arrange an accident for behaviour like this... I think you've been very paitient with her.

Blue
Accident questions - SteveH42
Believe me, there have been offers made! And while it would be satisfying to a degree, I couldn't really live with myself if I stooped that low. I suspect it's not going to be nice for her anyway as the company gossip overheard me telling a friend about it, so now everyone knows. Not really what I wanted TBH, but I suppose it's good to know that I've got support over it.

I'm actually wondering if the money is being chased to repair the nice scratch all the way down the side of her car that appeared about a month ago and still hasn't been done. (And no, I had nothing to do with it, honestly!)
Accident questions - SteveH42
While it's difficult to judge, it appears she 'went to town' and jumped in a cab whenever she fancied. The insurance document mentioned the car's mileage, and I know she's had it from new, so can work out a rough average weekly amount. The cab fares would amount to far more than this distance, and she wouldn't even consider using the bus - it was mentioned and refused. TBH, as over £100 was cab fares, it would have been cheaper for her to rent a car for the week most likely, but I also objected to things like a mobile phone voucher being chucked in there with nothing to say just how she had run up that amount of calls.

There are also things like she took the car in on a Friday afternoon when it was obvious nothing would have been done to it until Monday and it could have been collected from work anyway, plus she said it was going to be ready on Wednesday then decided to change her day off and not collect it until Friday, again when it could have been delivered to her or to work.
Accident questions - Mark (RLBS)
>>The fact that you had offered the full repair cost means that taking the matter to court was entirely unnecessary. Any court would have recognised.................


The claims in question were for, I believe, expenses. This is a material part of the claim and courts take a very dim fact of you not paying this, since you are not harming an insurance company you are harming another individual who was without fault. Assuming it is backed up with documentary evidence it is most likely that you will lose. And you will probably lose quite badly unless you can come up with convincing evidence that the expenses were unreasonable and you had made every effort to settle what you considered to be there reasonable part of the claim.

Accident questions - HisHonour {P}
Technoprat is, on the whole, correct. The court will hold you liable for reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the accident including the repair costs. However, the judge will want to know that these expenses are reasonable and that the plaintiff has been reasonable in her pursuance of the case. If you can show that you offerred reasonable compensation before the case was brought to court the judge will award what he considers to be reasonable 'out of pocket' expenses but it is most unlikely that he will award costs to the plaintiff if he thinks she has prevaricated in the hope of gaining an unreasonable reward. The word 'reasonable' has cropped up here rather a lot but it an important concept in law. You could substitute the word 'fair'.
 

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