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What are my rights in an accident that is not my fault?

When you have an accident that is not your fault, you have the right to claim your losses back from the at fault party.

This is covered under tort law. When you have a tort made against you, it means that your are the injured party. This does not necessarily mean you have personal injuries, it means you have suffered a financial loss as a result of the at fault parties negligence.

All claims, whether under a tort or whether claiming directly through your insurance company, are about claiming for a pecunary loss. This is claiming for the financial loss you have incurred that will bring you restitution. In other words, the amount of money it will take to put you back in the situation you were in prior to the loss occurring.

With a claim that is not your fault, the case law that applies is the Coles v Hetherton case.

Can I claim for loss of use of my vehicle?

When you have an accident that is not your fault, you have the entitlement to be put back into the same situation you were in prior to your loss.

Because you have now been deprived of the use of your vehicle, you have the lawful entitlement to arrange for another vehicle or alternative transport to use while being deprived of yours.

This area of claim, is covered under uninsured losses. These are areas of a claim that are not covered under a contract of insurance that you may have in place. This means you can claim for any legitimate loss you have sustained as a result of the accident.

So you can claim for taxis, bus fares or any alternative transport that you have had to pay for plus any out of pocket expenses. The main area claimed is for the direct loss of use of your vehicle.

>> How to claim from your insurer following an accident

You are entitled to hire a vehicle and claim this back from the at fault insurer. The cost of hire must be 'reasonable' though, so in line with the market place. Most people cannot afford to hire a vehicle out of their own pocket and this is where credit hire makes an appearance.

Credit hire is where a company will provide a vehicle of the same level (engine size, number of doors, status) as the one you have.

Should the claims management or credit hire provider decide your car is a total loss, they may apply a lot of pressure on to you to agree the market value on your vehicle.

They will provide this vehicle 'on credit' to you. This does not mean there is no charge and this does not mean they will get the cost of hire provided to you from the at fault party. Instead, this is like you hiring a car and paying for it on your credit card. You are wholly 100 percent liable for the cost of the vehicle.

These companies may advise you that it is at 'no cost' to you, but this is not true. There are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for you to be successful to claim. One of which is you must be 'impecunious' or the term used is you are suffering from impecuniosity. This means you do not have the funds to go and hire a car at your own expense.

To successfully claim for a credit hire vehicle, you may be asked to attend court and provide your bank statements to prove you could not afford to hire one yourself. Another criteria is the length of claim. The courts see it as being reasonable to act in a way to mitigate loss, in other words incur more loss than would have been necessary. This is a good and a bad thing.

Some credit hire companies that are not regulated work with insurance companies on a pre-agreed terms. This called the ABI GTA

What is the ABI GTA?

The ABI GTA is the Association of British Insurers General Terms of Agreement. This is an agreement between insurers that credit hire companies can join on a tier two agreement. Insurers are tier one, claims management and credit hire companies are tier two.

This agreement was originally put in place to control the cost of credit hire between insurers.mThis on the one hand was successful, on the other it acted in conflict to a consumers lawful entitlement (see Coles v Hetherton).

Credit hire companies could also join this agreement. Insurers agreed to pay these credit hire companies at pre-agreed rates dependent on the class of vehicle and pay them within 60 days.
This is fabulous for credit hire companies, as they do not have to fight on your behalf in court to get paid and it aids their cashflow.

>> How to claim from an accident management or credit hire firm

This is not always good for you. Should the claims management or credit hire provider decide your car is a total loss, they may apply a lot of pressure on to you to agree the market value on your vehicle. This may not be in your interest, as your vehicle may be worth more than is being offered.

Only when settlement has been agreed - and when you have been provided the correct sum of monies that will enable you to replace your vehicle - should the credit hire vehicle be taken from you.

This does not mean you can hold on to the credit hire vehicle for as long as you wish, but it also does not mean they can take the car away from you the next day or a few days later. You may have the funds to but the vehicle, but a reasonable amount of time must be given for you to buy one.

Another criteria is the class of vehicle. Cars are generally graded on engine size, amount of doors, and size of vehicle.

Should you be provided with a Range Rover, when you were driving a Nissan Micra, then your claim would be unsuccessful. You cannot claim for that to which you are not entitled.

Due to this, you do need to be careful on the vehicle being offered. You may find the at fault insurer contacts you directly to provide a vehicle for you. This can be a good and a bad thing.

>> Your complete guide to motor insurance

Comments

john radburn    on 3 July 2017

It all goes"pear shaped"when you are involved in a non fault accident with an uninsured person/pedestrian and your insurer can't claim against the other party.try renewing after that!

GadgetMan999    on 3 July 2017

What this doesn't mention is whether you can claim the increase in premium the following year even if you were not to blame. They seem to assume that because you had a no claim fault, you must be driving in locations that are risky and hence hike up your premium.

Edited by GadgetMan999 on 03/07/2017 at 13:47

motorclaimguru    on 3 July 2017

Hi Gadget Man,

Yes, is the answer you are after. Any loss that you sustain as a result of an accident that is not your fault, is recoverable as long as it is a "legitimate loss". I would be claiming the increase premium for the next 5 years.

Kind regards

Tim Kelly on behalf of www.honestjohn.co.uk

Tim Cooper    on 3 July 2017

There is no mention of excesses either. We had to pay the excess after our vehicle was torched by the roadside and the increase in premium. The payment based on some kind of weird way of calculating the value of the vehicle resulted in us only being able to replace our original with one 2 years older. We were unable to provide a direct comparison to dispute the figure as there were simply no other vehicles of the same age and mileage on the market at that time. Tort law! bit of a joke really.

motorclaimguru    on 3 July 2017

Hi Mr Cooper,

The reason why there is no mention of excess is, this is something you pay when claiming through your own insurer.Not from the at fault party directly or via a claims management company. In the article above, there are links to more information on various ways to claim.

Any loss you incur as result of someone else's negligence is recoverable as long as you can identify them, and they are insured.

In your situation , i am guessing you never identified who set fire to your vehicle, and had to claim through your own insurer, hence why you had to pay the excess.

Kind regards

Tim Kelly on behalf of www.honestjohn.co.uk

motorclaimguru    on 3 July 2017

Hi John,

What you can do is claim via the Motor Insurance Bureau in that instance.

Their details are here.

www.mib.org.uk/

Kind regards

Tim Kelly on behalf of www.honestjohn.co.uk

Frank Cottle    on 3 July 2017

My grandson was hit off his motorcycle by a third party and liability was immediately admitted by the third party and his insurers. His injuries included surgery and his treatment is still on going. Obviously, he had to engage the services of a local solicitor who is working on a "no win,no fee" although liability is not in dispute.

As the claim is likely to be settled in the region of £30,000, the solicitor will then deduct his fee of 25% = £7,500 in a case where liability is not in dispute. Is this fair ???

motorclaimguru    on 18 July 2017

Hi Frank,

Did your grandson explore the different options of seeking legal representation?

Did he have legal assistance on his policy?had he have, he would have received his full £30k.

Should the solicitor work for free?

Did you negotiate with the solicitor prior to claiming? and ask that his fee's be covered under the header of claim for special damages?

How many solicitors did your grandson visit prior to instructing? as he had to agree to the fee prior to claiming, and it is line with current terms.

There is also the more dangerous option of dealing directly with the at fault insurer and with out representation, though they still have to offer what they already have.

is it fair? if you agree to it, Yes. In your son's case, i would be asking the solicitors why he has not claimed for his fee's from the at fault party?

Kind regards

Tim Kelly

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