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Saturday 31 March 2007

Hit and Run Car Insurance Claim Case [Beej]

Okay, I've got a story to share, so here's what has been happening in the case of a car accident involving my Mum's parked car.

  1. Whilst my Mum was at work at her University, her parked car was hit several times by a student driver having difficulties negotiating a parking space.
  2. There were several independent witnesses who said that the driver of the car hit my Mum's parked car as many as eight times. The driver was asked to leave her details, and she left a telephone number. That number turned out to be a wrong number, but the witnesses had also noted down the registration of the car she was driving.
  3. The Police classified the incident as a Hit and Run because no details were left at the scene, and they used the registration to identify the owner of the car. These details were passed to Tesco, who my Mum uses to insure her car. The witnesses provided statements, either to the Police or the insurer, I'm not sure.
  4. A local garage approved by the insurer inspected the car and said repairs would cost £400. The fully comp policy met this cost, but there's the 200GBP excess on top of that of course. Tesco began procedures to recover their cost from the other driver's insurer.
  5. Tesco discovered that the other driver was uninsured - apparently the daughter of the actual owner of the car. The owner of the car disputed the claim, and contacted the local garage directly to question their quote. He was unsuccesful in getting it changed, but he later wrote to my Mum and in a subsequent phone call that she made to him he asked her to drop the insurance claim - and under pressure she verbally agreed to do so.
  6. Immediately afterwards she felt that she had been pressured into making a verbal agreement that she did not want to make. With the support of her insurer she did not cancel the claim. Tesco has copies of any/all correspondance from the other driver and has been very supportive on the whole.
  7. The owner of the other car continues to dispute the damage, claiming that my Mum's car was already damaged before it was hit by the car driven by his daughter. The garage that quoted the value of the damage has stuck by the £400 quote - which has already been paid by Tecso in any event, to repair the car.
  8. Last week, Tesco begun its paperwork for court proceedings, and have asked my Mum if she will appear as a witness (and this is stressing her out a little, but she believes it is the Right Thing To Do™).
  9. My Mum has lost her no claims bonus because the claim is still in progress, and so Tesco say this can be part of the costs to be claimed in court.

And one final thing. The owner of the car who is disputing the damage caused by his daughter who was driving uninsured - it turns out from Googling his name and address that he is a local councillor of a neighbouring borough council.

Would it be ethically wrong to write to the local paper about his pressure tactics with the local garage and with my Mum?

Knowing that it is hard for me to be unbiased, he still doesn't seem to be too nice a chap.


  1. Any particular reason the driver isn't getting done for car theft? Oh the parent would have to prosecute. Quite how your mum is losing her insurance here is beyond belief, certainly she should be claiming for additional damages to make sure she's not financially worse off while c getting insurance over X number of years until she reaches the same bracket.

    While I'd be less that 100% over google as a method of identifying the parent, your lawyer would be best person to ask about that. Once you involve the press damage done and any leeway has gone, if you want to go down the extortion route you have to offer the mark the option to pay.....BEFORE you actually enforce the penalty (in this case the papers).

    shitter though.


  2. I sympathise Beej. Uninsured drivers are scum in my eyes, they are wreckless and cause untold damage to property and people with their actions. I would take them to the cleaners for putting them through so much stress. For sure, leverage your bargaining power by going to the newspaper and telling them about his uninsured daughters actions and his subsequent bully tactics against the female victim (your mother). He should know better, and can no doubt afford the damages anyhow! Tight git.


  3. It's not extortion pointing out what a politician does in his private life, unless you demand some recompense in payment for not making it public. I don't think that's what's being suggested?

    Politicians lives are necessarily public and a newspaper is fully free to look into the whole thing, satisfy themselves of the facts through their corroborative investigation and present it as a story which they can reasonable defend from legal standpoint. I don't think it's ethically wrong to do so either. In fact you could argue you have some obligation to make people aware of the true character of a public service person. Furthermore since there's no expression of regret on their behalf whatsoever, there's an ethical case for saying they should be brought to some sort of justice to ensure they don't do it again. Even if it's a rough justice rather than the actual law.

    Just ensure you don't run around off your own bat naming the guy and recounting the story because you can be personally liable then and the burden will be on you to prove you did not slander/libel, believe it or not.

    Reasonable chance you'd have success getting a newspaper to get onto this story too, they like this kind of thing sadly. It sells papers.


  4. I was expecting more references to the Mac10 in your response Lurks :-/


  5. I wouldn't recommend this course of action. The point is to get a win for your mum and her insurers. The courts, with so many independent third party witnesses should be more than competent for that.

    Raising this to a local paper runs the risk of sensationalising this beyond what sounds like an open and shut case. Don't mistake the pressure call to your mum to drop it with that. She made no binding obligation and while it's distasteful it is no longer in play. It might also severely piss off the magistrates or crown court, who will note it in a locality, that you have escalated it and raise many counter-claims even up to the claim of libel. The status of the bloke as a local councilor is really honestly neither here nor there and you are being over prickly in expecting 'higher morals' from them. Don't give him, or a court, a reason to grub out of it through unecessary escalation.

    As always in a dispute, the first purpose is to win. Leave it to the court and witnesses is my advice. The other course imho stands to diminish your chances of winning somewhere between somewhat and materially.

  6. Truth will out. --Shakespeare, c.1600If you're going to dismiss your own solicitor and represent yourself, you're either foolish, arrogant or both.If your daughter is also going to... hmmm.. fess up to an untruth in her witness statement on the stand, wellllllll, the odds aren't looking good either.So the man whose daughter did a hit-and-run on my Mum's parked car and refused to pay the insurance claim has lost. More than a year of stress later, and Tesco Insurance took him to court and he has 14 days to pay for the original damage in full, plus costs, expenses, the insurance excess of the defendent, mileage and one day of lost work (to 50GBP only) for the defendant. So he has to pay around 1000GBP... plus I imagine the costs of the Tesco solicitor, passed on to his insurer?If I was him, the local councillor paid with our taxes, I'd have swallowed my pride and paid for the damage. Rather than pressurise a single woman by phone, and rather than wasting hours of police time. Now his 21-year-old daughter has the court judgement on record, and that can't be good for mortgage applications and the like.But he wasted the court's time and the judge had none of it. We'll chalk this one up as a small victory for the common man :-)


  7. Chalk one up for the normal folks.

    Of course *now* you could go to the papers ;)

    Anyway, nice one. An adage that you are taught as a law school student is 'a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client'. If you put that together with the old Athenian principle that no-one who wants to stand for political office should be allowed to (because they will be at best less able than the best of society and at worse, power crazed fucktards) and the parenting skillz of this particular bloke, you've got a really top bloke.

    Shall we send him a Clan-App? :)


  8. We had a nightmare neighbour who ended up being a huge issue. Eventually landed in court. Guy decided to represent himself. Where he basically demonstrated he was an alcoholic sociopath with no real grounding in reality. Guilty. Turns out he had loads of previous. Into the slammer with him.

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