Legal advice.

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by John, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    So a van driver managed to reverse into my house.

    Damage looks superficial (probably struck at less than 10mph).

    Struck on the corner but the rear of the van was parallel with one wall of said corner so struck flat rather than at an angle onto the corner.

    My thoughts as this stage are structural engineer survey, obviously repairs to the damage and compensation for the hassle.

    I am considering involving the legal cover with my house insurance but just wondering what other people would do in the same boat, or have done in the same boat!
     
  2. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    Ouch sorry to hear this John. Glad no one was hurt though & the damage seems superficial.

    Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can answer the legal question. I hope it’s sorted without too much hassle.

    Abs
     
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  3. LTD

    LTD MB Club Veteran

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    Yep, one of THOSE !!!
    Just lodge a claim on your building insurance.
     
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  4. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    Sorry to hear this John. Definitely get a structural survey. My neighbour’s mother drove her Polo into the porch, but all walls remained standing and you had to really look to spot the damage.

    However the side wall of the porch pushed back rigidly without buckling, and in turn pushed the front face of the main house backwards, which in turn buckled the perpendicular interior wall, so much so that doors in that interior wall could not be opened (if closed) or closed (if open), and even lifted the oak floor.

    The net result was a whole new porch, whole new bay, large section of the front face rebuilt, interior wall rebuilt, new interior doors, and the oak floor had to be relayed in a very large portion of the house as the damaged pieces could not be matched. I think the staircase had to be repaired too.

    They lived in a hotel for four months as the house wasn’t safe to live in. But on the outside, and to the casual observer, it looked like the porch wall had been cracked. Fortunately the neighbour is a structural engineer. And even more fortunately it was covered by the insurance.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    So I got the structural survey done as part of my house insurance being involved. However, fortunately only cosmetic and they put the estimate to fix at £230.

    As my excess is £200, that would leave £30!

    So I declined to pursue.

    Instead, I am now in touch with the company's insurers who have asked me to email my losses.

    I have an estimate for the repairs now which is similar to the estimate.

    I know that insurance is there to put you back where you were before so would I reasonably be able to claim anything with regards to hassle, phone calls, annual leave day taken off for the structural survey?

    Or is it only likely that the repairs be approved?
     
  6. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    If you are 3rd party (i.e. not the policy holder), then yes you are entitled to reasonable and demonstrable costs.

    Your time for writing a letter is usually worth £20, for example. Then any postage or telephone calls, cost of surveyor (if you paid for it). Not sure about a day off work though, might be worth putting it in and see what they say.
     
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  7. Deano1972

    Deano1972 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Why are you not putting a claim in through his van insurance as it was his fault
     
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  8. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If you are claiming from the other party, then you are entitled to claim for any loss that you have suffered.
    If you have incurred losses over and above the cost of the immediate damage, and the losses have been caused by the negligence of the other party, then the other party is liable for all your losses.
    It is pretty clear that the losses are due to the other party's negligence, so my advice would be to claim for hassle, phone calls and the day you took off work ... Not to mention the cost of the structural survey.
    Whether the other party wishes to make a settlement with you thru their insurance or personally is up to him/her.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I've sent 2 emails so far, made probably 3 phone calls. Surveyor came from house insurance so cost nothing.

    I am - see middle line of post #5.

    My current thinking is to claim a nominal sum for hassle to include actual costs (I thought £100 as I am not one for taking the proverbial. Then to claim for a day of lost income due to wasting the day off. Structural survey costs nothing.

    I am already in touch direct with their insurance.

    If they refuse all but the cost of repair - where do I stand?

    No win no fee or take on a solicitor?

    I have legal cover with my house insurance.
     
  10. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    It might be considered bold asking for compo for a (paid) day off work particularly as the survet probably took very little time.
     
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  11. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's unlikely that the insurance company will reject your claim - if it is reasonable - and it sounds like it is.
    If they do stone-wall you, threaten to take their client to the small claims court.
    Their client pays his premium in order to indemnify him against "third-party" claims.
    They should pay up for a relatively-small claim.
     
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  12. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's not just the duration of the actual survey though, one has to include the waiting around because I sincerely doubt they arrived on the dot of an agreed time. Plus travel time from and back to work

    That can easily add up to half a day, and if that half is right in the middle of core working hours it is not necessarily unreasonable to write off the entire day.
     
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  13. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If the OP took a day of his "holiday entitlement" to deal with the consequences of someone else's negligence - Then that's a day of his entitlement that he can't use as "holiday".
    Claim for the lost day.
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    Yes, posts #11 / #12 / #13 echo my view point.

    Just an update for anyone else who has this fun in future or who really cares...

    I got a response from the third party insurers. They agree to the damage, they've asked further questions on the day off and have declined the inconvenience payment. I had a feeling they would.

    So I spoke to my house insurance legal advice bods.

    They basically stated that the whole thing is obviously not totally black and white.

    As the insurer has already agreed to pay for the damage, that is excluded from the situation now.

    The nominal sum for inconvenience to include any costs (I went with £100) is unlikely to be awarded although demonstrable costs would be (we're talking a couple of phone calls and emails here so not substantial in any case). Most of the nominal sum was for the hassle in all honesty.

    As for the day off (basically my salary after tax for one day - so £35,580,412.38), I would have to take the driver to a small claims court and his insurance would indemnify him as you state Johnsco.

    So I will see what they come back with on the day off - and in all honesty, I'd be happy with this covering the hassle factor too if they agree to it.

    I'm not going to pursue through a SCC for the inconvenience payment / phone call costs but if they refuse everything, I will negotiate with the SCC in mind.

    Thanks for the help folks, much appreciated.
     
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  15. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    Isn't this all a bit of a pantomime over a £230 cosmetic repair?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    Hmm, I can't see it being one of the classics in Christmases to come...

    "Oh yes it is... oh no it isn't!"

    Lol.
     
  17. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    He's behind you.

    Can you post a photo of the damage?
     
  18. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Do people claim for a day off work if say your car is being assessed for damage and you were waiting for an assessor? Or if you were claiming on your own home policy for any other building claim that wasn’t your fault.

    Never really thought about it until now.

    I guess it’s a pain wasting a day off if you had to wait about but I wonder what most other people do? :)
     
  19. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Having the insurer pay for a day off is unusual... it's not without logic, just that it's not one of those obvious/common things.

    I suppose in a SCC case it would not be unreasonable to claim this, but I would expect that when it comes to insurance claims, the insurers will opt to reject it in the first instance.
     
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  20. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If you go to the SCC (and you win), then your costs of the proceedings are added to your award.
    I've twice taken motoring cases to the SCC and twice I've won because the other party did not enter a defence.
    This is called a "default judgement".
    On neither occasion did I use a solicitor.
    It's not difficult.
     
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