Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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BAILIFFS - The Law and Your Rights

Written by John Kruse, one of the leading experts on Bailiff Law, this consumer friendly guide is essential reading for anyone who comes into contact with a bailiff.

The book is easy to understand and clearly explains the rights a bailiff has, and also what they cannot do when collecting debts and repossessing goods etc.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder flooz Novitiate

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    Default liability for damage to car in a private car park

    I'm not sure if there is anything that can help me or not, so thought I would pose the question here.

    5 days ago, while visiting my mum in a care home, someone decided it was perfectly ok to hit my car with theirs and leave without identifying themselves to me.

    This is a private car park, and there are no 'waiver' signs displayed. There were two cars parked by me when I originally parked, both had left when I left. Of course, I have no knowledge of anyone that had parked and left while I was there (only about 2 hours). (no cctv)

    Is there any liability of the company that owns the care home for the damage? Having thought about the various vehicles in and out (visitors, staff, deliveries, etc) it could be anyone I guess.

    Accidents happen, but I'm so angry that whoever did it, can't be honest enough to identify themselves


  2. #2
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Although you don't know who's responsible, you seem to want to get the care home to pay for your repairs? Doesn't seem right to me, unless it was their fault.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder flooz Novitiate

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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    I'm not saying it was the care homes fault, but the very nature of the business means there should be accurate records of who enters and leaves the premises, and therefore tracing the offender shouldn't be too difficult. However, there are no records at all, in which case I do feel that the home are not doing what they should be to protect both their residents and visitors to their property.

    And of course I could argue that is it right that I'm lumbered with a 500-600 bill when I wasn't even in the vehicle, and in no way contributed to the damage.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Is your car insured, flooz?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Quote Originally Posted by flooz View Post
    I'm not saying it was the care homes fault, but the very nature of the business means there should be accurate records of who enters and leaves the premises, and therefore tracing the offender shouldn't be too difficult. However, there are no records at all, in which case I do feel that the home are not doing what they should be to protect both their residents and visitors to their property.

    And of course I could argue that is it right that I'm lumbered with a 500-600 bill when I wasn't even in the vehicle, and in no way contributed to the damage.
    While I sympothize with you, I don't see why a care home (or anywhere else for that matter) should record avery vehicle entering/leaving their premises. They may have a record of everyone actually entering/leaving the building however, but that is hardly going to assit you unless there was CCTV available covering the car park. If i were you though, I would take a sly look round next time you are there and see if there is any corresponding damage to visiting vehicles.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Unless you can prove liability under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 its very unlikely they are at all liable. If your postman got assaulted in your front garden would you expect to get sued for his injuries?


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    Basic Account Holder flooz Novitiate

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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    HB - yes, my car is insured - it's a motability car. I have an excess to pay and it will also mean the loss of my 'good condition bonus' if I claim on the insurance. I haven't yet worked out what is going to be the most economical. My last car cost me a fortune, as it was vandalised 3 times - I guess I'm losing my faith in human nature a little.

    SS - I'd like to think that my Mum was in a secure environment (she has alzheimer's), I fully expected there to be cctv, but apparently there are human rights issues!! These are very vulnerable people and I think security is an important part of the business.

    I guess the 'care home' has touched sensitive parts (I hope that's not coming across as 'brash' on text type), but nevertheless, it is a business and a lucrative one at that (I know how much I have to pay for my mum to be there) - although that's not really the point. I'm just trying to find out who has what responsibilities. The two cars that I am aware were parked near to me, both have been contacted (without accusation - indeed one was an employee) and both have said that they have no damage and they didn't witness any damage to anyone elses car.

    I appreciate your replies.


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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Quote Originally Posted by green_and_mean View Post
    Unless you can prove liability under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 its very unlikely they are at all liable. If your postman got assaulted in your front garden would you expect to get sued for his injuries?
    I like your analogy, and do see your point.


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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    A wee bit of good news for you! You no longer lose the good condition bonus if you have an insurance claim! http://www.motabilitycarscheme.co.uk...&ObjectId=2740

    So it would just be the excess you would need to pay!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Oh, that's good news - and reading the article, it looks like I only just missed out when I handed my previous car back too! Mind you, I'll have to read it thoroughly as I can't see how that could be if, say, a poor driver was claiming for damage they'd done on a regular basis.

    I've been to the car home practically every day since the incident (5 days ago), whereas I normally only go twice a week, so I am ever hopeful that I may find the offender. But there again, there are deliveries, taxis, etc that aren't regular callers, and of course, the longer it goes on, the higher chance of the other vehicle being repaired. There's enough damage for it to be impossible for the other vehicle not to be aware of the incident (it's not just a 'scuff'), I think i'm more miffed that someone just couldn't be honest enough to leave their details, and the home doesn' keep accurate logs of visitors. As I said to someone today about the lack of security, thank goodness it was only a dented car that's the issue and not something against one of the residents!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    It's just part of owing a car unfortunately.

    Liability waiver signs in car parks are pretty meaningless, but in this case I don't see how the car park owner would be liable for anything.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Thanks AI27 (not sure if that's AI 27 or A127 ;-). I'm not sure but I've a nagging thought in the back of my mind that regardless of signage in any carpark, if negligence can be proved then liability is generally accepted. However, proving negligence is a minefield in itself! I'm very trusting and naive of people, I guess because in an incident like this, I would ALWAYS leave my details, I find it difficult to understand someone that doesn't. I'm not having a good time of late, and this was the 'final straw' so I'm probably feeling a bit indignant. Aside from that, at least I've found out that I'm not happy about security of where my Mum is having to live! But that will be another story.....


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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    They could be liable in one of three key ways, contract tort or statute.

    Frankly I don't think you have much hope of proving any of them. Your best bet, as has been pointed out is to try and find matching damage on another car.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie_the_Bolt View Post
    They could be liable in one of three key ways, contract tort or statute.

    .
    Thanks Bernie - I don't understand any of that, lol.

    I keep threatening to camp out in the car park until I do find the culprit, but as usual, I'm all 'mouth' ;-)


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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Quote Originally Posted by flooz View Post
    Thanks Bernie - I don't understand any of that, lol.

    I keep threatening to camp out in the car park until I do find the culprit, but as usual, I'm all 'mouth' ;-)
    Contract: eg you show that the car park service provider had agreed to take care of your vehicle, that agreement was lawful, and the failed to meet the terms of that agreement causing you loss.

    Tort: eg You show that the loss you sustained was as a result of the car park service provider's negligence.

    Statute: You show that the loss you suffered was as a result of the breach of an obligation created by statute (laws passed by parliament) by the car park service provider and that as a result they are liable to you.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: liability for damage to car in a private car park

    Quote Originally Posted by Al27 View Post
    It's just part of owing a car unfortunately.

    Liability waiver signs in car parks are pretty meaningless, but in this case I don't see how the car park owner would be liable for anything.
    Unless they use the usual (and stupid) "Cars parked at owner's liability( or risk)" - which has been successfully argued in Court to be so imprecise that it was held to mean the owner of the car park as they posted the notice.



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