Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

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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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    My story...

    Driving home from work, ahead of me a significant hill with a side road on it. Getting speed up for the hill (I was in a Sherpa minibus - not great on hills!). Noticed car at the side road wanting to join main road. I was held up by car in front of me. Got to bottom of hill, car was still waiting to come out of side road. I was trying to go as fast as I could - and catching the car in front of me. By the time we got to the junction, I was almost on his bumper - as he turned off onto the side road. I looked up and the waiting car had just pulled out less than a car length in front of me and I hit the rear o/s door.

    No personal injury. I got his details and let him leave the scene. Police informed & attended. His excuse was that he thought I was going to turn off too. !!! My Dad came and we towed the van back home. Dad repaired it at a cost of 1760. Sent bill to other driver - who refused to pay. Got solicitor involved. Eventually sol got me an offer of 1250 and asked re his bill: 200 while I 'thought about' the offer.

    I left the area (180 miles). I met someone who said : forget sols - use the courts - so I did.

    I put a claim in for cost of repairs, loss of use, interest & sols fee totalling 2200

    His insurer wrote back asking for me to prove it was his fault. The next day, got another letter asking how much I wanted - clearly the firm had checked and realised it had already made an offer - hence had accepted fault.

    I got the 2200.

    That was my first case in the county courticon.

    My next case in the County Court was my solicitor suing me for his bill - which had miraculously now more than doubled to 420.

    However, a week before the hearing he withdrew his claim.

    I then reported him to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (now SRA) - so I didn't pay him and he got a bollocking from the OSS - re undisclosed conflict of interest - as he was advertising the oppo's insurance co !

    Conclusions:
    • Claim for all your losses - include loss of use & interest @ 8% (enforceable via the court)
    • Don't use lawyers, you just can't trust them
    • Do everything yourself
    • Communicate with the driver at fault prior to his insurance co
    • Involve the courts quickly - after warning other drive & ins co of deadlines you've set they've missed

    It's a bit of effort but I think well worth it.
    As for notifying your ins co. ? well, doesn't seem like a good idea does it !


  2. #42
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmailkeey View Post
    Also claim for 'loss of use' - this on top of hire car costs !
    Loss of use (of your car) is a perfectly acceptable head of claim but I suspect it is usually either loss of use or car hire. Of course you can have both if the car hire does not cover all the time you are without your own car. It's in the "gift" of the judge if it goes to court.


  3. #43
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmailkeey View Post
    My story...

    Driving home from work, ahead of me a significant hill with a side road on it. Getting speed up for the hill (I was in a Sherpa minibus - not great on hills!). Noticed car at the side road wanting to join main road. I was held up by car in front of me. Got to bottom of hill, car was still waiting to come out of side road. I was trying to go as fast as I could - and catching the car in front of me. By the time we got to the junction, I was almost on his bumper - as he turned off onto the side road. I looked up and the waiting car had just pulled out less than a car length in front of me and I hit the rear o/s door.

    No personal injury. I got his details and let him leave the scene. Police informed & attended. His excuse was that he thought I was going to turn off too. !!! My Dad came and we towed the van back home. Dad repaired it at a cost of 1760. Sent bill to other driver - who refused to pay. Got solicitor involved. Eventually sol got me an offer of 1250 and asked re his bill: 200 while I 'thought about' the offer.

    I left the area (180 miles). I met someone who said : forget sols - use the courts - so I did.

    I put a claim in for cost of repairs, loss of use, interest & sols fee totalling 2200

    His insurer wrote back asking for me to prove it was his fault. The next day, got another letter asking how much I wanted - clearly the firm had checked and realised it had already made an offer - hence had accepted fault.

    I got the 2200.

    That was my first case in the county courticon.

    My next case in the County Court was my solicitor suing me for his bill - which had miraculously now more than doubled to 420.

    However, a week before the hearing he withdrew his claim.

    I then reported him to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (now SRA) - so I didn't pay him and he got a bollocking from the OSS - re undisclosed conflict of interest - as he was advertising the oppo's insurance co !

    Conclusions:
    • Claim for all your losses - include loss of use & interest @ 8% (enforceable via the court)
    • Don't use lawyers, you just can't trust them
    • Do everything yourself
    • Communicate with the driver at fault prior to his insurance co
    • Involve the courts quickly - after warning other drive & ins co of deadlines you've set they've missed


    It's a bit of effort but I think well worth it.
    As for notifying your ins co. ? well, doesn't seem like a good idea does it !
    100% agree well done pmailkeey.


  4. #44
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Just to clarify a few points about some recent posts.

    Of course if a third party driver is at fault for an accident, then any legal action regarding liability is normally against them. Sometimes the third party is very helpful in assisting with a claim against their Insurance. This was the point of the original thread post. People are confused when they have a decision to make, when there are two choices. A third party Insurers willing to help with their claim or claiming against their own policy.

    BUT quite often the third party is not very helpful, even if they had admitted at the scene of an accident that it was their fault. On reflection the third party might decide that it was not 100% their fault. This is why it is so important to collect as much imformation as possible at the scene of an accident. Most people have a phone with a camera, so get taking as many pictures as possible. Not just taking pictures of your car damage, but also the third parties car, the road layout from both directions. If there are independent witnessess, see if you can get their contact information. Check for any CCTV or road traffic cameras at the location, as you might be able to get hold of any video footage. If anyone is injured or refusing to provide their details, then the Police should be called to attend. ( if you check your Insurance policy, there is normally information about what to do in the event of an accident).

    There will also be situations where the third party driver becomes uncontactable, but you have other vehicles registration number. Using Askmid, you can obtain the third parties Insurance details. You can just leave it to your own Insurers to handle your claim or you can make direct contact with the third parties Insurers. Where fault it is not in dispute, the third parties Insurers can decide to deal with your claim. Also it is possible to issue a court claim against the third party Insurers.

    Another point has been made about not advising your own Insurers of an accident. Firstly this is a breach of your own Insurance contract. Secondly, if a claim is paid out by a third parties Insurers, your own Insurers may get to find out about the accident via Insurance databases such as Claims underwriting Exchange (CUE). Thirdly, if you tried to avoid Insurers, there is a slight risk that a third party changes their mind after say a few months, that they were not at fault and that they have a personal injury claim they want to pursue. Not sure how your Insurers will feel about dealing with such a claim, if you did not want to involve them previously.


  5. #45
    Basic Account Holder pmailkeey Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Indeed - if there's the slightest chance they will claim it was partly your fault then your insurance needs to know.


  6. #46
    Basic Account Holder pmailkeey Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    Loss of use (of your car) is a perfectly acceptable head of claim but I suspect it is usually either loss of use or car hire. Of course you can have both if the car hire does not cover all the time you are without your own car. It's in the "gift" of the judge if it goes to court.
    From what I remember, no ! (Of course, things may have changed now.) A hire car may only serve the basic purpose and not have features you use - perhaps yours had a tow-ball and the hire car didn't - and what if it did - the reg on your trailer would be wrong - so the hire car cannot be assumed to be a complete alternative as it's so unlikely to be an exact match but more what an ins co gives you.


  7. #47
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by unclebulgaria67 View Post
    Just to clarify a few points about some recent posts.

    Of course if a third party driver is at fault for an accident, then any legal action regarding liability is normally against them. Sometimes the third party is very helpful in assisting with a claim against their Insurance. This was the point of the original thread post. People are confused when they have a decision to make, when there are two choices. A third party Insurers willing to help with their claim or claiming against their own policy.

    BUT quite often the third party is not very helpful, even if they had admitted at the scene of an accident that it was their fault. On reflection the third party might decide that it was not 100% their fault. This is why it is so important to collect as much imformation as possible at the scene of an accident. Most people have a phone with a camera, so get taking as many pictures as possible. Not just taking pictures of your car damage, but also the third parties car, the road layout from both directions. If there are independent witnessess, see if you can get their contact information. Check for any CCTV or road traffic cameras at the location, as you might be able to get hold of any video footage. If anyone is injured or refusing to provide their details, then the Police should be called to attend. ( if you check your Insurance policy, there is normally information about what to do in the event of an accident).

    There will also be situations where the third party driver becomes uncontactable, but you have other vehicles registration number. Using Askmid, you can obtain the third parties Insurance details. You can just leave it to your own Insurers to handle your claim or you can make direct contact with the third parties Insurers. Where fault it is not in dispute, the third parties Insurers can decide to deal with your claim. Also it is possible to issue a court claim against the third party Insurers.

    Another point has been made about not advising your own Insurers of an accident. Firstly this is a breach of your own Insurance contract. Secondly, if a claim is paid out by a third parties Insurers, your own Insurers may get to find out about the accident via Insurance databases such as Claims underwriting Exchange (CUE). Thirdly, if you tried to avoid Insurers, there is a slight risk that a third party changes their mind after say a few months, that they were not at fault and that they have a personal injury claim they want to pursue. Not sure how your Insurers will feel about dealing with such a claim, if you did not want to involve them previously.
    Excellent points UncleBulgaria but it is always the third party you sue because it is the third party not you who has the contactual realationship with his/her insurance company. It usually is the case that the insurance company will accept service of the court documentation and act on behalf of their client but the defendant is the insured not the insurer. The insurer will be financially liable unless they can find a "get-out" in which case it is the other party who is liable.
    Excellent advice otherwise.


  8. #48
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmailkeey View Post
    From what I remember, no ! (Of course, things may have changed now.) A hire car may only serve the basic purpose and not have features you use - perhaps yours had a tow-ball and the hire car didn't - and what if it did - the reg on your trailer would be wrong - so the hire car cannot be assumed to be a complete alternative as it's so unlikely to be an exact match but more what an ins co gives you.
    Yes good point. Whatever necessary expense you incur is claimable so if you have to hire a car with a tow hitch then it goes into the claim pot. Claiming loss of use for some convenience features e.g. built in satnav etc might prove an up-hill struggle unless you can show it was a necessary for you. You are however expected to keep claims to a reasonable level.
    Your good point demonstrated the necessity of keeping good records.


  9. #49
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    Excellent points UncleBulgaria but it is always the third party you sue because it is the third party not you who has the contactual realationship with his/her insurance company. It usually is the case that the insurance company will accept service of the court documentation and act on behalf of their client but the defendant is the insured not the insurer. The insurer will be financially liable unless they can find a "get-out" in which case it is the other party who is liable.
    Excellent advice otherwise.
    Please read this thread linked to, in regard to an EU law that can be applied.

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ance-Companies

    Until i was made aware of it, i had a similar opinion to yours.


  10. #50
    Basic Account Holder Aitken Brotherston Novitiate



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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by unclebulgaria67 View Post
    Please read this thread linked to, in regard to an EU law that can be applied.

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ance-Companies

    Until i was made aware of it, i had a similar opinion to yours.
    Interesting - I'd didn't know about that.

    Do you know if there is an equivalent UK statute? I guess it's a moot point whether you can sue the insured or the insurer provided the risk you are claiming against is covered. The difference would be if the risk was not part of the cover. In RTAs it almost certainly would be but it makes an interesting point.

    Thanks for the info - you live and learn.


  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    Interesting - I'd didn't know about that.

    Do you know if there is an equivalent UK statute? I guess it's a moot point whether you can sue the insured or the insurer provided the risk you are claiming against is covered. The difference would be if the risk was not part of the cover. In RTAs it almost certainly would be but it makes an interesting point.

    Thanks for the info - you live and learn.
    Many of these EU rules are just implemented via a statutory instrument, not an actual bill of Parliament. Bur i don't know which SI is relevant.

    The person who posted the EU rules deals with the legal side of things and would probably know more about it in terms of current usage,

    If you think about it, there is a logic to it. Say you had an accident, where the third party was at fault. The third party died a week later due to something unrelated or they left the UK. You were therefore denied the opportunity in suing the third party, but the third party Insurers were still the Insurers under RTA law. The third party Insurers would be the party responsible for dealing with the liability for the accident.


  12. #52
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by unclebulgaria67 View Post
    Many of these EU rules are just implemented via a statutory instrument, not an actual bill of Parliament. Bur i don't know which SI is relevant.

    The person who posted the EU rules deals with the legal side of things and would probably know more about it in terms of current usage,

    If you think about it, there is a logic to it. Say you had an accident, where the third party was at fault. The third party died a week later due to something unrelated or they left the UK. You were therefore denied the opportunity in suing the third party, but the third party Insurers were still the Insurers under RTA law. The third party Insurers would be the party responsible for dealing with the liability for the accident.

    Yes I guess there is some logic to it as the Insurance company would remain liable for the risk even if it were to the estate of the diseased person even if the insurance policy expired or was cancelled after the accident.

    I guess the best way to cover all eventualities would be to sue "joint and several" which means that all named parties would be liable for the whole of the claim, it only being shared if both parties are able to share the liability and pay. It's a nice catch-all.


  13. #53
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by unclebulgaria67 View Post
    Many of these EU rules are just implemented via a statutory instrument, not an actual bill of Parliament. Bur i don't know which SI is relevant.

    The person who posted the EU rules deals with the legal side of things and would probably know more about it in terms of current usage,

    If you think about it, there is a logic to it. Say you had an accident, where the third party was at fault. The third party died a week later due to something unrelated or they left the UK. You were therefore denied the opportunity in suing the third party, but the third party Insurers were still the Insurers under RTA law. The third party Insurers would be the party responsible for dealing with the liability for the accident.
    The main reason the EU brought it in was to make claiming against foreign registered car / foreign Insurer easier.

    As with most of the EU rules, they're to simplify cross border trade.

    It's also to make it easier for an innocent party to recover money for instance if the third party driver is untraceable or non responsive, it allows you to go directly against the Insurer.

    It also ties in with the MID database as it's now very easy to trace the Insurer of a vehicle even cross border


  14. #54
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dacouc View Post
    The main reason the EU brought it in was to make claiming against foreign registered car / foreign Insurer easier.

    As with most of the EU rules, they're to simplify cross border trade.

    It's also to make it easier for an innocent party to recover money for instance if the third party driver is untraceable or non responsive, it allows you to go directly against the Insurer.

    It also ties in with the MID database as it's now very easy to trace the Insurer of a vehicle even cross border
    This isn't really a political discussion but "as with most of the EU rules, they're to simplify cross border trade". Really? 126 pages of regulations to sell cabages. Simplify???

    Suing a foreign driver in a foreign registered vehicle insured by a foreign insurance company is likely to be something of an up-hill struggle. Of course, if the situation were reversed, anyone elsewhere in the EU suing a UK driver/insurance company would be given all possible assistance by authorities in the UK. Given other countries' propensity for adhering only to EU rules they like, I would not be confident of assistance in the other direction.

    I'm not sure if "joint and several" for co-defendants is available elsewhere in the EU but it is still the way to go in the UK.


  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    This isn't really a political discussion but "as with most of the EU rules, they're to simplify cross border trade". Really? 126 pages of regulations to sell cabages. Simplify???

    Suing a foreign driver in a foreign registered vehicle insured by a foreign insurance company is likely to be something of an up-hill struggle. Of course, if the situation were reversed, anyone elsewhere in the EU suing a UK driver/insurance company would be given all possible assistance by authorities in the UK. Given other countries' propensity for adhering only to EU rules they like, I would not be confident of assistance in the other direction.

    I'm not sure if "joint and several" for co-defendants is available elsewhere in the EU but it is still the way to go in the UK.
    Well said!


  16. #56
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aitken Brotherston View Post
    This isn't really a political discussion but "as with most of the EU rules, they're to simplify cross border trade". Really? 126 pages of regulations to sell cabages. Simplify???

    Suing a foreign driver in a foreign registered vehicle insured by a foreign insurance company is likely to be something of an up-hill struggle. Of course, if the situation were reversed, anyone elsewhere in the EU suing a UK driver/insurance company would be given all possible assistance by authorities in the UK. Given other countries' propensity for adhering only to EU rules they like, I would not be confident of assistance in the other direction.

    I'm not sure if "joint and several" for co-defendants is available elsewhere in the EU but it is still the way to go in the UK.
    Considering being able to sue the Insurer rather than the driver was brought in by the EU, it is available for a UK driver to sue an Insurer in another EU country.


  17. #57
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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dacouc View Post
    Considering being able to sue the Insurer rather than the driver was brought in by the EU, it is available for a UK driver to sue an Insurer in another EU country.
    Your fault for mentioning the EU.

    Straight bananas apparently


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    Default Re: Discussion thread - non fault accidents, who to claim from ?

    I had an accident on 1st October last year - completely and without question the other driver's fault, admitted by them and by their insurer. I went through my own insurance company mainly because I felt obliged to inform them and they just dealt with it all for me. I did receive correspondence from the at fault driver's insurer after I'd set this in motion offering to deal with it all and if they'd reacted a bit sooner I might well have chosen this route. However, my car was repaired, I had a replacement vehicle while it was off the road and the instructions to the repair shop from my insurer were that no excess was payable by me so all appeared seamless and I was delighted with the service. Fast forward a few months and I'm involved (through my insurer) in taking the other party to court because their insurer just won't pay up. They aren't questioning liability or the costs - they just won't pay. I feel sorry for the other driver. She's going to get the court claim documents in the next few days (in her name only) and I'd imagine she too thought this was done and dusted.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hightail View Post
    I had an accident on 1st October last year - completely and without question the other driver's fault, admitted by them and by their insurer. I went through my own insurance company mainly because I felt obliged to inform them and they just dealt with it all for me. I did receive correspondence from the at fault driver's insurer after I'd set this in motion offering to deal with it all and if they'd reacted a bit sooner I might well have chosen this route. However, my car was repaired, I had a replacement vehicle while it was off the road and the instructions to the repair shop from my insurer were that no excess was payable by me so all appeared seamless and I was delighted with the service. Fast forward a few months and I'm involved (through my insurer) in taking the other party to court because their insurer just won't pay up. They aren't questioning liability or the costs - they just won't pay. I feel sorry for the other driver. She's going to get the court claim documents in the next few days (in her name only) and I'd imagine she too thought this was done and dusted.
    If they're not disputing liability or costs they will surely settle as soon as the court papers land on their desk.
    Happened to me not so long ago.
    It's probably a company with poor adminicon practices and your file is lying at the bottom of a pile somewhere.
    It will be sorted when things get hot, don't worry.



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