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Car accident, legal aid won't go to court.

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Hi,

My son had an accident in his car, he was slowing down to stop behind another car at a mini roundabout, the car behind hit him and pushed him into the car infront.

The driver of the car at the back admitted it was his fault as a child in the car was distracting him, now my son's error was the driver of the car infront said he doesn't need his details the the driver of the rear car was to blame, and my son never got his details.

We have legal aid with the RAC, we rang them and was told to leave it with the insurance unless there was a problem, now the driver of the rear car is saying my son hit the car infront first(or his insurance is).

The driver of the first car has not come forward, we contacted the RAC who got him a solictior, they told him they would deal with the case because my son had his girlfriend with him and they thought it would be enough to convince a judge.

Now after several months the solicitors have just rang to say they don't think it's worth going to court and so are dropping the case.

My son is £300 out of pocket with his access and will lose some if not all his no claims.

What can we do? Should we go back to the RAC, or can we take the driver to court ourselves.

 

Thanks.

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insist to them that you are willing to go to court, thats what you pay insurance for !

 

I assume the car insurance has legal aid which you put as extra?

 

if so , insist

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You CANNOT insist that your insurer take anybody to Court, if they have the details of the responsible party (ie the one who drove into the back of you) it is up to them as to whether of not it is worth taking to Court. If they decide not to there will be a good reason for that decision (usually economic).

 

What you can do is to issue a County Court Summons yourself against the responsible party, you would claim for your excess and any other uninsured losses. If you do decide to do that then informiing your insurers would be a good idea because they might want to include their costs at teh same time, which if successful would then reinstate your no claims bonus.

 

It doesn't matter that you don't have the details of the car in front (the one you were shunted into), that driver would claim from the person who hit you, if they try to claim off your insurers they would be so directed anyway.

 

Mossy

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Thanks for the replies, we don't have legal aid with the insurers, it's a seperate policy with the RAC, it says up to £100,000 legal aid, should we expect that? Or is it a case that if they don't know if we'll win they can just pull out, so making the policy a bit of a waste of time.

The driver of the front car has not come forward, that's the problem as he would have been the proof we needed.

Also a passing police car stopped but as no one was injured he never got involved, apart from directing the traffic, my son got in contact with him as he was sure he was present when the drivers was discussing the accident, but the officer said he doesn't know anything(the great british police).

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The driver in front is not really any use to you, all he could confirm is that your car shunted into the back of him, but he is not in a position to confirm that the driver behind you shunted you into him. Unless of course he was in a position to witness the impact between you and the car behind you (which from what you describe I seriously doubt).

 

Ask the RAC what they are covering you for, you might find that it's an unisured loss recovery scheme, if so get them to recover your excess etc.

 

Mossy

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Legal Aid and ULR are very different things - you cannot force your insurer to go to court because their contract has agreed to indemnify any damages you take, and it is up to them to decide whether they wish to recover any of these costs. But Legal Aid is a separate section, and underwritten differently. It's not a part of an insurance contract per se, rather a benefit. Check the terms and conditions of your legal aid cover to find out what rights you have.

 

 

 

What exactly are the other driver's insurers trying to claim? It seems to me that you had 2 areas of damage - to the rear of your car where the driver behind hit your car, and to the front of your car where you were shunted into the car in front.

 

Now the other insurer can do nothign about the damage to the rear of your car, the driver behind should have left enough space to stop. However they may be claiming that the damage to the front of the car (solely) was caused by your son, and not by the shunt. This is a trickier situation to prove.

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The cover I've got is "RAC Legal Care" here's a link:http://www.rac.co.uk/library/pdfs/LC_terms_and_conditions.pdf

 

I'll try to make it clear, at the scene the rear driver admitted hitting my son and pushing him into the front car, now his insurers(we don't know if the driver is saying this or just his insurers) are saying my son already hit the car infront and are only responsable for the rear damage.

The car has been repaired, his excess was £600 but the rac legal care got £300 back, so my son is £300 down and his insurance will go up, and be dearer for several years.

"Wulfyn" your right this is the problem, if the front driver came forward he would be the witness, but he has not, the RAC said at first they thought we had a good chance of winning and would take the rear driver to court, but now after several months we got a phone call on Friday to say there not going ahead.

My son's girlfriend was in the car but it seems she may not be a good enough witness.

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Ok, so their insurers are trying to get out of paying the whole thing, and in doing so is passing some of the cost onto your son. And I am assuming that it really makes little to no difference whether your son paid for 1 damage or both as it is above his excess and will cause his premiums to go up.

 

 

Gotcha, so having a look through the RAC policy document it seems to be just about the worst Legal Care cover I have seen as it provides almost no legal cover at all (up to £5,000 if you are taken to a magistrates court).

 

However RAC are underwritten by Aviva, so you might want to post this in the Aviva section as they will be able to answer your questions more specifically.

 

 

Frankly I think calling this legal care is taking the ****. The £100,000 legal aid they claim to cover is just a ULR section. They've also tagged in a hire car cover section too. The underwriter who came up with this needs to be shot.

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Ok I've been on to the solicitors appointed by the RAC, and they tell me that without the guy from the front car, they have not got proof as a judge will not see my sons girlfriend as independent.

I asked the solicitors why they can't take the guy from the rear car to court, they told me it was illigal, they can only take his insurers to court?

After a bit of discussion they told me they would go to court,--If I paid!! LOL.

It's still not clear if the guy from the rear car is lying, or his insurers trying to get out of paying for the front damage.

 

So is our only option to take the guy from the rear car to court?

 

If so then how do I go about it?

The aggro, effort and cost make it not worth it, but I feel it's the right thing to do, and so I want to go ahead.

 

Any help appreciated,

 

Thanks.

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What your solicitor has told you about not been able to take the driver of the car behind you to Court is totally wrong.

 

In reality HE IS THE ONLY person they can take to Court, not his insurers. The person behind you was responsible, any summons is issued against him, his insurers then indemnify him and either defend it or pay in.

 

I suggest you change your solicitor, or maybe check that they are actually qualified, and perhaps also check that you were actually speaking to a solicitor and not the office cleaner.

 

Mossy

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I know your not supposed to address the defendant if its made clear they have an insurance company/solicitor acting for them.

 

However when I've issued against a defendant I always serve the papers on the defendant and insurer/solicitor to ensure at least one of them gets the papers.

 

 

The front driver isnt applicable... alll claims should be directed to the rear driver. Within reason all rear end shunts are normally fault accidents.

 

If they cant issue on the basis of this then I'd change solicitors.

Have they asked for repair documentation to your vehicle which would proove your were shunted by the driver behind you and would clarify whether you did go into the driver in front of you.

 

If you have gone into the driver in front then the driver who went into you could still be held liable as he shouldve allowed adequate braking distance.

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I've not made this clear, I'll try again.

The driver of the rear car admits the rear damage, his insurers paid for the damage, and my son got £300 of the £600 excess back.

The problem is the driver or his insurance will not admit the front damage. this was repaired and paid by my son's insurance, so my son is £300 down due to the excess, and will lose 3 years no claims.

The solicitors said because the driver of the front car has not come forward, they don't think they would win in court, as their's no independent witness.

 

So I want to take the rear driver to court, is this possible?

 

Thanks

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