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Car damaged by Bus sliding on ice, What chance have i to claim for my loss


Paul01207
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During the terrible winter we have in January 2010, an ombibus (Bus) collided with mine and a neighbours stationary legaly parked cars, after loseing control and slidding on black ice. This caused considerable damage to mine resulting in the esimate to repair out valueing the car its self, effectivley righting it off as uneconomicale to repair.

The Bus company at no point has admitted liability to this incident, and seems to direct blame to the local council for failure to grit the road surface.

I work for the same company as the driver involved in the position of psv driver.

I'll explain what happened: At 07:15 on Jan 13th an automatic service bus was traveling in service near to where i live. It entered a road called Delight Bank which as the name sujests is a bank with a steep gradient. After about 20 metres down the bank the bus left the road, (I persume it slid on black ice), and bumped up onto the pedestrian pavement and came to an abrupt stop in a snow drift.

The driver then contacted his control room via Telephone and reported what had happened.

For some reason after the phone call the driver made the dissission to continue down this steep gradient knowingly aware that it was covered in ice. He used the curb and the slighty thicker compacted ice to slow his decent, by bumping his tyre against the curb. He done this until the Bank bares to the left where mine and a neighbours car was parked, upon which he steered the bus to the centre of the road, but again lost control on the black ice and slid against the side of our cars at which point the bus became wedged up against them.

Facts, The driver was aware of ice on the road. The bus company had been notified by the local authority that the shortage of road salt ment that this stretch of road had not been gritted. The bus company failed to implement their own default plan to bypass this stretch of road in the event the council decided to not gritt this section.

Im trying to put a case together to claim for damages, I,ve had information from the council from freedom of information act. I,ve also received a lot of information from back channels from within the company. In the bus companys defence they are using case law, custins v nottingham corporation, where a lot of simularities exist, but the driver it that case brought the bus to a controlled stop, it was only then did it slide into the claiment. Also this was in 1970 in a bus with gears, long before mobern buses, and mobile phones.

But to be succsesfull i need to exstablish neglegence and a breach of duty of care. From my point of view as a professional driver i hope i would not of continued down the bank after the first incident.

Please any sejestions.

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You are clearly an innocent party in this incident, therefore you should claim against both the bus driver and the council and let them sort out between themselves who is responsible. How much is your claim worth? If it's over the small claims limit (£5000) then you should be able to get a 'no win no fee' solicitor to do the claim for you.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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The cars value was £2300 as of Glasses valueation guide in January. The damage including Vat has come to £2275, I will need to claim reasonable coraspondence and phone call costs £50 and may be 12 weeks x £70 for loss of use and pleasure of the verhicle.

The claim will not be taken up by no win no fee as the value of claim is so little.

This car was only insured 3rd party fire and theft, Im afraid im on my own on this one, although im certainly not afraid to issue proceeding, I just want to get it right and suceed in my claim. Possible examples of POC my be helpful, thanks for your replys

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Your claim will be against the Bus company who in turn may make a claim against the local authority.

 

The Bus company cannot defer liability as their driver was directly responsible for the damage caused to your and your neighbours vehicle.

 

The analagy is similar to being rear ended. You are at the front of the queue stationary. You get rear ended by the vehicle behind who in turn was rear ended by the vehicle behind them. You claim against the driver who hit you who in turn claims against the furthest rear driver for both your claim and their own.

 

A lot of law firms will not take on damage only claims because it is what is called Fastrack and fixed fees are involved, but as mentioned you can issue proceedings against the Bus company quite easily. The Bus driver will be the first defendant and the Bus company will be the second defendant.

 

You can claim back the cost of issuing proceedings as well as your reasonable costs.

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Is there a reason why you don't let your insurance handle it?

 

Just what I was thinking... isn't that what it's for?

 

Please Note

 

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Third party fire and theft insurance will not help if you want to claim damage to your own vehicle.

 

You should issue proceedings against both parties. Before you do that, you should send a letter before action to both parties setting out why you believe them to be responsible and exactly what you are claiming, with proof (photocopies only). If you've had correspondence from the bus company saying why they think the council is responsible, you can use that as part of your claim.

 

If you draft your particulars of claim (which you should do before you send the letter before action so you're sure you haven't missed anything), I'd be happy to proof read and suggest improvements if necessary. Remember to prove negligence you need to establish that the other party had a duty of care toward you - in the case of the bus driver, it's a general duty to other road users, in the case of the council it's a duty to keep the roads safe. Then you need to establish a breach of that duty as a result of which damage was caused, and finally you have to prove that it was 'reasonably foreseeable' that damage would be caused in that situation.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thanks reallymadwomen. I sent off a letter of claim in April followed up with 5 more letters to the companies claim handlers, as the company themsevles will not deal with it. It took this many recorded signed for letters for them even to reply. They basicly egnored me for 3 months. In the drivers accident report he failed to mention that he had came off the road earlier. This was probably to save his own skin. The company's internal investigation then found the driver not liable for the accident. Although because it was such a bad winter, a internal email was sent to all local managers from the Top managment, asking that a more lenient approach be taken against drivers for accidents involving ice. (I have a copy of this and other emails) I've asked that they keep hold off vital cctv evidence to show this earlier accident. I know this was downloaded from the 9 cctv camera's, One in the drivers cab, one one the front of the bus, another on the N/S O/S and rear, the rest internal camera's. Recentley by asking the driver himself, He has made a wittness statment in antisapation of my proceedings, in which he now discloses the fact he ran off the road earlier over a pavement into a snow drift and came to a stop, then making a phone call. Its my believe that he would have been coached of what to say, as he seemed quite smug now as to the incident. The company has an excess on their insurance of £250,000 or would pay my claim from profits. They are being represented by a law firm on a collective no win no fee, with a success priemium

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Just because the car is insured 3rd party/fire and theft should not negate the fact that your insurance company should still be able to "handle" your claim against the 3rd parties, it just means they will not be prepared to pay out any of their money to repair your car.

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