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Temporary diversion sign blown into my car - Can I claim using MCOL?


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Hi,

 

I have just signed up to this website, hoping to get advice on a problem I’ve recently experienced.

 

Sorry... it’s a long one......

 

On a very windy day in June I was driving to a garage to get my car MOT’d when a temporary diversion sign was blown into the side of my car, scraping 2 doors and the rear wheel arch.

I took several photos of the scene which clearly show that there were no sandbags holding down the diversion signs.

 

Thinking it was a Council sign, I contacted the local Council who sent one of their Highway Department people to check the site, the visit took place 5 days after my incident. The Highways dept. reported back to me that the diversion sign was the responsibility of the local water authority (Southern Water) the Highways guy took several photos which he kindly passed on to me, these also showed that there were no sandbags anchoring the diversion sign.

 

So I got onto Southern Water. After 4 weeks (took several nudges) they told me the diversion sign was the responsibility of one of their contractors ‘Morrison Utilities’.

 

So I got onto Morrison Utilities. Morrison Utilities wrote to me to stating that they don’t accept liability. They suggested that I contact my insurers to remedy the situation.

 

Well by this time...

(1) It is now past the 30 day limit my car insurers allow for incidents to be reported.

(2) I am irritated by Morrison Utilities response:mad2:. It seems to me that this is their fault?

 

If I had contacted my insurers then they would undoubtedly increase the insurance premiums on my car, my wife’s car (I am named on the policy), and my motorcycle.

 

According to this government document it appears that the use of sandbags on temporary signage is mandatory:

practicalguidetostreetworks.pdf

(I can't post the link to it as I haven't made 10 posts yet - but it can be googled.)

 

If I get my car repaired (cost will be about £500) would I be able to claim this back using MCOL?

 

Any suggestions and advice would be helpful please!

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You need to issue a Letter of Claim first, by recorded delivery, stating that you have reason to believe MU were responsible for the safety of the site in question, and were negligent in not doing all that was reasonably practicable (using your document any anything else official that you can find, particularly HSE Approved Codes of Practice) to secure the safety of the site to the public for the prevailing conditions, and that this failure allowed the wind to blow a sign into the path of your car in such a way that you could not safely avoid it, and that this caused £X of damage to your car as demonstrated by enclosed copy receipts. Include all relevant information that you intend to rely on in your claim.

 

Offer them 28 days to settle the damage, failing which you will issue a claim in the County Court for damages plus your reasonable costs (MCOL fee plus your time at a prescribed hourly rate, or possibly more if you are losing otherwise paid time to do this).

 

Since the first course of action of most companies is to deny liability, your first response from them comes as no surprise. When they see that you're serious, they might admit liability and try to negotiate.

 

Or they might call your bluff, deny liability again or just ignore you, and wait for you to file your claim so they can enter a defence.

 

At this point they can also demand any evidence you intend to rely on, and you must provide it quickly. Hopefully you have strong evidence that they were responsible for the site, because otherwise your claim is weakened.

 

It's a pity you didn't get your insurer to do all this because for a no-fault claim, your premium would not have changed much, although I understand your fears as they all too frequently don't do their job properly!

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Hi

 

I also think you need to bear in mind that Southern Water have passed the buck here to "THERE" contractor morrison utilities note the there contractor so ultimately its Southern Waters problem to sort this with contractor not you.

 

Formal Complaint to Southern Water is in order and cc it to morrison utilities ( you didnt contract morrision utilities to carry out that work southern water did).

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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maramaris30,

Comprehensive answer, thank you.

I hadn't thought about claiming for my time. Is there a 'standard' hourly rate quoted for this? I'm guessing this would be for 2 or 3 hours at most.

 

If MU disputed the claim and it went to county court then I would need to take time off work, would I be able to claim for this, if so how - since the time taken would not be known at the time of the MCOL application so I wouldn't be able to state a number of hours.

 

Stu007

I have spoken to Southern Water and they seem to have no interest in the matter. Good idea about a formal complaint, I guess it can’t do any harm.

 

Cheers

Alan

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BUMP

 

Still curious...

 

Is there a 'standard' hourly rate for hours spent getting my car fixed, and claiming? I'm guessing this would be for 2 or 3 hours at most.

 

If MU disputed the claim and it went to county court then I would need to take time off work, would I be able to claim for this, if so how - since the time taken would not be known at the time of the MCOL application so I wouldn't be able to state a number of hours.

 

Thanks

Alan

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Hi knobbly

 

Welcome to CAG

 

The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.

 

Please let us know how your problem has been resolved, it could help fellow Caggers.

 

Thread has been moved to the correct (insurance) forum.

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Touching on what has been said already. This will be a claim against the contractors who will no doubt pass it to their PL insurers although I suspect they have a min of a £250 property damage excess so may well deal with this in house.If they deny liability then the only course of action is to put the claim in writing with copies of the photographs keeping the originals and give them 15 days to respond. If they still say no then it is best to try a no win no fee solicitor to act for you. It might be worth checking if the motor insurer will still deal with the claim as they will then take up action against the contractor but again I suspect there is some sort of policy AD excess. I doubt if the insurer would load a premium for a £500 claim and you may have protected NCB. Also if they have sold you an uninsured loss recovery legal expenses cover which he may be able to use. Also any legal cover under his house insurance policy who could help.

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A few things...

 

Firstly, you need to issue a letter of claim. The courts ould frown if, after 28 days and no response you issued straight away. It is the norm to allow them 90 days from 1st acknowledging your first contact with them....

 

You will not get an hourly rate for your time in preparing the claim. This would only apply to solicitors regulatd by the SRA. You could claim miscellaneous inconvenience costs - postage, telephone calls, etc. I would try £25 for this. With regards to taking your car to a garage you could try that, but I have ever heard of anything being paid out for this.

 

You haven't actually said why they deny liability. Regarding stu007's comments this is incorrect. You do not have a contract with Southern Water, so they have no duty to you.

 

On your letter of claim state, if liability is to be denied you require the Risk Assessments for the works carried out by them, the training records of the people ho installed the signs, the accidnt report form / investigation form / near miss form, and details of all similar accidents whilst the work was being carried out.

Abbey - owed £3260 - Paid up.

 

Barclays owed £2500 - Paid up.

 

Halifax, Mint & Egg - next on the hit list

 

Dont click on the scales - I'm quite proud of my little red dot! - As the little red dot has gone - click away!!!!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi knobbly

 

I know it has been a year since your post, but I have got a similar situation with a Morrison Utilities sign and wondered how you got on.

 

thanks

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Hi knobbly

 

I know it has been a year since your post, but I have got a similar situation with a Morrison Utilities sign and wondered how you got on.

 

thanks

 

Hi karches,

It got a bit more complicated... I sent Morrison a letter of intent (think that's what it is called) explaining my intended course of action (small claims court). I sent this to their local hq and their national hq. I received a letter from their national hq almost immediately stating that they had further sub contracted the work to CLC utilities.

So I wrote the same style letter to CLC who wrote back explaining that they could not see how my explanation could possibly have happened. I thanked them for their response and explained that it really did happen that way. No response so I filed a SCC (MCOL) against CLC.

No response until the day before judgement when they coughed up the repair bill + court cost.

So, yes it was long winded but I got all my money back and without too much effort. I'd definitely do the same again.

 

Hope that helps? I'm tapping this in on my phone, sitting on a campsite in Henley on Thames, with a beer in my hand - if I can help further please ask.

Alan

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Hi knobbly

 

Thank you for the update and glad you eventually got this settled after the run around you were given.

 

Do you want me to mark your thread title "SETTLED"?

 

I would also like to say thank you to the caggers that came in to give you advice.

 

well done

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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