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denis747

Accident witha dog on the motorway

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Hi all, I recently had the misfortune of a stray dog jumping in front of my car, whilst the car was at 70 miles per hour, with no room or time, whatsoever, to maneuver to avoid it.

 

The dog appeared from the crash barrier guards, literally about 3 meters in front of the car and jumped onto the path of the car. I looked to my left, there was a car, so I couldn't swerve left, to the right was the crash barrier so couldn't swerve right.

 

I instinctively, slammed on the foot brake, but at 70 mph all you get is the ABS preventing wheel lock and you cannot stop within that distance. The inevitable happened, almighty bang, severe vibration as the dog was dragged under for a few seconds until it managed to pass under the car, I eventually came to stop as I was on emergency brake and looked at the rear view mirror and the dog was dead.

 

Where I was stopped I saw cars swerving dangerously to avoid the dead dog and my car so I moved over onto the left lane then onto the hard shoulder where I stopped. I called the police.

 

My car has serious damage, broken left head lamp/indicator unit, damaged bumper, leaking radiator, broken, hence, leaking power steering cooler, damaged aircon condenser(aircon radiator) and bent frame behind the bumper and registration plate damaged.

 

I am without a car now as I managed to drive it home but now all power steering fluid and coolant has leaked and radiator fans won't turn as they are jammed against the radiator. The police managed to trace the dog's owner as the dog was chipped and the police gave me the dog's pet insurance details - direct line pet insurance.

 

The police said I was lucky as it could have been worse and it was good I didn't swerve as that would caused a very bad accident on the motorway. Now, I called direct line pet insurance a few days ago to claim for the damage on my car and they are telling me that I cannot talk to them directly because I am not their customer, should they do that?

 

They are saying that I should either, contact the dog's owner so that the dog's owner contacts them or claim from my insurance so that my insurance claims from them.

 

The dog's owner is liable here as the dog shouldn't have been running astray on the motorway and I don't want to claim from my insurance as it is not my fault and if I do I will have to pay £600 excess. What should I do? Is direct line's pet insurance division trying to be difficult so that they don't pay?

Edited by citizenB
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What a horrid thing to happen.

 

It is my understanding that the "at fault" party will be responsible for your excess as well.


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Thanks citizenB. They will but I will have to initially pay excess if I claimed from my own insurance, and I think I will have to later chase the "at fault" party to pay me back the excess. Dog's owner must be still sad about the unfortunate death of their dog so I feel awkward contacting them directly asking them to pay and I assume they expect their pet insurance to cover them and that is why they gave the details but their pet insurance doesn't want to deal with me.

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I think that you will have to contact the owner. If you try to do things through their insurers, it will take a lot of time anyway because the insurer will want statements from the owner etc.

In fact there is no quick fix here. It is going to take time - and the only way to hurry things is to take legal action in the county court - but which is a bit of a shame if everyone is behaving cooperatively.

 

If by some chance, the owner is uncooperative then you could sue the insurers directly instead. They won't like it - and in fact they won't think that it is possible. In fact, I don't expect that it has happened before - but I think that you can sue them, under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

It would be a bit of an experiment and if the claim was bigger than the small claims limit - presently £5000 you might prefer to be patient.

However, if the owner was uncooperative, it would be easier to sue the owner.

There is no reason to lose your excess - but beware of your own insurer which probably won't want to move things along as quickly as you would probably like


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Yes, I imagine they are devastated.. and it is decent of you to be considering their feelings.. I am advised, that you must contact your insurers - it is up to them to deal directly with the owner and their insurers. Point out to your insurers that you are also wanting the excess claimed as well.

 

I am sure others will see your thread and hopefully they will know if there is any other way round this.


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thanks all for the help. Luckily I am good with DIY fixing of cars as I always service, maintain and repair my car myself. I am using my friend's car to go to work at the moment as he is away on holiday and left me with his car to look after i.e start the engine up from time to time. The thing is my friend will be back soon so I am thinking of just going ahead and repairing my car myself and taking evidence photos along the way and keeping all receipts of replacement parts. Fixing it myself will be much less costly than the £600 excess, that I would have to pay upfront, if I claimed from my own insurer. I know the insurance claim from the liable party will be painfully slow, and I could be left without a car to go to work. In the event that they tried to drag their feet, I understand that I have a time limit of 6 years to claim for damages i.e property damage not medical, is that right?

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The fact that you have had an RTA is a material fact that you should advise your insurers of irrespective of if you intend to claim through them or not.

If you want to "do it yourself" then you should get 3 estimates for repair and send them to the dogs owners with a covering letter outlining details of the incident (date times location and what happened) and which of the estimates you intend going for. You can also request in the letter that the correspondence should be passed to their insurers to deal with and if you don't receive a satisfactory response within 14 days, you will be seeking legal advice.

Their insurers should reply with their agreement to proceed but they probably won't pay direct and you will have to pay to get the work done and then submit the invoice to the insurers. That is if they accept the claim without a problem but may well try and wriggle out of it in which case you will have a protracted negotiation on your hands getting the insurers to deal with it.

Alternatively you can get your insurers to deal with it which would be simpler, quicker and easier. Do you have any legal expenses cover with your motor insurance as if you do, they should sort out recovering the excess for you.

If you do now decide to deal with your own insurers, they may not be happy that you have made contact direct with the other party and any delay in reporting the incident to them could prejudice your position.

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I agree with Northernpug. As you have the dog owner's details, I would simply get your insurer's to deal with it. I'm not so surer you could by pass the dog's owner by suing his/her insurers directly. At the end of the day, it is dog owner's responsibility to 'activate' his insurers involvement so in my opinion should any legal action be necessary, it should initially aimed at the dog owner.

 

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.


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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I have already notified my insurer but I told them that I am not claiming from them and that I will claim from the "at fault" party myself. I don't have legal cover on my own insurance cover but I could include it for an extra of only £2.50 a month.

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It may be a good idea to speak to the Legal Expenses Insurer and see if they will deal with the incident for you. They may help in recovering all your losses, not just the excess.

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I have already notified my insurer but I told them that I am not claiming from them and that I will claim from the "at fault" party myself. I don't have legal cover on my own insurance cover but I could include it for an extra of only £2.50 a month.

 

But you wouldn't be 'claiming from them', you would be getting them to claim of the dog owner or the dog owner's insurers. I am assuming that you have fully comp insurance so as such, you should let them deal with it. Not sure that you even need legal cover either as it's pretty much an open and shut case as far as liability is concerned.

 

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.


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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If you dont wish to your insurers to claim. then you have no otrher option to write to the dog owner holding them responsable and enclose estimates for the repair ( whether you are going to use them or not and do it yourself ) or even a pro-forma invoice, for the work. and ask them to settle forthwith directly or through any houshold insurance they may have. give them 14 days to respond or you will consider court action to recover your casts.

You can include for all your out of pocket expenses including a hire car.

you must mitigate any costs though and only include reasonable costs.

You are the injured party and they are responsable for the situation you are in and pay for compensation.

May take a bit of time though.

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