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serious accident due to insurance companies negligence


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I need some advice for what steps i should take in pursuing my insurance company for high risk of loss of life due to negligence.

 

 

I will be vague on the dates/times/full details due to this potentially being a high profile case.

 

a few months back i had an accident and damaged my car.

No other parties were involved just myself.

The insurance company did the usual protocol and recovered the vehicle and sent it off to garage

 

 

1. Garage 1 quoted the repairs and carried them out,

on collection of my car i noticed the steering was not correct and

there was a loud knocking noise from the engine bay.

I was told the car was fine by the garage and that it was just my suspension hitting the bottom of my car

and as for the steering it was just due to camber in the road.

 

I was not satisfied with this and believed there to be more to it

i contacted my insurers and complained and they contacted garage 1

and they responded that the car was fine.

 

 

i insisted an independent assessor comes to look at my car and

he agreed that there was serious issues with my steering and a knocking sound was indeed present

and not caused by the suspension.

 

 

Garage 1 then had no choice but to take the car back and rectify the issues.

Garage 1 wasn't able to find the fix for the issues

they paid for it to be taken to a main Dealership for my model of car,

let's call it Garage 2.

 

Garage 2 were instructed to correct the steering issues and investigate this knocking sound,

when i collected my car back from Garage 1 the steering was fine and no longer caused any issues.

But the knocking sound was still present.

 

 

I drove it for maybe 2 weeks before this knocking sound turned into a shunting sound like something was moving around.

I contacted my insurance company and notified them that this issue still persists and is intact getting worse.

They instructed that i could take it back to Garage 1 and get them to investigate but

i had lost faith in them and insisted it goes back to Garage 2 (the main dealer)

 

My insurance company said this was fine so i took it back to Garage 2 and

they had a quick inspection and said there is something wrong with the car

but without being booked in for a full inspection and paid for they can't investigate further.

I asked at this point if it was safe to drive and he said he couldn't say for sure if it was.

 

 

i went back to my insurers and told them of this information and

their response was it is a weekend and we can't do anything until monday,

i reminded them of the fact that i've been told the car may not be safe to drive

and they again insisted there's nothing they can do.

 

monday came and went and still no contact from my insurance company,

i then called again the following week and insisted it's getting worse and worse by the day.

They said i could take the car to Garage 2 and pay for the inspection fee myself

and if they feel this issue arose from the original accident they would refund me,

but only if they accepted the price quoted for the repairs by the garage.

 

 

I couldn't afford to pay this expense and risk losing out on the inspection fee

and my insurance company just seemed disinterested to help me.

 

Another week passed with no follow up call and

i once again contacted them and let them know this issue is now worsening and i need to get it fixed.

They just repeated what they said before and i got frustrated and ended the phone call abruptly.

 

Now to the serious part.

 

 

I was travelling along a dual carriageway at approx 65mph and all of a sudden something shifted

and a loud bang/pop/crack occurred and my steering was thrown to the right in full lock almost instantaneous,

i then hit the central reservation and flew through the air and bounced along for about 30metres or so down the carriageway.

 

 

I am not seriously injured, just bumped and bruised from the impact, no one else was involved.

The car is an absolute wreck and i've had 20+ friends/family question how the hell i am still alive from looking at the wreck.

 

where do i stand in terms of pursuing my insurance company for negligence?

the risk of loss of life was so great and it's thanks to my cars safety features i am here typing this.

 

 

I believe this to be a mechanical failure due to negligent repairs,

i have proof of all the calls, repairs carried out and problems that i've notified them of.

 

any help/advice would be appreciated.

 

 

I can supply more details if needed as there may be gaps in my story.

 

thanks

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Firstly, I'm glad you're OK, it sounds like a horrific crash.

 

If Garage 1 caused the fault and you have evidence to that effect, you should be able to pursue sue your insurers for negligence - your claim would be restricted to any losses you can itemise (costs of repair or replacement vehicle, time off work, storage costs etc) along with an amount for pain and suffering - which will be based on the extent of your injuries.

 

Unfortuntately, you can't claim for any 'possible' injuries, so the fact that the crash could have been much worse is legally irrelevant.

 

I also think that the insurers will argue in their defence that you chose to drive a vehicle which may have been unsafe, they weren't wrong to say that you need to pay to get the car inspected and claim it back if it was related to the original accident.

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Firstly, I'm glad you're OK, it sounds like a horrific crash.

 

If Garage 1 caused the fault and you have evidence to that effect, you should be able to pursue sue your insurers for negligence - your claim would be restricted to any losses you can itemise (costs of repair or replacement vehicle, time off work, storage costs etc) along with an amount for pain and suffering - which will be based on the extent of your injuries.

 

Unfortuntately, you can't claim for any 'possible' injuries, so the fact that the crash could have been much worse is legally irrelevant.

 

I also think that the insurers will argue in their defence that you chose to drive a vehicle which may have been unsafe, they weren't wrong to say that you need to pay to get the car inspected and claim it back if it was related to the original accident.

 

I agree with this. You do seem to have a case against garage 1 and can also involve the Insurers if they are the Insurers authorised repairers. However, you did drive the car knowing it had a fault.

 

You had an independent assessor come out and they said the car had a problem, yet you were still driving it. You should have stopped driving it and allowed garage 1 the Insurers authorised repairers to carry out a proper inspection at the Insurers cost. The car needed to be taken apart for a full inspection.

 

Garage 1 and the Insurers would defend any action you took against them. If you went to the FOS, I think they would be as useful as a chocolate teapot in a case like this. If you want to take appropriate action, you will need to see what Solicitors would take on your case. I doubt it would be no win no fee, but you can ask what options there are.

We could do with some help from you.

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My issue is i work away Monday to Friday 130miles away from my home address, so it makes it very hard for me to get it sorted. I had no choice but to still drive my car as i have to get to and from work or i can't pay my bills.

 

I was informed by Garage 1 that the car was repaired and the knock was the suspension bottoming out. I'm not a mechanic so i can only believe what they told me. I was not told that i shouldn't drive the car at any point otherwise i wouldn't have driven it, i was told by the mechanic at Garage 2 that he can't guarantee it's safe to drive and i passed this message on to my insurers and they failed to offer a replacement car or any solution. Their response was we can't do anything about it until monday.

 

The independent assessor assessed the car before it went back to Garage 1 for the second round of repairs, it was then after this that garage 1 told me it was fine

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If the original accident had been with a third party who were at fault, you could have had a hire car for the relevant period and the cost would have been claimed back from the third party Insurers. But because the accident just involved you, the Insurers would not have paid for a hire car. Sometimes you might get a courtesy car from the garage while your car is in for repair, but that is about it.

 

You appear to have been told the car was not safe to drive, yet you were still driving it at the time of the recent accident. I realise you could not afford for garage 2 to do the full inspection and you could not afford to pay for a hire car yourself, but you did drive a car that you were aware had a fault. This could be in contravention with the Road Traffic Acts i.e to knowlingly drive a car that was not roadworthy. Had you injured a third party, you could have been in trouble for this.

 

I am not saying that I don't have sympathy or understand your point, but you are going to find it very difficult taking any action against garage 1 and your Insurers. You would be wise to obtain expert legal opinion from a Solicitors that deals with accident/Insurance issues.

We could do with some help from you.

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I repeat i was never told the car was not safe to drive, i was told by a mechanic at Garage 2 that he can't guarantee it is safe to drive. My insurers were notified of this and made no attempts to resolve it. As for the independent assessor he assessed the car before it went back for the second round of repairs, he had not looked at the car after it had been back for the second visit. I am not a mechanic so i don't know if a car is safe to drive or not, and no one told me i can't drive it so i feel that fact is irrelevant to my case.

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I repeat i was never told the car was not safe to drive, i was told by a mechanic at Garage 2 that he can't guarantee it is safe to drive. My insurers were notified of this and made no attempts to resolve it. As for the independent assessor he assessed the car before it went back for the second round of repairs, he had not looked at the car after it had been back for the second visit. I am not a mechanic so i don't know if a car is safe to drive or not, and no one told me i can't drive it so i feel that fact is irrelevant to my case.

 

See a local Solicitors. Most offer a free half hour consultation. See what they recommend. It is whether you can hold garage 1 liable and what you could claim for.

We could do with some help from you.

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If you have legal cover under your Car Insurance, see whether this would cover your costs in pursuing garage 1.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks for the advice, i will have a look into it and see what my options are.

 

I know my insurance company are relocating the vehicle to a location that i can get some photos of the damage and evidence to build a case. I know that they themselves have said they will get an investigator out to check it and would then pursue garage 1 for the costs of the repairs of the vehicle or in the case it's deemed a total loss the full amount of the vehicle. Which i believe is fair enough and i'm satisfied that's being handled correctly. My gripe is the fact that i've gone through this ordeal due to negligence, i'm thankfully not seriously injured but it's a major inconvenience in my life and i have no idea how i will be when driving at motorway speeds.

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Thanks for the advice, i will have a look into it and see what my options are.

 

I know my insurance company are relocating the vehicle to a location that i can get some photos of the damage and evidence to build a case. I know that they themselves have said they will get an investigator out to check it and would then pursue garage 1 for the costs of the repairs of the vehicle or in the case it's deemed a total loss the full amount of the vehicle. Which i believe is fair enough and i'm satisfied that's being handled correctly. My gripe is the fact that i've gone through this ordeal due to negligence, i'm thankfully not seriously injured but it's a major inconvenience in my life and i have no idea how i will be when driving at motorway speeds.

 

I have lightly probed the case you want to make. If this gets anywhere near a court, be ready for much more probing. Garage 1 are going to say that they carried out extensive checks and as far as they were concerned there were no issues with the steering. You would really need to evidence the exact fault that caused the recent accident and be able to convince a Judge on the balance of probability that garage 1 should have found this fault.

We could do with some help from you.

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If the original accident had been with a third party who were at fault, you could have had a hire car for the relevant period and the cost would have been claimed back from the third party Insurers. But because the accident just involved you, the Insurers would not have paid for a hire car. Sometimes you might get a courtesy car from the garage while your car is in for repair, but that is about it.

 

You appear to have been told the car was not safe to drive, yet you were still driving it at the time of the recent accident. I realise you could not afford for garage 2 to do the full inspection and you could not afford to pay for a hire car yourself, but you did drive a car that you were aware had a fault. This could be in contravention with the Road Traffic Acts i.e to knowlingly drive a car that was not roadworthy. Had you injured a third party, you could have been in trouble for this.

 

I am not saying that I don't have sympathy or understand your point, but you are going to find it very difficult taking any action against garage 1 and your Insurers. You would be wise to obtain expert legal opinion from a Solicitors that deals with accident/Insurance issues.

 

I agree fully with you UB.

Ultimately the OP drove the car knowing there was a fault and that the car may not be safe to drive.

 

There is still a possible claim against the insurer or garage for the cost of the write off but luckily for the OP there were no injuries. As has been mentioned you can only claim for things that did happen, not what might have occurred.

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