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The Phantom

Car pile up on A road, car written off, TPFT only

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Yeah, it was a multi car pile up. I have no idea what caused the sudden stopping in front, the root cause was much further ahead.

I managed to stop without making contact with the car in front who hit her brakes quite suddenly. However, I was then hit with quite some force in the back and pushed forward into the car in front. 

The car in front of me sustained only little damage to her rear bumper and her car remained driveable.

If I had hit her under my own steam, i.e still going forward on my own and some speed, her damage would have been far more severe. It was only so little, because I was already stationary behind her when I was hit and then pushed into her by the car behind me.

My insurer Halifax was Ok with that information and said they would be in touch if they needed anything else, but so far they haven't.

I am sure they will pass anything on to Direct Line in the first instance.

 

I will arrange for a damage report from a car accident assessor / valuer, they will contact me tomorrow with payment details and said after they have received payment they can have the report back to me within approx 48 hours

I have written letter as suggested to the party that drove into the back of me (with a copy to Direct Line) giving them another 7 days to view my car, after that it will be disposed of. They should receive these letters Friday.

 

After these 7 days I will make arrangements to sell the wreckage for salvage.

 

I will by then have a damage report and of course I still have all the photos including the photos I took of the other parties car for my records.

 

I will review the matter further at that point

 

 

 

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I received my damage report today from an assessor, which I instructed.

It cost me £78 in total, which I think is not too bad.

My car has been classed as' beyond repair' - category B. He has put his repair cost estimate at just under £7000 with a value of £1200 of the car (his valuation). He put a retail value of £1970 on it and a salvage value of £50

 

I also had a message from Direct Line on my answering machine today, asking me to call them back.

It was very difficult to understand, as it sounded as if the lady was chewing chewing gum when leaving the message, but it is definitely someone from Direct Line asking for a call back.

 

Not sure if I should do that or just stick to my time line outlined to them in my last letter

 

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You should certainly stick to the timeline. Are you recording your calls? If so give them a call and see if they have anything interesting but tell them that the clock is still ticking. If you aren't recording your calls then don't phone. Email them and refer to the phone call and tell them that if they want they confine you again but the clock is still ticking


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I can't record telephone calls, I don't have the technology unfortunately.

I also searched the internet for an e-mail address for direct line, but couldn't find anything at all.

All they have is an online chat facility through their website, I may try that, but I believe that is only for general enquiries, not for case specific information.

On the other hand they have been told in the last letter everything there is to know and their client should have forwarded or discussed with them what I told her previously.

So they should know the clock is ticking and what is going to happen when.

 

I will contact the Recovery Yard again later to see if they have heard from a Direct Line Assessor or not, I will also discuss with them the process of removing the car through a scrap yard. At that point they may want me to settle the by now rather substantial bill I suppose

£250 recovery

£20 per day since 18.12.19 until 15.01.20 = £580 

Total £830 - £78 salvage = £752 which is a lot of money for me

 

 

 

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Yes I am sure that it is a lot of money.

I'm just trying to catch up on all of this. I understand that you have warned the other side that costs are accumulating and that you are going to take your own action to mitigate any losses if they don't come back to you. They haven't come back to you and so now you are going to go ahead and get the car disposed of and you have costs for this and you have informed the other side. Is this correct?

Have you send the letter of claim? Meaning have you sent it to the person who hit you?


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I sent the other party three letters so far, the last one with copy to Direct Line (their insurers) as advised, giving them 7 more days to inspect the car, this deadline is up on Wednesday

Letter of claim has not been sent yet, I will do that once I have all cost totals once the car has been disposed of, so know what exactly I am asking for.

I had no response from anyone so far, apart from a message on my answering machine end of last week from Direct Line. It was almost impossible to understand what he lady said. I could understand she was from Direct Line but that was about it. I assume they want me to call them back, but I am guessing on that

 

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Okay. Absolute right to know how much you'll be claiming before sending the letter of claim. However, the moment you do know then send it – as long as you mean it.

You can see that they're not too bothered about you but you can be certain that once the court papers are issued, their customer will be screaming at them and suddenly they will start leaping into action.

As with most things, it's a shame we have to get like this – that these people are used to controlling events and so they need a disruptive approach


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Quick update, spoke to recovery company and still nobody has contacted them ref my car (well, apart from myself but that doesn't count..)

They want settlement of all outstanding fees and charges before I can have the car collected by a scrap yard.

So by Wednesday I'll owe them £870 which I have to pay to scrap the car (i.e to have it removed from their premises)

Luckily they take cards 😐 so have to stick it on my credit card for the time being

The best offer from a local car recycling company /scrap yard was £104 for the wreckage with free collection, so I will probably go for that.

(Lowest offer was £40 with free collection)

 

Had another message from Direct Line on my answering machine today as well. Again it was difficult to understand, I think it was the same woman, telling me to (I assume) call them back. This time I also managed to get their opening times, she says they are open Monday to Friday. 

I can't understand why they keep on calling rather than respond in writing to my letters. You would think they'd figure that I am not answering the phone cause I am not at home, because I am working. By the time I get home obviously nobody in an office is still at work. 

 

 

 

 

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Write to them and to the third party and tell them exactly what you are doing what the costs are are and what action you are taking. very important that they are not able to say later on that they won't give him notice about it


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The last letter I wrote to them was last week, telling them they have another 7 days to inspect the vehicle , after that it will be scrapped and won't be available to view anymore.

Those 7 days are up on Wednesday.

 

You think I should write another letter , now giving them the figures and telling them I will instruct a local scrap yard on Thursday as previously advised ?

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Yes. It won't do any harm. But send a letter of action separately


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OK, I am already typing another letter to her with c/c Direct Line. 

Will both go out tomorrow and should reach them Wednesday.

 

I have put in there the details as I explained above and reminded them of the contents of my previous letter. I am saying that once I have all costs, I will issue a breakdown in a letter of claim and I will expect these costs to be then settled within 30 days

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hang on, if you are doing a letter of claim then you only need to give them a 14 days and I would suggest you don't give them any longer. Why are you now giving them 30-days?


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I just read some templates about a letter of claim / pre action protocol and in one of them it said the creditor has to allow a reasonable amount of time for the debtor to respond. The template suggested 30 days, I just took it from there , thinking it was expected to give at least 30 days. But I can change it to 14 , I haven't printed the letter yet

Edited by The Phantom
typo

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P.S. this isn't the letter of claim I am writing yet, it is just another warning letter that the next letter they will get is the Letter of Claim

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Personally I think they have had enough warnings. I had understood from an earlier post that as soon as you had the costs nail down that you were then going to send a letter of claim. I don't think you should give any more warnings. I think you should simply inform them of the cost you are about to incur. Then as soon as you know exactly what the bottom line is then I suggest that you send them the letter of claim with 14-days.

 

you are fighting against an insurance company here and I don't understand why you want to do them any favours


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Yeah, but if I issue a letter of claim, then that will not go to an insurance company but to a private individual. And if that proceeds to court it sounded like the creditor should allow reasonable amount of time for the debtor to respond to the letter of claim and 30 days were suggested. (That's were I got that 30 days from.)

But I have changed it to 14 days now anyway.

 

I have written the letters and will post them anyway, won't harm , at least I can say I wrote four letters. They can't then say they didn't get enough warning or didn't know etc. They will have these letters on Wednesday when the deadline from my letter last week expired.

 

I will have all the costs when the old car is gone, which should be by the end of the week.

 

I can then compile the letter of claim and send that off.

 

So I should then have all my 'ducks in a row'   😉

 

 

 

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I think that you are confusing this for the pre-action protocol which applies to professional creditors trying to to claim repayment from the debtors.

In that pre action protocol is certainly 30-days. The requirement for you in your position is simply to give 14 days notice


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yes, I thought it was the same for all money claims.

I think I better post my letter of claim here before posting it, so someone can proof read it for me

(I'll blank out all personal details)

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Yes – but also be certain that you are prepared to go ahead with your action. On the basis of what you have said, there is very little risk – but there is a risk and you will have to have the evidence you need if it goes to a hearing.
However I'm quite sure that focusing on the third party and putting pressure upon them in this way is the right thing to do. However, once again, if you send your letter of claim – don't bluff. I'll probably remind you about this once we see the draft


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No, it's OK. I won't bluff.

I represented myself as a LIP through my divorce and that went to a final hearing and took almost two years to get it through the court process.. Saved myself around £30,000 in legal costs by representing myself, so I am not worried about legal paperwork or court proceedings.

 

I will upload a neutralized Letter of Claim once I have compiled all my costs and added it all up

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I have spoken to the Recovery Company again today and still nobody has contacted them about my car (apart from me), so I have sold the salvage today to a local scrap yard for £40, they will collect tomorrow from the Recovery Yard and dismantle for spares and scrap the rest.

(I had an offer of £104 from a different company but they would not have been able to collect until the end of the month, so it would have cost me far more in additional storage than what I would have gained in extra money.)

 

I will get the final bill from the recovery yard tomorrow once the car has been collected, I was told it was now over £800 in charges, which I will have to put on my credit card.

 

Tomorrow evening or over the week end I will work out the final figure, draft a letter of claim and post on here for a quick check and some feedback.

I intend to post the letter of claim early next week.

 

 

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Are you recording these calls?


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The calls to the Recovery Yard about my car ?

No, I don't have the facility to do so. I could maybe ask them to make a note on the invoice that nobody contacted them from Direct Line about the car until the said date ?

 

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Why aren't you recording your calls? Haven't you read our customer services guide? You've been here since 2006. This is not a joke


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