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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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In June, as I approached a light-controlled crossing I saw

Customer Question

In June, as I approached a light-controlled crossing I saw a woman waiting to cross. The lights were green for me and I had slowed to about 25mph. When I was about 2 or 3 metres from the crossing she suddenly stepped out in front of me - taking two strides. I swerved and managed to miss her but she collided with the front corner of my car and brushed down the side. She fell into the road and was partially run over by the car behind me - which caused most of her injuries. She had been texting on a blackberry and never looked up or in the direction of the traffic and the lights were green for me and red for her.

The Police took several witness statements and one woman saw the whole thing from nearby. I received a letter from them exonerating me and saying they would take no further action. They said they blamed the pedestrian 100%, for causing the accident.

I notified my insurance company who took statements from me and the Police. My car had minor damage which I paid for myself because the excess on my insurance is £750.

Now, (April) the pedestrian is claiming "injury and compensation" through a 'claims' solicitor. My insurance company (AXA) are dealing with the claim but I am concerned that they may 'settle' and cause my NCD to be adversely affected. They have already reduced it from 20+ years to 4 years, resulting in a £170 increase in my annual premium.

I would like to recover the cost of repairing my car (about £1000) and if this incident results in increased premiums, I would like to claim for these too, not to mention the stress and anxiety in colliding with a pedestrian.

Should I let my insurance company deal with the claim or instruct my own solicitor to make a counter-claim against the pedestrian?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

My name is Alex and I'm happy to help with your question today.

In the letter of claim from her solicitors, what allegations are being made about your driving? Are they suggesting you went through a red light?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I haven't seen the letter of claim yet but will ask for it. My insurance company have acknowledged the claim and asked for "full particulars of negligence alleged against" me, so I assume they are accusing me of negligence. The Police spent a lot of time determining the light sequence in my favour so this seems unlikely.


Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.

It would be inadvisable to deal with the claim yourself - a combination of legal costs and compensation could easily run into several thousand pounds for a straightforward claim.

Your insurer has the resources and legal expertise do handle the claim and you should seriously consider letting them deal with it.

The chances are the insurer will settle this as you've predicted. Pedestrians who are injured in car accidents are treated sympathetically. She has probably suffered injury but only your car is damaged.

Ultimately any claim may be significantly reduced for her 'contributory negligence'. For example, if the accident happened as you say then her claim may be reduced by 50% or more because of her own negligence.

If after investigating this matter the insurer decides not to make a payment and the evidence shows she is wholly to blame they might decide to deny liability and make no payments. If that happens the matter may end up in Court and Judge will have to decide liability and damages.

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