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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70187
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My house has been severely damaged after being hit by a van

Resolved Question:

My house has been severely damaged after being hit by a van owned by a Hungarian delivery company (although the hungarian driver was not in the van at the time - a local resident from the house he was delivering at was in the front seat at the time as the driver was worried about his handbrake not holding on the hill while he removed items from the back) . This occurred 3 months ago and the re-build is being covered by my insurance company. However I don't think the house ( value approx £1.25million) will ever be the same and will certainly look different as the builders have found it almost impossible to match the existing hand-made brickwork and mortar colour. My wife has been very badly affected by the incident (she was in the house alone at the time) and is still distressed about it. Do we have any basis for a claim for the emotional distress and personal upheaval caused by this incident?
Thank you for your help.
Andrew
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you have Hungarian drivers insurance details?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Yes, I have a Hungarian name and a policy number ( Company: UNIQUA Policy number WK00453417) but I cannot verify if they gave me it truthfully or were simply trying to get me off the phine!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Did you get my response? I gave you the insurance details.


Andrew

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Any psychological injury is not something that your own house insurance would normally cover although any loss in value should be covered.

However you would need to check your house insurance policy in detail to see whether it is indeed covered.

Assuming that it is not covered, you will have to bring a claim for personal injury against the driver. The driver will then pass the claim on to his insurance company to deal with.

Dealing with a Hungarian company is not for the fainthearted and therefore you might want to entrust the personal injury claim to a personal injury solicitor who is used to dealing with accidents where the defendant is in another country.

There are some practical difficulties because of the distance involved and any proceedings that are brought would be brought in the UK.

If the insurance company or the driver refused to pay up, you are faced with enforcing any judgement in Hungary which is not really a practical proposition.

Your wife does have a claim but it is an extremely difficult claim to bring firstly because of the nature of the injuries which will require psychiatric and psychological reports and secondly because of the fact that the driver is from Hungary.

It is certainly worthwhile ringing around a few personal injury solicitors to see if you can get one who would take this on a no win no fee basis.

I’m sorry that this is bad news for you

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you Jo.


As you rightly say, this is not very good news.


I don't think my wife would say that she has been damaged physchologically, just deeply upset, so I don't think we will pursue that angle.


We are of an age that doesn't make a fuss! But it just seemed unfair that we have been left without proper enjoyment of our house for 3 months so far (we were not able to re-occupy for the first 3 weeks and at present are living in part of the house, effectively on a building site!) and potentially could suffer a loss of capital when we need to sell our major asset to enjoy our retirement. Thank you for your help.


 


regards,


Andrew

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

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