How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I returned to my car in a private supermarket carpark a month

Resolved Question:

I returned to my car in a private supermarket carpark a month ago and as I opened my drivers door a couple rushed over to say that I had hit and damaged their car door.
I did not hit their car.
They were very animated, almost aggressive indicating a small Mark towards the front edge of the passengers door. We were both parked the same way round and it was physically impossible for the edge of my door to have done this.
We had a short discussion - I felt very uncomfortable with their aggressive mood and I left.
I have received a letter from their insurance company asking for details. We did not exchange any details at the scene or make any agreement.
Is there any liability and what should I do.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
You should pass the matter on to your insurance company and explain what happened.
I would advise you not to respond to their insurance company directly but to pass on the letter to your insurer to deal with and explain that you did not hit their car and did not accept any liability or make any agreement with them.
It will then be up to your insurance company to deal with this as it deems fit, it may settle the couple's claim to dispute it.
The couple could be engaging in fraud if you did not hit their car and they are trying to profit from you without any justification and you may report the matter to the police. Under S 2 of the Fraud Act 2006,
(1)A person is in breach of this section if he—
(a)dishonestly makes a false representation, and
(b)intends, by making the representation—
(i)to make a gain for himself or another, or
(ii)to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.
(2)A representation is false if—
(a)it is untrue or misleading, and
(b)the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.
(3)“Representation” means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of—
(a)the person making the representation, or
(b)any other person.
(4)A representation may be express or implied.
May I help further?
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
UKSolicitorJA and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.Did you notify your insurers of this allegation?How bad was the damage?Did you report to the police station?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did report it to the Police but just as a 'social nuisance' matter in case it was some form of scam.
I did not report it to my insurance company.
There was little damage to their door; No paint broken - no more than a trolley dent if that
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
OK.
How quickly did you report? I'm afraid the answer above is incomplete and does not properly consider your position.
If you wouldn't mind indicating at the end which answer you found more helpful though we can sort it out at our end.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I reported it the next day
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
What time did this happen?
What time did you report it? Its really important.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Incident at about 3 ... Reported the next morning
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Before 3pm?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes on the Sunday morning
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Good.
Were you asked to leave your details?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I just reported the general incident on line as a social nuisance. I assumed it to be some sort of scam.So yes, name and contact details left with general descriptions of the 2.I did not report it as a crime - and so have no reference number - just a report into the neighbourhood policing site
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I don't think there is any risk of a summons for failing to stop and report.
The trouble with this is that you don't accept a collision which is great. However, I have lost count of the number of people who have denied every having an accident that have been prosecuted for failing to stop and report. They say that they didn't stop and report because there wasn't an accident but an allegation has been made that there was. Its a defence to say there was no collision and sometimes its accepted and sometimes not.
In this case though, you did present at the police station. You didn't fill out the relevant forms but that was only because that was what the police told you to do and you cannot do more than that.
In terms of liability, they say you hit them. You say you didn't. If a court believes their lies then you or your insurers would be liable. In truth, the insurance company may just settle anyway as its only a dent.
As you have heard from their insurance company, you should report it to your insurance company but explain exactly the circumstances and tell them that in your opinion it is a fraudulent claim and why.
Acknowledge the letter from their insurers and advise them that you have passed it on to your insurers and give your insurers details.
Tell the insurers that you are of the opinion that this claim is unmerited. Don't say any more than that.
I would emphasise in your letter to your own insurance company that you think this is a fraudulent claim because you were not near the car and you could not in any way have caused this damage.
Also give them the police incident number.
If you wish, you can tell the insurance company that under no circumstances are they to pay this claim and that if they are mindful to do that, they should refer it back to you and you will deal with the claimants directly by defending their action in court if necessary. Remember that if you do that, and you lose in court for any reason, you may end up paying substantial legal costs which your insurer would not pay for you. For that reason, you have to decide whether, if the insurer decides they want to pay out on this, whether you want to go along with that or risk going to court yourself.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
V helpful and clear thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
Would you mind indicating which answer you found the more helpful?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Clearly the last one at 917 - a full set of clear guidance
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
Do come back if you need more guidance.