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Kasare
Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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I was involved in a very minor car accident in October 2014.

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I was involved in a very minor car accident in October 2014. The accident consisted of the car in front being stationary at a pedestrian crossing which lies after a roundabout, after turning right over the roundabout, and applying my brakes to stop my car slid into the car infront. There was no damage sustained to either vehicle, but now the other driver is claiming whip lash, knee and back injury compensation and deemed me as driving "negligently" and have sent me a court summons.
My insurance company will not deal with the claim as I had only just returned to work after 2years and had not yet informed my insurance I would be using the car for commuting.
Can the other driving claim injury if there was no damage to the vehicle? Do I stand a chance trying to fight this on my own without the help of my insurance company?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Kasare replied 2 years ago.
Good morning, thank you for your question, I will assist you with this.
I will apologise now as I am afraid you are not going to like my answer to your question particularly regarding the injury claim.
If you accept there was contact between the vehicles, even if there is little or no damage, and the claimant has "medical evidence" confirming whiplash (soft tissue injuries are very difficult to disprove) then there is very little that you can do to fight this claim. Yes I know it would seem wrong, but unfortunately, this is the case with such cases.
There is a form of defence, which is to claim that it was such a low speed impact (LSI defence) that it could not have possibly caused any injury, but the costs to fight this case on such a defence are simply not worth it.
Whilst your insurer may advise they will not deal with the claim due to a change in circumstances, I doubt this change was/is sufficiently serious for them to have voided your policy.
Therefore they are still obliged to pay any innocent third party claimant as the Road Traffic Act Insurer (RTA Insurer) - Section 151 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 basically states that if the driver has a certificate of motor insurance that has not expired; the insurer will deal with the third party claim (i.e. they still have a liability to third parties).
NB: The insurer may look to pursue you, their policyholder, for the cost of any payments made.
The other "get out" for the Insurer is as an "Article 75 Insurer" - this is where they act pursuant to a set of rules agreed between motor insurers and Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) and is designed to protect MIB funds from some of the claims involving “uninsured” drivers.
They will act as an Article 75 insurer if the policy is void "ab initio" (from inception) – this would occur where the policyholder had told lies to obtain
insurance and when these lies were discovered, the policy is regarded as never having existed (insurers usually return the premiums when this happens).
Normally, to achieve this, the insurer has to obtain a declaration from the court that the policy is void.
I doubt from the circumstances described they will do this and therefore will likely go down the RTA Insurer route.
You need to contact your insurance company and provide them with a copy of the court proceedings. They are likely to already have a copy, but I would still contact them. I would discuss your concerns with them regarding the LSI defence and see what their intentions are to this case.
Unfortunately, quite often the Insurer will pay out on the claim without putting up a fight as it is cheaper for them.
I would also suggest you discuss with them that the fact that you had omitted to update your policy was an honest oversight and that they should simply calculate the difference owed in premiums as a result of this oversight, you will pay this and they deal with the claim. See what they say. If you are not happy with their handling of your matter - regarding the insurance, not the claim - then you can make a complaint about this.
To make a complaint you have to first complain to the company and allow them time to respond. If they respond and you are still not happy you can make a formal complaint to the ombudsman.
I hope this assists you. If you have any further questions, please ask.
Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Many thanks for that. My only additional question is that since it has been so long since I have heard anything from the other persons insurance, my policy has since expired and I renewed my insurance with a different company.

Does this change things or can my old insurance company still deal with the matter?

Thanks

Expert:  Kasare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Christina, it does not really change things, the insurance company you were with at the time should deal with this.
Please also be aware that from receipt of a claim form and particulars of claim, you have 14 days to acknowledge this and then a further 14 to provide a defence or admission. If you, or your (old) insurance company miss this time, then the claimant can apply for judgement in default.
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