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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69775
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good morning. My son had a car accident last night - probably

Customer Question

Good morning.
My son had a car accident last night - probably his fault.
2 bald tyres on the rear of the car
Hit a deep puddle of standing water on the side of the road.
Lost control of the car
Hit one car coming towards him.
Ended against a tree.
Police called.
1 passenger of the other car taken to hospital (I think).
No serious injuries - just whiplash or bruising.
Car owned and insured in my wife's name.
Son is a named driver on the car.
Happened near Cirencester.
What do we do?
Your help please.
Many thanks
{;-?
L
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
3 extra questions sorry
- As my wife is the registered owner - is she liable to be called/summonsed/charged on the bald tyres matter (even though our son was driving)?
- will the insurance be null and void?
- if the insurance policy is voided, can my wife be sued for third party damages as the registered owner, but not driver.
Many thanks
{;-/
LS
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Hi1 No, he is liable for vehicle defects if he was driving.2 It isn't likely they would void the claim completely for a bald tyre.3 The insurance should not be void if he is an added driver. Otherwise she would not be liable unless he is under 18 and then as a parent either of you can be liable in principle. Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69775
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you Jo
If there was 2 bald tyres would that make a magnifying difference?
With the terrible weather last night would that make a difference in mitigation?
The police man said he was writing him up for dangerous / reckless driving - however I asked him not to and said that it was unlikely that he was speeding etc with the weather being as it was, at night, etc
- Would any of these points change your opinion?
- Should my wife phone the insurance company now and:
-> report the accident
-> give them the police reference no
-> give them our son's details
-> anything else she should give them?if he goes to court, what sort of fine/penalty do you think he would get?
He may have had his full license for 11-13 months but no more.Not a happy Easter in one regards ***** ***** a blessing that our son and his fiancé (who was also inn the car) did not get anything more than bruises.Many thanks for your further help{;->LS
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Jo - sorry not sure if you got the extra information and questions?
I am copying it here in case you did not (sorry in advance if you had already):If there was 2 bald tyres would that make a magnifying difference?
With the terrible weather last night would that make a difference in mitigation?
The police man said he was writing him up for dangerous / reckless driving - however I asked him not to and said that it was unlikely that he was speeding etc with the weather being as it was, at night, etc
- Would any of these points change your opinion?
- Should my wife phone the insurance company now and:
-> report the accident
-> give them the police reference no
-> give them our son's details
-> anything else she should give them?if he goes to court, what sort of fine/penalty do you think he would get?
He may have had his full license for 11-13 months but no more.Not a happy Easter in one regards ***** ***** a blessing that our son and his fiancé (who was also inn the car) did not get anything more than bruises.Many thanks for your further help{;->LS
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
I don't think it would make an enormous difference. Insurance companies can use that type of thing against a driver but they do not commonly.Police officers have no idea. It will be summonsed as a driving without due care and attention. It is very hard to prove dangerous driving.She must report the accident. She will be under a duty to inform them.I don't know what the actual bad driving was? That is what will form the penalty. An accident alone is not necessarily evidence of bad driving. We can all have accidents.If you can give me that information I would be able to offer more.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
HI Jo
Thanks for these updates.
So having bald tyres is not automatically considered dangerous driving - but more likely Without Due Care and Attention?
From what I know, he was driving from Cirencester to home (about 5 miles) along the A417, at 8:30pm at night, in the rain and wind of last night's storm.
Plenty of water on the road and condition of road surface was not good (a bit falling apart).
He says he was not going over 50 mph.
About 2 miles into the journey, car coming towards him - poor visibility due to light reflection, rain, etc
Did not see the water puddling on the side of the road
Hit the water puddle
Lost control
Bald tyres probably did not help with traction etc
But neither would quality of road surface
Car went sideways
Hit car coming towards them
Bounced off
Spun and hit a tree on the side of the road they were travelling
Other car had 2 living occupants and a (an already) dead body being transferred to the funeral home.
2 ambulances came
2 police vehicles came
My son and his fiancé went to hospital to be checked out but were discharged with cuts and bruises
Passenger of other vehicle seen by ambulance and I think taken away - driving I believe was ok.
Other car will be a write-off.
My son's is too but don't care about that.
More worried about not having insurance cover for 3rd parties (vehicle and people).
Does this add extra information that is relevant do you think?
Many thanks as always
{;->
LS
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
No, having bald tyres is a vehicle defect offence. Driving dangerously or otherwise is down to the manner of driving.If it is just that he didn’t see some water then that is driving without due care if anything at all.I don’t see any reason why he would be uninsured if he is an added driver.There may be complaint about his driving but that doesn't mean he is uninsured.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
HI JoLast 2 questions:
- Does my wife need to let her other car insurance holder (for a separate car), know about this claim? and
- I guess we should get a solicitor to attend us in court -
==> but do we wait until there is a summons to know what the extent of the matter outstanding is?
Many thanks for all your help on this matter Jo.
You have been very helpful
{;->
Laurence S
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Not unless the requirements of that insurance company demand it. They probably will upon renewal but not now. You only have a duty to report normally to the liable company. If there is any doubt about that though then I would disclose. They will only tell you they don't care. I wouldn't incur expense until he is actually summonsed. Anything can happen. They might decide it is all a civil matter and take no action. If they do summons then he can seek legal representation although he probably won't get legal aid so there is cost to consider. A barrister under public access will be much cheaper than a solicitor.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you
{;->
LS
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
No problem. All the best.

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