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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Summary: Involved in a road traffic accident and was provided

Customer Question

Involved in a road traffic accident and was provided with a replacement vehicle. On 25 November 2012 drove through standing flood water (not deep) following advice consistent with motoring organisations ie drive towards centre of road, slowly etc. Other cars had gone through the flood water and my hire car had been through similar water without any problems that day. The car stalled part way. Called hire firm and AA as instructed. Interior of the vehicle was wet as I had to open the door to get out. Now been presented with an invoice of £6952.50 excluding VAT for the damage to the vehicle. The replacement hire vehicle was provided by his insurance policy with Admiral and additional stage 1 cdw insurance was also taken with taken out with the car hire firm.

Additional information:
Although the accident occurred on the 25th of November 2012, I have just received a shock letter dated the 7th of February 2013 from Helphire Ltd demanding a significant payment for damages caused and threatening legal action against me.

The hire car company (Thrifty) was called immediately after the accident and under their instruction I was then contacted Helphire Ltd and AA recovery. I did everything I could under the circumstances. When the AA Recovery Patrol Agent attended the scene of the accident, he was able to get the car running and went on to say " expect the car to be valeted to a high standard and a good mechanic will be able to clean and dry out the air intake system and the car should be good to go." In retrospect, starting the car may have done more damage but I was not responsible for this. I did all I could under the circumstances.

As far as I was concerned, on return of the vehicle, the matter was over and done with. I was advised that I’d be provided with another replacement vehicle but this was not forthcoming; and is a breach of contract under the terms of my policy.

I have received no correspondence whatsoever in the interim and it seems very suspicious to me that a vehicle damaged in November 2012 would not have been inspected until fairly recently and, in my opinion, during that period of time the damage could have been done by another party or exacerbated by poor storage conditions. Who is to say that I am liable for the extent of the damage now being attributed to what occurred nearly three months before any notification was received? I should have been notified of any pending actions well in advance to enable me to take the correct course of action and safeguard my interests legally. It would appear that the company has purposely employed the use of stalling tactics.

Is there anything I can do as I am now facing legal proceedings?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question, I will do whatever I can to help you. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE.

I assume this was in the uk? Does insurance not cover this?

If not what are they saying, negligence?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have just drafted a letter to the insurance company (Admiral) but they are no longer my insurer as I changed insurer when I purchased a replacement vehicle. As several weeks had lapsed without hearing anything at all, I assumed everything was fine. The invoice for £6,592.50 with no interim communications, came out of the blue and I am at a loss as what to do next. The accident occurred in the UK.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 5 years ago.
On what basis is the clam refused?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I cannot answer this question as I have not yet had a response from the insurer. perhaps it would be better if I come back to this site once I have had a response from the insurer. Is there anything I can do if 'negligence' is cited?


Expert:  UK-Justice replied 5 years ago.
I really need to know the reason as hypothetical does not help either of us.

I will wait to hear.