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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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my son was hit by another car and they admitted responsibility

Customer Question

my son was hit by another car and they admitted responsibility . The insurance agreed over the phone that the car was probably beyond economic repair and agreed to pay £2000 pounds for the car . They also agreed to pay £1100 pounds for personal injury without the need to involve a doctor. Knowing that the car was to be scrapped my son took off the non standard wheels and the lowering coil over springs . The insurance company collected the car two days later . The following day the insurance company contacted us to say that they had seen the car on a vauxhall forum or facebook and that it had porche wheels on and lowering springs and that this might be a problem and they would have to look into it . Four months later they have been in contact with us to say that there was a discrepancy in the height of the damage sustained on my sons car and that they wont be carrying on with my sons claim . The height discrepancy was the fact that the car was lowered which they have pictures of and did not supply the examining engineer with what do you suggest .
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name is Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.
Do you have a specific question? 
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

what information do you need

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Who made the offer? His own insurance company or the other
drivers insurance company?

Has he accepted the £2000 and has it been paid? Ditto the
personal injury money?

Did he declare the wheels and springs to the insurance company
that he is insured with?

What was the cause of the accident? I need to know exactly how it
happened for reasons which will become apparent shortly

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The two insurance companies , Elephant and Diamond are both under the same umbrella , Admiral insurance . When he contacted his insurance they came back with the offer and this was accepted . The cheque for the personal injury came through but he was told not to cash it . The £2000 for the car was accepted but this never materialized .

The wheels and the lowering springs were not declared to his insurance company but they came back after the accident saying they had photographs of the car with them on .

My son had stopped in traffic and was stationary when he was hit from behind and shunted forward into another vehicle . All the involved got out but while my son was talking to the girl that had hit him the gentleman in front decided to drive away .

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

There is a potential argument to be had here.

The first thing I would do is make sure that he does not cash the
cheque for the personal injury. He can probably reject it and get at least
three times as much if he goes to a solicitor. We are not allowed to recommend
firms on here but this firm is worth a call. Please mention my name and this
site if you wish. I have heard good reports from the clients who have been

any modification like the wheels and springs should have been
declared to the insurance company and he is lucky that they have not tried to void
his insurance. If they were material to the accident, he would now find that he
has no insurance. Believe it or not, it is necessary to disclose tinted
windows, different wheels, towbar, roof rack, different lights, everything.
About the only thing he doesn't need to disclose its paintwork. Even different
seats need disclosing.

The wheels and the springs belong to the insurance company and he
should offer to return them although there is an argument that they didn't know
about them so they are not entitled to them. It depends whether you want a long
protracted argument with the insurance company. I would probably not go there
for the sake of querying the pitch.

From the account of the accident that you give, which is all that
I have to go on, the accident is the fault of the vehicle behind who is
responsible for the damage to your son's car and to the car in front.

As both insurance companies are of the same group and I have had
nightmare experience for a client with both of those, they will try to settle
this for as little as possible and that is why he has had a derogatory offer in
respect of his personal injury.

His claim as against the driver who hit him, as I said earlier.
His insurance company will not claim for personal injuries on his behalf and
they have done and under the counter deal between them.

My suggestion would be to see a solicitor as soon as possible to
deal with the personal injury on a no win no fee basis. It really depends on
the terms of the offer of £1000 and how he accepted that as to whether he is
stuck with it. If he is not stuck with it, a solicitor will take on the injury
claim and will deal with the car issue as part of the overall claim. The
solicitor gets paid for dealing with the injury but not for the car issue and
if he, having considered the paperwork, has actually accepted the thousand
pounds (unlikely because he has been asked not to cash the cheque) then he is
faced with pocketing the thousand pounds and suing the driver that hitting for
whatever his losses are.

If he puts it through his own insurance company, they will pay
out the value of the car (that is another argument on its own) but nothing for
his personal injuries, no policy excess and he will lose his no claim bonus if
it is not protected. Even if it is protected, he then loses the protection
because he has made a claim. Please note that it is a "no claim" bonus not a "no
fault" bonus. He makes a claim, it is not his fault, it is still a claim, he
loses his no claim bonus.

He must sue the driver of the car that hit him for those losses. If
he does not put the claim through his own insurance company or if he is only
the third party fire and theft, he is faced with suing the driver of the car
which hit him for the cost of his losses in respect of the car value

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