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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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My insurance company provided me with a hire motorbike after

Customer Question

My insurance company provided me with a hire motorbike after a claim. The provider of the hire bike picked up my bike from my premises without me bieng present and without my signing for the handing over of the bike or any body witnessing the handover. The bike was in the same condition as to when I recieved it, but now they turned around and say it is damaged. Am I liable if I did not sign the handing over of the bike and was not there to ispect it with the delivery driver ?? The bike did not sustain any dangerous while in my care!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

What damage are they complaining about? How soon after the collection did they contact you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Only cosmetic danage. They only contacted me regarding the "damage" a week after pick up. If you can send me your email address I can send you the full correspondence to what is discussed. They also ignored my email I sent them. They claim the bike was not moved before photos were taken, however I have photos to show it had.

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
Good Morning

I can't provide an email address but you can attach the photos and emails to your response using the 'chainlink' logo in the toolbar. I'm happy to have a look at these before giving you a comprehensive answer if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Alex,


the following is the email sent to the company.


Hi Phillip,

My name is Saar Hayon and I am writing to you in regards to a recent correspondence I received from "Plantec Holdings". Claim Ref: 150692.

I am deeply concerned as to why you are contacting me in regards to this matter. The hire bike you provided me was at the same condition I received it as to when it was picked up from my house on the 17/10/13. this is the first time I actually see the vehicle damage report and I did not actually receive one on the 17th. all that was left in the the mail hole was just a return envelope with instructions on how to return the key.

I am deeply concerned that the individual who picked up the bike actually inflicted the damage which you are referring too as I have 4 witnesses to claim that the bike had no damage as indicated by your report. I also have a photo taken in the morning of the pick up that shows no damage and was witnessed by myself and my partner.

I do believe that miss handling by your carrier is the result of this misunderstanding, and further more, I instructed the driver to knock on my neighbors door before he touched the bike so the neighbor can observe the pick up. I specifically told the driver to ring me before he touched the bike so I can make sure the neighbor is there before hand. (The driver was very rude and sounded in extreme rush when I spoke to him on the phone, and stated to me: "I am already behind the schedule and in a rush, therefore i can only pick it up within the hour")

I received no phone call after the bike was picked up and I specifically had the phone next to me as I was waiting for the call from the driver (my CEO can testify for this as I was in a meeting with him, and I explained to him the situation)

The neighbor was home the whole day (I rang him after I spoke to the driver to make sure he was,I specifically wanted him to witness the handover) and he said no one knocked on the door or approached him, Even tho I made it absolutely clear to the driver that he must get the neighbor.

I think that you are ought to look into your drivers handling of the hire bike as I was not there to sign any hand over documents or witness the handling of the bike, I was left no documents apart from the key instructions (this is the first time i am confronted with the copy of the damage report) and the driver clearly ignored my instructions, which all in all lead me to believe that a misconduct by the driver took place! (If I had been provided with a damage report I would of taken actions immediately the day it was given to me)

I am sending a copy of this correspondence to my lawyer as I do believe that foul play has taken place, and also I am going to ask for a full background check and CRB proof from you for the driver.

I do regret that this issue has arise, and I do hope that we can get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your time Phillip,

King regards,

Saar Hayon

GFIT Marketing and Operations Manager


I have the photo to show the bike has been moved, im just not home to send it to you yet. I would really just like to know if i am liable, if i wasn't witnessed the pick up, i specifically asked for my neighbor to be present, and the fact I wasn't left a damage report.

Thank you very much for your help Alex.
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the email and the additional information.

This is a civil matter and as such, the general rule is that hirer has to prove you are liable for the damage on the balance of probabilities. In otherwords they have to prove that its more likely than not that you caused the damage.

Their problems are: no handover sheet; no witnesses to damage; failing to notify you immediately and your denial of liability.

Despite these difficulties the hirer could still pursue a claim against you and in this regard all the points you raised in your email are relevant. You cannot stop somebody pursuing a claim - but you can defend the allegation on the basis that you did not cause this damage and, therefore, should not have to pay.

Whether or not the hirer pursues the claim depends on the cost of repair. If you put up enough resistance they may decide that its not commercially viable to pursue the matter - the risk of losing and ending up paying costs is likely to put them off.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Alex,


Thank you very much for the information This is very helpful. I just need a tiny bit more of a clarification. If this is in their interest to prove to me behind doubt that I caused the Damage as this is a civil matter, why do they seem to think that I need to prove this ?? I just need to make sure I have this covered from all Angels. However you seen to think that it is their problem to actually prove me wrong, if they take it any further legally, could I make them pay for my lawyer expenses of I won ? Do you think that my case is strong enough ?


Kind regards

Saar Hayon

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
Good Morning

Just to be clear: this is a civil law matter not criminal.

In criminal cases the other party has to prove your guilt beyond reasonable doubt e.g. 99%

In civil casss they have to prove your liability on the balance of probabilities e.g. 51%.

So the standard of proof is lower in civil cases but its still down to the other party to prove your liability.

It is not down to you to prove your innocence.

Their problems are: no handover sheet; no witnesses to damage; failing to notify you immediately and your denial of liability. In order. To prove the case against you they have to deal with these issues first.

It is right to say the other party (hirer) could start proceedings against you. If you lose you would have to pay them plus the court fees and their fixed costs.

If you win you won't have to pay them but if this is a small claim (e.g. a few hundred pounds for repair and labour) then you probably won't be able to recover your legal fees but you may get some expenses.

If you are adamant that you didn't cause any damage then obviously you must fight this case bearinf in mind the costs implications mentioned above.

Hope this helps.