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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been involved in a traffic incident, during which another

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I have been involved in a traffic incident, during which another person is making false claims about a car accident that never happened. The problem is that at the day and time of the incident I was not insured, as my car insurance had cancelled the policy without my knowledge. I have already been summoned to the court for the insurance problem and I'm trying to resolve this with them. However, the other person is still making false claims about the accident and also she has made accusations against me in my work place. For these reasons I want to take legal action against her. Any advice?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What action are you hoping to take?
On what specific grounds?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

First of all, there was no accident between myself and her. So, she is making false accident claims with her insurance and I don't want to pay for that, considering also that I was not covered by an insurance policy at that specific point (without my knowledge). Also, I would like to sue her for defamation, as she has been doing false accusations against me in my work place.

It is not that simple I'm afraid.
What has she actually said ? What are you said to have done?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We were both queuing to enter our University's car park (I'm a lecturer and she's a student) and suddenly she stopped because she thought that I banged her from the back of her car. I agreed to pull over and actually there was no collision or damage, but even though, because she was quite upset, I agreed to exchange our details. To be honest I was quite naive to do that and not even keep evidence about the fact that there was no damage. Also, they were people stopping by and confirming that there was no accident. After that, I got a phone call from Lancashire police informing me that there is an accident claim against me by her. She reported that the back of her car and the driver's door were damaged and that she had to attend a hospital for neck pain following the collision. At this point, I was also informed by the police officer that my insurance had cancelled my policy, but I had no knowledge of that. After that, I tried to contact her to the mobile number she gave me at the place of the incident, but she never replied. Instead she made a complain to my university that I misused the university resources to access her, which I never did. Also, in her complain she falsely accused me of causing the accident.

That is all I need to know. The only potential issue here is that allegation that you used university resources to access her. In truth, I am not really sure that does amount to defamation. The new law requires that the statement be sufficient to cause 'serious harm' to your reputation. I suppose that would depend on University policy.
However, that may amount to a malicious communication. It is stretching the law a little. You would have to show that she knew it was untrue but if you were given her mobile at scene then that may be possible as she would have known that wasn't how you got her number.
The allegation that you caused the accident certainly does not. It isn't really something that would cause 'serious harm' to your reputation as the 2013 Act requires unless you were something like a professional driver.
The other problem with the causation of the accident is that she will defend on that basis that it is a fair comment and then all she has to do is prove in the circumstances that it is a reasonable comment. I suppose the only issue may be that she is alleging damage whereas if your account is correct then that cannot be the case. That is an insurance issue though.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** the issue with the accusation and I can deal with that on the basis of the University policies.

However, with the insurance issue, how can I defend myself and prove that there was no accident at all and that she is making false claims? Normally, my insurance should do that, but they are refusing as they are claiming that at that time I was not insured with them.

If you mean a civil claim then she can bring a claim against you personally and you can defend it.
Obviously there is no way of proving a negative. There are no magic wands in any court. The way you prove things is that you call enough evidence to convince a court. How that is done is a matter for you. It depends on the facts of the case. Sometimes enough evidence exists and sometimes it does not.
If witnesses exist to confirm there was no accident then you can invite them to give evidence.
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