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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was recently taken to court alleged car accident.

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I was recently taken to court for an alleged car accident. I was not guilty of the alleged offence. However the judge found against me. I was let down badly by my own insurers who did not file any papers with the court, the council they hired was insipid to put it mildly.
What do I have to do to make a complaint about my insurers?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Didn't your insurers cover the CCJ for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was not in a County Court. It was filed in the matrimonial and civil court.

The civil court is a county court.
Why didn't they cover it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was not told why. The judge asked why, my barrister just shuffled a few papers, said nothing and the judge said we did not have time to waste so carried on regardless. I knew from that point I had lost the case. My insurers seemed to think that because the claimant had a "witness" that it was not worth fighting. The fact that the claimant were both lying didn't seem to matter to them.

I see the issue. The insurance company are entitled to make that decision but why didn't they just settle?
How did this come to court?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think my insurers wanted me to just go knock for knock though they didn't actually say as much. I was adamant that I was not going to admit to something that I knew had never happened. I told the truth from the outset. the other parties changed their stories several times because I had explained to my insurers that I have sensors and a camera on my car. The other party changed their minds again and because the only account that matters is the written one submitted to court, I was left up the creek without a paddle as it were. My evidence remained the same throughout. No accident ever occurred.

Unfortunately, the court has to make a decision one way or the other and whilst I fully accept that the others were lying through their teeth and you were telling the truth, unfortunately it comes down to who the court believes as to which way it goes in court.
It would not be the first time, particularly with a civil matter, where the wrong party had been successful.
It must be decided on the balance of probability which basically means that the judge must believe one version of events only slightly more than the other to make a decision which must be one way or the other because there is no middle ground.
If you think that the insurance company handle this really badly then you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You are going to need however instances examples of why they handled this badly and not simply because you lost or because the judge preferred the other person's version of events. You are going to need actual facts of what they did wrong and what they should have done.
When there is no evidence and both parties adamant that they are not to blame my advice is never to go to court because the court will always come down on the side of one or the other. That is something that you should have been advised by your insurer and if they didn't advise you in that respect that could be grounds for complaint. If they did advise you about that but you were adamant that you still wanted to go to court (which is quite understandable as you were blameless) then you actually have no complaints.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo. I always felt I was clutching at straws but I did ask the question to my insurers and they said it wasn't their place to advise me. I must decide for myself. The solicitor that acts for them said two days before it went to court that in his experience it was a strong possibility that I would lose but "enjoy my day in court!" I thought that was a strange thing to say. Thanks for your help. Jenny

No problem and all the best.
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