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UK Solicitor John
UK Solicitor John, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 854
Experience:  8 years legal experience
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My son had an accident in my car and he was a named driver a

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My son had an accident in my car and he was a named driver a passenger was injured and he may have been over the alcohol limit. He is awaiting results of blood tests. Am i liable for this money or him. I know i will probably have to pay back the money they gave me when my car was written off but I wondered who they try to claom the third party money off. Is it him or me?
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Derby
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We have been interviewed by the loss adjuster and the police
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No just that

Hello welcome to Just Answer.

I am a solicitor just reviewing your question and will provide a response shortly which will be later on this evening.

Please be aware this is not a chat service so there may be delays in responding.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay thank you

Hello thanks for your patience.

So you are the policy holder and registered owner of the vehicle and your son is just a named driver who caused injury to the passenger while operating the vehicle?

What was the accident circumstances; was your son involved in a collision with another motorist?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No he crashed into a parked car that were empty. There were 2 other people in my car which he was driving and they ran off and presumably were not injured. The injured passenger had a suspected twisted bowell that the operated on him to investigate but he was okay and was back at work about 3 weeks later but is now claiming whiplash and psychological problems. He was arrested by the police because he was already wanted for other offences
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My son was arrested after he was checked over at the hospital and a blood test was taken and we are expecting the results on Monday. They expect he was over the limit for alcohol

Ok I see thank you for explaining. There is a distinction here between civil and criminal law. The criminal aspect would be him being over the limit so that is a separate offence and him crashing the car and causing injury is a civil matter. I will only address the civil matter.

As a named driver on the policy, the first point to note is that he was insured to drive the vehicle. This means any accidents whether by fault or non fault would automatically be dealt with by the insurance company of the vehicle. So the third party whiplash claim would come off the insurance policy and you as the policy holder who permitted and named your son as a named driver would be affected, when it comes to renewals or premiums etc. Your son no doubt would also be affected if say in future he had to get his own insurance as he would have to disclose these details, but for now as you are the policy holder it will be your insurance that is affected and therefore your insurance company will cover the cost of the claim for the whiplash injury and any property damage like the empty car.

However saying this, there is actually a defence to be used if the third party did put in a whiplash claim. So please make sure your insurance company investigates this before agreeing to any payments. The leading case for this is Owens v Brimmel [1977] you can google it to get a brief outline. But it essentially states if a passenger gets into a car with a drunk driver and knows the driver is drunk, then his damages for personal injury will be reduced by 20% as he has negligently contributed to it.

There is also the common law doctrine called “Volenti Non fit injuria”. This basically states that where someone has willingly placed themselves in a position where harm might result, knowing that some degree of harm might result, they are not able to bring a claim against the other party. So if this injured third party knowingly placed himself in the vehicle of a drunk driver he may not be able to claim at all. And if this can be proven, then no money will be paid for his personal injury. Of course this all depends on the results of the blood test. But your insurance company should be able to investigate this further.

I hope I have assisted you today. Please take a moment to provide a positive rating for me by clicking the stars above. I would be really grateful. And feel free to ask any further questions at no extra cost. Kind regards, John.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I don't think you really answered the question I asked as in is it me or my son who the insurance company will try to get the third party money from

I am sorry you feel so, but I have most certainly answered your question, and explained what will happen. The insurance company deals with the claims arising out of this incident. They do not pursue their insured or any other parties for monies paid out to a third party. The whole point of insurance is to deal with third party claims and own accidental damage. Therefore they will not pursue you or your son! Regards, John.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I know that they have said if he was over the limit the insurance company have said they will pursue me for money but i do not know if this is only the money they gave me for my car being written off or the third party money as well
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The insurance company says you are not insured if you are over the limit

What they potentially mean is that due to the offence they may not be able to indemnify your son because the particular offence is a breach of the terms of the insurance policy. They insure a “normal” driver and not one who is under the influence therefore as an accident has occurred with a driver under the influence they would not want to deal with it. They are correct in the statement but there are ways around the indemnity situation but in that case they would pursue your so for the monies they pay out to the third party (if any) and not you because he was the one who breached the terms, not you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you I think thathas now answered my question

Indemnity can be a tricky area to deal with, especially with vehicles and motoring law. Please let me know and return to the site if you require any further advice in respect of this. I am a solicitor and have also worked in an insurance company for 4 years so I will be happy to help and provide guidance.

In the mean time please take a moment of your time to leave a positive rating, thank you. John.

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