Son Hit by Car Whilst at School

(138 Posts)
vivalavida Mon 10-Dec-12 13:53:37

Several weeks ago my 12 year old son was hit by a car whilst at school. The school is split across two sites with a rarely used single track road running through the middle. This is classed as a public highway although as I say very rarely used as it is not a through road.
My son was crossing at a blind spot with other children going from one lesson to another. They were unsupervised and this is normal practice. As my son stepped out of the blind spot to see if the road was clear, he was hit by young driver in her car. The impact was enough for him to smash the windscreen and he was taken to hospital.
Very luckily he walked away with only major bruising.
After a week off school and two weeks off sport he is now almost physically recovered, however we have now received contact from the driver asking for damages.
There were no direct witnesses to the accident apart from the driver's partner who was also in the car and my son's friend who is also 12.
It is still very difficult to ascertain who is ultimately at fault and we are reluctant to enter into a conversation without advice first.
The other issue is that the school seem non-plussed about the fact that our son has been injured whilst in their care, regardless of who's fault the accident was.
I really don't want to jeopardise his education by falling out with the school as he is happy there and doing well, however, if we do pay then we are admitting liability and may leave ourselves open to future claims.
Any advice would be greatfully received.

AnyaKnowIt Mon 10-Dec-12 13:55:19

Hang on, your son was hit by a car and the driver wants money from you?

seeker Mon 10-Dec-12 13:55:41

Whwt did the police say when you reported the accident?

TheCraicDealer Mon 10-Dec-12 13:56:24

Was it a solicitor's letter or something they've knocked up on word? I thought the driver was always at fault when there was a pedestrian involved?

drjohnsonscat Mon 10-Dec-12 13:56:36

If they want to sue anyone they should sue the school surely? Your poor son - terrible for him and for you.

ContinentalKat Mon 10-Dec-12 13:57:30

You should get some legal advice ASAP. I am by no means a legal expert, but since when does the victim of a road accident pay damages to the one who injured him?

ElenorRigby Mon 10-Dec-12 13:58:28

Post this on the legal forum!

She is having a laugh. Do not pay.

I'd be having words with the school too and reminding them of their responsibilities in loco parentis.

CailinDana Mon 10-Dec-12 13:58:45

As far as I know once a pedestrian is on the road they have right of way, so legally the driver is always at fault if they hit someone. Apart from that, that woman has a serious brass neck to be asking for damages when she could have killed a child. Most normal people would be falling over themselves to apologise, she's looking to make money out of it. What a horrible shit she is.

FivesGoldNorks Mon 10-Dec-12 13:59:15

Surely not!

Witchety Mon 10-Dec-12 13:59:51

Yes, I was warned about this when my son was recently hit by a car ( on his journey to school)

In our case the driver sent a card to apologise ( absolutely not her fault) police told me to keep it in case of a claim

And school were amazing! A pupil saw the accident and called the school. His head of year and another teacher got straight to the scene and one went in ambulance with him. Both teachers phoned twice a day to make sure we were all ok. I have never felt so 'cared' for! Funny how schools all differ so much

Jins Mon 10-Dec-12 13:59:54

This is down to the premiums that young drivers have to pay unfortunately. If this goes as a blame accident with an injury then the premium will be astronomical. You should get a solicitor to help on this one

fromparistoberlin Mon 10-Dec-12 14:00:58

this cannot be true

someone run over your child, and they claim damages

sweet jesus

read posts here, and GET LEGAL

poor boy

please call police and before you do anything report the incident

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 10-Dec-12 14:02:10

Yep, get legal advice.

I'm guessing this is a home-produced document and they are just trying their luck after realising how much a new windscreen in, but they are having a laugh.

Once a pedestrian steps onto the road they have right of way. It doesn't matter if she saw your son or if she expected him to be there, or even if he wasn't supposed to be there. She pays, because the vehicle was in the wrong. She should not have continued driving.

Contact the police officer who took your statements etc, to make sure that this is all logged. They should also sort out her request for "damages".

TheCraicDealer Mon 10-Dec-12 14:02:11

Exactly Kat, sounds like someone chancing their arm.

If it's some shoddy DIY "I want compo" job I'd be inclined to ignore it until it's followed up with a solicitor's letter. If what you have is from a solicitor then I'd pass that to your Insurers for their information and the school. With them I'd basically be like "your problem, get it sorted".

TheCraicDealer Mon 10-Dec-12 14:02:38

But yes, post on legal and get a solicitor!

BerthaKitt Mon 10-Dec-12 14:05:12

I imagine it will be the driver's insurance company who are suing you in order to recoup the money they have paid to repair the car. What did the police report say about fault? Was the driver charged? I'm assuming not.

Drivers are not always at fault, not if a pedestrian acts recklessly and steps out into the road giving the car no chance of avoiding them. Not saying this is what happened in your son's case! I'm glad he wasn't seriously hurt.

Look up your car insurance. You should have legal expenses. They will put you in touch with a solicitor who can help or even make a counter claim. Alternatively there may be legal expenses on your household policy.

Dh (lawyer) says they are having a laugh.

DO NOT PAY OR ACCEPT LIABILITY!

Feel free to pm me if you need details of a solicitor who can help depending on your area.

Softlysoftly Mon 10-Dec-12 14:06:13

[sshock]

On other matters how is it safe for a school to have a barely used through road in the centre. It's inevitable kids will become complacent about it.

Witchety Mon 10-Dec-12 14:06:22

It does happen.... The police told me to be prepared for it

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 10-Dec-12 14:06:59

I witnessed a teenager being run over a few years ago.

Then a couple of days later I got a phone call from some 'No win - no fee' merchants on behalf of the bloody driver. The Police had given them my phone number angry

I told them to bugger off and they didn't ring again.

Softlysoftly Mon 10-Dec-12 14:07:13

shock even

HeftyHeifer Mon 10-Dec-12 14:08:55

Get legal advice ASAP. This happened to me and my family when I was hit by a car as an 18 y/o. I was in hospital with serious injuries and the very next day my mother received a letter directly from the driver (not her insurance co or solicitor) asking for the money to repair the car.
In our case it was determined that it was my fault that I got knocked down and eventually the money was paid, less than she tried to claim, but it's important to take legal advice.

Pantomimedam Mon 10-Dec-12 14:09:18

Your poor boy - wow, how DARE they! As everyone says, they are at fault here. Tell them to sod off (well, actually get some legal advice - do you have cover on your home insurance?).

Re. school, they should have a travel policy that addresses the risks of pupils crossing this road. I'd ask to see their risk assessment for this road crossing and ask when they are going to review the instructions to pupils following this accident (am a governor, schools have thousands of policies covering every tiny detail, your son's school ignoring a pupil being run over on site is just ridiculous).

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 10-Dec-12 14:09:21

Can you phone the county council legal team if he's 12 and it was during school time surely the responsibility morally lies with them to help you through this. A phone call to your county council receptionist might help.

nannyl Mon 10-Dec-12 14:10:17

I was run over aged 16. The car was traveling 60 in a 30, but I didn't look.

The police man told me that it didn't matter that I didn't look as drivers are supposed to take care and anticipate unexpected from children. I was 3 months from 17 birthday but that didn't matter.

I was also by a school. By law it was the drivers fault as I was a child and they had to anticipate me.

I got a nice lot of compensation too, when I sue'd them.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Mon 10-Dec-12 14:10:21

It's not always the car drivers fault if they hit a pedestrian in the road, I hit a woman who ran into the road directly into my path, no chance to stop or swerve, my insurance didn't pay her and the police took no action.

RedToothbrush Mon 10-Dec-12 14:10:29

Aside from the issue that pedestrians have right of way - your son is a minor.

Therefore I would have thought that technically in this situation YOU aren't responsible or liable but your son is.

So the driver would be seeking damages from your son. I'm assuming that your son being 12 he has no assets and no way of paying damages to the driver even if he was responsible.

I'm struggling to see how they could take your son to court and win over this. You think a judge is going to rule against your son? Strikes me as a way of trying to unfairly get money out of you which you have no legal obligation to give.

I've no legal experience but I really do fail to see how they'd be able to make you financially liable.

Your son should get legal advice. Not you. (Obviously with you being there but I suspect there are potential legal aid issues here that might mean you don't have to bare any of the legal costs if they decide to pursue you).

This happened to an old neighbour of mine. Her son stepped out onto the road and got knocked over, he was fairly badly hurt and was in hospital for a week.

A couple of weeks later the driver pulled over when she saw my neighbour, she then asked her address, my neighbour thoought it was to send a card or something but asked why anyway and the driver said it was so she could send some papers to arrange a repayment schedule for her windowscreen. She said her insurance company told her to do that (I'm not sure how true that is). The driver didn't even ask how her son was.

In the end my neighbour saw a solicitor and (from memory) they couldn't legally enforce anything. The driver could only request the money but the boys mother could say no, the driver could have went to small claims court but didn't because it was so hard to prove who was actually at fault.

Your poor lad, is he ok now?

scripsi Mon 10-Dec-12 14:12:27

Get legal advice! And I would be looking at legal advice not just about this letter but also for damages from the driver. There is a reason the UK has compulsory car insurance and it is because of default liability for drivers who injure cyclists and pedestrians.
I suspect that the driver thinks you're about to approach them for damages and they are firing the first shot? Mad.

BerthaKitt Mon 10-Dec-12 14:12:42

Look at this OP. If this a genuine claim you need to refer it to your home insurers. Go

elfyrespect Mon 10-Dec-12 14:14:34

shock
How do these people sleep at night?

Really, what kind of person drives into a child and sues for the windscreen costs?

BerthaKitt Mon 10-Dec-12 14:14:41

Posted too soon.

Going by what it says in that link about drivers being expected to look out for drunk people in the road when passing a nightclub I th

BerthaKitt Mon 10-Dec-12 14:17:20

I hate this phone.

I have heard of drivers suing pedestrians and cyclists who collided with their vehicles but I think it's very unlikely a claim against a schoolchild for an accident next to a school would be successful.

TheCraicDealer Mon 10-Dec-12 14:17:47

Really don't get the mentality of this driver- surely if this happened you'd be feeling a) incredibly guilty, and b) unwilling to tempt fate into a nice letter from pedestrian's lawyers? Barmy.

Jins Mon 10-Dec-12 14:18:43

It's all about accepting blame for the accident and what impact that will have on future insurance. With an injury involved the chances of you making a claim against the driver are quite high.

You really need a solicitor. Well your son does.

AlphaBeta82 Mon 10-Dec-12 14:21:05

I would launch a counter claim. I was involved in an accident and told by insurance that when involving a pedestrian the insurance company will always accept the driver at fault rather than a costly court case witha pedestrian who ultimately has no insurance.

BlueberryHill Mon 10-Dec-12 14:22:58

Seek legal advice, your son could counter sue to injuries. Go after them, bastards how dare they sue the victim.

As your son is a minor he should be able to get legal aid, see a solicitor.

diddl Mon 10-Dec-12 14:25:23

To think that all that is needed is some form of crossing-or close the road off if it´s rarely used.

Hope you get sorted out OP.

MaMattoo Mon 10-Dec-12 14:26:49

This is crazy. The driver is responsible. Don't be silly. Go straight to the police! Or to CAB or a lawyer. They are being pretty cheeky. Your son is ok which is great but hellllooo!??

Is this a wind up? Because its the silliest thing I have heard for a while now..

SalopianTubes Mon 10-Dec-12 14:26:52

What RedToothBrush thief says ^^

Many moons ago I used to work at a firm of solicitors doing uninsured loss recovery. There's no way I would have accepted instructions to act on behalf of the the driver in these sort of circumstances. The chances of the driving "winning" such a case are minimal. It might be the case that they've sent you the letter in the vague hope you will pay out, but know they have no chance of taking things further if you ignore it.

Your son is a minor. No court is going to ask him to pay, even if the driver could prove he was negligent - which I doubt.

Your poor son, I hope this doesn't cause too much stress for your family.

RedToothbrush Mon 10-Dec-12 14:26:58

Counter claim isn't a bad idea. If only for the fact that you'd probably find it easy to get someone to represent your son on a no win no fee basis, and the burden of proof would lie with the driver to prove.

Given that theres likely to be signs up saying 'warning children' and the driver would have seen more children before getting to the blind spot then she would have a hard time proving fault against your son.

The insurance company would rather just settle than go to court as its more expensive.

I certainly wouldn't worry about any of it, though its obviously hard to do.

Wingedharpy Mon 10-Dec-12 14:28:24

If he was crossing at a blind spot and the driver hit him that would say to me that she was driving too fast.
On a single track road, she could have ended up in a head on collision with another vehicle.
She's a cheeky bugger.
Get legal advice and issue a counter claim for damages.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Mon 10-Dec-12 14:30:42

Blimey. I'd be so thankful that your boy wasn't badly injured and so sorry and apologetic to you and to him. Beggars belief !

escorpion Mon 10-Dec-12 14:30:46

Hi viva my mum hit a child who ran out in front of the bus he just came off. Luckily she was crawling as she overtook the bus, but he ran straight into the side of her car and also smashed her windscreen. Obviously it was a great shock for her. Luckily the boy was o.k. It was just one of those things where the child ran out into the road, not thinking that a car may overtake the bus. The police attended straight away and were brilliant. The police said she couldn´t make a claim off him as he was a child, so the insurers writ her car off and it went through her insurers only. Obviously that was the last thing on her mind though and she was very shaken for ages after.

SamuelWestsMistress Mon 10-Dec-12 14:31:23

I heard of something similar happening recently, only it involved a child on a pony. The driver was trying to claim and basically ended up being (quite rightly) wiped the floor of.

Some people are utter utter cunts. Tell them, perhaps in slightly more polite and legal phrasing (by a soliciter) to FUCK THE FUCK OFF! Greedy bastards. I despise the whole sueing culture so much.

Hope your son recovers well. Please try not to worry about these cretins.

getoffthecoffeetable Mon 10-Dec-12 14:31:38

Phone your home insurers. Most people have legal expenses insurance cover as standard on their home insurance and your son will be covered as a member of the household.
Awful thing for the driver to do. Glad to hear that your son is now fully recovered.
I'd also ask the school why there hasn't been a crossing put on the road for the pupils if it's required that pupils cross on a regular basis.

Merrylegs Mon 10-Dec-12 14:31:46

Is it a state school? If so I would be placing this very firmly at the door of Children's Services at your county council. Anyone who drives along that road should be aware it bisects a school and there should be road signage and appropriate crossing places to this effect. If there isn't, the education authority is ultimately responsible and should answer to any claims.

I don't get this bit in your OP 'I really don't want to jeopardise his education by falling out with the school.'

I don't understand that statement. At. All. Sorry. V odd thing to say.

What kind of school is he at? They MUST have a risk assessment policy for crossing the road.

There should be no reason to fall out with anyone.

Cozy9 Mon 10-Dec-12 14:32:32

Are there signs on the road warning drivers that school children may be crossing?

chrome100 Mon 10-Dec-12 14:32:35

To all those expressing horror at the driver asking for money - when I was a child I was run over and my parents had to pay for the cost of the ambulance because it was my fault for running into the road

Yorkpud Mon 10-Dec-12 14:32:53

I would say even if they had a case (which I doubt they do) the school would be responsible as they are in charge of your son while at school. The school should have adequate safety measures in place if a road runs through the grounds as well. The school's treatment of you is not right either - seems like they know they could be in a lot of trouble.

Glad your son is OK now. Please try not to worry you really cannot be liable.

RedToothbrush Mon 10-Dec-12 14:35:17

Don't phone your home insurers as even enquiring will mean your premiums will go up (stupid but true even if you don't go ahead with a claim and use their services I believe). You son will be able to get good free legal advice from other places so its really not worth ending up getting out of pocket when there are alternatives.

meravigliosa Mon 10-Dec-12 14:36:18

Your son should get legal advice. Even if your son was negligent, I don't see on what basis you could be held responsible. Any decree that the driver got against your son would be worthless, assuming that your son has no assets of his own. Your son may be eligible for legal aid to claim damages from the driver, if it was the driver's fault rather than his.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Mon 10-Dec-12 14:37:37

Reply asking for the drivers insurance details and tell her you'll be making a personal injury claim.

Don't even respond to her ridiculous demands for compensation from the little boy she hit with car.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Mon 10-Dec-12 14:40:38

All I can say is just to echo other posters. Your son, a child, was hit by a car. The car driver is always liable. Not only do you not pay this cheeky beggar's claim but you should get a good Solicitors letter sent in reply making it very clear that YOU will be claiming damages from HER!

Best of luck with it all & I hope your DS is recovering well. I have to say you seem much calmer than I would be in your situation grin.

sue52 Mon 10-Dec-12 14:40:43

I can't believe how greedy and immoral some people are! Hope your boy is not too traumatised.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Mon 10-Dec-12 14:41:37

"Don't phone your home insurers as even enquiring will mean your premiums will go up (stupid but true even if you don't go ahead with a claim and use their services I believe)"

Not true at all.

Don't be spreading stupid rumours around.

Insurance companies will provide you with a useful service should you need them to, even if you don't make a claim.

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Mon 10-Dec-12 14:42:24

Of course pedestrians can be at fault in an accident! How silly that so many people think otherwise.

That's not to say the OP's son was at fault in this instance, as a child and in the situation described it seems unlikely.

However, surely your common sense informs you that just because you're travelling on foot you are not excused from basic road sense?

EuroShagmore Mon 10-Dec-12 14:42:26

This kind of thing is quite common, unfortunately. A friend of mine faced a claim after she was hospitalised while riding her bike when a car driver opened his door without looking. He claimed for damage to his door. shock That didn't get very far.

Really you should be looking for damages from the driver for your son. It's worth seeing a solicitor. It should be quite easy to get a "no win, no fee" deal for this.

TeamBacon Mon 10-Dec-12 14:43:43

shock

Bloody hell.. some people are bastards.

oxeye Mon 10-Dec-12 14:45:05

how very distressing for you and your son. However
(1) it is not certain that the driver is automatically at fault
(2) it is not certain that your son is automatically at fault
(3) it is quite likely that the school are at fault if they allow children to cross a road at a blind bend

you need legal advice either through your household/ car legal expenses insurance or elsewhere. If you don't have cover you can get no win no fee - pm me if you need names

it is not right that had anyone apologised (or even sent a card at the time) that would be an admission of liability. As human beings with a heart we always tend to apologise and say "i didn't see you" or "are you alright" that is NOT an admission of legal liabiltiy and I wish people (including police!) would stop suggesting it is and so making a normal human reaction be suppressed or seem wrong.

take care of your son. even if he is seeming better now a blow like that could have emotional or physical consequences still

Yes, not sure why everyone thinks the driver is always at fault. Dd and I were hit by a car as we crossed a road; police attended and didn't take it further. I broke my foot and it was awful for dd. Saw a solicitor as everyone told me to, and it was absolutely not the case that she instantly saw pound signs and stated the driver was liable. Didn't take it further, as we all ended up fine. Never had any contact from the driver.

Yes, driver not always at fault. I've had a group of idiot kids cycle into my car while playing chicken - I'd seen them playing on the road as I approached so slowed down to a crawl only to have one of them (aged about 9) deliberately drive into my wing causing a large dent.

Pedestrians in the road always have right of way and drivers have to anticipate and adjust to road conditions but if kids are deliberately fannying about then you're not automatically liable.

maddening Mon 10-Dec-12 15:21:39

Surely she should be claiming off school as he was in their care and moving between their grounds.

Also the school need to review the safety of this crossing - should it be moved from a blind spot? Would traffic lights help? Or a foot bridge?

I would be tempted to counter claim for injuries - more to prove the point that neither can prove fault as no independent witnesses. - can they work out what speed she was doing by the damage to the car? If she could be proved to be driving too fast -eespecially ignoring signs (that I am assuming the school have indicating a school crossing) that children may be crossing.

shesariver Mon 10-Dec-12 15:29:17

Why would it invovle falling out with the school? If he was going between lessons is there a risk assessment in place regarding this road, regardless of it hardly being used it was used at this time.

Plomino Mon 10-Dec-12 15:30:42

Definitely seek legal advice . From experience , having dealt with lots and lots of accidents through work , and dealing with collision investigation officers, I would suggest that in order to hit the windscreen with sufficient impact to smash it, means that the driver must have been travelling at too much speed to be reasonable , particularly with its proximity to a school. There is no way on this earth I'd be paying them a penny .

uggmum Mon 10-Dec-12 15:32:23

Years ago my sister was run over. We were all crossing the road, 3 adults and 2 children. A motorbike came down the road at speed and hit my sister on the wrong side of the road.

She was injured, lost all the skin off one leg from the knee down and from other areas of her body. The rider came off the bike but had no injuries. His bike was damaged.

Imagine our distress when my mum received a bill from the rider for a full set of new leathers and repairs to his bike!

Needless to say, after my Mum's response we never heard from him again.

I would counter claim immediately for your Son's injuries and distress.

GlaikitFizzogTheChristmasElf Mon 10-Dec-12 15:37:44

At 12 how is your ds going to pay any damages? I assume paper rounds don't pay very well!

I assume the police were involved. What is the outcome of their investigation?

I would be telling her to whistle! Chancer!

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 10-Dec-12 15:42:18

I've not read other replies so sorry if this is repeating what has already been said. In an accident with a pedestrian, and one the age your DS was, it's not automatic that they will be deemed liable given his age, even if he had been the cause of the accident. That said, it's up to the driver to establish fault against anyone they think has caused damage to their car. If they were approaching a blind corner, on a single track road between 2 schools, and had been driving at a speed which prevented them from avoiding a collision with a pedestrian who stepped out to check visibility, with the knowledge that there could be children around, then they'll have a job proving that they were not at fault for the accident. If I was dealing with someone who was driving the car in these circumstances, I would not recommend they pursue a claim for damages against the pedestrian as it's a massive thing to prove in these circumstances. One way to 'persuade' them to drop the claim, is to put a counter claim in for the injury your son sustained. That claim will affect their future NCD etc. and could be the one thing that will convince them they won't get far with this claim, and drop it.

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Dec-12 16:44:38

That's awful if anyone should be due compensation it should be your son. I am glad he wasn't more seriously hurt. Defo get legal advice.

I think I'd contact the school, get their help with this one- they must have a legal team, and as someone else UT commented they are in loco parentis during school hours. The road is obviously used regularly, there will be speed limits involved. Is it close enough to the school that there may be CCTV?

I cannot believe the nerve of this woman, I would be apologising, not trying to make a claim against the child I had hit! My sister got hit around that age doing her paper round, and the guy bought her a new bike!
I was hit by a reversing car which sprained my wrist. The car itself was a rental car and the company refused to get involved, but the Police did say there was a chance the driver would try and sue me anyway as "that's the world we live in these days" so I ended up feeling quite pleased he didn't!

Shocking and really hope your son is fine now

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 10-Dec-12 17:35:24

As this was an accident on a public road involving a car, that resulted in an injury, then the police should have been informed, at the time IIRC. If the driver has not done this, this is likely to be an issue. Insurers usually, but not always, will go with the police recomendation in the case. Have the Police been involved OP?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 10-Dec-12 17:39:51

Well I don't think they can make you pay anything. Even if it was found the accident was your sons fault as the school are in loco parentis then surely the drivers claim should be against them.

Years ago I ran a kid over, well actually she ran out from behind a hedge and ran into the side of my car. She made quite a dent in it. I was told I could make a claim against her parents as they shouldn't have let a 7yo be running around unsupervised. Of course I didn't.

I bet if you engaged a no win no fee solicitor they'd soon get compensation for your son. I think it would be hard to prove its a pedestrians fault. Especially if noo independent witnesses.

NannyEggn0gg Mon 10-Dec-12 17:43:52

You need to see a solicitor asap.
You also need to see what policy the school had in place re H&S and movement between buildings.
Their duty of care seems to be somewhat lacking here.

Aboutlastnight Mon 10-Dec-12 17:47:38

I'd just ignore it TBH.

It takes time, money and energy to pursue a claim like this - i reckon the letters will dry up if you just ignore it.

I'd only fork out for a solicitors letter if it looked like she was serious. What a cow.

I'd be having words at the school, though. It's shocking he got run over while in their care.

mercibucket Mon 10-Dec-12 17:53:46

If anyone did this to me I would pursue them to the ends of the earth (or the end of the courts at least)

MrsDeVere Mon 10-Dec-12 17:58:21

The driver has been got at by 'no win no fee' merchants. Ignore it.

I had a tiny bump years ago. I am now pretty convinced the guy did it on purpose.
He came running out of the car, all smiles and perfectly ok.

Weeks later he tried it on with a claim and started phoning me. I ended up telling him to fuck off.

And fuck off he did.

bakingaddict Mon 10-Dec-12 18:15:35

I don't think 'no win no fee' merchants generally advise to write directly to the other party. It's normally all conducted through the insurer's solicitors and any you have instructed.

People who hassle you like that are more than likely chancers without the benefit of proper legal advice and are trying to bully you into paying.

LeeCoakley Mon 10-Dec-12 18:37:42

I would be so angry with the school! They should be putting in place signs, safe crossing places, talking about the dangers with the pupils etc. How can they allow children to cross at a blind spot? Are the children made aware of the dangers? As for not wanting to upset them, that would be the least of my worries.

squeakytoy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:13:38

Lets say any of you drivers on here were involved in an accident that wasnt your fault, and sustained expensive damage to your car.. would you just accept it?

RedHelenB Mon 10-Dec-12 19:23:09

That's what comprehensive insurance is for.

ratbagcatbag Mon 10-Dec-12 19:23:33

I am aware of a case with a friend of mine many years ago where he was on a newish motorbike in a built up area and a three to four year old ram out between cars, he had to swerve and just missed her but as his bike skidded down the road it was wrecked. He successfully sued the parents for the cost of a new bike. He was glad he'd obviously missed the child but was still looking at a couple of thousand pounds for his bike to be replaced.

mercibucket Mon 10-Dec-12 19:28:43

If I ran over a pedestrian I would never ever ever ever ever write to them asking them to pay for damage to my car, unless they had both done it maliciously and then been an utter tosser about it as well. I would simply pay for the damage out of my own pocket or claim on my insurance. That is what comprehensive insurance is for. There is no need to go through life being a twat.

Aboutlastnight Mon 10-Dec-12 19:30:50

Yes if you are insured then you can get car fixed.

I'm actually surprised at quite the level of hostility towards the driver who, by the OP's own admission, struck the child because the child crossed the road at a blind spot. Which sounds as if there was very little the driver could have done - even if they were going relatively slowly they probably couldn't have stopped in time if they literally found the child in the road. I bet the driver was very shocked and may have thought they'd killed them at first. Of course it's worse for the injured party, but a frightening thing none the less.

The child should have been properly supervised by the school who should have proper procedures in place to ensure children get across from one site to the other in safety.

While no one wants a child to be hurt in any way, shape or form, I can understand why a driver MIGHT want to persue a claim. Not everyone has fully comprehensive insurance or they may have a very high excess, especially if they are a younger driver. Seems somewhat unfair if they lost a no claims bonus if they technically weren't at fault.

Having said this, I realise many people would feel morally that they would feel awkward in claiming and choose not to. Whether the claim should be placed at the door of the school for lack of supervision is another point, but I think so much hostility to the driver is rather unfair.

Hobbitation Mon 10-Dec-12 19:38:05

Sounds like the driver should sue the school, not the pedestrian. The boy's parents should probably sue the school also. Really, a public road through school grounds, and a blind spot?

squeakytoy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:42:27

Not everyone has comprehensive insurance or the money to fork out for repairs.

And a 12yo should have the common sense to cross a road with care.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 10-Dec-12 19:44:55

Squeaky, it's not as simple as that - in the car -v- pedestrian situation, the onus is on a car driver to be more aware than the pedestrian by virtue of the damage a car can cause a person as opposed to the damage a person can cause a car. When it's complicated by the fact the pedestrian is a child, then the odds are stacked even higher against the driver in proving negligence. The only way this driver could say with certainty that they could not avoid a collision is if the OPs DS had somehow stepped out onto the road after the car had begun to pass, and damaged the side of the car. The fact the boy has caused damaged to the front i.e. windscreen suggests the boy was in the road before the car reached that point, and it's up to the driver to be able to react and avoid an obstruction in those circumstances. If the driver has been driving at a speed which prevented them from being able to react and avoid hitting a pedestrian, then again, further evidence that the boy cannot be held liable for causing damage to the car. It's always a massive risk trying to sue a pedestrian who is also a child because if the driver's driving has contributed even 1% to the cause of the accident, the child would be successful in gaining 100% of any compensation they could seek, as no court is going to hold a child liable for their own injuries in those circumstances. The blame doesn't then 'transfer' to the parent either. Ultimately, the driver here hasn't got a leg to stand on with their 'claim', and while the OP can ignore and hope they'll get the message, it's worth taking advice in terms of whether the school is covered for this \s it happened during school time so the OP can let them deal with the correspondence, or check the legal cover they have on their home contents policy etc.

iamapushymum Mon 10-Dec-12 19:45:58

This happened to someone I know.Their elderly father was knocked down by a motorcyclist and the motorcyclist (successfully) sued for damage to his bike and jeans!!
However your son has no assets and you were in no way being negligent, so they have absolutely no claim against you.It would be the LEA if anyone that they should sue.
I think it would actually be a good thing if they did.Youngsters crossing a road unsupervised during the school day is just asking for trouble

Hobbitation Mon 10-Dec-12 19:47:42

And a 12yo should have the common sense to cross a road with care.

And I think the school has a high duty of care to protect children in their care, including preventing accidents by providing a safe route to cross the road and blocking off any particularly dangerous areas, such as blind spots.

RedHelenB Mon 10-Dec-12 19:48:49

But surely you should be driving with more care near a school in any case. Iamapushymum - did the case in question go to court?

ohmeohmy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:53:24
bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 10-Dec-12 19:58:36

Voice, if it was a blind bend to the boy, then the same applies to the driver, but the onus is on the driver to adjust their driving to be able to react if there was a hazzard beyond their line of vision on approaching the blind bend. even if that means reducing your speed to a crawl, then that's what you would be expected to do, especially where there is a possibility of children being there.

mercibucket Mon 10-Dec-12 20:00:22

If you don't get comprehensive insurance then you take that risk, yes. Often comprehensive insurance is cheaper than third party. It has been for me for the last 5 years renewals as I always compare. There are plenty of situations where you won't be able to sue but have to fork out yourself. My dad hit a deer a few years ago and wrote off his car. Not much chance of suing the deer.

But that's not my point, really. If you run someone over, and particularly a child, how could you then sue them? What kind of person would that make you? I would far rather have a dent in my car than write to the parents of a child I had injured, asking for money. I think it is morally reprehensible to be honest. Yes, some people do it. No, that does not make it right.

If that child had bounced off my windscreen, I would be asking myself a lot of questions about how fast I was driving for the conditions, not writing snotty letters to the parents.

In the op's shoes, I would now be chasing them for a personal injury case, big time.

flow4 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:23:45

viva, I'm glad your son is OK!

I'm not a lawyer, and you/your son should take legal advice (if this isn't just a personal letter from the driver 'trying it on' hmm ), but there are a few things I am pretty sure about:

- Any claim the driver might want to make would be against your son, not you. He was not in your care and he wasn't going anywhere on your direction (e.g. an errand) so you have no liability in this situation.

- The school may have some liability, because he was in their care. If the driver isn't at fault, then they may have a claim against the school. You/your son may do too.

- The circumstances of the accident suggest that the driver may have more liability than your son. Drivers are expected to take extra care near schools, near bends, and where there may be children or other hazards. It may be worth considering a counter-claim.

- It is unlikely that an insurance company or lawyer would pursue a claim against your son, because of his age, lack of assets, the fact that pedestrian children don't tend to have personal insurance, and the reasonable likelihood that a court would rule that he was not liable.

- If by any remote chance the driver does decide to take your son to court, his legal costs will almost certainly be covered by your home insurance.

I would definitely be leaning very heavily on the school to reduce risks at that spot - warning signs, escorts, etc. Your local councillors may be useful too, especially if you approach them for help/as allies (ours helped us get a zebra crossing outside our local school).

imogengladhart Mon 10-Dec-12 22:11:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LessMissAbs Mon 10-Dec-12 22:12:22

This will be an insurance claim by the driver's insurers. You need your own insurance company to write back to them and claim on your behalf so they will back down and settle. I suspect the driver's insurers is expecting you to claim against them for your son's injuries, and getting in first.

If your insurers won't do this (eg lack of cover) you need to contact a solicitor for advice. Even if you pay for only an initial hour of advice and do the rest yourself.

I very much doubt if it went to court, a court would award damages against a child at school who was crashed into by a car, if the claim were defended. You do not necessaarily need a lawyer to defend and its easy enough to fill in the part of the claim to counter claim.

I would say the burden of proof shifts to the driver to prove they were not at fault if they hit a child at school, on school premises, on a part of the school where children cross unsupervised.

You need to let the school know you will be naming them as joint defendents if this claim proceeds.

Was the car driver at work when the accident happened? If so, her employers will be liable and it they you should sue.

Unbelieveble cheek.

LessMissAbs Mon 10-Dec-12 22:13:45

Meant to also say, it is reasonably foreseeable that a child may be injured if allowed to cross a road unsupervised with blind spots unless drivers proceed so slowly so as to always be able to stop in time. The school has been negligent, as well as possibly the driver.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 10-Dec-12 22:16:49

Sweet baby Jesus! The driver can fuck right off. What a laugh. Contact Her to confirm that you will not be paying any money whatsoever to her.

upstart68 Mon 10-Dec-12 22:21:55

Wouldn't this come under the public liability insurance of the school? I'd be seeking legal advice on this.

You might find your house insurance has a public liability element. I know ours gives legal advice under the cover.

But no, I wouldn't just pay up at all. This needs to go through the proper channels. You need professional advice on this.

I had whiplash 20 years ago. I didn't claim as the driver at fault was my friend. Years later I've had no end of problems with my neck. I think it's just useful to get his injuries logged in a legal way in case he has any problems in the future. By paying up you are effectively agreeing he was at fault. When you don't know that's the case at all.

MrsDeVere Mon 10-Dec-12 22:25:00

baking I think you are right.
The guy who was hassling me was trying it on.
Perhaps I meant that the driver had been influenced by the no win no fee culture.
But didnt think it through properly before I wrote it smile

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Mon 10-Dec-12 22:28:58

"Lets say any of you drivers on here were involved in an accident that wasnt your fault, and sustained expensive damage to your car.. would you just accept it?"

If there was nobody else at fault, then of course.

It happens all the time.

A 12 year old boy you hit with the front of your car is not responsible for being knocked over.

It is outrageous dickishness to try and bully his parents into paying for damage to your car.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 10-Dec-12 22:29:04

It's highly unlikely this is an insurer pursuing a claim - the insurer would have told their policyholder that they would not pursue a recovery in these circumstances. It would be a waste of their time, money and resources. More likely the driver, or some dodgy accident management firm who have got the circumstances wrong and think there is a chance of blaming a 12 yr old for an accident the driver is more, if not completely, liable for. Whoever is pursuing this has no clue how this sits legally and is attempting to intimidate the OP into foolishly believing that they'll have to pay them for the cost of damage to their car.

cumfy Mon 10-Dec-12 23:23:17

The police were informed ?

What did they say ?

cumfy Mon 10-Dec-12 23:25:27

Have you determined why the driver was using this road ?
Were they a learner ?

I'm astounded anyone could do anything but be apolagetic after hurting a child, but as op says its a young driver I'm guessing this is all about protecting no claims and keeping premiums down.

soontobeburns Tue 11-Dec-12 01:47:14

When I was 16 (7 years ago) I was hit by a car on the way home from school. Had 8 stitches and I'm still scared.

As it was a public road and I was not at lights and arrested and received a caution for jay walking and then the driver threatened to sue myself. She didn't when told it would vbe unlikely she would win.

This is still shocking to me to this day as I just followed the way the other children walked. Happened as I didn't know how filter lanes worked and misjudged when to go.

But yes please fight it. Hope your DS is okay.

ibizagirl Tue 11-Dec-12 06:24:40

Hope your son is ok OP. Don't let him accept responsibility. If you have legal cover through your car insurance, you must speak to them asap. If not then get a solicitor. I expect the driver is using a no win no fee dodgy company. I know someone who barely rolled into a driver (and i mean 2 miles an hour type of thing) on an icy road and he got done on this no win rubbish for 6 grand. The woman in the other car claimed he was speeding down the road (unlikely as the traffic was all queuing so lies) and she got out the car and was fine and laughed it all off etc. Then a letter came for injuries etc and dented car when there was no damage to either car. Terrible time and was called to court etc but told not to go or accept responsibility. She still got the money though through lies and by her passenger friend lying about injury and nightmares. It really was a joke. Don't let this happen to your son. Good luck.

KittyFane1 Tue 11-Dec-12 07:09:21

Your son's school should have the correct procedures in place when students are moving from site to site. Do they have a full time crossing patrol (because they should)? They have a duty of care and students should be supervised. I wonder if their silence is because they know that they didn't provide this care and have been negligent?

My son was crossing at a blind spot with other children Well, your son's failure to know his Green Cross Code is obvious and he has done something very dangerous. His 'blind spot' is most likely to be the driver's blind spot too. In that case, how is the driver at fault when a boy steps out in front of the car? The driver could have driven slower but may well have still hit your son.

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 07:13:14

I'd ring your insurers and ask them... Or go back go the police.

I'd like op to come back. confused

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 08:26:49

Yes, me too smile
Tho' I sometimes forget how fast things can move in MN World... In RL I guess she has only had half an afternoon and an evening... She may have just been >gasp< busy! grin

Mincepieanyone Tue 11-Dec-12 08:50:02

I think the school needs to take more responsibility. If there is a blind spot then the children shouldn't be trying to cross there for exactly this reason but as a 12 year old you probably wouldn't realise the dangers. Therefore the school should employ measures to make the crossing point safe. It's in their interest to do so and I'm not sure they would come off too well if this went to the local paper for example.
As for the driver, she is taking the piss. She hit your DS, he didn't jump on to her car. If, god forbid, he had been seriously injured, she wouldn't have had the face to try and get money from you. It's just because he is ok that she is trying.
Thirdly, the school should have contacted the police when the incident happened and the police should have taken full control of the situation and be liasing with you. If the school did not involve the police then I would have serious concerns about their health and safety procedures.
Really hope your poor DS is ok.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:28:24

I'm sure the police will have attended. An ambulance was called. As far as I'm aware, the police automatically come to any RTA if an ambulance attends.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:30:34

Oops, no, re-reading the OP, it says "was taken to hospital", so perhaps no ambulance... viva, did the police attend?

Kitty: the driver is at fault because she was driving on a road through a school while children were moving between classes (the must have been kids all over the place) and didn't think to anticipate that there might be some children crossing the road in that blind spot. As a driver you are supposed to think about these things. And you certainly don't blame the 12 year old you hit and injured and try to get compensation from him. What you do, is drive very cautiously in that sort of situation.

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 09:51:49

those defending the driver as it was a blind spot - point is, the driver should have recognised it as a blind spot and slowed down to a speed whereby if there was anything in the road, they would have been able to stop. she hit him, not only that, but she hit him with enough force that he, in turn, hit her windscreen. she must have been going pretty fast for that to have happened.

i am amazed by the schools lack of interest in this too. my dc's are both at primary school, and anywhere they go during school time has been involved in a risk assessment, so i would have thought this road, being within school property would have been risk assessed. is there is no official crossing place that is marked out and sign posted?

JingleBellaTheGymnast Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:46

Of course it's awful that a child was injured, but surely the school is at fault here? Money is really tight for us at the moment, and if my car sustained damage that meant it was undriveable due to no fault of my own we would have no option but to ask for the person/organisation at fault to pay for it. For me, that would be the school.

Not everyone has a protected no claims bonus, and the thought that the driver should be sued for someone stepping out in front of the car seems madness. Surely if there is any suing going on then both sides' complaints should be against the school?

Acky123 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:03:14

Still no sign of the OP? Strange that she hasn't come back.

I can't really see how the school is at fault here - OP's son was on a public road.

Equally though I can't see how the driver can sue the son either or his parents.

Sounds like you need some legal advice - I would be checking my house insurance and seeing if there is legal cover on there.

JingleBellaTheGymnast Tue 11-Dec-12 12:05:09

But doesn't the road run through the school site? Surely they should have some measures in place for crossing, if there is a blind spot?

Seems odd that someone can bullseye a windscreen and the police are not called.

Acky123 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:09:06

OP said it's a public highway.

My college was on two sites. If I or one of my mates were run over on the walk between them I can't possibly see how the college would have been to blame or responsible for damages.

Equally there was no special crossings - again, the route was a public highway.

Surely it's the pedestrian who is responsible for choosing a safe way to cross, whatever their age? Nowt to do with the school. Not saying the OP's son was in the wrong in any way.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 11-Dec-12 12:15:28

What road signs and road markings are in place to warn drivers of the school entrance and the presence of school children?
Either these need to be reviewed, or if they are already adequate then it would appear that the driver didn't pay attention to them.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:27:55

Acky, the school has a clear duty of care while pupils are at school and travelling between lessons/sites (as opposed to truanting/sneaking off site).
There must have been a risk assessment in place for pupils getting across that road, and clear rules for the pupils. The risk assessment definitely needs reviewing in the light of this accident, because it obviously isn't working.

cumfy Tue 11-Dec-12 14:40:13

he was hit by young driver in her car

Was she a 6th former ?

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Tue 11-Dec-12 15:00:14

I think this would need raising with the school to make sure they look at things to make sure it can't happen again, which could easily have much worse consequences another time.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Dec-12 18:07:57

I thought cars should always be going slow enough to do an e,regency stop and avoid kids, etc running out into the road. That's what my driveing instructor drummed into me. It's why on narrow residential streets with parked cars I may well only do 20mph or even slower, even though speed limit is 30.

Driver was going to fast if she hit someone.

cumfy Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:20

Beaver, yes, definitely should be able to stop within range of vision.

Could have been a pram or pushchair for all the driver knew.

PastalaFestivista Tue 11-Dec-12 20:46:01

Am wondering where the OP is? First time poster or name-changer, one post on Monday lunchtime and pfft!

KittyFane1 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:48:59

Arbitrary:Kitty: the driver is at fault because she was driving on a road through a school while children were moving between classes
I've read the OP again and you're right, it isn't a through road and the driver should have been more careful. Many split site schools are separated by roads with busy traffic.

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:10

this thread is the op's one and only post, no mention of name changing. am now wondering if they've not come back as it's a reverse thread, as in the op is actually the person driving the car.

aibu seems an odd topic to post about this in.

SugarPasteSnowflake Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:59

If the driver was rounding a blind corner, then she should have been moving slow enough to stop upon sight of something in the road. That's driving 101; you should be able to brake to a stop within the amount if road visible to you if you are rounding a bend. If you can't then you are going too fast.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 11-Dec-12 22:10:30

she was driving through the grounds of a school, she should have anticipated that there would be children crossing the road to get from one school building to another school building.

Driver should have been driving slower in order to be able to stop faster on blind corner.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 22:34:55

I wondered that too nipersvest...

dayshiftdoris Wed 12-Dec-12 01:05:11

Just to add...

4 yrs ago I was in an accident in the car - hit by another driver not stopping for a roundabout so hit about 25-30mph and car would have rolled had it not been for a traffic island bollard. His fault and convicted of a driving offence

The county council contacted ME for costs of damages to the bollard...

I called them to say I was not at fault and was told that they pursue the person who hit the street furniture not the person at fault. I asked what happens if it is a cyclist or pedestrian with no insurance who hits said furniture and causes damage and was told that the policy was the same regardless.
Infact her words were 'If you damage OUR property in an accident then it is YOUR responsibility to cover the cost of damage regardless of how you were traveling'.

After that NOTHING surprises me anymore with regards to traffic accidents... such a fixation on blame and recouping costs that all common sense and common decency goes out of the window!

A school on a split site is different to a college due to age of pupils. I would say that school need to get involved as actually if you were 'playing the game' you could actually claim for damages from them as they allow pupils to cross there and were responsible for him at that point.

They should have a risk assessment in place and surprised they have children crossing unsupervised.

RedHelenB Wed 12-Dec-12 07:23:37

Did you pay it?

cumfy Wed 12-Dec-12 21:04:25

Hope OP's getting legal advice.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Wed 12-Dec-12 22:03:13

dayshiftdoris, you should have simply forwarded the letter onto your insurer and they'd have supplied them with the details of the responsible driver's insurance. I hope you didn't pay them.

dayshiftdoris Thu 13-Dec-12 00:47:21

I didn't pay it and had no intention...
I rang them because the letter did not tell me to forward it to my insurance company and it was worded in such a way (it mentioned 'fault') that I thought they had been told that I was the person who caused the accident.

As it was I was informed that it was worded that way as I was at 'fault' - I had damaged the council's property and no they did not care that someone else pushed me into it.

I asked if they ever check if there is a serious injury or death involved before they send out that letter and was told 'no'.

The insurer rang me when they got the letter and asked if I had informed the council that the other driver was at fault and when I explained she was shock at the attitude.

That all said - my son and I still say that bollard is 'ours' grin

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