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Driving case going to court

(12 Posts)

I was involved in a minor collision a year ago. I was turning off a main road into a side road and collided with a car exiting the side road. Barely a scrape to my car, bumper damage to his. It's a turn I make 3 or 4 times a week. I hit the other car only because he pulled out as I was turning in. I reported the collision but didn't claim as the damage was minimal and our car is old and we are replacing it soon. A few months later other driver made a claim against me. The first I heard was when I was served court papers. We are in court at the end of this month.

The damage to his car is in the region of £1200 apparently. Obviously he is insured and is just looking to avoid paying his excess.

There are no witnesses (apart from our children in the respective cars). It is my word against his. Despite this it will go to court with barristers on both sides and the hearing could take around two hours. I will be cross-examined in court.

The regal rep from my firm suggested that he would be hoping I would back down before court, which I won't do as I believe my version of events is correct and I am not pleased that he's saying I didn't indicate.

I wondered if anyone has been in this situation and could tell me what to expect in court? I am so cross at being put in this position.

stripeytiger Tue 15-Oct-13 11:40:35

Hi. Sorry to hear about this, it's bad enough when you have an accident especially with children in the car. No experience to share with you but hopefully someone will post with some helpful comments.
I had an accident about a month ago, a car pulled out in front of me (he was coming out of a side road onto the main road I was on). It was clearly his fault and he admitted fault at the time, however I did call the Police anyway because I didn't want to take any chances. However minor I think if there is any doubt who was at fault, always good idea to call the police, if nothing else they will supervise the exchange of details to make sure you don't leave yourself vulnerable should the other driver not be insured, MOT'd etc.
Hope the court case goes ok for you.

Thank you Stripeytiger. It is a worry I could do without right now but I have no choice but to turn up to court otherwise it's admitting fault. Not looking forward to being quizzed by a barrister and a judge though, it has to be said, but I guess that the other party realises that and hopes I don't show.

GenericNWMum Tue 15-Oct-13 18:43:54

HoneywithLemon I haven't been in your position, but I am a barrister and have done a fair few RTAs in my time! The advice I always give, is first, don't worry. As long as you're doing your best and being frank, then the judge at least won't give you a hard time.

Your barrister probably won't ask you any questions - the witness statement you will have provided to the solicitor stands as your version of events. It is important for you to read this carefully and make sure it is accurate - including whether there are any omissions (such as indicating, checking mirrors etc). If there are errors make sure the solicitor in advance or the barrister at court rectifies them.

The toughest part is when you are cross-examined by thè barrister for the other side. The best advice I can give is (I) listen carefully to the question asked - it you don't understand or it's not clear ask them to rephrase it; (ii) if you don't know an answer then say "I don't know" or "I can't remember" ad appropriate - it's when you start trying to help in these circumstances that they tie you up in knots; (iii) when they put a question to you that you don't agree with - say it's wrong and explain why.

Mainly just keep your cool, take it at your pace - feel free to ask for water, take sips before answering ques etc and you'll be fine!

Oooo smile Thankyou Generic - that's v. useful. I am most displeased to have to deal with this but it looks like I've no choice. I will let you know how I get on.

iheartdusty Tue 15-Oct-13 22:15:44

it is all pushed along by the insurance companies. The other driver probably feels as irritated and anxious as you do. He probably had no choice but to go along with it.

RedHelenB Wed 16-Oct-13 11:10:32

Onus is on someone exiting a side road to a main one not the other way about so I can't see how he thinks it was all your fault, best case 50/50 surely?

Hi
I had just joined the main road from a side road not quite opposite to the junction he was pulling out of. It's a bad junction. Not quite a cross roads though.

Who knows if it's him or his insurer, but it seems odd that an insurer would press to go to court and not settle for 50:50 given there are no witnesses and the damage was relatively minimal (£1200 allegedly). I think it's more likely it's the other driver who doesn't want to lose his excess and thought if he pushed it to court I would back down.

RedHelenB Wed 16-Oct-13 16:47:03

Were they both right turns? It does seem more 50/50 as you put it now.

Yes, both right turns.

RVPisnomore Wed 16-Oct-13 19:21:38

Hi Honey, I don't think it's up to him whether or not it goes to court. The insurance company will ask you if they think there is a good chance of winning but if they don't think they will they won't take it to court.

As others said be honest and stay calm and hopefully you'll get a favourable outcome.

Thanks RVPisnomore. Will report back when it's all over.

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