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Mother with dementia and no license had RTA

(87 Posts)
ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 22:11:52

The situation is that my mother has dementia, the DVLA cancelled her licence and then her insurance, tax and MOT all expired. But she continued to drive and in December had a minor collision.
The police have told me today that they won't be prosecuting her for dangerous driving and leaving the scene, as her mental health makes that a pointless exercise. They've given me the details of the 3rd party and passed my details to that person. They've told me the other car has a dented bumper. They now consider the case closed and are leaving me to resolve the claim privately.
But I don't know what to do for the best. I'm worried that if I deal with the 3rd party directly I open my mother up to the risk of being ripped off if this person claims a whole load of extra damage.
Shouldn't the other insurance company have settled the person's claim and then they contact me to try to get my mother to pay them back? Anyone know how it normally works when there's an uninsured driver in a collision?

specialsubject Thu 09-Mar-17 22:22:49

The other person needs to go through their insurers. They may have uninsured motorist cover which will protect their no claims. If they don't, they will lose out more.

Tell them that.

Not much else to be done assuming you have got rid of the car.

noeuf Thu 09-Mar-17 22:29:10

How did she keep driving? Did you not get rid of the car ?

I'd contact your own insurance just for a heads up on what to do tbh.

eurochick Thu 09-Mar-17 22:36:03

The other driver's insurance should compensate them but the insurance company could then pursue a legal claim against your mother. Morally I think your mum's money should be used to compensate them.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 22:37:09

We didn't realise her licence had already been cancelled. GP, social worker and I reported her to DVLA, and tried to convince her to stop driving. But we couldn't take the keys because she had spares and needed to try to work with her not against her.

She isn't insured, hence I have no insurance company to fall back on for help.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 22:38:36

And yes, I agree, I want to do right by the other person but at the same time I don't want to make my mother vulnerable to being ripped off.

CactusFred Thu 09-Mar-17 22:38:43

Why the hell did fid no one get rid of the car or hide the keys?! This could've been a child she ran over rather than just a fender bender! As she cannot be responsible for herself anymore the family need to help ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Thu 09-Mar-17 22:43:57

there's no point with the "what if" argument, trying to make the OP feel worse than she does's sorted now.

I'd suggest some proper legal advise and a "without prejudice" offer to recompense the other driver for the dent.

...not sure if "without prejudice" is one of these legalese terms that really mean bog all, or not, but if it means the person with the dent is not out of pocket then it's all sorted.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 22:44:17

Because if I stole her car I would be acting criminally, and would then not be in a position to apply to become a deputy of the court of protection to safeguard my mother's welfare and interests.
Seriously, I have gone round and round in circles for months trying to find legal ways of resolving this situation, I came on the legal board because I'm now after facts relating to the situation as it currently stands, not a post mortem of whether I've handled the situation correctly up until now.

Viviennemary Thu 09-Mar-17 22:44:22

I also think somebody should have taken responsibility and stopped your Mother driving. She could have killed somebody and it's lucky the accident was a minor one. I find it a little distasteful that the family wishes to avoid paying compensation to the other driver who was totally innocent.

WrongTrouser Thu 09-Mar-17 22:47:47

Is the issue of your DM being able to use her car still unresolved? If so, I think this should be a much higher priority than sorting out the accident claim.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 22:51:16

The car is now gone, hence the police are satisfied the criminal aspect of the matter is resolved.

I now need to find a financial resolution that is satisfactory to the 3rd party but doesn't make my mentally unwell mother vulnerable to fraud.

Choconuts Thu 09-Mar-17 22:54:09

You need to speak to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). They deal with claims involving uninsured drivers.

What should happen is the other party's insurance company submit a claim to the MIB who will pay the claim and then look to recover from the responsible party (your mother). The MIB will make sure the correct amount is paid by checking invoices etc. You may find that they don't actually seek payment from your mother due to the circumstances and the police decision.

CactusFred Thu 09-Mar-17 23:00:57

I've come back in to apologise OP.

You hit a trigger as this happened to a friend's child. I should've thought before hitting send.

Also, In my line of work I meet many dementia sufferers who have done similar and the family know they still drive and are totally blasé about it and I've had to contact police. 'It's the only independence they've got.'

So double whammy on the trigger front.

AddToBasket Thu 09-Mar-17 23:01:18

Do not pay the claim yet.

If the other driver contacts you just repeat, broken record style, 'you will need to get you insurer to deal with it' - don't say anything else. This way the other driver will get his car fixed by his own insurer. In turn, that insurer, at a later date, can claim those costs against your mum. What often happens is that the Motor Insurance Board get involved as your mum (or the uninsured party's) 'insurer' and meet the claim. That may or may not happen here. Regardless, I would say the best hope you have of dealing with it to your advantage is to make sure that you are pretty bloody difficult to deal with. Be hard to contact etc.

Your mum might eventually have to pay it or she might not. The insurer might accept part of the amount due just to recoup some losses. The MIB might pay the claim in full.

hoddtastic Thu 09-Mar-17 23:03:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 23:10:30

Ok, I'm going to say this once more and then stop engaging....
My mother is sick, she's 62, her brain is crumbling, she's losing her independence, she's scared, she's irrational.
I am dealing with this on my own, I've tried my fucking hardest to fix things but I can't break the fucking law to do so. I will lose my job. Even the police didn't respond to my requests to seize her car.
Yes she was wrong to drive, but she's ill. She's also a victim here, and doesn't deserve to be fucked over financially because she's ill.

So, now that's off my chest, thank you for the constructive legal advice.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 23:13:34

And thank you for the apology Cactus, I can appreciate it's a triggering scenario but I really haven't just been sitting back and filing my nails while she drove around. I've been tearing my hair out looking for legal solutions. All the mental health professionals I've spoken to, and even the police, agreed it's bloody hard to stop this happening without something bad having to occur first.

VelvetSpoon Thu 09-Mar-17 23:15:09

The other driver DOESN'T have to claim on their insurance.

They may not want to lose their ncb, or be able to afford the,excess.

They also may only be covered TPFT or third party only, so they're not covered for own damage.

You should notify the MIB of the claim, and if the other driver contacts you, direct him to them. They will ensure he receives appropriate compensation, subject to an excess, and then seek to recover any money's paid out from your mother, which is as it should be.

It really is very lucky no one was killed or injured. I don't understand why people with dementia are not stopped from driving by their families as soon as they first show symptoms. At that early stage presumably the elderly person would have sufficient periods of lucidity to agree, rather than leaving it to the point where the Court of Protection is involved.

Megatherium Thu 09-Mar-17 23:16:48

hoddtastic, OP's mother had no idea what she was doing or that she was doing anything wrong. It's not a question of whether she "deserves" anything, and it's not what this thread is about. The MIB is funded to deal with precisely this sort of situation. Butt out.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 23:19:10

Nope, she never agreed. Even in her most lucid moments, even after other accidents, she refused to acknowledge that she was a danger.

But stealing her keys was not an option. If she reported me to the police and pressed charges for theft, my relationship with her would have been over and my job would have been at risk. I can't jeopardise my children's welfare like that.

hoddtastic Thu 09-Mar-17 23:25:12

you can't jeopardise your own children's welfare but were ok with your mum doing the same to everyone else's?

I'll butt out, but really- if she's no sense of what she's doing you take the fucking keys. We've been in a similar position- the car was removed from the house, what possible legal comeback could there be preventing someone committing a crime?

abbsisspartacus Thu 09-Mar-17 23:26:16

So basically you have no rights to prevent a person with dementia driving if you do your breaking the law and can be arrested

Sounds like a hell of a loophole in the law

OP I feel for you as your the one who got her licence revoked there should have been something more you could have done but it sounds like there isn't

Gingernaut Thu 09-Mar-17 23:26:17

Who has POA? If not, then your Mum may be too far gone so you need to apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy due to your Mum's incapacity.

It's a longwinded and expensive path, but if your mother doesn't have capacity, she needs a legally appointed representative.

Sorry if I am preaching to the converted.

ImaginaryCat Thu 09-Mar-17 23:28:55

Doing that now Gingernaut, and hopefully when I have it I'll be in a position to release funds to compensate the other driver. Sadly POA didn't happen as with it being early onset we were taken by surprise.

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