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Court issue(12 Posts)
3 years ago I exited a roundabout and was hit by a white van on the left passenger side of the car. After impact I was fully off the roundabout and he was partially on/off the roundabout. I have no idea where he came from until impact to my left and I entered and exited the roundabout as normal using indicators. When my car stopped post impact my indicator was still on, so I am sure of this.
I called the police at the scene as he was very angry and shouting and they didn’t attend as there were no injury’s and stupidly at his command I moved my car to the side of the road to clear the main road before taking by pictures of the scene.
I called my insurers at the side of the road and processed the claim. I heard very little for 2 years, a year ago their legal firm called to say I had to go to court and to fill in a form. I did so as requested and I know the offered a 50/50 settlement which they rejected. I heard very little again and tuesday last week, I find myself in court.
I have never been to court and 30 mins before it started, I met a solicitor I had never seen before who told me to give evidence, leave and she would call me later the same day with an outcome.
When I walked in the room sheer panic took over, the judge didn’t have all the case evidence, the other driver and her were disagreeing on something and he made a point of making faces at me when I was in the room with him.
I couldnt really get the oath out of my mouth, sat down and was handed a google map picture of the roundabout and in the panicked state I then went on to describe what was on the google map, not what happened. So stupid. The defence lawyer jumped on it and said I had lied and was wasting everyone’s time, I couldn’t answer some of his questions as I genuinely couldn’t remember some points. I did disagree with him (I was very polite but obviously anxious) and said I didn’t cause the accident and that I was mistaken earlier in the statement, he wouldn’t let me look at the map again and so on. My solicitor let me clarify later and I apologised to the judge from my error. I was told I was free to go and honestly, I fled as quick as I could.
it was awful. 5 days on I have heard nothing from anyone on it. I have left messages with the legal firm and nothing.
So, I am sure I have lost the case due to the poor performance on my part and I am prepared to pay the £1400 for the damage to my car. I can’t afford it, but I am prepared to do this as I was that bad in court.
Now I am terrified, I have no decision 5 days on and think it’s bad news and from their accusation of lying in or before court, (I didn’t lie) and now I am doubting my memory of what happened as I can’t think clearly as I can’t sleep.
I am worried that due to my panic and due to my evidence being all over the place, I would have been seen as trying to make a fraudulent claim. I have never made any insurance claims before and I only have seen horror stories on line.
I am literally hiding in the house waiting on a knock on the door from the police to charge me with fraud, that no one will insure me again meaning no car and if charges with fraud I will lose my financial job.
How can I deal with this proactively and get my anxiety under control? Any advice or shared experience would be great.
Giving evidence is very scary for most people. The judge is used to distinguishing honest, nervous witnesses from (usually) overconfident lying ones. So if you told yhe truth, you have nothing to worry about.
You solicitor is well out of order not communicating with you. I suspect they dictated a letter back at the office a day or so after, then it took a day for typing pool to type it, another day for sign off and 2 days for second class post. So you may be getting a letter in the next few days. Or you might find they have gone on annual or sick leave... it is really bad. I would phone agai and insis on speaking with someone who can have a quick look at your file.
Your solicitor should have prepared you for giving evidence. Not what to say, but generally how it works and what is likely to happen.
You could also try ringing your insurer, as they instruct the solicitor and they should know.
I doubt you will have to pay the damages, as these would be insured, unless they can PROVE you are lying which sounds very unlikely.
Nobody is going to knock on your door! It will be a letter or a call
I am sure it is not as bad as you think it will be. (((Hugs)))
If you were insured then the car payment is through the insurance - yours and his (the other driver's) have an argument over who's fault it was and who's insurance pays for the damage. Then the insurance pays.
Court implies a civil suit which means that he's going to prove personal damages/injuries/mental health issues from it. Depending on your car insurance, your insurers may still be liable for this too.
I'd phone your car insurance (not your current ones, but the ones who you were with at the time of the accident) and ask them for more details.
Thanks so much! It was my insurers who raised the action against him personally through civil court. The solicitor did say if the judge dismisses the case he can’t try to then counter sue for the same thing and there has never been any speak of injury or mental health issues. As I said it’s not the money I am as worried about it’s their accusations of lying and the fraud bit which is scary!
I will call them again in the morning!
Please don't worry. The insurers will deal with it but I would call them and ask them what the result was because you need to know. You did your best in court. That is all anyone can do.
So to update. The case was dismissed as I was classed as an unreliable witness due to my panic. Thankfully it is in the notes that I was a mess on the stand, but fine and coherent before I went in to court. That is fine, and am happy to accept the responsibility for my panic. The solicitor says that the court awarded the other side expenses only. I am happy to pay for this if I need to.
The insurers have not had a report from the solicitors yet and they want to review and see what they want to do and will come back and let me know if and what I need to pay.
They have said it will now be classed as an at fault claim. I have said I will pay what ever they need me to do and accept the loss of whatever they decide is reasonable from my NCB. The solicitors said they felt satisfied that there wasn’t a dishonesty piece and they were satisfied that it was panic and nerves. Just to know the outcome has settled me massively, and I feel more prepared to deal with whatever comes next. I hadn’t smoked in 11 years, but I did over the weekend massively!
I have also bought a dash cam as I never want to have my reliability questioned ever again, so it feels like a proactive measure to have the piece of mind it may give.
I don’t know if the other side can go for damages in relation to their vehicle or not. That hasn’t been mentioned but hopefully not as it was dismissed and no liability was mentioned, does anyone know if that is likely?
There will probably be a written order or judgment which will set out who won what and it may be useful for you to have a copy.
It sounds like your insurers brought a claim against the man who crashed into you for the damage to your car but he successfully defended that claim. Did he bring a cross claim, a counter claim, against you and your insurers for the damage you did to his car?
If the other side got "expenses only" that suggests they did not claim for damage to the car from you and probably it was a "small claim" (under £10,000) so neither side usually can get solicitors' costs from the other.
iti s a very difficult area. My daughter was stationery and smahsed into by someone from behind and they had pictures. Her insurers still decided when the man made a fake claim of £1k to pay it as it was not worth challenging! Even though she had pictures and is a solicitor her insurers would still not let her fight his totally wrong claim because it was too expensive for them to bother. People get away with all sorts in this field even deliberate crashes to claim money.
That is awful, I hope she was OK. I always thought if someone hit the back of your car, they were always liable. I am sorry she had that happen.
My insurers instructed the case and it was for only £1700 which is the damage to my car and the escess payment. I am not aware of any counter claims at all and on the day in court it was never mentioned. I know I cant have a do over from my case due to the dismissal, but am unsure if he can now try to counter claim for his damages. My insurers have never mentioned him claiming for anything.
The expenses award according to the solicitor was for expenses as she thought is was for his travel to court as he lived in a different city to the one the case was hear in. I hope so.
I did take out leagal cover when I paid for the insurance at the time so i think it will all be covered.
I definately will not want to repeat the experience and the sheer worry over the last week! I have a new respect for solicitors as they definately have a tough job in court!
If the crash was more than 3 years ago, he can't claim for personal injury.
You should not pay more than your excess. Don't let them bully you into paying more unless they have a valid reason (I cam't think of one)! Beong a "poor" witness is nor a reasom to pay more.
Good point on the 3 years for personal injury
It sounds like there will be no more come back on it and just because your claim against him failed does not mean that if he sued for damage to his car now (if he can having chosen not to include it in the other case) he would win.
My daughter was just shocked at the time but even even whip lashed. She was in stationery traffic and the man came into her from behind. It should have been open and shut case that he was at fault but he said she was responsible and her insurer just paid up - I think the problem is that a lot of these cases take so much lawyers' and administrative time that it is cheaper to pay than fight them which I suppose these alleged "victims" depend on.
The more I see on these types of things the more it seems it’s just pot luck on how claims work!
I wanted to say a massive thanks to you all for the support! You have all really helped ease my mind so much 💕
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