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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22697
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My daughters car has been written off by an employee of

Customer Question

Hi my daughters car has been written off by an employee of "downers" at her workplace. The employee drove a roller into her car he was not licensed to drive the roller and was left on sight unsupervised. My daughter has full insurance but the payout is going to be less than her loan on the vehicle. The employee who drove the roller was also under the influence and tried to run away from the scene of the incident. Can she seek any compensation from the company and should this matter be reported to osh?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The insurance company will only ever pay out the value of the car, whatever that is. I expect you have already had that discussion with the insurance company assessors. If she complains to the Department of Labour health and safety investigators, it is possible that they may investigate what has happened because it took place at a worksite. The issue will be whether the employer could have taken any steps to prevent an employee using the machine while intoxicated. If the employee drove the roller under the direction of his supervisor, then the employer does become involved, and a prosecution could result. You may be aware that in such a prosecution the parties who have suffered loss can get some compensation. Regrettably this can be a slow process however. If the employer defends the charge, then it may take some time. She should perhaps approach the employer in any event, and explain what has happened and that she will still owe money on the car, which otherwise she would not have had to pay, and ask them to pay this. Where there is negligence the test is whether the negligent act caused the losses, and she can certainly argue that but for the accident, she would not have had to pay the additional amount owed on the car, but would have paid it off in the usual way.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks yes the company admits responsibility as they failed to induct the employee onto the worksite. And wanted to settle when it first happened but are now avoiding the matter.the police arrested the employee and we are currently trying to obtain the incident reports.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

As the victim of this, your daughter is entitled to be told what is happening with the police prosecution, so you can keep up to date, and perhaps tell the police prosecutor about the losses she will have. If the driver pleads guilty then he may be ordered to pay reparation, although that can be slow sometimes, as he may need to pay this off. I would keep approaching the employer-they may be waiting for the prosecution to be completed but that should not stop them settling with you

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