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lockwood2012, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 67
Experience:  Barrister with over twenty years of advisory and litigation experience.
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I was reversing my car and whilst parking into a tight space

Customer Question

I was reversing my car and whilst parking into a tight space and bumped the car behind. The owner of the car was present and after anoid protest we checked his car and agreed no harm done and no details exchanged. 2 days had passed and I parked in the same place (a school run parking area) and the owner of the car approached me claiming that I damaged his car i.e 2 smal cracks at top of front grill.
I was surprised at his claim as he checked we checked his car over and on looking at the damage and it's position I believe this was the result of a previous incident.
Does he have legal grounds to claim?
Many thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  lockwood2012 replied 5 years ago.

lockwood2012 :

Hi, thank you for the question.

Customer: Hello
lockwood2012 :

In the normal course of events if you damage another persons vehicle vehicle as a result of this sort of driving misjudgement, then the other driver will be able to make a claim against you (your insurance) for any damage caused. In this instance it appears that as a result of the driver of the other vehicle being present. you were able to check for any damage together. It appears that you both agreed after the inspection that no damage was visible. That would normally bring the matter to an end if both parties are content to leave it at that. Did you check the area he now claims was damaged as a result of your driving on that day?

Customer: Sorry for the repeated hellos, just finding my feet on how this process works.
lockwood2012 :

There appears to be no bar to him making a claim, but his chances of making a successful claim would appear to be substantially reduced as a result of your joint inspection. He would need a good explanation as to why he noticed this alleged damage later when you were no longer present. I take it you disputed the damage when he approached you after the two days.

lockwood2012 :

I should have asked if you have now exchanged Insurance details.

Customer: To be honest it I checked the low bumper area as that was the point of impact and I was in a bit of a rush as I was collecting my child from school. However the owner looked over his car thoroughly and he had ample time to check again whilst I was gone.
lockwood2012 :

The damage from what you say appears to be a little high as far as your impact is concerned. Could your vehicle have come into contact with his at this point?

lockwood2012 :

It may be that you want to let your insurance company deal with it. If you think that this make impact upon ant no claims bonus you may have, you could ask him to get a quote on a "without prejudice" basis and if if was a modest amount deal with it without involving the Insurance companies.

Customer: Yes I did and also there was another parent with me at the time who questioned him also as I felt a bit agreived but thats why the parent stepped as he could see I was flustered.
lockwood2012 :

I`m sure you were a bit surprised having thought you had dealt with it. The short answer as I have indicated above is that he could make a claim. I don`t know if any of the matters you have raised above is of help. But it may be better to l

lockwood2012 :

let the insurance company deal with it. Otherwise just wait to see what he decides to do. What did he say when you disputed it on the second occasion?

Customer: The grille is in a high position and slanted so it is unlikely. After my parent came to my aid he did ( the parent) what would like for me to do. He made reference to fixing the grille but he still did not ask for my details, is this usual?
lockwood2012 :

If he thought he was on firm ground he would have asked you for your details. It sounds a thought he is not sure himself.

lockwood2012 :

This damage may have been caused by a larger vehicle like a truck. I would leave it and see what he does. It sounds a thought he may leave it. How long ago was this?

Customer: He is European so I guess he may not have an understanding of protocol.
lockwood2012 :

I am proceeding on the basis that he himself has Insurance. I find it a little odd that he seem to have made no request of you.

Customer: My parent did say to the owner that he should have declared damage at the point of impact not 2 after the act as I now dispute it, and I left it at that. I never asked for his details as we agreed to agree but I assume he does have insurance? I a part of want to make a gesture and ask for quotes etc. But I fear that in the end it will be a costly gesture as a feel that the owner is not being totally honest with.
Customer: By contacting my insurers how does this help and protect me?
Customer: Is my time up?
lockwood2012 :

If you have some doubts and concerns, I would do nothing at the moment. It does smack of a bit of a try on. There appears to be no evidence that you caused the damage and he appears to be unsure of his ground. Any gesture may turn out to be more expensive that you would expect. He has recourse if he truly believes that you caused the damage. I would really leave the ball in his court.

lockwood2012 :

I am not sure you need to contact you company as they would use this incident to assess risk and therefore premium on you next renewal. As i have said your not sure you caused the damage in any event.

lockwood2012 :

I would just make a note for possible use if the matter is raised whilst it is fresh in your memory.

Customer: I am not one to runaway from any responsibility my conscience will not allow hence me talking to you at 3 am in the morn, but I do not want to be taking advantage of eite
Customer: Either. My. My gut tells me to sit tight too. I will still continue to do the school run so I guess we will see each other again.
lockwood2012 :

I would not say you are doing anything dishonourable. The position appears to be that you are unlikely to have caused the damage of which he now complains. I am suggesting you simply stand your ground for the time being and see if he wants to take the matter further.

Customer: All points noted and many thanks.
lockwood2012 :

No problem, and best wishes.

lockwood2012 :

I would be obliged if you could ensure I am credited for the time. Many thanks.

lockwood2012, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 67
Experience: Barrister with over twenty years of advisory and litigation experience.
lockwood2012 and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joanne M replied 5 years ago.
Sorry to interrupt.From the facts it is not worth you risking the no claims bonus involved in reporting this to your insurers. Also, you would have to report within a certain period of time of the accident.It will be a small claims court sum so the worst is that you will have to pay. On these facts it could go either way. The fact that he didn't notice on a cursory inspection this damage does not mean its likely a court would believe it was caused in any other way. Remember a court would have to find there was another collision in exactly the same place which would not be common sense.From my long insurance experience as you were at fault and it is only the issue of “was there any damage” at issue, your insurer will pay out.

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