Hundreds of car insurance claims are made everyday, the regular commuter will be well accustomed to seeing two or three cars parked up on the side of a dual carriageway with drivers close by, furiously engaged in a war of words. Some of us may have been unlucky enough to be involved in an incident ourselves, and even when they don’t result in any personal injury, they can be traumatic and the paperwork that needs to be dealt with afterwards can be stressful to say the least. Let me share with you my experience with a recent car accident and subsequent insurance claim against me.
It was a late October Saturday afternoon, I was driving home from the gym in my dad’s car, a two-year-old Honda Civic Type R on one day insurance, a feisty little number that I had been dying to get my hands on for some time, my own car had recently been damaged by another vehicle while it was parked in the road outside my house and was in for repair. Despite having a bit of a heavy foot I was being surprisingly restrained with my speed considering I had a 2 lire VTEC lump at my disposal. I was two minutes away from my house when the driver of the car in front of me decided to veer right then make a sharp left into his driveway, slowing to a snails pace as he effectively barricaded the road at a horizontal angle.
My heart stopped and time seemed to slow down as I did my upmost to break hard and steer to the right to avoid the rear of his vehicle. My efforts were in vain, as I heard the gut-wrenching cacophony of twisted metal and saw smoke immediately begin to billow from the engine bay. After a quick and painless exchange of details with the other driver I had to contend with the worst episode of the whole ordeal, breaking the news to my dad! I spoke to my insurance company the following day, fully apportioning the blame to the other driver, it later emerged that his feelings were mutual, I had a fight on my hands it seemed!
After drawing up detailed diagrams of the incident for evidence purposes and getting the car repaired, I was inundated with claim and counter-claim details for months. Eventually I was informed that the matter would be taken to court as it could not be resolved on reasonable terms. I accepted this and set off suited and booted to defend my case. Having never been in a court environment before in this capacity I was quite fired up by the atmosphere and the fact that I had my own lawyer! Unfortunately I ended up loosing the case, while this was a disappointment I left safe in the knowledge that I had done everything in my power to fight my corner.
While I can’t change the result of this ordeal, what I can do is offer some advice to those in a similar situation. First of all if you are going to borrow someone else’s car, take out short term car insurance or temporary car insurance. If I hadn’t have covered myself the situation could have been a lot more serious. Secondly try to recall exactly what happened, write down every detail and draw diagrams for future use, you may have to explain an incident which occurred up to 12 months ago. Finally check, double- check and triple-check the particulars of your defense and counter-claim, the smallest detail can be picked up on in court and judges have a knack of putting you on the spot! Finally, to all those petrol heads out there, have fun, enjoy your driving but be safe and know your limits!
Joe is a motoring enthusiast and keen blogger, he believes in the convenience of short term car insurance or temporary car insurance to cover yourself in instances when you need to borrow someone else’s car!