Rear End Shunt Whiplash Claim: Worn Tyres Invalidate Motor Insurance?

UK road accident solicitor explains how to claim compensation following a rear end collision, how to ensure your motor insurer meets the legal obligation to pay for vehicle damage and how to use your motor insurance legal protection cover

Car accident victim question

My son has recently been in car accident where he slowed down on main road and was hit by a bus from behind – a car was illegally parked on a double yellow line which caused my son to stop the car sharply. The collision pushed my son’s car into the parked car causing damage and causing my son to suffer whiplash neck injuries.

He is fully comprehensive and pays extra for legal protection and has been with the same insurance company for 4 years. The police were called and examined the cars and tyres and no charges were brought.

The insurance company have written my son’s car off and are refusing to pay for his vehicle damage and are asking him to sign a mandate form to cover the compensation claim and legal costs by the third party parked vehicle owners. His insurers say a tyre was worn below the legal limit.

There was a witness to the accident, but the insurance company have not contacted them for any evidence or my son to ask of any diagrams of where the other car was parked.

My question is can the insurance company refuse to deal with his claim as no charges were brought and any illegality, can then try and recoup costs from him, and if he has been paying legal protection should this not be acting on his behalf?

Road traffic accident solicitor response

There are several different vehicles involved in this collision, but tone thing is clear the damage to your son’s vehicle and his injuries have been caused by the bus driver not keeping a safe distance. As such your son has a claim from the bus driver and in turn his employers, through a principle known as vicarious liability, and his employer’s insurance company.

The damage to the vehicle that your son was pushed into should also be claimed from the bus driver.

Your son has legal protection cover on his motor policy – he can use this to fund the costs of a lawyer to make a claim or alternatively he can instruct an independent solicitor using the legal protection or a no win no fee agreement.

I do not agree he should sign the legal mandate. It might be that his tyres were worn below the legal limit, but so long as he has an MOT and has his car serviced regularly it is arguable to say that this was an innocent mistake which should not invalidate his motor policy.

He should look to the terms of the motor insurance (the small print) which will include a complaints process in the event of a dispute with his own insurers, as seems to be the case here. An ombudsman could be used to settle the dispute if your son’s complaint is not upheld.

So far as the motor insurer acting for your son – motor insurance is used only to indemnify not to act for. Your son can claim separately on his legal protection cover which will result in a panel solicitor being assigned who will then act in his interest. This solicitor should be independent to his motor insurer albeit linked to his insurer by a panel of insurance members.

As there is a dispute with the insurance company it will preferable to use an unconnected specialist road traffic accident.

Click road accident claim solicitor to discuss your claim with me in person or to start your claim with a specialist solicitor.

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