Hit On Bike – Advice On Recouping Cost Of Damage

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  • Hit On Bike – Advice On Recouping Cost Of Damage
  • A month or two before Christmas I was hit by a bloke in a van whilst cycling home from work – he drove straight through a Give Way into me. He then drove off without stopping to give any insurance details (some indication of guilt). The collision buckled my rear wheel which is an oldish Hope Hoop but which will money cost to replace. Luckily I have a head cam and captured it all on video.

    I reported it to the Police who obtained his details and passed them on to me, but declined to prosecute for any offence. I then phoned his insurance company (around mid-December) who told me to contact a company who deals with claims for them. When I contacted the claims company by e-mail I was given a bit of a run-around in that they couldn’t understand that I was on a bike and didn’t have an insurance company and kept asking details I’d already answered in previous e-mails. I go the impression they were trying to shake me off.

    The last I heard from them was 12th December which I replied to on the 13th. I left things over Christmas then e-mailed them on 3rd January pointing out that they hadn’t replied for three weeks and to let me know what was happening. They have not replied so I’m now convinced they are trying to ignore me to get rid of me.

    So the question is, what do I do next to make them take notice and deal with me seriously. The option as far as I can see are:-

    1) Contact Insurance Ombudsman to complain about their inaction. I’ve had a good result with this before and the Ombudsman does seem to have some teeth.

    2) Get a personal injuries type solicitor involved (although there were no injuries)

    3) Something else

    If it’s 2), does anyone have any suggestions how to find a suitable solicitor?

    Any experience/advice gratefully received

    There used to be an organisation that helped deal with this stuff but Google isn’t playing nice, I’m sure someone must know.

    poah
    Member

    I’d be interested to know why the police didn’t do anything.

    stoddys
    Member

    Personal claim against the driver who then should go to his insurance.
    Small claims court.

    tjagain
    Member

    I would be asking the chief constable and the crime commissioner if there is one to explain why he was not prosecuted first of all because he clearly committed several offences.

    I would use one of british cyclings recommended solicitors

    taxi25
    Member

    Trying to claim the cost of an oldish wheel clearly isn’t getting their attention. Whiplash can take a couple of months to kick in, that stiff neck, nausea and pins and needles in your fingers need sorting.

    alpin
    Member

    You say the old bill gave you his details?

    If they aren’t going to take any action then sod them.

    Going through the court will take time and energy without any guarantee that you will win.

    Go round and **** up his motor inconveniencing him far more than your buckled wheel did you. Keep him off the road for a few months.

    nofx
    Member

    I’m with alpin in this. The cops can’t be bothered,the insurance companies can’t either. The cops have the details . So if you’re taken to court for ,let’s say slashing 4 tyres & breaking his car windows. You can get the cops involved to show the evidence you’ve given them. A hit & run is much more serious than some minor vandalism. I don’t think the cops would even prosecute. It’d show their incompetence.🙄

    I don’t get it, on what basis can the police decline to act when presumably presented with video proof of a fail to stop/hit and run? I’d be going bananas at them…

    scratch
    Member

    It won’t help now but this is pretty much the only reason I’m a BC member (bar the odd race every now and then)

    I had something similar a couple if years ago, luckily the guy gave me his details but after contacting BC they did everything and sorted my bike out to be as new, although even with then it still took around 9 months

    fooman
    Member

    I’m pretty sure BC will do retrospective claims so you can join after an accident and use their service.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Financial Services Ombudsman is worth a try next. Free for you. Final letter to claims co. and insurer stating “you leave me no choice but to raise this with the FSO”

    Costs to the insurer:

    All businesses are entitled to a number of “free” cases. We don’t currently charge a case fee for the first 25 cases in a year. But we will charge £550 for the 26th and each subsequent case.

    Sounds like the shower you’re working with are going to be lucky not to rack up 25 complaints in a year, so it’ll cost them.

    kerley
    Member

    Go round and **** up his motor inconveniencing him far more than your buckled wheel did you. Keep him off the road for a few months.

    Great advice. The likelihood is that you will get caught/prosecuted for that while he has already escaped it.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    This is not a financial/insurance issue – you have no contract with his insurers.

    It’s a civil claim for damages – small claims against the driver for the wheels, any clothing or other bits damaged, your time and costs chasing this up. If you can get a specialist solicitor through BC then use them.

    I’d be going back to the Police and asking why there’s no action for careless driving, failing to stop and failing to provide details. They are encouraging people to submit video footage, they need to be following through on it. Being cynical, one video, several offences, one successful crime statistic ticked off.

    nofx
    Member

    Kerley. If the op got nicked for doing over the bloke who hit hims car & the cops tried to prosecute, they’d show that they didn’t bother doing anything about a hit & run. That wouldn’t go down too well

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    If you aren’t making a personal injury claim for £££ then lawers won’t really be interested.

    They work on a percentage fee of the award this days IIRC, the rules around no-win, no-fee changed a few years ago. A couple of hundred quid back wheel won’t keep them in champagne and BMW’s sadly.

    So you were knocked off your bike by a bloke in a van who failed to stop, you’ve passed the details onto the police who have done nothing but given you his address to sort it out yourself?

    If thats true and you’re having problems doing anything with insurance, go around to his house with some wheel weights and pop a load on his wheels.

    Replace your wheel yourself and smile when you think of the fella wobbling all over the place trying to understand why his van is shaking itself to pieces and the time he’ll be taking out of his day to get to a garage so they can diagnose it.

    Or option 2, Bombers / wee in shoes / poo through letter box.

    Thanks for all the advice, think I’ll try and stay inside the law although I liked the suggestion about putting weights on his wheels!

    Yeah, I don’t think solicitors would be interested in taking on a case of a couple of hundred quid.

    Think I might try ombudsman although small claims might have a bit more clout.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Kerley. If the op got nicked for doing over the bloke who hit hims car & the cops tried to prosecute, they’d show that they didn’t bother doing anything about a hit & run. That wouldn’t go down too well

    Yeah, that will really sort things out….

    oafishb
    Member

    Sorry to hear this.
    It’s not ideal, but have you considered using your house insurance to claim?
    I was hit on a roundabout by a taxi who just drove through my back wheel from the side as he didn’t want to stop for the junction; I took some advice from TIred on this forum and decided to claim on my own insurance and let them chase it back from the insured driver. My bike was written off and I mangled my knee and shoulder. Amazingly, the police are charging the guy with driving without Due care. I’ve also got a personal injury claim going on.

    It’s not ideal as my premium has gone up and dealing with BeValued (on behalf of Aviva) has been a nightmare as they have required three valuations of my custom road bike…..still no payout a month on. But It’s better that having to wait for the legal stuff I think.
    Just a thought.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    MoreCashThanDash

    This is not a financial/insurance issue – you have no contract with his insurers.

    Good point well made. ta.

    kerley
    Member

    Kerley. If the op got nicked for doing over the bloke who hit hims car & the cops tried to prosecute, they’d show that they didn’t bother doing anything about a hit & run. That wouldn’t go down too well

    You seem to have a very strong understanding of how the law works, are you a lawyer?

    twowheels
    Member

    (IAMAL etc)

    +1 for small claims court given no injury (which is great). Cheap and if you’ve also got it all on camera should be straightforwards. Not sure what ombudsman can do.

    I’d also want to know why the police aren’t prosecuting for failure to stop if you have clear evidence a collision did occur and there’s no way the van driver could not have realised (ignoring the question of fault etc, which would require some investigative effort on their part and sadly is never going to happen).

    Got a lot of sympathy for being given the run around by insurer. They seemed mildly bemused when I called and explained their customer had ploughed into me and destroyed my bike. It took me an embarrassing number of minutes to realise they were never going to do anything when it was only me asking politely.

    Premier Icon dogxcd
    Subscriber

    It might be worth contacting the Motoring Insurance Bureau

    IHN
    Member

    Just to add a note of caution/realism, and ignoring the hit and run bit, but be aware that strictly the damages he’s liable for is the value of the back wheel at the time of the incident, NOT a new for old replacement. If it was a wheel that you could only hand sold for, say, twenty quid, that’s what he owes you.

    This was explained to me by a British Cycling solicitor after I was hit last year, which ended in a pringled rear wheel.

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Subscriber

    strictly the damages he’s liable for is the value of the back wheel at the time of the incident,

    Whilst this is true, there was a thread on here from a solicitor explaining that in reality the courts are reluctant to do this to private claimants.

    House insurance or small claims court for the OP – also hassle the insurance company direct. They may pass you to their outsourced claims handling company but they are still responsible for the claim so if the other people are giving you the runaround then whinge at the insurer (executive complaints).

    FOS isn’t relevant (as you’re not their customer).

    Tweet the video, tagging in a couple of online cycle mags such as road.cc, cycle safety groups and your local police force with the polices decision not to prosecute. It might get them to reconsider. But beware, you may attract comments from the loons.

    mattsccm
    Member

    A mate had the same. Chase his insurance. Not a 3rd party. Don’t be fobbed off. Why are you waiting so long. Demand to speak to some one senior and ask politely for a settlement. If they say no then say that it will be put in the hands of a 3rd party who will also be asking for costs. Allow 24 hours for payment. This worked,
    be very polite but stop talking to the monkey.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Got knocked off on a roundabout in Sep. I’m with CTC their legal sorted the whole thing. I just supplied photos of damage, details of driver, attended a medical etc etc all sorted for me by solicitor.

    All pretty easy. Bike fully repaired for £2700, scratches to di2 and carbon wheels so all replaced for new. Now final settlement going through for my grazes, gear, loss of bike use etc. I even got paid for taking my bike to and from the bike shop as the other party insisted on choosing the bike repair shop.

    Was very very easy, why I paid to be in CTC. No increase in premiums and because its no win no fee completely free for me. I wouldnt be on the road without it.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Claim on your Home Insurance.

    I’ve heard of revenge tactics of peppering an offenders car with small stones fired from a catapult at close range. I’ve no idea how his windscreen was stone chipped. No idea at all. Remarkably he was rather unlucky when it got stone chipped again just after it hand been repaired. Damn unlucky.

    Speak to British Cycling.

    The solicitor they use was simple and got him £4.5K for injury (went to hospital with neck and head injuries) and squashed bike.

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