I think I’ve got myself in serious trouble. I got knocked off my old Bandit 600 several months ago. It’s worth about £1400 and I only use it when it rains as I don’t want to dirty up my Triumph.
I was insured third party only and somehow or other my bike ended up getting taken away from my garage and I was provided with a brand new hire bike. I was told by the chap who dropped off the bike from the hire company all the costs would be paid by the other side. However, I did sign a contract that says otherwise.
There’s now a couple of grand in hire charges and about £600 in storage fees, which is going up every day. The problem I have is, my insurer now wants to set the claim against me on a 50/50 basis, and to be fair that is about right. However, I’m worried about the 50% that may not be paid by the other side. What can I do?
I sympathise with your situation, but there is not usually such a thing as a ‘free lunch,’ to coin an old phrase.
Firstly, I always advise any client that they have to mitigate their loss: i.e. do everything they can to stop the claim increasing. Therefore, as you had another bike and a garage, there is a very real chance a judge would award you nothing for a hire bike and storage, because the argument is, you did not need it.
Secondly, you need to check any paperwork you signed with the hire company. If you have signed to say you are liable then it will likely argue you are liable to pay for its charges. You can argue against this giving evidence of what was said but it may need a judge to sort it put.
Being practical, at this stage I would call the hire company and see if it will accept 50% of its outlay. Often a company will take a reduction and deal with the third party direct as it does not want to go to court.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.