I was involved in a fairly minor off when a driver failed to give way. Speed has been alleged against me. I have an action camera which shows I was not speeding.
Unfortunately it also shows prior to the collision, I had made some very lively overtakes, gone over a few solid white lines and had been doing about 85mph in a 60 zone.
I went with a claims management company and was provided with a replacement motorcycle which I was reassured I would never have to pay for. My solicitors have said that if the driver’s insurers do not pay for the repairs to my bike and a massive hire charge for the replacement bike and ancillary fees (running just shy of £20,000) then I will have to sue and go to court.
Can I Just dump the claim? Or if not. should I destroy the footage?
Had you repaired your bike under your fully comprehensive policy, there would not be this massive hire bill pressuring you to go to court. The insurers would have sorted out the claim between themselves. I have seen the hire document many times. You are definitely liable for the hire, whatever you were told.
Your bike has been off the road for 16 weeks, recking up 16 weeks of hugely overinflated hire charges, storage and some other very odd-looking costs. Your claims management company has you by the short and curlies. If you drop the case, you are liable for the hire, repairs, engineer’s reports and the solicitors’ fees, so doing that is not an option.
Destroying the footage is a bad idea, not least because it shows you entering the village at a sedate speed and the car pulling out into your path from about 20 metres away.
The video ‘slam dunks’ your case. Even if destroying the video were not a contempt of court, and the moment you bring court proceedings you are under an active duty to preserve evidence, if you were to destroy it there is a long-established chain of English case law that says that you will have any Judge against you at every turn. This means that you will be pretty well guaranteed to lose, whereas at the moment you have an utterly solid case, at least in so far as liability is concerned.
The inflated associated charges are a different story. The exuberant pre-accident riding played no part in your collision – it is legally irrelevant. Do not destroy what will win your case. Unless you really do need a replacement motorcycle, get your bike repaired under your comprehensive policy and let your insurers sort it out. You would have had none of these agonies and if you had shown the other driver’s insurers the video footage leading up to the collision, there would have been no question that your insurers would have recovered their outlay from the other driver.
Your no-claims bonus would have been reinstated and you would not be facing a court appearance wherein you tried to justify a hire bill of nearly £10,000, when the value of your bike is £4500 and the damage to it was less than £1800. That’s in addition to all the other inflated money that has been stuck on your claim, none of which you will ever see. You can expect a court appearance to Justify how an £1800 claim became a £20k claim without you seeing a penny of it.
RiDE April 2020