Twelve months ago, I was filtering between lanes two and three on the M25. A van just pulled out from lane three into two and took me out. I went down like a fat kid on a seesaw. Thankfully, I bounced pretty well and after six months my broken wrist has healed. Liability has now finally been agreed.
However, the van driver’s insurer is kicking off about a credit hire bike I got via a company my insurance broker put me in contact with. The van driver’ insurer reckons I didn’t need a hire bike, at least for the first two months, as my arm was in a cast. To be fair, I didn’t really need it as I couldn’t ride, but said wouldn’t be the credit bike hire company liable for anything, so I took the bike. However, it is now right royally kicking off with the hire company.
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Apparently they claim I signed some paperwork saying am liable for the hire which now totals just shy of £10k! My solicitor (who, to be fair, warned me not to get a hire bike) said this may end up court. She has asked me if I have any other vehicles and for copies of my bank statements. I have told her it’s no one else’s business what I’ve got, but between me, you and the gate post I have a car and two other motorbikes and £50,000 in savings. Does this make any difference? Help. The accident wasn’t my fault. Why should I pay?
I get that the accident wasn’t your fault, but that does not automatically mean the van’s insurer will pick up the tab for a £10k hire bike that you yourself admit you didn’t need. Without doubt, there is a time and a place for a hire bike. For example, if a person was in low- paid work with no savings and no other access to transport, you can follow why it would be ‘reasonable for them to need a credit hire bike.
However, in your case, you couldn’t ride the hire bike for two months, and when you could have ridden again, you had other bikes, not to mention a car. You can follow the argument as to why the van driver’s insurer shouldn’t pay £10k in these circumstances because its unreasonable. You also have the problem of impecuniosity. It’s become a hot topic in the legal world in the last few years. In simple terms, to be impecunious means you did not have access to the finances available for you to source a replacement vehicle upfront following your road traffic accident, hence entering into a credit hire agreement. However, as you have £50,000 in savings, you cannot claim to be impecunious. In summary, I advise you go with ‘clean hands’ to vour solicitor and get her to provide you with full advice and lay out your options moving forward, but be prepared for van’s insurer to maintain their position.
If they do that, you may have to consider battling the hire bike company who said you would not have to pay anything. The problem I suspect you may have in doing this is if you have signed an agreement. You need to dig out/obtain a copy of that ASAP to see what it says.