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Claiming from the other driver
If you don’t have fully comprehensive insurance, you can’t claim through your insurance company, unfortunately. You may have a comprehensive policy, but decide that you don’t want to claim on it. In those situations, you have to claim directly from the other party, and you’ll have to prove that they were to blame for the accident. Their insurance company may pay your compensation if you prove your case, or it may dispute your claim and refuse to payout. If you can’t come to a settlement, you may end up taking a compensation claim through the courts.
You must report the accident to your insurer, in any case. Get quotes for several garages for the repairs to your car. Some insurers insist that you use their recommended garages, especially if major repair work needs to be done.
Once you decide on a garage and have your car towed there, let the other driver know where it is so that their insurance company can send someone to look at it and agree that the repairs can go ahead. Keep a record of all the expenses you have, such as towing your car to a garage, the costs of repairs, and the fee for hiring a car during the repairs. If you’re claiming for injuries, you need to talk to a solicitor who specialises in personal injury to work out how much to claim.
If the other side’s insurance company agrees that its client was at fault, it may not pay the full amount of your claim. You have to decide whether to accept what it offers or pursue the outstanding amount through the courts.
If no insurance company is involved and the other driver refuses to pay the amount you ask for, you’ll have to decide whether to reach a settlement or to take the case to court. If less than £5,000 is involved, you can take a case through the small-claims court of the Country Court. The alternative is to get a solicitor involved and hope that a letter from him or her is enough to persuade the other driver to pay up.