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  • FIRST POST
    • phil0000
    • By phil0000 2nd Oct 17, 2:10 PM
    • 3Posts
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    phil0000
    Part of tree fallen on car at work
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 2:10 PM
    Part of tree fallen on car at work 2nd Oct 17 at 2:10 PM
    Today myself and about 5 others had parts of a tree fall down in the wind and caused lots of dents and scratches.

    The cars were parked in our allocated spacing, which is next to a river embankment which has several trees (probably around 60-80 feet high) overhanging the parking lot.

    The landlord of the site has asked us to provide name/car reg and picture evidence and has been very polite regarding the matter, non of us are angry at him just upset regarding our vehicles.

    Seeing as this is a commercial parking lot, would the landlords insurance be liable for this?
    Last edited by phil0000; 02-10-2017 at 2:27 PM. Reason: Spelling Error.
Page 1
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 2nd Oct 17, 2:16 PM
    • 15,711 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 2:16 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 2:16 PM
    It sounds like he may well pay for repairs.

    Whether he's legally liable to is another question entirely - has he been negligent in maintaining the trees? If not, then he has no liability. If they're not his trees, then he certainly has no liability - the same negligence test would apply to the owner of the trees, whoever that may be.
    • Shaka_Zulu
    • By Shaka_Zulu 2nd Oct 17, 4:35 PM
    • 1,238 Posts
    • 2,849 Thanks
    Shaka_Zulu
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 4:35 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 4:35 PM
    It sounds like he may well pay for repairs.

    Whether he's legally liable to is another question entirely - has he been negligent in maintaining the trees? If not, then he has no liability. If they're not his trees, then he certainly has no liability - the same negligence test would apply to the owner of the trees, whoever that may be.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Agree with what you say there Adrian. It will probably get more interesting when/if his insurers decide to duck it as "no negligence".
    Show me the man and Iíll show you the crime Beria/Momentum
    • phil0000
    • By phil0000 2nd Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    phil0000
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for taking time to reply to this.

    The latest is, we received an email stating we need to contact our own insurers regarding the incident and he appears to opted not to do anything regarding the matter at the moment.

    He mentions "he has spoken to insurers who advised that because trees have very recently been inspected by a tree surgeon and in turn correct maintained he cannot be hold responsible for the damage"


    We have however a total of 7 cars (5 of which have come off worse) that have been damaged. I know tree surgeons have been out because some of the trees at the site have been chopped down in recent weeks, suggesting some had been deemed dangerous, these trees by the river at very tall, were swaying like crazy in the wind which caused concern it would uproot or snap (like one did last year at the other side of the river.)

    How do we know the tree surgeons used did their job right? Is there a way of reaffirming what he says, like requesting paperwork etc?

    Thanks a lot
    Phil
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 2nd Oct 17, 5:19 PM
    • 10,803 Posts
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    bigadaj
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:19 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:19 PM
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for taking time to reply to this.

    The latest is, we received an email stating we need to contact our own insurers regarding the incident and he appears to opted not to do anything regarding the matter at the moment.

    He mentions "he has spoken to insurers who advised that because trees have very recently been inspected by a tree surgeon and in turn correct maintained he cannot be hold responsible for the damage"


    We have however a total of 7 cars (5 of which have come off worse) that have been damaged. I know tree surgeons have been out because some of the trees at the site have been chopped down in recent weeks, suggesting some had been deemed dangerous, these trees by the river at very tall, were swaying like crazy in the wind which caused concern it would uproot or snap (like one did last year at the other side of the river.)

    How do we know the tree surgeons used did their job right? Is there a way of reaffirming what he says, like requesting paperwork etc?

    Thanks a lot
    Phil
    Originally posted by phil0000
    You can ask for a copy of the tree surgeons report.

    He may argue that this isn't relevant, but as he's immediately used this as part of the argument that they're were checked/ maintained then I'd have said you have a right to see a copy.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 2nd Oct 17, 5:27 PM
    • 15,711 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:27 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:27 PM
    The latest is, we received an email stating we need to contact our own insurers regarding the incident and he appears to opted not to do anything regarding the matter at the moment.

    He mentions "he has spoken to insurers who advised that because trees have very recently been inspected by a tree surgeon and in turn correct maintained he cannot be hold responsible for the damage"
    Originally posted by phil0000
    There y'go, then.

    I know tree surgeons have been out because some of the trees at the site have been chopped down in recent weeks, suggesting some had been deemed dangerous
    Or, perhaps, suggesting that the landowner has taken their responsibilities seriously, and has had preventative maintenance work done recently, with a professional doing what was felt to be necessary. Ergo, no negligence.

    How do we know the tree surgeons used did their job right? Is there a way of reaffirming what he says, like requesting paperwork etc?
    That's not the relevant question. The relevant question is whether the LANDOWNER was negligent - and you'd have to prove that he knowingly hired incompetent cowboys.

    So let's say you want to go ahead with this... You would need to issue a court claim for the cost of the repair work.

    Assuming the landowner was found to be negligent, then the first question likely to be asked if he chooses to defend the claim is why you didn't mitigate your losses by claiming from your own insurance.

    You would each need to issue a separate claim for your own losses, rather than some kind of joint claim.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 2nd Oct 17, 5:55 PM
    • 661 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:55 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 5:55 PM
    There y'go, then.

    Or, perhaps, suggesting that the landowner has taken their responsibilities seriously, and has had preventative maintenance work done recently, with a professional doing what was felt to be necessary. Ergo, no negligence.

    That's not the relevant question. The relevant question is whether the LANDOWNER was negligent - and you'd have to prove that he knowingly hired incompetent cowboys.

    So let's say you want to go ahead with this... You would need to issue a court claim for the cost of the repair work.

    Assuming the landowner was found to be negligent, then the first question likely to be asked if he chooses to defend the claim is why you didn't mitigate your losses by claiming from your own insurance.


    You would each need to issue a separate claim for your own losses, rather than some kind of joint claim.
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    How is claiming off your own insurance mitigating your loss?

    Surely the cost to repair a car is the same regardless of who pays.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 2nd Oct 17, 6:03 PM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 841 Thanks
    Stoke
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 6:03 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 6:03 PM
    This is one of those situations where I always wonder, if you left your car on a slight incline, and the handbrake cable snapped and it rolled away and hit something.... would you be liable?

    What about if a flood carried your car and damaged someone elses?
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 2nd Oct 17, 6:45 PM
    • 1,746 Posts
    • 1,197 Thanks
    Tarambor
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 6:45 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 6:45 PM
    It will most likely be put down to an Act of God especially when he can produce an invoice from tree surgeons.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 2nd Oct 17, 6:59 PM
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    AdrianC
    How is claiming off your own insurance mitigating your loss?

    Surely the cost to repair a car is the same regardless of who pays.
    Originally posted by Warwick Hunt
    Not the cost to you, though.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 2nd Oct 17, 7:00 PM
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    AdrianC
    This is one of those situations where I always wonder, if you left your car on a slight incline, and the handbrake cable snapped and it rolled away and hit something.... would you be liable?
    Originally posted by Stoke
    Handbrake cables don't just snap without any prior warning, unless the car is very poorly maintained.
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 2nd Oct 17, 7:10 PM
    • 4,012 Posts
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    Ebe Scrooge
    The relevant question is whether the LANDOWNER was negligent
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    This, in a nutshell.

    If you can prove negligence, then you're good to go. But from what you've said, it sounds like the landowner has been pretty fair. Getting - presumably professional - tree surgeons in to assess the trees and take whatever remedial action is necessary. The landowner, assuming he trusts the tree surgeons, can only go on what they've told him. If they say "There you go, guv, all sorted, all made safe, here's our bill", then you can hardly blame him.

    Apart from that, it's just one of those things. Personally, if I'm out and about and not parking at home, and the weather forecast has strong wind warnings, I avoid parking near trees. Or advertising hoardings, for that matter. That's what your own insurance is for. Sure, it's not nice taking the hit on your otherwise blemish-free no-claims-bonus - but hey, brown smelly stuff happens occasionally
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 2nd Oct 17, 7:16 PM
    • 9,616 Posts
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    shaun from Africa
    Handbrake cables don't just snap without any prior warning, unless the car is very poorly maintained.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I disagree. It might not happen very often but it can still happen.
    I've seen an aircraft control cable break and this was in a very well maintained aircraft.
    Sometimes, manufacturing defects are impossible to see from the outside and this defect could lead to the failure of the cable with no prior warning.
    If a cable had been crushed slightly either before or during the installation in the vehicle, this could lead to stress cracking over time and eventually to the cable failing totally.

    The aircraft cable I was referring to came apart due to the crimped ball end detaching and this cable was manufactured and supplied by an approved company.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 2nd Oct 17, 7:19 PM
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    Warwick Hunt
    Not the cost to you, though.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    A £500 repair is £500, regardless of how it's paid. I don't get how claiming on your policy is mitigating any loss.
    • GunJack
    • By GunJack 2nd Oct 17, 7:47 PM
    • 9,882 Posts
    • 7,361 Thanks
    GunJack
    This is one of those situations where I always wonder, if you left your car on a slight incline, and the handbrake cable snapped and it rolled away and hit something.... would you be liable?

    What about if a flood carried your car and damaged someone elses?
    Originally posted by Stoke
    Yes, you ARE liable - how do I know? It happened to me on a family holiday 4 years ago. The chemist shop had customer parking on a slight incline, handbrake cable snapped, and car rolled backwards into a car parked on the road across the parking area. Only slowly, but dented the wing of the car behind mine, claim came off my insurance...
    ......Gettin' There, Wherever There is......
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 2nd Oct 17, 7:49 PM
    • 15,711 Posts
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    AdrianC
    A £500 repair is £500, regardless of how it's paid. I don't get how claiming on your policy is mitigating any loss.
    Originally posted by Warwick Hunt
    You pay it yourself - £1000.
    You hand it to your insurer - £200 excess.

    £1000 is less than £200.
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 2nd Oct 17, 7:55 PM
    • 661 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    You pay it yourself - £1000.
    You hand it to your insurer - £200 excess.

    £1000 is less than £200.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Still don't make sense, if they other party is liable.
    • SteveJW
    • By SteveJW 2nd Oct 17, 8:00 PM
    • 475 Posts
    • 287 Thanks
    SteveJW
    Latent v Patent defect
    A defect on a handbrake cable could either be patent or latent

    A latent defect is a fault that would not readily be revealed by a reasonable inspection whereas patent defects are defects that are not hidden and should easily be discovered by a reasonable inspection.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 2nd Oct 17, 8:17 PM
    • 11,061 Posts
    • 6,280 Thanks
    DUTR
    Handbrake cables don't just snap without any prior warning, unless the car is very poorly maintained.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I sort of agree, but on another recent topic, purchased a petrol mower just under a month ago, yesterday I used it for the 3rd time, went to start it a 4th time and the starter rope had broken, luckily the mfr is going to send out a new starter assembly.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 2nd Oct 17, 10:01 PM
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    trailingspouse
    Erm, not sure what the handbrake cable has to do with the price of fish...

    But anyhoo - if sounds like the landowner has been very reasonable. He has realised there was damage to cars caused by the trees, he has checked with his own insurers (he didn't need to do this until you'd attempted to make a claim), he's been informed that the insurance won't cover it as he hasn't been negligent (and he hasn't been negligent), and he has come back to you and explained that you're not covered by his insurance, and given the reasons why not. What more could you expect him to do? Would you fork out for damage to someone else's property caused by something that wasn't your fault?

    So - you can either claim the cost of repairs from your own insurance (which, to be fair, is why you have it in the first place), or you can just foot the bill yourselves.
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