Non Fault Car accident/ Write off Cat B (unhappy with requests from solicitors RE Write off & Claim

Hi first time posting here so any help is appreciated - i use this board for info for years as a lurker but finally have  a question )

Heres a summary of Key basics

Partner was hit on a roundabout by a speeding driver  (side impact, all airbags deployed, only partner in car)
Other party immediately admitted fault at scene (details exchanged) and police attended as happened outside a police station (!)
Partners car was taken out on finance 11 months ago on a 5 year agreement (no gap insurance, Zuto never advised her it exists when finance taken out)

Fortunately a recovery driver was passing the scene who works for a local accident management company, he stopped and explained who he was and what partner could do (first car, never had an accident before)

Partner agreed to go through AMC, so he recovered car took details and advised "he will handle the rest"

Next day a local solicitors contacted my partner to start the claim, info provided, photos(i took on scene) provided , personal injury claim also being handled by same solicitor

Enterprise called next day too after AMC contacted them and car arranged (all going smooth so far)

Heres where it got complicated -

Letter arrived in post, standard stuff off solicitor read here here and here and sign etc . So my partner(will type Mrs out from here be easier!) signed, agreed on ATE insurance etc and we dropped the documents off on person about a week after date solicitor posted letter out (to make sure it got there)

the very next day the engineer report came through who inspected the car Declaring it a total Loss CAT B write off (seems solicitor had this waiting for docs to be returned signed)

 Valued at £2900 + £50 salvage vehicle was worth £3900 on purchase and i had recently done nearly £1000 worth of work to it, new brakes pads, discs, drums rotors, cambelt  and four new tyres

upon checking vehicle value online it ranged from 3100 - 2900 for age and mileage and in worse condition (thats another story ill come back to this)

Our solicitors demanding we accept this amount (2900) and wrote the following on the email (ill  copy and paste it below)

The salvage of the vehicle remains your property and you can look to sell this at the best price
possible price possible. In any event, you should now arrange for your vehicle to be moved to a
place of free storage as we will not be able to reclaim any storage charges unnecessarily incurred.
Please telephone me UPON RECEIPT of this letter to confirm approval of the report so that I can
disclose it to the third party insurers and request cheque in the sum of £2900.00 to enable you to
replace your vehicle.
I remind you of your duty to mitigate your loss i.e. keep losses/expenses to a minimum – therefore it
is extremely important that you provide instructions promptly. I await hearing from you.

While this was ongoing above our finance company emailed the third part insurers a settlement figure of 3700 and was awaiting response, we let solicitors know about this they said fine give it a few days and come back to us.

No response from TPI to finance company and we been chasing it every day but our solicitors have emailed us again telling us to remove the vehicle or we will be liable for the storage fees and the hire car fees and to accept the 2900 to avoid this!

I have spoke to the yard where the vehicle is and they have advised its "Down to the third party insurer to pay his fees and collect the vehicle after doing so, we are not liable personally for the fees and even so as its a category B write off, the Third party insurer will be the ones who need to collect vehicle, destroy it and contact DVLA to make them aware it has been destroyed"

He also advised me he has been trying to speak and arrange this with TPI but they are very reluctant to communicate with him and he has "never had it be this way its usually straightforward"

In the meantime our solicitor is constantly telling us to collect the salvage or be liable for the storage and hire fees as they are concerned we are causing an unnecessary delay (!!!!!!!)

Who is responsible to collect the salvage of a category b write off?

How to proceed if TPI  wont communicate?

Should our solictor be asking us to take these actions Re the write off vehicle and where do we stand with the storage cost if its not US who are not communicating effictively

this third party insurer (go skippy) is also not responding to our finance company, the vehicle yard who has the salvage who arranged the engineer report and my partner is close to having a full on nervous breakdown due to our solicitor as they are making out as though she will be in thousands of pounds of debt if she doesn't accept their offer of 2900 (which they say they will approach and recover off TPI)

the whole thing is stupidly stressful at this point, demands to go collect a vehicle which should be placed on the third party insurer, lack of comms and she basically feels like she is being pressured into accepting something which will leave her massively in debt, not able to purchase a further vehicle (as the payment will go straight to Advantage finance and not meet their settlement, Plus the hire car charges etc

sorry for the essay, ive prob missed info out, let me know if anything needs clarifying

I.... dont know where to go with this from here


  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Having a total loss via credit hire/accident management is always more of a pain than either if your car is repairable or if you claim either from your own insurance or directly from the third party insurers. Unlike the hire car or repairs they won't fund the total loss settlement out of their own pocket. 

    Your firm will have paid an independent engineer to assess the vehicle and establish its market value and salvage value. Whilst you don't like their valuation its ultimately your own expert, a second report could be commissioned but clearly the cost of both cannot be claimed so thats extra money you'd have to pay out and the delay in getting a report would have to be explained... "we didn't like the outcome of the first" won't be accepted and they'd want to see that report anyway. 

    Once you ok it the report will be set to the third party insurers who will ultimately decide what the vehicles worth being guided by your expert... they won't offer more but if they think its been grossly over valued they will push back. Unlike a case being dealt with by an insurer the default position is that you retain the salvage and so you will get the pre-accident value less the salvage value. 

    Similarly as you are not their insured they are unlikely to engage with finance companies because you are keeping the vehicle which the finance is secured upon and so the monies would be paid to you (or at least thats how we did it in our day). 

    Its a Cat B total loss so cannot be returned to the road but can be broken for parts 

    The Paralegal advising is correct about your obligations to mitigate your losses, within reason, and the most common causes of disputes in quantum for special damages is credit hire and excessive storage charges. 
  • Dmcc23
    Dmcc23 Posts: 2
    First Post
    Thank you for your response. Just to clarify as we have only had the vehicle for 11 months out of a 5 year agreement the finance company is the owner of the vehicle and any monies paid by the appointed solicitor would be paid directly to the finance company and not us.

    Should a settlement offer be agreed the monies would be paid direct to the finance company also.

    (There is a clause in the finance agreement showing they are the owner of the vehicle it's a HP agreement but untill 50% of the value is paid they retain ownership )

    We have advised our paralegal we do not wish to retain the salavage and they have agreed this is ok and it would be released to the Insurer once settlement is agreed.

    At this point do we have an option to claim directly with the third party insurer? Our solicitor asked us yesterday to make decision regarding this as they are happy to continue with the personal injury side of the claim and pass off the car claim side for us to manage but I'm now concerned about the fact they provided a credit hire vehicle and fees etc.

    Still as of today third party insurer is not responding to our finance company (our finance company advised copart would collect the vehicle on behalf of third party insurer and make their own assesment of the vehicle before accepting or decline the settlement offer )  so even though this lack of response is out of our hands we are still responsible on the loss mitigation ?

    Sorry for all the questions I truly appreciate your help so far !
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Someone is going to have to pay for the engineers fee as if you decide to claim directly from the third party insurer they would most likely commission their own engineer. This will add more time to the claim and so hire meaning more likely a dispute over if the hire period is excessive. 
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