Car damaged by Council - they refuse to pay for repairs!



  • BossybootsBossyboots Forumite
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    coolsteel wrote:
    Padlocks cant be stolen if they are locked as this one should have been.


    Thats the bit that puzzled me. If it had been locked, then presumably it would have had to be cut off. What use would it have been then? The only other reason for cutting it off that I can think of is to access the ground with a vehicle outside of the opening hours.

    I think there is an argument to be had that if they know there is a problem and staff were on the premises, they should have checked the gate was still secure. That is what any reasonable person would have done, knowing as they did, that there was a possibility it wasn't safe.
  • JaysJays Forumite
    410 Posts
    jandanjan wrote:
    Well I do not want to refer it to my motor insurers!

    All advice greatfully received

    I think you are obliged to report all accidents to your motor insurers, otherwise you are contravening (sp?) your terms.

  • AstarothAstaroth Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    You have to inform your insurers of all incidents irrespective of if you claim or not. It varies between insurers if you have to tell them at the time or only at renewal.
    All posts made are simply my own opinions and are neither professional advice nor the opinions of my employers
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  • littlejaffalittlejaffa Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    If you claim of the council they claim of their insurance (for the theft & subsequent damage) they're just avoiding the paperwork.
    You can also claim from the police because damage was a result of a crime, strange but true!
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  • AstarothAstaroth Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Ermm... would like a source for the claim from the police

    I know when a previous insurer I worked for insured a council they had an excess of £100,000 so I doubt a padlock and £1000 of vehicle damage will exceed their excess.
    All posts made are simply my own opinions and are neither professional advice nor the opinions of my employers
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  • fannyadamsfannyadams Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Are you with AA or RAC they have legal dept and might help you.
    I'm with one of the other posters here You should report it to your indsureres as they will fight your corner cuz it looks like the council are liable here. Also if other people were in the car par in their cars how did they get in - was there CCTV footage of the carpark? did anyone see the council open the gates - neigbours opposite park/persons passing/etc.
    SOMEONE saw something - put a note on everyones windscreen about the same time you went there and had the accident.
    put a note up somewhere prominant at the park in case anyone saw anything.
    just in case you need to know:
    HWTHMBO - He Who Thinks He Must Be Obeyed
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    DS#2 - my teenaged son
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  • jandanjanjandanjan Forumite
    67 Posts
    Firstly have now rung the insurance company who say they dont need to know until I actually need to claim - yes name and time noted of person who said it!

    Secondly the area is a country park down a lane and no houses right nearby - will try ot remember the two cars there and see if I can find theo wners to ask them - I think I was unlucky because the other two cars a little ones and mines and estate car and it seems for the time when I had to hold the gate open awaiting the ranger ot return with another padlock that the gate will stay in place for a period of time without a padlock (metal fittings) and then gravity gets to it and it swings back which I think is what happened to me. My suspicion is that the person responsible for opening the gates in the morning (a seperate contractor to the one responsible for shutting the gates and noteably not mentioned in anyway by the council in their letter as I dont care about who locked it in the evening but who opened it in the morning) didnt put the padlock on but swung gate in to place and walked off and after time gate came lose and I got hit...guess work there though.

    There is no CCTV and no notice of owners parking there at own responsibility in clear view - will hunt for it thoug. I looked at the area down by our local library and it seems that the council use standard padlocks - I suspect they always open with the same key so that if one id stolen they just put another onew in - and obviously if someone has the right key they can unlock it. I have photos of the gate and slots totally unmarked in anyway (just repainted recently) so no force was used except on the lock which we could only prove by finding the lock.

    Will fight them as it annoys me that trhrough no fault of my own I suffer and that their aware of the problem and dont put in anything preventative - like better locks!

    Anymore ideas appreciated and thanks to you all - great advice
  • mclaren_2mclaren_2 Forumite
    2K Posts
    jandanjan wrote:
    She also told me they have a lot of problems with "pikies" (NOT my language at all I need to say but theirs) stealing the padlocks.
    where is the CCTV then? if they have a problem with theft, they should have a CCTV system to protect not only their property but the vehicles and people inside..... take them to court and you WILL win ;) 99.999% guaranteed i would say - due to their negligence, they didnt lock the padlock in the first place so their fault for the gate not being closed.......
    Never do things tomorow when you can do them today.
  • Gorgeous_GeorgeGorgeous_George Forumite
    8K Posts
    SCC gets my vote as well. I'd expect an easy victory.

    Good luck


    There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those that don't.
  • jandanjanjandanjan Forumite
    67 Posts
    Well I wrote a comprehensive letter again with photos and also pointed out that since my incident they had added extra security of a chain etc and staff were aware there was an ongoing issue - and so they have now accepted liability!

    sadly my insurance company ended up saying they never told me I did not need to tell them so now my premium has been effected to the tune of £30 and they are inmoveable on it and quotes on line cannot improve on it - prize pain....but better than being liable for the £900 bill......

    thanks for all the advice

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