Consumer Rights: 'I was injured in a car accident but the other driver has disappeared'
A motorist who suffered whiplash should report collision to the police, so they can trace the second owner for his insurance details
Sunday 02 December 2012
Q: I was driving home about three weeks ago when a man drove out of a side road and hit me. Neither of us was going very fast and we were both fine at the time apart from being a bit shocked. We exchanged numbers and addresses.
He said he didn't have details of his insurance company on him but not to worry because he was fully comprehensively insured. I only have third-party insurance.
Now I'm getting worried because I have whiplash. Unfortunately I braked. By braking the doctor says I suffered more from the impact and the car is a complete mess.
I've tried calling and even writing to the man but I haven't had a response. Where do I go from here?
A: Did you take the other driver's registration number? Often in these situations it's the most obvious details we forget to take. You should have called the police at the time to report the accident, even if they didn't come out to the scene. Do it now and give as much detail as you can.
They should be able to trace the driver through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea.
Presumably you have been in touch with your own insurance company? You may only be insured to cover the third party in an accident so your company won't pay for the damage to your car or your injury, but it needs to know what has happened and can help you. It may be able to find the driver's insurer.
There could be several reasons why the other driver isn't answering your calls and letters. Do you know if the address he gave you exists? He may not be insured or be trying to avoid having a claim made against him for some other reason.
Do a bit of detective work. If possible drive to the address and check whether he really lives there. If it's too far away check online whether the address exists and see if you can find him at that address on the electoral register.
I suspect you have fallen foul of an uninsured driver. If that's the case you could make a claim against him through the courts for the damage to the car and an amount for your injury but only if you can find him. If the details he has given are false that won't be possible but you may be able to claim from the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
To make a claim you will need to gather as much evidence as you can about the losses you want to claim for – any quotes you have had about the amount it will take to repair your car, letters from your doctor about your whiplash and any details of time off work and lost earnings. Start your claim as soon as possible.
The MIB can arrange to have your car inspected by an independent valuer if necessary. You'll find more information atmib.org.uk If you get stuck call your local advice agency for help and possibly a free appointment with a solicitor.
Q: I ordered an item for my mother from an ad in her newspaper. It was a buy-one-get-one-free offer but only one arrived. I've called the company several times, they apologise and promise to send the second item but it never arrives and now I can't get a reply. How do I get this resolved?
A: Shops, the Newspapers' Safe Home Ordering Protection Scheme, gives readers compensation for problems with goods bought in direct response to ads in member newspapers. Check that your mum's newspaper is a member of Shops, gather your proof that you bought through an ad in the publication and contact the newspaper. The claim has to be made within three months.
Q: I usually buy vouchers and gift cards for my nieces, nephews and friends' children for Christmas and I have in the past bought the older ones these from Comet. The news about the company recently made me think that those presents and my money would be lost if a company went bust so now I'm not sure what to do. What do you suggest?
FW, by email
A: If you have a voucher or gift card with a retailer that goes bust you are a creditor and one of a long line of people owed money. It's up to the administrator brought in to deal with winding up the company whether it honours the vouchers. There is no legal obligation to do so and in most cases there isn't enough money anyway.
But you can buy cards that allow your friends and relatives to shop in more than one store – so if one goes bust there are other options. Another option is to go for one of the bigger stores that are highly unlikely to fold such as the big supermarkets. Most of them have online gift cards.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£30000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony