We handle a lot of cases in which a credit hire vehicle is provided to an innocent victim (the claimant) involved in a road traffic collision.
Quite often the third party insurer will write to the claimant after the credit hire vehicle has been delivered to suggest that they can provide a suitable alternative vehicle at less cost (an intervention letter/offer).
At this stage it would be wise for the claimant to seek independent legal advice or at least discuss the offer with their credit hire provider. The intervention offer can then be assessed for validity and should the offer be reasonable the claimant can receive suitable advice as to how to deal with the offer.
Our advice has always been to accept any reasonable intervention offer from the third party insurer as primarily this will limit any liability for credit hire charges which the claimant has. If the third party insurer is able to provide the vehicle and meet the cost associated then the credit hire vehicle can be swapped out and the claimant maintains mobility. The credit hire vehicle can then be returned to the credit hire company and is available to hire out to another claimant who may have been involved in a non-fault collision.
Should the intervention offer be accepted by the claimant only for the third party to ignore the claimant or not be able to suitably provide an adequate vehicle etc then the claimant can continue to use the credit hire vehicle and would have a much stronger case for showing that it was reasonable to use credit hire services in the first place when it comes to recovery of any credit hire charges at a later date.
Should a reasonable intervention offer be ignored then this can create a risk for the recovery of the credit hire charges as the third party insurer can argue that the claimant has failed to mitigate (keep their losses down) by ignoring the offer, therefore suggest that they will not meet the credit hire charges claimed and this could potentially mean that the claimant has a residual liability to pay any shortfall for the credit hire charges.
Obviously this is not something that anyone would want to happen which is why it is very important for a claimant to consider taking legal advice at an early stage to ensure that their position is fully protected.
Call our specialist credit hire solicitors on 01616 966 229.