It seems a simple question and you would think a simple answer would follow. Well, in the world of credit hire claims, it is anything but simple.
Following on from the blog I wrote last month, 'Credit hire - what's that again?', I have been thinking about this question in particular.
To provide a little background, one of the first hurdles that the solicitor for the at-fault insurer will raise is to ask why you needed your vehicle.
When I speak with my clients, understandably, their response is to tell me that they wouldn’t have paid for it in the first place, if they didn’t need a vehicle.
This is very true and a position with which the courts also agree. They know full well that a person would not go to the length of purchasing, insuring, taxing and funding repairs for a vehicle which they did not need.
However, the courts also agree that your need for a vehicle is also not “self-proving” and that each claim must be assessed on its individual merits.
So, if you ever find yourself smack-bang in the middle of a credit hire claim with a solicitor questioning you on why you needed your vehicle, take your time and think of all the reasons you would use your vehicle on a daily basis – you could even ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you use your vehicle to travel to and from work?
- How far is your place of work?
- How many buses/trains would you need to catch if you did not have a vehicle?
- Do you use your vehicle for work business – attending meetings with clients and colleagues?
- What do you use your vehicle for after work and weekends?
- Do you have any hobbies you attend to frequently?
- Do you have children who need you to take them to and from school?
- Do you visit family and friends?
Of course, the questions above are really aimed at individuals who have children / a full time job but Stephensons assist a broad range of clients such as individuals who are working or unemployed, taxi drivers and self-employed individuals such as chauffeurs or driving instructors as well as business clients including, but not limited to, coach companies, construction firms, glazing firms, ambulance companies, schools, and crane companies.
Before approaching the client, I would therefore ask myself who exactly that client is and base my questions around that mind-set.
So, if you do find yourself in the middle of such a claim, ask yourself those questions before speaking with your solicitor - what is the day to day purpose for you needing a vehicle and maybe even write down your answers on paper, you might be surprised at all the things you need a vehicle for.
Essentially, the more information you provide to what seems to be a simple question, the better chance your claim will have a more positive result.
Whether you are an innocent victim of a road traffic collision or whether you are a credit hire company looking for an experienced firm of solicitors dealing in credit hire, Stephensons are well versed in this ever-evolving area of law and you can reach us on 0161 696 6235.