Any options?

wannabecyclist
wannabecyclist Posts: 149
edited May 2017 in The cake stop
Hi all,

In brief as possible, I was driving along the M3 during storm Doris a couple of months ago and a large loose road works sign smashed in to our car. Luckily it was in the 50mph section and it caught the bumper before the windscreen otherwise I would be typing this without a head.

Anyhow it smashed my windscreen, badly dented various parts of the bumper, bonnet, wheel arch etc. The sign had come from that stretch of motorway where they do the road works and had apparently come loose during the storm. I have had 2 quotes and the damage is estimated around £1800 to fix.

After two months of getting quotes for COLAS LTD, the construction company doing the works, and waiting for weeks at a time for them to respond, they are now claiming as this was an act of god they will not pay out for it.

I am by no means an ambulance chaser. However, the storm had been advertised for a few days in the build up and they had done no extra measures to weigh down the signs and had just the usual 1 sandbag on the base of the legs. All the signs were still upright at the time of the incident. Later that afternoon, on the journey back we passed the road works and now all the signs had been laid flat down and weighed down with more than 1 sandbag.

All I wanted was for them to pay for the damage to the car. This is not vanity, I had to replace the windscreen, reg plate and bumper already and the large dents I have the quotes to fix for look horrendous.

Are they in the right though? My view whilst a storm is an act of good, failing to apply extra measures to secure property, especially in such a dangerous setting, is negligent.

Had I been on a motorbike and killed when hit by that sign then I wonder if they would be so flippant then.

Thanks

Comments

  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    I take it you have insurance. Claim and let them fight the construction company.
  • Act of God can only be claimed if there was no way to take reasonable actions to prevent an incident. If someone had prior knowledge of an incoming storm , which in this case we did, you could argue they didn't take enough preventive measures to stop the signs causing damage. Find a decent lawyer. This should be easy enough to prove. No one is ever going to admit liability 'prima facie'. They will always deny responsibility. Unfortunately you will need to start litigation to get anything out of them.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,435
    I think you'd have to demonstrate the signs weren't weighted down in accordance with accepted procedures and to a suitable level for the forecast strength of the wind. Ultimately the signs are a legal requirement so as long as 'reasonable endeavours' were taken to secure them I can't see how you could win and proving they weren't would be difficult.
  • Pross wrote:
    I think you'd have to demonstrate the signs weren't weighted down in accordance with accepted procedures and to a suitable level for the forecast strength of the wind. Ultimately the signs are a legal requirement so as long as 'reasonable endeavours' were taken to secure them I can't see how you could win and proving they weren't would be difficult.

    Not for him to demonstrate. That lays with the company. If the Plaintiff can prove the signs hit the car the company must prove they took every precaution. And on the balance of probability I would suggest there was not enough done in the circumstances.
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    There is no god.

    Let your insurer sort you out and deal with them. They do it everyday.
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  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    +3 on the insurer.