Wind damage liability - Help!

  DDWHITE 14:49 22 Jan 2007

A large "to let" sign was blown onto my wifes car in the winds we had and dented the roof and side panel. I am trying to figure out who is liable and the car insurance company are being v slow. The sign came from a commercial property that is empty, and managed by an agent. The sign was laid flat on a flat roof after it was taken off the market. Is it either:
1. The property owner.
2. The managing agent (not their sign)
3. The letting agent, their sign but they no longer deal with the property.
4. The sign company who were responsible for the sign (fixing & removing).
5. None of the above.

Help! Thanks :)

  namtas 15:20 22 Jan 2007

I would see this as you doing very little.
You simply discuss as little as possible in regard to the claim, with any third party, I am not sure you may need to advise the police, pass all details of the incident, photos etc, to your car insurance company and they will deal with it. I am assuming that you have comprehensive insurance. All of this should be explained in your insurance documents.

  lotvic 15:27 22 Jan 2007

I would think that you need to get your car insurers to claim from the owners of the building.

as a chain of events:

1. The property owner for not ensuring that the work (removal of sign) had been completed safely.
It would be up to the owners (or their insurers) to deal with the 'Managing Agent'
and up to the 'Managing Agent' to deal with the 'Letting Agent' (it should not make a difference that they no longer deal with the property) and 'Sign Firm' that left it unsecured loose-laid.

That's just my opinion and how I would tackle it.

  Totally-braindead 15:30 22 Jan 2007

I would agree with namtas. Let your insurance company deal with it. All the parties concerned could deny any liablilty leaving you chasing your tail. Far better to let the insurance company experts decide whose fault it is and let them pursue it.

  Aargh 15:36 22 Jan 2007

This is not a matter for the police and is subject to civil remedy.

If you have comprehensive insurance, your insurers will pay for your repair. They are not likely to want to waste funds chasing a claim and identifying the owner/person responsible, unless your claim is massive. It could be cheaper for them to write your car off.

Responsibilty for security of the fixing of the sign lies with the company that fixed it to the wall. Whoever instructed them to fix it will blame them, and that could be any of the above you name.

The sign company will in return blame whoever removed the sign they fixed securely and laid it on the roof - so you would have to prove who did that.

In the end, this is why you have insurance, and you will end up having to pay the excess.

  namtas 15:48 22 Jan 2007


"This is not a matter for the police and is subject to civil remedy"
In which case, I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject, I was suggesting best practise with regard to what the law says about the need to report traffic accidents.

If you are the driver and one or more of the following has happened:

* A person, other than yourself, is injured

* Damage is caused to another vehicle or to someone else's property

* An animal has been killed or injured, except in your own vehicle or trailer (an 'animal' is defined as 'any horse, cattle, sheep, pig, goat or dog')

  Pamy 16:34 22 Jan 2007

Do you have extra cover called "uninsured loss"?
If so get in touch with them

  Forum Editor 18:59 22 Jan 2007

this is something you must talk to your car insurers about. If you have a fully comprehensive policy with protected no claims cover you have nothing to do apart from making the claim; let your insurers worry about liability.

  postie24 19:13 22 Jan 2007

DDWHITE,how much damage was done to the roof? and how old is the car?

If its light damage shouldnt be a problem,but extensive roof damage can cause insurance companies to write the vehicle off depending on age of car


  Aargh 19:24 22 Jan 2007

Police will only want to know about damage if it results from a criminal act.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 covers 'accidents' where by damage is caused by a vehicle to third party property or injury to a person.

If you in your car cause or are involved in such an incident, you have a duty under Section 170 to report it, and the police will record and investigate it.

However, in your circumstances, it is not a road accident. Interestingly, if your car had crashed into the building and damaged the sign, the onus (if not blame) would fall on you to report it to the owner, and failing that, and in anycase where not practicable to do so, within 24hrs to the police.

If you can easily identify one of the interested parties (the agent?)let the insurance sort the damage out and threaten the small claims court to get the excess back.

Trouble you have is that your insurers will want it all sorted at minimum cost/effort to themselves, so you may find you have to do all the running.

  DDWHITE 17:20 23 Jan 2007

Damage is moderate - 10 inch diameter dent on driver side, 5 inch narrow dent that covers edge of roof.

Big problem is that no claims is not protected (4 years worth) as insurance company advised wife that they could only protect 5 years and over.

I am leaning towards the owner being liable to us - then he sorts out his agents etc.

Not heard back from insurers so shall be calling them tomorrow.

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