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Received Letter Before Action - Son damaged car

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  • Received Letter Before Action - Son damaged car

    Just wondering if someone could point us in the right direction - I'll try to be breif.
    Our son broke a rear window of a car last August and was arrested and went through Youth Offending process. A police mediator advised us that the victim claimed the cost of repairs was in excess of £2600 which we felt was excessive (I was expecting a bill for £5/600). We asked the mediator for quotes, estimates, details of damage claimed, etc but these were never provided. We asked about the victim claiming from their insurance and us paying the excess and any increase in premium but this was declined. The victim stated at the time that they would not accept any kind of negotiation or payment plan and if we didn't pay immedialy they would take us through small claims court.
    After 10 months with no contact we received a recorded delivery letter on Staurday giving us 14 days to pay before court proceedings. In the letter he states that we have made no effort to resolve or contact him (We were never given the victims address). He has provided no invoice or evidence of the amount claimed.
    How should I respond to this letter - We admit our son damaged the car but dispute the amount claimed. We do not have the funds to pay and would be very reluctant to even if we had.
    Any advice would be most gratefully received as I have failed to get any legal advice from Citizens Advice / Law Society / Etc.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    You need to reply to the letter, which sounds like a letter before action and ask for copies of the relevant documents ( ie the quotes, estimate, invoice etc) and also inform them that if they do file court action without having provided suitable evidence and discussed the matter you will strongly defend the case. If you were never given the victims details by the police then how on earth were you meant to sort this out ? ridiculous.

    How old is your son and who have the other party addressed the letter to ?

    If you want to post a copy of the letter ( suitably redacted ) we'll give you a hand with the response.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Comment


    • #3
      So you respond disputing that there has been no contact and refer to the mediator sessions but point out their lack of response for documentation regarding the repair costs. You are again requesting documentation covering the costs that they are claiming to narrow the issues before court. Has the sum already been claimed from his insurance company and so he is trying to claim twice for same event.

      What sort of car was this for goodness sake? Can you contact a dealer for that brand and ask about the cost of a replacement window.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello

        My first thoughts are that the cost of £2,800 to replace a rear window seems pretty steep in my eyes.

        It would be helpful to post up the letter before action sent by him so we can see what we are working with, just make sure you redact all personal information before you do that.

        As a starting point, I think you should definitely challenge him on why it has taken 10 months for him to send a letter before action and the statement that you have failed to engage with him to resolve the issue is wholly false and that you were never given his address to discuss settlement beyond the mediation.

        Definitely pick apart all the things you asked for at the mediation but were not given and his point blank refusal to accept anything less than £2,600 without any evidence or breakdown of those costs. That would be considered unreasonable.

        If you want feedback from us then I suggest that you post up any draft letter before sending it off though you do need to allow for time to be posted too.
        LEGAL DISCLAIMER
        Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

        Comment


        • #5
          Many thanks for your responses so far - My son was 15 at the time of the incident and is generally a good kid but led easily astray as he is on the autistic spectrum. I'm not making excuses - He was an idiot and suitably punished by the Youth Offending team with our full support.
          The car was a BMW but I have no further details - One of my other offers to the victim was for me to see what I coukld do regarding the cost of parts as I work for BMW!
          I will post up the Letter Before Action when I get home to give a little additional information and then work on a draft response.
          Many thanks again - My wife and I are worried sick.

          Comment


          • #6
            An Aston Martin rear windscreen part is £1,000 and labour wouldn't be anywhere near £1,600 to fit it.

            I assume your son damaged something much less expensive than an Aston Martin and so his claim is clearly fanciful.
            HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

            My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

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            Comment


            • #7
              God don't worry, no one here will judge you or your son - we all get in pickles from time to time - which is why we're here

              Was that offer to the victim put to them via the police mediator ? ( doesn't sound like they did a fantastic job and I might be inclined for your son to send the police a Subject Access Request to have a nose about what happened with everything to end up in this position )

              YIp once you've posted up the letter am sure we can give you a hand with a response.

              As you work for BMW should be pretty easy for you to find out how much a replacement windscreen normally costs ? ( have you got the car registration or anything at all ?) then couple days possibly car hire while the work was done etc... but he needs to break that all down and evidence it to show court what he is claiming for.
              “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

              Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

              Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

              If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

              Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

              Comment


              • #8
                some idea@-


                ASTON MARTIN DB7 VANTAGE 2000 VOLANTE REAR WINDOW GLASS ASTON MARTIN DB7 VANTAGE 2000 VOLANTE REAR WINDOW GLASS

                IF THERE ARE PART NUMBERS IN THE ADVERT, THEY'RE THERE FOR A REASON. THIS MUST BE CHECKED PHYSICALLY AGAINST THE PART YOU ARE REPLACING. IF IT DOES NOT MATCH THEN IT IS MORE THAN LIKELY WILL NOT WORK ON YOUR CAR.
                £110.00
                Collection in personBra Aston Martin



                Genuine Aston Martin V8 Vantage Front Windscreen   6G33-C03102-A-P1A01 Genuine Aston Martin V8 Vantage Front Windscreen 6G33-C03102-A-P1A01

                Genuine Aston Martin Front Windscreen. NON-HEATED WINDSCREEN. Stratstone Performance Cars.
                £945.00

                Comment


                • #9
                  The victim claims the car required proffesional valeting to remove glass (although my son said the window cracked but did not shatter), repairs to paintwork and hire car. Sorry - I should have made this clear earlier.
                  Unfortunately, I have no information on the model of BMW or Registration number or even year. That was one of the reasons I wanted to see quotes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Were any photos taken ? ( by the police maybe ?)
                    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                    Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                    Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                    If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Amethyst View Post
                      Were any photos taken ? ( by the police maybe ?)
                      We are not aware of any. Unfortunately, as the perpetrators (parents of) the crime, we have very little to go on. We have asked the police Liason & Youth Offending team to get back in touch with us but have had nothing yet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the prosecution you'd think evidence would have been provided.

                        “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                        Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                        Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                        Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry Amethyst, the victim had cctu

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry Amethyst, the victim had cctv footage but we have not seen or have access to it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I personally would tell them to take one and explain to them that if they want to take action it will have to be against your son.(you are not liable)
                              If they are successful does your son actually have the wherewithal to pay?
                              If not ...................

                              If he is running a car where replacement of a rear screen (including valeting and paint) costs £2600 surely he has comprehensive cover.

                              Comment

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