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Work van accident

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  • Work van accident

    I had an accident in a work van on Friday, I dented the door and had a scratch along the door.

    With previous employees who have had incidents our company has gone through someone private and not insurance to fix the damage - if they do this to me am i entitled to pay for the damage as it hasn’t been claimed properly through insurance? Am i allowed to ask for an invoice before i have to pay the amount?

    Also, other colleagues who have had crashes or scratches have been charged a lot of money - if i feel the amount isn’t justified how can i go about this? I found a brand new door for £300 online so can compare the price they charge to this. All it needs is the dent taken out.

    In my contract it also states if they find me at fault they will charge me to replace or repair. How do they deem me at fault? I hit into a metal barrier as i thought the car turning in was going to come into the side of me if i didn’t go. It was a genuine accident and was also a tight turning.

    Will they sort a settlement for each month or are they allowed to take a whole amount from my wage?

    Please if i could have some help so i can fight this it would be appreciated.
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  • #2
    Your company might have company van fleet insurance. You should ask your manager about this.
    Your employment contract could state you are liable for any excess, which should be a set amount.
    When other employees have had van accidents the repair costs may have been less than the excess and they have offered to pay the full repair cost instead of the excess..


    • #3
      A few observations I think worth making:
      1. You say the van "just needs the dent taken out" but before that you described the damage as including a scratch, presumably to the door's paint coating. Assuming the scratch is significant enough that it won't polish out, the repair is a lot more involved than just pushing a dent out. You'd need to factor in the cost of sanding back the panel, preparing it for paint, painting it and blending the colour. Suddenly your minor bump has accumulated many hundreds of pounds in cost.
      2. If they're going to charge you directly for the damage, it seems reasonable that they should provide you with evidence of having obtained a quote to fix the damage. Presenting you with some apparently arbitrary number and expecting you to cough up isn't good enough.
      3. I know you mentioned that you'd found a new door, but don't underestimate the labour involved in removing the old one, transferring over electrics and trim and refitting it. Even if a garage only charged an hour's labour to do it, you'd still be talking somewhere around £100 in labour cost alone.
      4. If you think the cost they present you with is madness, even taking into account what I've said above, then you could ask them to give you the opportunity to obtain quotes of your own for comparison purposes.
      5. When it come to spreading the cost, unless it's mentioned in your contract, I would assume this is something that could be negotiated between you and the business, bearing in mind your success at securing a desirable outcome may be tied to your attitude to the situation.
      Lastly, as a more general comment, you're asking about needing help to "fight this", but I'm not clear what you intend to fight. Were you not in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident, or do you contend that it was the person turning in who caused you to swerve? If that is the case, I would attempt to obtain any CCTV footage of the area that might be available.


      • #4
        It is not illegal for a company to take out 3rd party insurance on its vans.
        If this is the case with the company you work for then you should be aware that if you had a bad accident driving the van and it was proved to be your fault. You would not be covered for any serious injury you suffered and you would be liable for the costly repairs to the van.
        You must check your employment contract regarding accidental damage to a company van. If your contract is silent on the matter you have nothing to worry about as you are not liable.
        If your contract states you are liable for any costs associated with an accident if it is proved to be your fault, you should consider whether you want to continue working at this company.


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