Coyne Learmonth only deals with Road Traffic Accident claims and we specialise in particular in Credit Hire claims. We set out below some anonymised examples of cases that we have won.
CASE STUDY A
This client's Bentley motor car was damaged by an Articulated Lorry. As a result of the damage the Bentley was un-roadworthy and the client was claiming the cost of repairs to his Bentley and the cost of hiring a replacement vehicle, which he needed to entertain business clients. He did have other vehicles available to him but they were not suitable for his dealings with his business clientele.
The Defendant Insurers believed the claim to be fraudulent. As a result the claim had to go to Trial. We were satisfied that it wasn't a fraudulent claim and the client remained in hire. The Judge found for the client and dismissed the allegations of fraud and the Claimant recovered damages slightly in excess of £250,000 including a £161,000 Credit Hire charges together with his Legal costs.
CASE STUDY B
The client was a small Coach Operator. He had a handful of coaches of differing sizes and capacities in terms of passengers and luggage. One of his coaches was written off. He hired a replacement coach, the hire charges for which were in excess of £80,000. The Defendants sought to argue his entitlement to recover Hire charges and tried to persuade the Court that he should instead have claimed loss of profit. The problem with the loss of profit argument was that, if he hadn't replaced the coach, he would have lost significant business because he had no other coach that could have satisfied those customers' needs and his business would have gone bust. The Court accepted those arguments on behalf of the Claimant and he succeeded in recovering just under 90% of those Credit Hire charges, which the Hire Company was happy to accept. In addition he recovered his Legal costs but the most important thing for this client was that his business was kept going and he avoided the loss of his only income earning asset.
CASE STUDY C
We acted for an England International Sportsman whose prestige motor car was written off in an accident which was not his fault. He hired a replacement vehicle on a Credit Hire basis. The Defendants challenged his impecuniosity. In other words, they said that he could have afforded to pay for a replacement vehicle upfront. He was comprehensively insured. The Defendants argued that he had failed to mitigate his losses because he could have made a claim on that comprehensive insurance policy.
The client's case was ultimately settled out of Court when the Defendants instructed Solicitors who appreciated that in the first place the Claimant wasn't required to make a claim on his own comprehensive insurance policy and they accepted that despite the fact that he had a good income his outgoings were such that he didn't have sufficient spare cash to replace his vehicle. The Credit Hire charges were recovered in the sum of approximately £40,000 in round figures together with damages for Personal Injury together with the pre-accident value of his vehicle and his Legal costs.
CASE STUDY D
Coyne Learmonth specialise in helping Taxi Driver clients who have been involved in accidents. Very often Taxi drivers have vehicles which have very high mileage and because of that high mileage the value of the vehicle is relatively low and the cost of hiring a replacement Taxi can be quite high and significantly more than the value of the vehicle that was written off in the accident. This often leads to Insurers claiming that they shouldn't have to pay out Hire charges in a sum in excess of the value of the client's vehicle.
In this case the client Taxi Driver was involved in an accident which wrote off his Taxi which had a value of £1,700. He sustained personal injury and needed to hire a replacement Taxi so that he could continue to earn his living. Because of delays on the part of the Insurance Company arguing that he shouldn't be claiming the cost of a replacement Taxi but should be claiming loss of income the Hire charges increased. The Hire charges were eventually settled in the sum of £13,000 that is to say £11,300 more than his vehicle was worth. He also recovered damages for his personal injury and his legal costs were paid. Taxi drivers and Chauffeurs are often met with arguments from Defendants that they should claim loss of earnings rather than the cost of a replacement vehicle. That, however, exposes the client to the risk of losing his home because he has no income to pay his rent or mortgage and the Court will recognise that is an unreasonable sacrifice for the Claimant to be exposed to.
CASE STUDY E
Coyne Learmonth have acted over the years for many clients, ordinary motorists involved in road traffic accidents who need a car to get to and from work or to take children to and from School and general social and domestic purposes.
In this case a single Mum who didn't work outside the home was involved in an accident which was not her fault. Her car was written off and she needed a replacement vehicle to take her children to and from school because public transport was not suitable and for general, social and domestic purposes. She brought a claim for the pre-accident value of her motor vehicle, personal injury and the cost of hiring a replacement car. The Defendants defended the Hire claim element on the basis that the Claimant wasn't working and that no sensible person would enter into a Credit Hire Agreement if they couldn't pay for the Hire charges. Astonishingly the Defendant failed to realise that people who cannot afford to pay for a hire car are entitled to recover Credit Hire charges. That's why it exists! The Defendants in that case eventually agreed on top of the vehicle damage and the personal injury damage claims to pay £13,000 for the Credit Hire charges. In addition the Defendants paid the client's Legal costs.