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Title: Should I take my hubby to court?!

Date: 23 February 2015

I have a bit of a moral quandary. My husband was driving our Blackbird with me riding pillion when all of a sudden he lost control on a bend. Thank goodness he was not travelling too fast and the bike was only cosmetically damaged as it slid to a halt. He also escaped injury other than a few bruises and aches. I was not so fortunate as I ended up being taken to hospital in an ambulance. I fractured my left wrist and thumb and now have a wire in my thumb and a plate in my wrist. Apparently osteoarthritis is going to be an issue too. I want to claim compensation but don’t want to sue my husband! Is there anything else I can do? Will the insurer pay out without me suing him?

Elaine Robinson, Staffs

I don’t mean to be ruthless but what do you have to lose by claiming compensation from your husband? As the pillion you are certain to succeed in your claim for compensation for your injuries and financial losses assuming you were not the cause of the loss of control. If court proceedings become necessary your husband would be named on the court documents as the Defendant. However, the majority of claims settle without the need for court proceedings to be commenced, let alone reach a trial. This claim is bound to settle as presumably your husband will not actively assist the claim’s defence. And there don’t appear to be particularly contentious medical causation issues (i.e. the injuries are obviously due to the accident).

In reality the claim will be notified to your husband’s insurer and your husband will be indemnified for the value of the claim and your legal costs by his insurer. Your husband will simply have to let his insurer know his version of events (i.e. admit liability) and his involvement will likely end. He will likely face an increased insurance premium. However the cost of this will be far outweighed by the value of your claim.

This sort of thing happens very frequently and people tend to be pragmatic.

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