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Published 13 August 2020
Stephen Hampton v SegurCaixa Adeslas, S.A. de seguros y Reaseguros
This case was handled by DAC Beachcroft’s Motor Recovery Department on behalf of the Claimant, following instructions from his insurers, Allianz Insurance Plc, which saw the Claimant receive a full recovery of losses which he thought were no longer recoverable following his accident in Spain.
The Claimant’s claim arose following a road traffic accident which occurred whilst the Claimant was on holiday, in Spain, on 19 September 2018. The Claimant was driving his motorhome vehicle and correctly proceeding on the A-49, when a Spanish insured driver drove failed to acknowledge the other vehicles on the road applying their brakes and drove into the rear of the Claimant’s vehicle. The Claimant’s vehicle was shunted forward into collision with the vehicle in front. The Claimant’s case was that the Defendant’s insured driver had failed to leave the correct stopping distance and their driving was wholly negligent.
As the accident occurred in Spain, regulation (EC) No. 864/2007 of the European Parliament and Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations ('Rome II') governed the applicable law in the case. Pursuant to Article 4(1) of Rome II, the law applicable to the tort was Spanish law, as the law of the country in which the damage to the Claimant occurred. As per Spanish law, there is an obligation to compensate when damage is caused by a negligent act. The Claimant’s claim also had to be brought within one year of the date of notice, as this is the Spanish limitation period for losses arising from a tortious act (article 1968.2 Spanish Civil Code).
DAC Beachcroft were instructed close to expiry of the limitation period, before the case was ready to be litigated, so had to look to interrupt the limitation period. In accordance with section 1973 of the Spanish Civil Code, DAC Beachcroft interrupted the limitation period to ensure there was sufficient time to quantify all of the Claimant’s losses and properly present it to the Defendant’s representatives in the United Kingdom.
The Claimant’s losses amounted to roughly £35,000.00. These included not only the damage to the motorhome but the damage to the fitted upgrades and numerous items of property which were stored in the vehicle.
Through negotiations with the Defendant’s UK claims representatives a recovery was made in full for each and every head of loss. The Claimant was initially only aware that the vehicle damage was recoverable so was pleased with the result and praised the handler at DAC Beachcroft for their professionalism and expertise in securing such a good result for them.
As the claim was brought in England, as opposed to Spain, legal costs were recovered. If the claim would have been brought in Spain then costs may not have been recovered pre-litigation.
Furthermore, the Spanish branch of Allianz received a claim from the innocent party which the Claimant’s vehicle was shunted into, but this was repudiated and the claim redirected to the Defendant.
Our motor recoveries team deals with cases like this on a regular basis. For more information or advice, please contact one of our experts.
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