Judge Rinder has rewarded claimant Michelle the maximum claim of £5,000 for ‘extensive’ damages inflicted on her car by defendant Jamie in  today. The minor accident occurred when designate driver Jamie was driving Michelle and two other female friends back to their homes in the Midlands after a concert at the 02 Arena in London.

A witness statement from one of the passengers, whose name was undisclosed, claimed Jamie was “constantly looking in the rear view mirror” to see her in the backseat and “was not paying attention to the road”.  Consequently, Jamie caused a low speed collision with a car in front.

The pair had taken out an Insurance Premium of £76.77 to allow Jamie to legally drive the vehicle. Michelle paid the sum on her own debit card and Jamie paid her £80 back in cash. 

However, both failed to read the insurer’s terms and condition. When Michelle contacted the insurer, she was rebuked, as the insurance had been taken in Jamie’s name.

But when Jamie enquired to the insurer, he was also dismissed on the basis that his policy was “void” since it had not been purchased on his card.  Jamie had taken no further action since.

Michelle then asked for Jamie to reimburse her personally for the damages, but Jamie refused, admitting that while he was fully liable for the damage,  he owed  nothing as he had paid for the insurance.

Judge Rinder told the defendant “It was your responsibility to contact the insurer and resolve the matter”, but expressed sympathy that the unnamed insurer may have “basically told you to get lost”.

The Judge noted Jamie’s lack of confidence, further lamenting that individual success in law is “sadly” based on “how confidently they are at articulating at what they want”.   The Judge added “I suspect the policy is not only valid but would cover the damage”, but as the insurer was not present to be questioned,  Rinder declared to the claimant “I have no choice to reward you your full claim”.

However, Judge Rinder advised Jamie “Just because someone says no, apart from the case of judgement, doesn’t mean they’re right”.  The Judge concluded the session by imploring Jamie to “Take the insurer to court.”

In a statement following the verdict, Michelle professed she was “really happy” with the outcome.  Jamie said he was “glad it was over and done with” and confessed “I’ll try to get the money back, but I’ve no clue how to do it, so the chances of that happening are pretty slim”.

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