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Friend involved in driving accident - advice on what is going to happen now.

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Jimbo Mahoney, 7 Jun 2010.

  1. Jimbo Mahoney

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,465

    As always, this is complicated and you'll soon see why I'm posting this on here rather than going to our familes / friends for help/advice.

    I'm not after legal advice, just general "help, what do I do?" advice.



    My friend has some emotional issues / depression / low self-esteem. Last night she got drunk and took my car and accidentally crashed it into a parked car. No one was hurt (thank goodness). She is a learner driver and named on my insurance.

    She came home immediately after doing this (it was walking distance away from the house we share) and the police were round a minute later. As far as I know (they haven't allowed me to see her yet) she is being charged for drink driving, dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

    At the moment, I don't want to go to our families for help because her family are the primary cause for her low self-esteem and my family will think badly of her, although they are both wonderful parents (mine) I worry they won't understand. If we really need to, we could turn to them, but I worry what they will think of her.

    Can anyone tell me where to go from here and what is going to happen? I've never had any legal problems before so I'm not familiar with getting a solicitor for example.

    Here are my thoughts:

    1) Get a solicitor. How do I find one?
    2) Contact her GP for some sort of support from a medical standpoint - e.g. that she has a history of depression etc.
    3) What happens to the third party's car? At the moment, I'm assuming that she will be responsible for paying the repair costs?
    4) Does my insurance company need to be involved at all?

    Any and all advice appreciated.

    (I realise there may be some of the usual internet responses that are unsympathetic especially re: drink driving, but there is a mental condition that is the primary cause in this case. I'm donning the flame-proof suit).
     
  2. Poppy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 May 2004

    Posts: 1,182

    I assume shes also being charged with TWOC?

    1. No idea im afraid, try Citizens Advice Bureau.
    2. This sounds like an excellent idea, i assume shes on meds? or her GP has atleast diagnosed her with depression?
    3 + 4. As far as im aware your insurance will stump up the bill to repair the third partys car, however im pretty sure because of the circumstances surrounding your car, ie she was drunk they wont repair yours. Actually...just changed my mind, your car was effectively stolen, therefore they will pay for repairs to yours...HOWEVER you will have to make the claim against your policy and potentially lose any NCB etc. How bad is the damage to both cars? If its only a slight prang it might be feasible to pay for the damage without involving the insurance company?

    I seriously hope your friend realises how lucky she is to have a friend like you, it sounds like you really care for her. Keep us updated.
     
  3. IamMed

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,161

    Location: Porthcawl (S.Wales)

    1) Yellow Pages :p
    2) I doubt it would help much, if she was deemed to be a risk at all times due to depression etc she would still lose license.
    3) Yes
    4) You can ask the owner of the other car if they will allow her/you to pay for the damages however you will still need to inform insurance of her conviction when it's settled in court, however as she will most likely be banned be easier to just remove her.

    That's if the other party are willing, alot of people would rather it through the insurance.

    If it goes through insurance, you'll be asked if you gave permission to use the car, if you say no she will be charged with theft, if you say yes you will be charged for allowing her.

    Best case scenario they will drop the dangerous driving and possibly leaving the scene of the accident, depending what she has said in her statement ie: if she had returned to the house to seek help or inform someone.

    Would still leave the drink driving charge though which will be 6 points and an automatic ban for a provisional driver.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2010
  4. Aero

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Sep 2007

    Posts: 3,149

    Good bit of advice there. Just out of curiosity what would be the outcome if the OP said that the girl had free access to the car whenever she wanted but he was unaware she had taken it?

    I assume it would fall back to the op allowing her to drive under the influence but just interested.
     
  5. Jimbo Mahoney

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,465

    Thanks for feedback so far.

    Re: Damage to cars - mine is probably a write-off, which I'm not that bothered about (it's worth £500 on a good day and is starting to get expensive to repair every year for its MOT). I'm insured third party-only anyway.


    The other car's boot is pretty badly caved in and it shunted the car in front of it, so that has a dented bumper. There may also be a *third* parked car involved but I don't *think* there is any damage to it.

    I have 9 years protected NCBs, but the police have already told me that they don't think the insurance will cover it because of her driving alone with only a provisional licence, although I suppose technically it is theft of my car, even if she is a friend who is on the insurance.

    Re: Theft vs. permission - yes, the police will take a statement from me today about this. I feel guilty saying she took it without permission, as that is only going to add to her woes, but that is the truth and understandably I don't want any blame in this.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2010
  6. IamMed

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,161

    Location: Porthcawl (S.Wales)

    AFAIK would still be classed as theft as she took the car while unfit to drive.
     
  7. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,388

    She can't have free access to the car as she doesn't have a full license :(
     
  8. Sparky__H

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Aug 2004

    Posts: 2,069

    Location: Sea of Dirac

    I think the best thing to do it tell the police the truth. Your only be making things difficult for yourself in the long run.

    While you may be trying to protect her don't forget how monumentally stupid she has been.

    Your a better man then me, I'd be screaming for blood.
     
  9. Edrof

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Nov 2009

    Posts: 16,024

    Location: UK

    Good advice, better to tell the truth (especially to the boys in blue). Lies come back to haunt you. You sound like a good friend and even though your mate has troubles, she must take responsibility for her actions. She is VERY lucky nobody was hurt.

    Good luck with it all, life throws very scary stuff at you now and then!
     
  10. sbi5ar

    Mobster

    Joined: 14 Apr 2006

    Posts: 3,698

    Location: Nottingham

    Do This....

    If you tell the police exactly how it happened then they can make the decision for you... It might not go in your friends favour but that is just the way it is unfortunately... As previously said her medical records may help her from this point on but i doubt it will save her completely...
     
  11. Engram

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Jul 2004

    Posts: 979

    Location: England

    Definitely say she took it without your permission.
     
  12. lucky13

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Mar 2010

    Posts: 1,032

    Location: Southampton

    You have great patience and sound a decent man so good on you.

    However you can get a solicitor and help her but dont lie to the police as it could backlash on you if you are not fully honest. If the police deemed she stole the car as theft then I think the other cars would have to claim off their own insurence???

    In my view you can help her all you want but some things in life people have to take responsibility for, think to yourself if everything works out ok this time what is she going to do next time? Does she need specialist help if she is this depressed.
     
  13. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    I don't know what the situation is in Northern Ireland but depending on your income levels it might be worth seeing if you can get legal aid, however it's probably not going to be all that likely since unless you do something silly in regard to your dealings with the police the chances are you will just be a witness. The police may well have a list of solicitors who do cover for these events or you could always contact the law society in NI, failing that even just look in the phonebook.

    That might help although if she has a solicitor (and in a situation as serious as this I'd expect at least one provided by the court) they should be dealing with this also.

    Insurance doesn't tend to cover drunk drivers as far as I'm aware so she would be responsible for covering the costs of the repairs. I'm not so sure about whether the insurance companies for the others involved will cover costs in any way.

    Probably since there has been an accident and criminal charges pending.

    Good luck getting it sorted and your friend the help she needs.
     
  14. edscdk

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Jul 2008

    Posts: 7,111

    can they still do her for theft if you don't want them to?

    They probably want the easy conviction to keep their figures looking good and the drink driving sure thing... especially if she is not contesting it... I cannot imagine they would try and get her for theft if you don't care about it?? (however thats a guess)
     
  15. Kethridge

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 Apr 2010

    Posts: 322

    I have a bit of 'experience' in this field.

    2) It won't help in court. the judge's will not see a link between being depressed and crashing someone's car drunk. It might even be that they go harder on her for trying to make an excuse.

    3) If you don't go through insurance then no-one is actually liable for the damage yet. The court will most probably make her pay compensation to the owner though. However if she paid for the damage to other car and could get a letter from the owner to say she has done so then this would help immensely. I'm assuming she doesn't have any previous criminal convictions, if this is the case then she will want to make out that she is a person of good character that has made a huge mistake (and it won't happen again!). So proof of voluntary alcohol counselling probably wouldn't go amiss either.



    4) This is up to you, if you haven't notified your insurance company of the damage and just repair/scrap the vehicle yourself then they wouldn't know any different. Of course if the other side contacts their insurance with your details then you don't have a choice...

    DO NOT GIVE A STATEMENT. It is your choice whether you talk to the police or not. If you don't talk to them then they will not have a witness statement to press charges of theft upon her in court! You will not get into any trouble for this.

    Yes they will if he gives a statement. The CPS will press charges, they don't need the witness there in person for theft.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2010
  16. fadetoblack

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Mar 2008

    Posts: 2,381

    Location: York

    Sorry to sound harsh but tell her family she needs to get herself sorted.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2010
  17. fadetoblack

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Mar 2008

    Posts: 2,381

    Location: York

    Don't go down that road of not giving a statement. Tell the truth and get her sorted would you not give a statement if she had hit some one??
     
  18. iamtheoneneo

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Mar 2010

    Posts: 9,808

    Location: Bucks

    well first im going to say it: shes an idiot, medication or not you dont do that **** period - she could of easily of killed someone its as simple as that but this is not your fault of course, just angers me alot.

    in all fairness if shes doing that and is clearly unstable it sounds like she needs to go into a clinic for a good 6 months.

    you are making matters worse by keeping it away from the family.

    i wish you luck in this case and especially if it gets to court (which i doubt it will), but if this isnt a clear enough sign that your friends medical issues are getting worse i dont know what is.
    how old is she btw? is shes under 20 then this is all a little understandable (ie typical teenage 'the world is against me ' mummy daddy issues) but older then that and shes defiantly on the wrong side of normal.
     
  19. Deluxe1

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 May 2007

    Posts: 5,860

    Being depressed in no excuse for what she's done,do not lie on her behalf its upto her to take the wrap for this.
     
  20. Westyfield2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 12,494

    Location: Bath

    Main thing OP is you need to support her through all this :). Also make sure she tells the truth, and don't let the police (or OcUK) jump to depressed = headcase conclusions :).

    Get out.

    Until you've been with someone through their depression you frankly don't know what you're talking about.