Our specialist motoring solicitor Andrew Prendergast guides readers through their legal trials and troubles…
Q It was the summer of all summers and my neighbour’s kids were understandably out in the garden 24/7 bouncing on their trampoline or jumping in their paddling pool. I had no issue with that, why would I? However, now the weather has changed, the wind has picked up, and I’m ‘hopping mad’ (pun intended) because whilst getting my Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX out of the shed to go to work, the idiots videoed the trampoline and messaged me it!!! They thought it was hilarious. For about 10 minutes they filmed the trampoline from their bedroom lifting and flying around their garden. Unfortunately, it then flew about 20 feet in the air before crashing over the fence on top of me and the bike. Thankfully I was okay, but the bike’s fairing and screen took a right kicking. I’ve been to speak to my neighbour about getting it fixed but he just said was an ‘act of God’ and I should claim off my fully comprehensive insurance policy or fix it myself whilst still laughing about the video. I was seething and am just working out whether I can actually claim off him or not (I may just suck it up to keep the peace). What do you reckon?
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A My view is you could claim off your neighbour, if you want to. Legally, if he owns the trampoline, he should have secured it properly in case it was windy. (I bet if you found out the make and model, the instructions will have warned the user about this.) In any event, as he has not secured it and then watched it get blown around whilst his kids videod it, he is a ‘class A ballbag’ and a Judge will find him negligent in my opinion. Whatever you do, make sure you save a copy of the video as evidence in case you do want to claim off him. As for ‘keeping the peace’ I do get it, so you need to have a think. However, I would add that if you do not want him to pay for the damage personally, you could ask him if he has house insurance as they may well pay out for your claim. I hope you ‘bounce back’ from this (I apologise unreservedly for the bad pun)
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