The phantom car accident injury claim is progressing. Aviva has just rung me with big news. About time. It is now eight months since I sparked the insurance claim from hell by pranging into the back of the car in front whilst in a traffic queue moving at 3mph.
Despite the fact that neither car has so much as a scratch on a bumper, my no-claims bonus has been suspended since then, my premium has more than trebled and I’ve had to ditch the new Volvo and buy a car with an engine the size of a hairdryer. I’ve given a three-hour statement to investigators; I’ve been the subject of a police inquiry because I was accused of leaving the scene of the accident. In fact, I not only exchanged details on the roadside but then insisted on visiting the nearest police station — kind of the opposite of fleeing the scene of an accident, but there we are. A mix-up ensued involving a piece of official paperwork that was not properly filled out and, hey presto, I was being pursued by the Metropolitan Police’s road traffic unit for violating a subsection.
Mass murderers get less hassle. Anyway, eight months on, Aviva has finally contacted me to say that the ‘other party’ have managed to submit their medical reports.
He has a pre-existing back injury — of course he has — which I have allegedly made worse. I seem to remember her leaping out of the car and screaming, ‘’Ees got screws in ’is spine ’ee ’as!’ then turning to him and saying, ‘Does yer back ’urt, Jim? Is it agony, eh? Eh?’ And when the poor bloke shrugged and said, ‘Nah, I’m alright,’ she pushed him out of the way and screeched, ‘Sha’up you! Yeah, see, ’ees in agony ’ee is. ’Ee can barely move. Ooh, ’ees not right, you can tell. Ow, ow, I’m in agony too. Ow me back, me back, I’ve got whiplash I ’ave!’ And so on and so forth.
I still don’t know the precise schedule of dilapidations the accident-fakers have submitted.
I will hazard a guess that they are not claiming anything less than total and utter decrepitude brought on by the impact of my two-seater Peugeot not quite hitting their people-carrier. Every single screw has probably popped out of his spine leaving him unable to do a stroke of work for the rest of his natural life. I wait with bated breath to find out.
The lawyer working for Aviva who rang to update me said she couldn’t go into more details yet, but she wanted to inform me that as the reports are in, we are now in a position to hold a conference with the barrister handling my case.
‘I have a barrister?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ said the lawyer, ‘we’ve appointed a barrister in London to co-ordinate things.’ ‘You’re co-ordinating things?’
It seems Aviva is now taking this case seriously. It is going to contest it in court. It has appointed the top man in the field of disputed accident claims to defend me.
A meeting has been arranged to discuss strategy. Aviva representatives are travelling from Manchester to London to attend. Personally, I don’t think you can have enough lawyers when you are fighting people who claim to have screws popping out of their spine, so I am asking my gay best friend Stephen, a solicitor, to come along too.
I’ve been hyping Stephen up, telling him that we are going to fight this case on behalf of swindled motorists everywhere.
‘Goddam it,’ I say, when I call him, ‘we are going to take this all the way. They will change the law after we’re done. We will set a precedent. Kite versus Slobs will be a test case that law students the world over learn about.
‘We will be like Julia Roberts and Albert Finney in Erin Brockovich. Only you will be slightly more fey and I won’t wear denim mini-skirts. What should I wear? Something serious yet eye-catching. After all, I am going to make the longest, most impassioned speech in British legal history. By the way, when can we start working on my speech?’
‘Can I get back to you?’ says Stephen, horizontally. ‘It’s just that I’m drafting a lease extension.’
That’s lawyers for you. But you can’t squeeze the excitement out of me.
Clearly, I am going to spark a class action involving every single motorist who has ever been swindled by a high premium. I also want to launch a counter-claim against someone — or everyone — for wasting my time and causing me to suffer from a syndrome of some description, such as post-disputed accident traumatic stress disorder.
Or maybe I will just get Aviva to reinstate my no-claims discount. Whatever happens, I am going to enjoy this.