0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Houghton v Stannard, High Court, 29 October 2003

4 November 2003
The issues

Road Traffic Accident – parked car – obstruction to the highway.

The facts

The Claimant had parked on the inside lane of the A18 on the 23rd December 1998. There was no hard shoulder. He put his hazard lights on. The Claimant suffered from retrograde amnesia and could not remember the accident at Trial. In other proceedings, the Claimant had however stated that shortly before the accident occurred he had difficulties with the car and that he had continued to drive it for a little while before it broke down.

The Defendant admitted that he had seen the Claimant’s vehicle 200 yards away but thought it was moving. He had overtaken other vehicles and returned to the inside lane but then realised that the Claimant’s vehicle was not moving and he had hit it. The Defendant alleged that the Claimant was contributorily negligent in that he had failed to park off road, had stayed in the vehicle rather than walked away from it, and had driven the car when he knew there was a risk of it breaking down.

The decision

1. The Claimant had not continued to drive his car unreasonably. The Claimant’s vehicle was clearly visible and had hazard lights on. There was no evidence that the Claimant could have done anything else. It was not established that the Claimant had got back into the car for any other reason than to try to start it. There was no evidence as to how long he had been in the car before the collision occurred.

2. It was not unreasonable for the Claimant to have continued driving his vehicle.

Judgment for the Claimant in full.

focus on...

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

View

Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up