Protest taxis: Who will pay vehicle damage?

General News
Taxi Protest throughout the country
Taxi Protest throughout the country
An overturned car as taxis block the passage Porte Maillot in Paris, June 25, 2015 – THOMAS OLIVA AF

The angry taxi demonstrators attacked vehicles on Thursday …

Burned tyres, broken windscreens, cars overturned.  Nearly 3,000 taxis angrily protesting  during today, Thursday throughout France.  Drivers deem unfair competition from VTC and especially those of non-professionals who use UberPOP application. Incidents and erupted in several cities, including Paris and the Paris region. Cars made ​​for VTC were targeted by taxis.

At least eight people were taken into custody.   The Prime minister, Manuel Valls condemned “with the utmost severity” of “unacceptable” violence in the late afternoon.  Insurance, State or individuals … Who will take over the cost of damage?

If the offender is identified, they will have to repay

“The important thing is who commits the damage.  If the offender is identified, if there is evidence, testimony, it will be economically responsible that they will have to reimburse the work.  Since this is a voluntary degradation, self or civil liability insurance of the culprit obviously will not work, “says Eric de Caumont, lawyer and president of the bar association of the automobile.

“In such cases, the suspects go before the criminal courts.  Very often, the judges arrive to compensate victims by the perpetrators by deferring sentencing.  This allows them to pressure: “If you pay, and you apologise, you will avoid prison.

Attacking the state?

When the author of the damage was neither arrested nor identified.  As part of a planned demonstration, like that on Thursday, victims can possibly engage the responsibility of the State.  “When the event is organized, we can try to sue the State if one considers that it has not taken the necessary measures to ensure public safety,” says the lawyer.  If the State considers that it has committed no fault, the case ends at the administrative court.  “It is not easy to prove the failure to secure property and people.  This leaves room for appreciation and a battle of lawyers, “says Eric de Caumont.

“All Risks”: pay attention to the policy

People who have neither the time nor the money to bring such proceedings must watch their insurance contract.  “If you have subscribed to an all risks type of contract, your insurance typically covers damage in the vandalism category, if you have filed a complaint to the police,” says Stanislas di Vittorio. “This reimbursement is accompanied by often a high fee which will vary from policy to policy and will could be more than the cost of the repairs”

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