Residents have been left to foot the bill after a lorry careered through their gardens and crashed into their vehicles.
The skip lorry destroyed and damaged several cars, vans and motorbikes, lamp-posts, a wall and gardens before it came to a stop inches from the front door of a block of flats in Guardbridge in Fife.
A year on from the accident in Cupar Road, residents have been told Fife Council will not reimburse them for their insurance excess or the additional costs of replacing their cars, as the driver committed no offence.
Olivian Brown said she was around £1,500 out of pocket, due to the excess on both her home and car insurance, and having to buy a new vehicle.
Angered at the council’s response, she said: “They have taken no responsibility and have not even made a conciliatory offer.”
Lorry driver Stuart Smith, 55, sustained minor injuries but no one else was hurt in the dramatic collision on January 14 last year.
He was found not guilty of careless driving after lodging the rare defence of automatism — that he had no conscious knowledge of his actions.
Mrs Brown contacted her MSP Willie Rennie who received a letter from the council stating it was an accident and no one was to blame.
It also said while it was sympathetic to those affected, “insurers cannot pay compensation when no liability exists”.
Mrs Brown said: “This has cost me a lot of sleep over the last few months and has put a strain on me and my family.
“Local people shouldn’t have to pick up the tab for damaged caused by a Fife Council lorry.”
Mr Rennie urged a rethink from the local authority.
He said: “It is unacceptable that people have been left by Fife Council and its insurers to foot the bill when it was a Fife Council vehicle that caused the damage in the first place.
“It was a council lorry driven by a council worker on a council road.
“I am calling on Fife Council to do the right thing here and make sure local people are not left out of pocket for an accident that they had no part in causing.”
Avril Cunningham, the council’s audit and risk management service manager, said: “The council’s motor insurance policies provide third party liability cover which means that insurers will meet the cost of third party damage if an insured driver had acted negligently and is found to be at fault for having caused the accident and subsequent damage or if the vehicle had been defective.
“We cannot comment specifically on individual cases but the council’s motor claim handlers carry out an investigation and the council will pay compensation if it is shown that we were at fault.
“If, however, a council driver has not committed any driving offences and there were no vehicle defects it is unlikely that the council would be held responsible.
“Anyone who is unhappy with a claim decision may wish to seek legal advice or advice from their own insurers on the options available to them.”