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Car Insurance have said they may find me at fault even though it clearly wasn't!!!


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Hi everyone,

 

I just wanted to ask if anyone has had any dealings with Equity Red Star regarding their car insurance.

 

I was involved in a RTC when a vehicle emerged from a side road, without giving way and smashed into the side of my car. At the scene the driver admitted it was his fault but has since claimed it was mine and has put in a personal injury claim. The Police said when i was giving a statement that it was a clear cut case and as he's failed to 'give way' it was his fault but my insurance are now saying that as there are no witnesses they will 'take a view' as to whether they would be 'likely' to win a court case and decide on blame from there. They said that according to the terms and conditions I agreed to, they have the right to make that decision irrespective of my views or wishes.

 

Has anyone fallen foul of Equity Red Star's stance on this?

 

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Guest louis wu

Stevie, does it actually state in the letter that they may find you responsible? or is it just a case of further investigations?

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Hi Louis,

 

At present it was just following a conversation with one of their rude and terse advisors and it shocked me that they can make that decision irrespective of what's actually right.

 

They did say that investigations were continuing and a full statement would need to be taken.

 

I'm just trying to understand whether this is common practise and whether other people have had experience of ERS settling claims in the 3rd party's favour even though it was clearly their fault.

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Thats an easy one to prove. Get photo of your damage and his damage or get police man to give a statement he saw damage to front of their car and side of yours.

 

Assuming your car doesn't have the magical ability to drive sideways like a crab then it's clear who hit who!

 

I had a similar problem when someone hit the side of my car when they were reversing out of a car parking spot. They tried to wriggle out of it but it was easy to prove with the damage locations.

 

I forget how I found their address, I think the insurance company or the police gave it me after I complained they didn't give me full details of their insurer after the accident. I then just got up real early in the morning, went around to their house, the car was on their drive and took the photographs to send to my insurer.

 

I won, guess what? My car didn't drive sideways either, imagine that!

 

I now carry a disposable camera with flash in the glove box.

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Just because the other driver hits you, doesn't automatically make it a clear cut case. E.G if you were crossing traffic to turn into a side street and the oncoming car hit you, that would still be deemed to be your "fault" because you were in their path and they had right of way.

 

That said, this does sound like you have a good argument here, but, it all comes down to what can be proved. As a general rule, if it both parties are denying liability, there's no witnesses and no way to prove without doubt that the TP is in the wrong, then most insurers will settle for what's called a "split-liability" (sometimes called 50/50 or "knock for knock") whereby each insurer pays for half of the damage and everyone is taken care of.

Unfortunately these still count as fault claims as the insurer has still had to pay out something and not made a full recovery.

 

To answer your original question, yes, they can do this as part of your contract is for them to act on your behalf in the event of a claim and settle in a way that they deem to be satisfactory.

 

It would seem that they are still investigating this for now so all you can do is wait and see how it pans out. As i said before, i personally think that you have a good argument for them to settle in your favour but you would need to prove the you had right of way.

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

 

DA

If you find the advice I give is useful, then please feel free to click the scales :)

 

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" :)

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"emerged from a side road, without giving way" I read this you had right of way. Did a policeman come to the scene? If all else fails ask for a police report from the officer who came to the scene.

 

I was hit in the rear while stationary in a motoreway queue. The woman and daughter in the car tried to claim I swirved infront of them and slammed the brakes on.

 

The police were very rude to me because I had a basball cap on my head and a spoiler on my car so i guess they thought I was a boy racer.

 

Later the police gave an apology after reviewing CCTV tapes on the road and gave a statement to my insurers to the effect the woman was lieing.

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Stevie, ultimately your insurer has the right to make a decision on liability whether or not you feel it's correct.

 

The police did not witness the accident, however your insurer should obtain a report from the police which may include a statement from the other party and help establish liability.

 

Without knowing what the other party's allegations are, I can't comment on whether you have a good case. Ultimately, if the other party's allegations are possible, if they hold you 100% liable and cannot be disproven, then your insurer will likely settle 50/50.

 

You should make sure they do this on a 'Without Prejudice' basis. This means that your right to take the other party to court for the other 50% is not affected. Your insurer won't assist you in this, as they have already agreed the 50/50. However, if you are successful your insurer should give you back your no claims discount.

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Guest louis wu
Your insurer won't assist you in this, as they have already agreed the 50/50.

 

The op doesn't state this, do you believe the insurance companies just do this as standard?

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No no no. I talking hypothetically. Didn't make it very clear.

 

What I am saying is, IF the insurance companies agree a 50/50 'Without Prejduice', then Stevie can still take the other person to court for 100%. But his insurer wouldn't assist him IF they have already agreed on a 50/50.

 

Having said that, it is sensible and common practice for insurers to settle 50/50 in cases where it is one party's word against the other.

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Thats an easy one to prove. Get photo of your damage and his damage or get police man to give a statement he saw damage to front of their car and side of yours.

 

Assuming your car doesn't have the magical ability to drive sideways like a crab then it's clear who hit who!

 

I had a similar problem when someone hit the side of my car when they were reversing out of a car parking spot. They tried to wriggle out of it but it was easy to prove with the damage locations.

I forget how I found their address, I think the insurance company or the police gave it me after I complained they didn't give me full details of their insurer after the accident. I then just got up real early in the morning, went around to their house, the car was on their drive and took the photographs to send to my insurer.

 

I won, guess what? My car didn't drive sideways either, imagine that!

 

I now carry a disposable camera with flash in the glove box.

 

My wife Julie had this happen to her in our local Tesco's nearly 3 weeks ago. The woman has still not informed her insurance company of the accident that she has had. The insurance company have passed this onto a solcitor who is now dealing with it.

If what we say helps you, then please tip the scales.:cool:

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Hello everyone:

This is my first post, so please bear with me.

I can identify with those who are battling it out with insurance companies over car accidents. The particular bees in the barrack bonnet at the present time are claims by car credit hire companies (namely Helphire Limited.) Two of them!! In December 2006 another driver claimed my husband had reversed into his car on a supermarket car park. He sent drawings and a completely fabricated version of a conversation which he claimed had taken place between us and him, in which my husband is supposed to have admitted liability and I am supposed to have said "oh no!" when I came out of the supermarket to find him demanding my insurance details.

 

It has taken over 12 months to discover that he then hired a car through Helphire and that repairs to his vehicle were estimated only on 22nd January 2007. His solicitors have issued proceedings against us, claiming £500-odd car hire charges and costs. No period of hire stated; no details of car hired; no daily rate. No indication of how long repairs were supposed to have taken--and this twelve months after we had received a claim from another Hire Company which claimed the client's car was undriveable.

Interesting since I myself sawit drive away at speed fro m the scene of the alleged incident, and when we went--several times during December 2006--to observe the claimant's address, the car was there some times, some times not; there was another vehicle there with it, and there was no damage visible to the claimant's car.

 

I took photographs, but they weren't too good.

 

My car did have damage to it, but that had existed since November 11th 2006, after some moron drove into it whilst we were all inside the leisure centre. The documentation and estimates prove this But now the claimant has cited damage to his vehicle which corresponds with that which was already existing to mine when he alleged my husband had driven into his car.

 

He has a firm of solicitors which have behaved like 24 carat bullies: pay up or else; we are going to court and you will lose; etc etc. They now say their client's car was driveable! We now have a hearing date of 14th April: originally 19th March, bang in the middle of the Easter school hols when we would both be up to our necks in it as our 13 year old son is severely learning disabled and we receive no appropriate help or support despite our own disabilities.

 

. The solicitors have done everything they can to intimidate us, but I didn't spend most of my working life in solicitors' offices for nothing. It is however still stressful.

 

What is more, in October last year, 2007, a neighbour accused first myself, then my husband, of reversing into hercar then driving off and not reporting it. The police began a prosecution, and when they interviewed my husband (whom she finally decided it was when they took her Statement) they even asked him what he thought was in her mind. Well, there had been ample indication, from her many public statements that she was having us evicted; our son's taxi to school stopped; myself killed; having our son reported for shouting on his garden.

 

Time and again she had deliberately obstructed our driveway entrance, so it was impossible to get in and out safely, and we are close to the road junction also. The Police said she could park where she liked on the highway; the Council, who owns these properties, had written to her predecessor giving him permission to park opposite our driveway--all unknown to us for several years of course.

 

She claimed my husband had ripped the bumper off her Nissan X Trail with our Meriva. Most of you will now no doubt be either scratching your heads or rolling about laughing, because Meriva v X Trail is no contest. And as my own insurance Investigator confirmed only last week, there is no impact damage to my Meriva; some scratches but not caused by hitting anything.

 

She claims my car had been damaged all down its near side....

 

The police even phoned my insurers to ask if my car had been repaired!!

 

Now you can be forgiven for thinking there's something fishy here, and I cannot be telling the truth. But neither of us has ever been involved in crime, despite the best efforts of this neighbourhood and certain police and housing officers, and until we moved here in 1995 had no inkling that such a situation was possible. We now know differently.

 

Loving neighbour also hired a car through Helphire, but instead of an equivalent to a Nissan X Trail, it was a VW Touareg, V6 TDi, 3.0 litre. Both she and those who delivered it blocked the road outside here, making fun of us and patting themselves on the back.

 

The reason for boring you all with this is to hopefully lift the lid on something which I am sure is happening to others who might be too intimidated or embarrassed to report. Also if anyone has any sensible comments to make, or advice to give, I am all ears.

 

Cheers!

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We have just been told that it could take 3months for Julie's claim to be sorted out. But the solicitor is hopefull that it won't take that long.

If what we say helps you, then please tip the scales.:cool:

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Guest louis wu

Just a note to Gary29 and barrackroomlawyer.

 

It's best to start your own threads, posting here will only confuse matters, especially for the OP Stevie8abes, who did start this to get help and advice on their specific problem. Just start a thread of your own and people will come and help.

 

Louis

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Yeah a road obstruction will be deat with by police.

 

I've heard there is also supposed to be a new law this March that makes it clear that blocking access to a dropped curb is an offence.

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Guest Claims Management Centre
Stevie, ultimately your insurer has the right to make a decision on liability whether or not you feel it's correct.

 

 

Not true!

 

Everyone has the civil right to instruct their own insurer 'not to prejudice any claim they may have against the third party'. This means that they must NOT admit laibility without instruction and must allow reasonable time for the insured to gather evidence.

 

The only time an insurer shoud admit liability on the behalf of the insured as if the insured fails to respond, submit a report form or provide any instruction.

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Not true!

 

Everyone has the civil right to instruct their own insurer 'not to prejudice any claim they may have against the third party'. This means that they must NOT admit laibility without instruction and must allow reasonable time for the insured to gather evidence.

 

The only time an insurer shoud admit liability on the behalf of the insured as if the insured fails to respond, submit a report form or provide any instruction.

 

Hence why the insurer can settle 'Without Prejudice'.

 

In the sentence you quoted, swap the word 'liability' for 'how to settle the claim'.

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Yeah a road obstruction will be deat with by police.

 

I've heard there is also supposed to be a new law this March that makes it clear that blocking access to a dropped curb is an offence.

 

Blocking a drop down is already an offence. Obstructing the highway in any way is a offence. I have seen dozens of cars with penalty notices on them for obstuction. It is the responsibilit of the driver to ensure that they are not causing an obstuction. There is a fixed penalty of £30 for causing an obstuction to the highway. I have complained to the police about having my garage entrance obstructed and a ticket was issued :lol::roll:

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Guest Claims Management Centre
Hence why the insurer can settle 'Without Prejudice'.

 

In the sentence you quoted, swap the word 'liability' for 'how to settle the claim'.

 

Of course an insurer can settle a claim "without prejudice" but if the insured is building their own claim and asks the insurer not to prejudice their claim by admitting liability on their behalf then the insurer must accept that instruction.

 

If the insurer ignores the request and settles the TP claim 'without prejudice' and is subsequently proved wrong the insurer will be out of pocket, why in their right mind would they do that?

 

I have been involved in cases where my own client's insurance company has wanted to settle the claim on a split liability but we restrained them from doing so and after lengthy negotiations we obtained a full admission from the other side. Had the insurance company settled without prejudice they would have a severe problem in recovering their losses.

 

In my experience, (which is well over a decade now) only smart-arse or lazy claims handlers ignore their insured's instructions.

 

Take my word for it, you CAN tell your insurers NOT to admit liability until your investigations are complete, and they MUST comply.

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