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Insurance company not concerned about contravention of the Highway Code!


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I hope someone can advise or let us know where to get advice/help.

 

We were recently involved in a car accident when our stationary car was written off when a large lorry hit it. The driver of the lorry had driven through a restricted lane (marked with diagonal white stripes) and on into a lane for oncoming T/R traffic against the arrows. We were waiting at this point to join the main road and the lorry struck us. He drove off around a corner - probably because had he stopped it would have been clear that he had been in the wrong lane - and came back on foot to exchange details.

 

We have a witness who confirms the above details and has submitted a written statement to our insurance company.

 

Problem - our insurance company advisor says that as the lorry was on the main road it could be argued he had right of way - even though he was in the wrong lane. She explained that contravention of the Highway Code is not an insurance concern - it is a police concern. We had not reported it to the police at the time because fortunately no-one was hurt. It is too late to do so now but we have been into the local police station where an officer expressed surprise at the comment of the insurance company advisor. Both parties are insured with the same insurance company.

 

We hope someone can advise us.

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Anything could be argued. The question is whether it could be argued with credibility and successfully.

 

Breach of the Highway Code can be used to prove both criminal and civil liability. In that respect your advisor is wrong.

 

Was the hatching bounded by a broken white line or a solid one?

 

I would write and give them 15 days to settle in full refer to the witness statement. If they do not settle, write a final letter before the action. You should send the letters to both the driver and the insurer. If this does not work then issue a claim using MCOL for the full amount of your claim against the driver of the lorry only.

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Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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Hello Bernie

 

Thank you for your prompt and very helpful reply.

The ‘hatched’ lane was surrounded by a broken white line so we appreciate that the driver of the lorry could enter it if it was clear – the onus being on him to check that it was clear. However, this hatched lane joined a lane for oncoming traffic turning right off the main road and he entered this lane (against the arrows) and it was here that he collided with us. We were stationary waiting to turn right into the main road.

Describing a traffic accident is not easy but perhaps we should further explain that the traffic at the junction concerned (where we were trying to turn right onto the main road) is restricted to one lane so that traffic can enter and leave the minor road concerned. After this the main road fans out into three lanes. The traffic was stationary – and we had been let out through a gap and were checking for any traffic coming from our left. Although there should not have been any traffic coming from our right, we were about to check when the lorry came from our right - travelling against the arrows - and collided with us.

As both the company employing the lorry driver and we are insured by the same insurance company, we wondered whether this presented a problem. We feel if another insurance company were involved, our advisor would be more inclined to fight our case. On the other hand, we could cynically argue that the insurers are simply hoping to keep both excesses.

We are more concerned about liability for the accident being on my husband's records, than about the loss of the excess - but we have also had to purchase another vehicle which we had not planned to do at the time which is seemingly not taken into account. When we submitted our claim with the witness statement and photographs of the junction showing where both vehicles were at the time of the collision - and the directional arrows which the other driver had ignored - we were confident. No so now!

Regards

Malvis

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Many thanks Daviet - very reassuring.

 

We are currently awaiting the decision of the insurance company which they say may take a few weeks. They are having to correspond with the company concerned and their insurance broker.

 

The broker wrote to us immediately after the accident saying that as there was so little damage to the lorry they will not be pursuing us for compensation but held my husband entirely responsible for the accident! We felt rather threatened! This was before we had submitted our full claim with witness statement and photographs to the insurance company who advised us not to deal directly with the broker.

 

Watch this space for the final decision of the insurance company.

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