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Claim from a forgotten incident- what to do.


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A few weeks ago I was parking my car outside my house and wasn't quite near enough to the kerb so pulled out to reverse back nearer the kerb,simple enough you would think.

The problem is that the road I live on is very wide and next to where I park there are traffic bollards and the pavement juts out similar to bus stops so when you pull out,even to reverse back you go into this narrowed bit of road.

As I was doing this a car came flying down the road (even thought there is a 30 limit) and the driver swerved and clipped the bollard.After a few choice words I told him it was his own stupid fault for driving so fast and went into my house,thought no more about it.

 

Today I had a letter from my insurance to say that he was making a claim against me for a collision!!

I spoke to a very nice young lady and I told her what had happened as far as I could remember but am now quite concerned as I didn't even think about reporting the incident to them.

 

Does anyone know if I am likely to be found liable because I didn't report it at the time?

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Not reporting the accident at the time has no effect on your liability.

 

It was your actions at the time of the accident that determine that.

 

If you pulled out into the path of someone and caused them to take evasive action then you are to some (possibly all) degree liable. It is difficult to claim that the other person's speed was excessive, but if you can successfully argue that then liability may be split.

 

Mossy

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How did the other driver obtain your insurance details?

 

When I spoke to my insurance company they said that they had been contacted by his insurers - i can only think that he took down my car registration and his insurance company checked for him - I didn't give him any details and the Insurers are totally different.

 

I didn't think to ask my insurance company:confused:

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I would of thought that the 'third party' would require witnesses to prove you caused the incident. If he was so sure you did then why did he not report you to the police for driving without due care and attention?

 

I suggest (as you have allready spoken to your insurers) is that you ask your insuers what proof they have been preseented with. Further indicate that you are not making any claim because as far as you are concerned you were not involved and as such you dispute the third party claim.

 

There is obviously the option for the third party to claim damages from you through the small claims court but again, I think he will need evidence.

 

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Thanks for you reply Sam,my insurers did ask if there were any witnesses but there were none that I'm aware of,other than the passenger in the other car who could not be classed as independent.

Thinking about it I should have asked my insurers why the driver didn't call the Police but merely went to his insurance company,hopefully that will help me by bringing doubt into the equation - I'm certain I wasn't responsible,I would tell you if I was, it's my 60% no claims that is worrying me.

My insurance lady was very good and she did say that she would be disputing the claim in more or less the same words as you have posted.

 

I'll wait for their letter and come back to this post,thanks again.

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The OP or TP is only obliged to call the police if injuries are apparent following an accident.

 

The police wouldn't normally turn up if there are no injuries and no mention of other offences (ie drink driving etc).

 

Mossy

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The OP or TP is only obliged to call the police if injuries are apparent following an accident.

 

The police wouldn't normally turn up if there are no injuries and no mention of other offences (ie drink driving etc).

 

Mossy

 

Correct Mossy, but if the incident is the result of a traffic offence being commited (i.e. careless/reckless driving or driving without due care and attention ect,) then either party can make a complaint to the police even if there are no injuries.

 

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Correct Mossy, but if the incident is the result of a traffic offence being commited (i.e. careless/reckless driving or driving without due care and attention ect,) then either party can make a complaint to the police even if there are no injuries.

 

In theory yes they can, however in reality it is very rare an officer will attend because it's one persons word against another and usually ends up going nowhere, so they don't bother.

 

It's different if alcohol is mentioned because they can do a breath/blood test after the accident and don't need any other corroborating evidence, usually it's only cases involving serious injury or death that the AIU (Accident Investigation Unit) attend and look for physical evidence (tyre marks etc) to ascertain careless/reckless/ due care etc.

 

In the circumstances described by the OP, the police wouldn't have bothered attending even if someone had alleged due care etc so it's a moot point.

 

Mossy

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Mossy, if anyone reports an offence being commited to the police, they are OBLIGED to attend and investigate. Obviously in the absence of any witnesses, the police will no doubt urge the complainent not to persue the matter. I once had a situation when a milk lorry shed it's load when it left a petrol station with it's side sliding door open and as the truck turned onto the road, it tilted slightly and several crates of empty milk bottles fell into the road as I was driving past. Some of the bottles struck my car causing damage and because the road was partially blocked the police attened. I reported the driver of the truck for having an insecure load and the police tried to persuade me to settle it via the insurance route (as you say; they can't be bothered). But after I insisted I wanted the driver reporting, he was arrested and charged. It made my insurance claim swift and clear cut because the insurers had all their work done for them!

 

I would advise anyone who is involved in an accident which has been caused as a result of an offence being commited to report it to the police because it can only help your claim.

 

However, it can work both ways as in this case. I believe the third party in this case will need witnesses to prove tht OP caused this incident. Otherwise the OP's insueres should dispute the claim, after all they are supposed to act on behalf of their policy holder arn't they?

 

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I've known there to be no injuries, no damage, each driver accusing the other of being reckless, a fifteen minute debate, the police arrive.

Sometimes they can cool matters, all to do with ego's.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have received a letter today from the other driver's Insurance Company saying that despite corresponding with my insurers they have not received payment and they have given me fourteen days to pay or they will commence legal proceedings.

 

When I spoke to my insurers originally they said that they would be disputing the claim so I'm wondering what's going on - are they just dragging their feet?

 

I have sent the letter to my insurers as they advised me to do that if I received anything and I have not contacted the other insurers but am getting a bit worried,any thoughts?

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I haven't spoken to my insurers about this new letter,when I spoke to them originally they just said that if I received anything from the other Company I was to send them the letter and not to enter into any dialogue with them.

 

I've sent them a copy of the letter but will add to my letter that I don't admit any liability, just so they have it in writing.

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I AM SO ANGRY!!

 

I received a letter from my Insurance co today saying that as the third part insurers are now threatening Court action they will have to settle the claim in full on a without prejudice basis to avoid court action!

 

The letter that I received a couple of days ago from the third party insurers said they would be taking court action because they had not heard from my insurance company.

 

I can't believe that they could do this, who are they supposed to be working for??!!

 

At the outset I told them categorically that this incident was not my fault - I know it is only my word against theirs as there were no independent witnesses - but this is not the way I expected to be treated by my insurers as they told me initially that they would be disputing the claim on my behalf but it appears they have done absolutely nothing.

 

Is there anything I can do now?

 

I feel like cancelling the policy and taking out new insurance but I pay the premium monthly and fear that they would demand full payment til may next year when the insurance is due to be renewed.

 

I feel pretty helpless but feel very badly treated.

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Hi Wendy,

 

From reading through the posts;

 

You were parking and as you did so, you pulled into the narrow piece of road.

 

If so, the other driver has had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with your vehicle, and as your vehicle entered the line of oncoming traffic, you would be held at fault for the incident. Speed cannot be proven and therefore is not valid grounds for any liability dispute, as you admit that your vehicle will have swung outg slightly, I see no way that this claim would be disputed, or why any witnesses would be needed.

Insurance Guy

If I can offer any help I will....

I have experience in Fault, Non-Fault & Disputed Liability Motor Claims for vehicle damage and hire, and some experience in Personal Injury Claims

 

 

If I've helped- please click my scales :D

 

ANY ASSISTANCE IS GIVEN ENTIRELY WITHOUT PREJUDICE- YOU SHOULD SEEK INDEPENDANT LEGAL ADVICE TO CONFIRM ANY ADVICE GIVEN

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Hi Wendy,

 

From reading through the posts;

 

You were parking and as you did so, you pulled into the narrow piece of road.

 

If so, the other driver has had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with your vehicle, and as your vehicle entered the line of oncoming traffic, you would be held at fault for the incident. Speed cannot be proven and therefore is not valid grounds for any liability dispute, as you admit that your vehicle will have swung outg slightly, I see no way that this claim would be disputed, or why any witnesses would be needed.

 

I'd agree with that.

 

Mossy

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So the third party dosn't need any evidence that OP 'caused' the incident then?

 

The OP's own description puts them at fault, the TP was on the main road, the actions of the OP caused the TP to take evasive action.

 

Whilst the OP may think/feel that the speed of the TP contributed to the accident, they are not qualified or had the equipment to establish that with enough conviction.

 

Mossy

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The OP's own description puts them at fault, the TP was on the main road, the actions of the OP caused the TP to take evasive action.

 

Whilst the OP may think/feel that the speed of the TP contributed to the accident, they are not qualified or had the equipment to establish that with enough conviction.

 

Mossy

 

Although I know where your'e comming from Mossy, my point is that the TP 'had to swerve' to avoid colliding with the OP. I agree that the OPs description suggests that it puts them at fault, but I would of thought that the driver of a car traveling at a safe speed, would of been able to either stop in time or slow down sufficiantly to avoid contact with the kerb/bollard. I personally have had many similar experiences of cars pulling out on me from being parked and I have not had to 'swerve' to the extent of colliding with any street furniture! If I had, I would have certainly reported the driver for careless driving... unless I was speeding of course!

 

In my opninion in the absence of witnesess this is a 50/50 case.

 

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No way would I offer 50/50 on this if I was the TP insurers.

 

The OP is almost completely at fault, there could be many reasons why the TP swerved to avoid, the fact is that the TP had to take evasive action and the reason they had to take it was the actions of the OP.

 

I would point out that whilst it is ideal to stop, you do not know how close the TP was to the OP at the moment the OP first became visible to the TP, it could well be that the TP decided that given the proximity only an evasive manouevre would be effective, or it could be that a swerve was their first reactive measure. It is not for us to second guess or use hindsight as to what the TP might have done, the fact remains that they took evasive action, the sole reason for having to take that was the negligence of the OP.

 

The TP was on a travelling road, he had right of way, under those circumstances 50/50 would never come into it.

 

Mossy

Edited by Mossycat
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You know Mossy, we both have come across posts where the OP has been 'rear ended' and as such, not at fault (based on their information). But then there has been a number of recent cases where the TP have later disputed liability knowing there were no witnesess. If I remember correctly, in one case you have stated that in the absence of witnesess the insurers may settle on a 50/50 basis. So whats the difference here?

 

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You know Mossy, we both have come across posts where the OP has been 'rear ended' and as such, not at fault (based on their information). But then there has been a number of recent cases where the TP have later disputed liability knowing there were no witnesess. If I remember correctly, in one case you have stated that in the absence of witnesess the insurers may settle on a 50/50 basis. So whats the difference here?

 

The OP by their own admission admits it was their actions that caused the other driver to swerve and the other driver was on the main road and had right of way.

 

It's not a matter of no witnesses equals a 50/50 settlement, it's a matter of who claims what, and in this case the OP was clearly at fault

 

Mossy

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