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josh70

Insurer wants to settle 50/50 when the other driver is lying

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My car insurer wants to accept an offer from the other insurer to settle 50/50 on a car crash that was not my fault. I have motor legal aid but have not used it yet.

 

The other driver admitted fault at the scene, but now blames me and has told a complete lie on the car crash statement.

 

- If it goes to court, is it done on balance of probability? I don't have anything that 100% says it was the other driver's fault, but I do feel there are bits of evidence (photos etc.) that taken as a whole strongly suggest it was the other driver's fault.

 

- If I accepted 50/50, which I have no intention of doing, would this in some way indicate that I accept I was partly to blame?

 

- If someone knowingly lies in a statement, is this a criminal offence, and if so, what class would it come under?

 

Thank you for any help. :-)

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Why should it go to court? is there likely to be a police prosecution in connection with a motoring offence!

If just vehicle damage then it will be sorted by insurance co.. any injuries involved?

If it is not clear cut who was to blame then insurers often agree amongst themselves to split the cost, so you both lose NCB to mitigate loss and not have protracted settlements.

Ther nothin stopping you, if you are sure of facts and can prove on the balance of probability, taking TP to court to recover any excess you may to pay and out of pocket expenses etc. Your legal help may be able to assist it that.

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Thank you for the reply.

 

It was low impact and there were no injuries, but the other driver has told such a big lie in the accident report (accusing me of what they did) that I do not know if the driver will have made up an injury claim.

 

The way the driver drove, it was like someone was trying to deliberately hit me, but I can't prove it. It was very odd.

 

Why should it go to court? is there likely to be a police prosecution in connection with a motoring offence!

If just vehicle damage then it will be sorted by insurance co.. any injuries involved?

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Can you tell us the accident circumstances and exactly what happened?

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If you think the incident was staged for a potential claim then tell that to yor insurers.

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Whether it was low impact or not, the other driver could still falsly claim for whiplash type injuries (I believe this can be done even after the claim for the accident damage has been settled). You need to be aware of this as if the fault was to go down as a 50/50 split, even if you both agreed to pay for your own damage, he/she could still claim for whiplash. Insurance companies do not bother to look into whether this is a true claim or not as it is easier for them just to pay out.

 

The bottom line is this...if the insurers have no proof that the accident was not your fault, rather than go to court (which will cost them a lot more money if the judge deems 50/50 split or at fault) they will just settle it 50/50 as it is cheaper for them (or they will even admit fault in some cases if they are threatened to be taken to court by the other party insurers). The insurance company have full and final say about what the settlement will be (fault, non fault, 50/50). They will not be swayed by what you want/think.

 

Also, don't get fooled into thinking the insurance companies are concerned about criminal offence either. Look at it this way, if you hit an un-insured driver - you pay! It doesn't matter that he broke the law. All the insurance company is concerned about is proof of fault. If there is no way of prooving fault, and neither of you will cop to it, then they will look to settle 50/50. They end up sharing the cost of the accident between them and both parties lose their no claims!

 

The one thing I would advise you to do is to stop phoning them! It's annoying because you want to have a conversation about your claim, but you won't help yourself in the long run. Contact them by email only - get everything in writing. Then start a complaints procedure against the way your case has been handled. If they don't setlle it (which they won't by the way, as their decision is what it is - you cannot make them take the other party to court) then you can start a complaint to the financial ombudsman. He will take all of the information you have about the case, and all of their information too - then he will decide if they settled the case fairly.

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Thank you for your help.

 

What happened in short is that the other driver came round a bend partly on our side of the road over the white markings and did not pull back onto their side of the road like you would expect with a driver who is cutting the corner.

 

The other driver carried straight on and hit my car even though I pulled right into the verge and stopped.

 

Somebody who did not see the crash but came onto the scene after chatted with the other driver as they already knew each other.

 

The other driver admitted fault a second time at the scene to this other person.

 

This other person has acted as a witness for us confirming that the other driver admitted fault but this person didn't actually see the accident. The other driver's insurer says the statement is of little value.

 

I was with the Mrs in the car and she also heard both times the other driver admit fault.

 

What I find very suspicious is that the other driver maintained a consistent distance over the white line whereas if they weren't watching the road, I would expect them to drift. It also looked like the other driver was not initially going to stop and only appeared to stop once we got out to get the numberplate.

 

It appeared that only then with the numberplate clocked the driver made an attempt to pull over.

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I forgot to say, at the very last moment I made a final pull over to the left at the risk of hitting the wall to avoid head on impact and the other driver missed the front of our car by a very narrow margin and impacted all the way down the side of my car from the front to the back.

 

If it was a deliberate crash, then on the one hand why did the other driver hesitate to stop? Could it be that the impact was low, not front on, and not enough damage was caused as intended?

 

The other driver has accused me of driving on their side of the road.

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I hope you gathered the tone of my last reply, that I do not agree with the way insurance companies work! However, unfortunately, the other insurance company are within their right to say that the statement from the other party does not mean much - they did not witness the crash. When you hear people say 'never admit fault' they mostly mean to the police, the insurers etc. Overall, a crash can unsettle anybody, and they may apologise automatically at the scene if that is their nature - even if it was clearly their fault. If this person told their insurers that it was not their fault, then that is what will be recorded. Similarly, you or your partner's statements that you heard the other party admit fault are of no value as you are both bias.

 

I am telling you these things, although they are not very nice to hear, as at the moment it seems like you are focusing on the wrong things - none of these things will help you in this case. You need to be looking for evidence that can be used - CCTV, get a garage to look at your car and see if they can tell the position/speed etc of your car when it was hit.

 

How much is the damage to your car? and how much is the damage to their car?

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In response to the p.s. post you just made....take a look at your car, is the damage 'deeper'/more pronounced at the back end (as it may be if the head of you car was pointing to the wall and the back end was still sticking out into the road slightly) a garage may be able to confirm this as the most likely story, it might even help to provide photographs of the scene and a very detailled diagram. A lot of the time, the person with the most clear, un-arguable diagram will win.

 

If the other driver has accused you of being on the wrong side of the road, I would question your insurers at how the third party painted this picture, as surely they would have swerved to avoid you, in which case it would have been damage to the head of your car and the side of theirs? Where is the damage on their car?

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as said before just let your insurers sort it, not worth the stress. Insurers just want quick settlement.

bu if convinced you have a case and can prove it take TP to court.

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Thank you all for the replies.

 

The accident was over five months ago, so my car's already been repaired, but my Mrs took good clear photos of both cars and the crash location minutes after the crash with a DSLR.

 

My car is shown in the crash position. As said earlier, I braked and did a final pull over to my left as the other car was about to hit. So I left my car in the crash position for the photos, already pulled over and not a danger to other traffic.

 

In the photos, you can see my car pulled up towards a solid wall, angled a bit, with the front pulled in towards the wall and the rear pointing out into the road, with plenty of space to the white lines, my car well on my side of the road.

 

The photos show the damage to my car clearly. There is no damage to the front bumper or light at all. The damage starts at the rear half of the front wheel arch and carries on to the back wheel arch. The main point of impact is about a foot and a half below my driver's door handle, towards the rear of the door.

 

The damage to the other car is also clear in the photos. This is: broken front light with a chunk missing, scraping along the front corner and side of front bumper, damage to the front half of the driver's wheel arch, broken wing mirror (I think it hit my mirror), and leaks dripping from somewhere near the front right of the car (the front right tyre is damp in parts with the leaked fluid). The biggest dent is above the front light, on the front right corner of the bonnet.

 

There are various clues in my photos as to what happened. You can see a chunk of plastic or glass next to my driver's door on my side of the road, close to where the main impact was on my door.

 

My photos show that this chunk matches the missing piece of plastic/glass from the other driver's broken front light. It is an unusual shape, it clearly is from the other driver's light. I made this point in my photos to my insurer.

 

There is a trail of leaking fluid that shows the movements of the other car shortly after the main impact once the fluid had started to leak.

 

The fluid shows that the other car carried on up the road for about 20-30 metres past my car, then reversed back towards my car, then pulled over onto the large grass verge on their side of the road.

 

Photos show that on the other driver's side of the road, there is a large grass verge - no steep bank or solid wall like on my side! You can see disturbed grass where the driver has pulled up to park after the crash, but no other disturbed grass at all. This disturbed grass is a bit up the road from where my car is and I think the photos show very well that the other car did not attempt to avoid a collision by pulling onto the large grass verge on their side of the road.

 

Post crash, we heard that the other driver was blaming me. We asked our insurer if they had got the crash report from the other driver. They told us categorically that they did not need to ask for it because they felt we had a strong case. They said that we had a strong witness report, especially as the witness knows the other driver. The witness report makes it clear the witness did not see the crash but heard blame being admitted.

 

I said myself in my crash report that I did not believe the witness saw the crash. We have said several times to my insurer that the witness did not see the crash as far as we know, but did hear blame being admitted.

 

The insurer only got the crash report from the other party about a month ago, after they told us the other insurer wanted to settle 50/50, and we insisted they get the crash report.

 

The other driver's crash report is minimal and basically says we came around the bend on their side of the road and hit them, it was our fault. There are no details about any steps the other driver took to get out of the way.

 

I took my time to send a very detailed, accurate report, photos and an accurate diagram to my insurer.

 

I explained in detail that I braked, pulled over, beeped my horn and did a final pull over into the steep bank/wall at risk of damaging my car.

 

The witness report confirms that they heard my car horn and after that heard a bang as the cars crashed.

 

I don't know how the witness knows it was my horn. My horn is very loud, perhaps the witness knows the sound of the horn of the other car as the witness and other driver know each other.

 

The other driver's crash diagram seems poor to me. The road scale is wrong and the diagram shows the front of my car level with he front of theirs, with about a foot distance sideways between the cars.

 

If you continue the direction of the cars, it looks if anything like either the front corner of my car will strike their car in their side, or I might even miss their car.

 

Their car looks slightly angled away relative to my car. To me, the damage in the photos suggest the opposite, their front right of the car hit the side of my car.

 

Their report says I came around the bend on their side of the road. My car in the photos is on a straight, about 20-30 metres past a bend I had already come around, and about to approach the bend that the other driver had come around on my side of the road. I'm not anywhere around this bend at all, I'm towards the end of a straight approaching the bend.

 

At the start, my insurer said they would keep us updated at all stages. They didn't do that. We contacted them multiple times and found sometimes that they still had not done what they said they were going to do next, and things only seemed to be getting done when we chased them up. They said they would call back on some things, but there was no call back.

 

I appreciate that sometimes it's just one driver's word against another's, and I can understand that if the witness knows the other person, that could be open to abuse. But if the witness report was a non-starter, why didn't they get the other party's crash report months ago?

 

We had to request the witness statement three times before a copy was finally sent to us. We wanted to see if the witness had mentioned anything which would help, e.g. if they had mentioned the car horn that was in my report before they were asked for a statement.

 

I was hoping that in the other driver's report there might be something I could prove from my photos to be a lie, e.g. something that contradicts the trail of fluid from their car such as if they had said they had swerved onto the grass. But our insurer said it wasn't necessary to get the report. The other driver's insurer got a copy of my report months ago.

 

When our insurer talked about whether we agree to settle 50/50, we asked them what action the other driver had taken to avoid the crash. Why didn't they attempt to pull onto the large grass verge on their side of the road if, as they claim, we were on their side of the road? Our insurer said they didn't know, they would request more information.

 

We still haven't heard back on that yet and last we heard our insurer feels obliged to settle 50/50.

 

Thank you for reading and advice you can give.

 

PS Road conditions were dry, visibility was good. My car is big and very visible.

Edited by josh70

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waste of time haggling with insurers in cases like this IMO, brick wall and head spring to mind.

It may not be fair but as long as they have held up their part of the contract there is little you can do. In the end they will make their own decision and agree it amonst themselves.

If have legal cover get them to help sort your excess claim etc.

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I'd like to do an update on what has since happened. As already mentioned, it seemed like my insurer was on the brink of settling 50/50, and I was not happy with how the case had been handled.

 

One area that summed it up for me was the witness statement. At first my insurer said the statement was strong as the witness knew the third party but not us. Then later my insurer said the exact opposite, that the witness statement was of no use because the witness knew the third party! :???:

 

I wrote an official letter of complaint to my insurer and said that I would take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman if I was unhappy with the response. Even my official letter of complaint to the correct department did not get confirmation of receipt within the promised time frame, so we had to chase that up as well!

 

There has been a happy ending, though. I received an apology from my insurer over the handling of my claim (e.g. they now say that the witness report could have been used). And although it turns out that they had settled 50/50, they have refunded my excess, given me some compensation and are classing it as a non-fault claim. :-D

 

Thank you for the help.

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brill, pays to persevre in some cases, well done.

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