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70/30 split offered but it wasn't my fault! Please help!


silviu
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Sorry for the longish post, and thanks for reading!

These are the facts:

 

I was involved in a collision whilst travelling along a residential 30mph road.

I was driving behind a HGV (short-well base delivery type) when I noticed the driver indicating left, slowing right down, started mounting the kerb and parking onto the pavement.

 

I’m forced to slow down, although I did not stop completely. Next I signal and engaged in overtaking the HGV, yet as I was passing over the HGV driver decided to steer back into the road and crashed into my passengers’ side denting both doors.

 

After the incident the driver told me that he noticed a traffic sign on the side of the road and considered that it might prevent him from parking securely. He was going to deliver something at one of the addresses on that road.

There were no witnesses.

 

The HGV had some damage to the bumper and lights whilst my car looks like it needs 2 new doors, maybe more.

 

70/30 is on the cards, yet I feel mugged of my 6 years no claim bonus and utterly cheated.

 

Has the Highway Code changed recently because I cannot see what more could I have done to avoid this incident! Can it be my fault? Or the insurers are just trying it out?

 

Please advice if you can!

Edited by citizenB
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This doesn't sound clear-cut to me, and it sounds like the insurers can't find the lorry driver fully at fault either. He probably should have checked more thoroughly before pulling out again, and it is questionable whether vehicles should park on the pavement at all. However, if you'd come to a full stop behind the lorry (reasonable in a 30mph zone) or given the lorry a wider berth, he probably wouldn't have hit you. On the basis of what you've said, I don't think you would get a full admission of liability and you might want to think about cutting your losses. 70/30 is still in your favour, after all.

 

If you want to press your case further then I'd suggest you write a letter to both insurers, with a full explanation of the circumstances, using diagrams for the principle events.

 

If you think the Highway Code comes into it then you need to quote it and explain why the sections apply to the situation in hand. If the lorry clearly breached a section but you did not (and it's a while since I read it myself), then that will make your case much stronger. You can view the current HC online for free.

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Thank you for your advice mamaris30. Do you think it would make any difference that the HGV driver admitted liability to me and was very apologetic about the incident? I only have photos of the after crash to send to the insurers, would they be of any use?

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If your own insurers haven't seen the photos then they probably should, but whether you send them depends on what they show or could be used to argue. That is entirely your call.

 

An admission of liability at the scene is unusual, because almost insurers tell their policyholders not to do so under any circumstances, but you should tell your insurers about it. Whether you can prove the admission is another matter, given the lack of witnesses, but hopefully it won't come to that.

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Hi silviu,

 

Most insurers are only too happy to share liability. You have to fight hard if you feel you are in the right, and I'm sure I would have done the same as you as the driver was indicating, slowed down, and started to park on the pavement.

 

Send in the evidence, emphasise that the driver admitted liability, and tell your insurers that they have a duty to fight your corner for you.

 

Bear in mind it's not just the excess, any liability on your part will affect your future premiums. If the delivery lorry is part of a large group, like Ocado for example, they'll have fleet insurance which won't be affected too badly by one driver's accident, so it's hardly fair that you lose out financially.

 

I had two bumps last year (first in 20+ years :sad:) and the insurance company would have settled them both on 50/50 if I had allowed them to do so. The first one admitted liability when my insurance company threatened court - total liar. The other one has not even provided a statement or diagram in over a year and the insurers (pushed by me) have issued proceedings. It won't affect that driver, again it's a fleet.

 

You pay your insurance premiums for them to look after you, not to do a knock-for-knock, so be firm, say it wasn't your fault and they must claim 100% from the other insurers.

 

DD

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I agree with you about the admission of liability at the scene being unusual, but the driver didn't seem to worry about it. After all, he was driving a company lorry and not his own car, he won't have to pay for any of this, and its probably because of this that his "superiors" are trying to cut their losses by pressing the 70/30 split when (my guess here) the driver itself feels fully responsible for the incident.

You're probably right about "if you'd come to a full stop behind the lorry (reasonable in a 30mph zone) or given the lorry a wider berth, he probably wouldn't have hit you" or any other action I might have taken to prevent this incident. But, the fact remains that he clearly crashed into me. I know overtaking any vehicle isn't without its risks and perhaps I should have waited a few more seconds 'just to make sure', but I didn't because I was convinced by his actions (signal, brake,slow down, mount the kerb and getting onto the pavement) that he was going to park. For my peace of mind, I took all the precaution one can take to safely pass the HGV and engaged in doing so. He didn't assured himself that the maneuver he was about to make was safe when he pulled back out into the road and hit me as I was passing him. These are the undisputed facts. I don't know how the insurers can't see this! and I shall post a letter to both of them as you suggested.

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Why are you worrying about something that may not happen,

let your insurers handle it.

just tell them exactly what happened with diagrams and photos etc. and put the blame fairly on the lorry; ( he obviously did not check mirrors when he changed his mind and pullued out onto the carriageway again)

good luck.

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