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accident advice

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Hi

 

My father was involved in car accident last weekend. He was turning into his drive when hit by an oncoming vehicle. There are several witnesses who came forward who stated the the other vehcicle was travelling in excess of the 30mph limit.

 

My father lives just over the brow of a hill in a 30mph zone and the witnesses put the other drivers speed at 50-60mph. The fire brigade, police and ambulance attended as it was quite a severe acccident. (the paramedic commented that if my father hadn't have had such a large vechicle,a 4x4 then the situation would be much different) I went with my father to hospital in the ambulance as there were concerns he had neck/back injuries and a ruptured spleen. Thankfully aftter CTs/Xrays etc he hadn't. He was discharged on medication and informed that he would need extensive physio.

 

It seemed pretty clear that my dad made the turn onto his driveway and the other car was travelling too fast to stop.

 

My fathers insuance company are now saying this accident will be logged as his fault as he was on the oppsoing lane at the time of impact ( and as such his insurance costs will increase). My father explained that his house was on the right hand side of the road and would always have to cross the right lane to access his driveway. He also mentioned that witnesses had come forward to state that the other driver was travelling so fast that one person at bus stop commented 'b***dy hell he is going to kill someone' and the road was clear when my father started to make the turn.

 

So I suppose my question is that as my father was crossing the right lane is he is to blame, despite the witnesses saying the other vehcicle going too fast, approaching the brow of a hill at 60 without breaking, was unable to stop in time due to his speed.

 

Thank you so much for any advice.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I expect the motoring experts will be along over the course of the day, please bear with us until they're able to get here. :)

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Cripes.... how is he supposed to get onto his drive without crossing the road? The other driver is to blame... you don't speed over the top of a hill... suppose a kid was crossing the road?! TB

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Cripes.... how is he supposed to get onto his drive without crossing the road? The other driver is to blame... you don't speed over the top of a hill... suppose a kid was crossing the road?! TB

 

Quite right,

 

Don't go by what the Insurance claim person says, as they are just stating the normal position, when you have to cross the road to park etc,

 

Hopefully, there will be witness evidence and a Police report which will help show that the third party was at fault. If it can be evidenced the third party was at fault, then a claim can be made against the third party for all aspects e.g car damage, personal injury.

 

With Insurance accident claims, they are mostly noted as fault, until a full recovery it made against an at fault third party. That is what needs to happen and it might take awhile to achieve.


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Speculative unfortunately. Can a lay person say with any certainty the speed a vehicle is travelling! Even though they could have made a pretty good estimation, I don't think they can and their guess be taken as proof that the car was actually travelling at that speed.

This is the reason the police use a mechanical recording device as even they cannot say with any certainty the speed a car is moving and it be held up as evidence.

 

I think you will have a fight on your hands to get this decision changed. Insurance companies just love an excuse to up premiums, they are greedier money grabbers than loan companies.

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Speculative unfortunately. Can a lay person say with any certainty the speed a vehicle is travelling! Even though they could have made a pretty good estimation, I don't think they can and their guess be taken as proof that the car was actually travelling at that speed.

This is the reason the police use a mechanical recording device as even they cannot say with any certainty the speed a car is moving and it be held up as evidence.

 

I think you will have a fight on your hands to get this decision changed. Insurance companies just love an excuse to up premiums, they are greedier money grabbers than loan companies.

 

But you can say that someone was driving without due care and attention… he should be aware that there may be an obstruction ahead… you only drive as fast as you can see that the road ahead is clear, surely? TB

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Yes of course and I agree fully and that he probably was speeding, but proving it is another thing.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. On speaking with my father this morning, he said the police have contacted him last night and stated that the other driver will not be charged. Despite the witnesses putting estimate on speed it is speculative and without evidence (such as that recorded by a speed camera) it is purely word against word. He is so upset as he knows the road was clear when making his turn, the witnessess also state it was. I do not understand why the fact that a small car managed to push a Landrover which weighs significantly more with such force that it rotates and comes to a stop 4 houses away isn't enough to show he was moving too fast for the speed limit/road conditions or be able to perform a stop if necessary.

 

It also upsets me that the driver of the other vechicle never asked how my father was, and the witnessess said how he immediate sprang from his vehicle to look at the damage then was on his mobile, he never approached my fathers car to see if he was ok. ( I'm sure there isn't anything in law saying he has to care about the other person, its just upsetting to think of him assessing the damage to his vehicle, whilst my father couldn't get out of his car. I know that this has no bearing on 'blame' guess we are still quite emotional about it all)

 

Will there still be a report written from the Police with regards to the accident? I wonder if we would be allowed to obtain a copy, or a copy of the witness statements?

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Yes of course and I agree fully and that he probably was speeding, but proving it is another thing.

 

I don't think proof of speeding is needed… undue care and attention can occur even where a person is driving within the speed limit… TB

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I think this needs challenging… even if he wasn't speeding, he still needed to drive safely… that means possibly slowing down to under the speed limit where necessary… as you would when approaching a bend, a crossing or a hill, etc. If you can't see the road ahead, you should drive slowly enough to be able to brake if there is an (unseen) obstruction.

He could have killed someone. TB

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He could certainly ask the police to look at it again, but then again, claims about speeding and due care and attention etc all need to be shown without doubt, can you do that.

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Thank you for advice, Im trying to remain objective, its hard when a family member is injuried and it appears that law on being in the wrong lane shouldn't apply here.

 

What kind of information would we need to provide to show the other driver in to 'blame'? When I drive over the hill I always brake/slow my car on approach as I cannot see the road clearly- the road that leads onto my parents road is also 30mph so not as if he was transitioning from a different speed restriction. There were no marks in the road from the other car braking, which makes me believe that due to his speed he didnt have time to apply his brakes - I commented to the police on whether there was something to measure and was told now due to ABS its very difficult?!

 

It really saddens me as I feel that my dad will be penalised for this when he was purely making a legal turn into his driveway, the road was clear, he wasn't speeding- yet the insurance will record this as he is at fault.

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Thank you for advice, Im trying to remain objective, its hard when a family member is injuried and it appears that law on being in the wrong lane shouldn't apply here.

 

What kind of information would we need to provide to show the other driver in to 'blame'? When I drive over the hill I always brake/slow my car on approach as I cannot see the road clearly- the road that leads onto my parents road is also 30mph so not as if he was transitioning from a different speed restriction. There were no marks in the road from the other car braking, which makes me believe that due to his speed he didnt have time to apply his brakes - I commented to the police on whether there was something to measure and was told now due to ABS its very difficult?!

 

It really saddens me as I feel that my dad will be penalised for this when he was purely making a legal turn into his driveway, the road was clear, he wasn't speeding- yet the insurance will record this as he is at fault.

 

Worse to come possibly. Other driver will claim your Dad was responsible and attempt to make a claim against your Dads Insurance, including personal injury. Given the impact, i suspect that the third party driver will try to claim they were injured. Your Dads Insurers might decide that your Dad was at fault and pay the third party, without even consulting your Dad. The Insurers per the policy terms will decide whether they accept liability or not.

 

If your Dad wants to fight this, he will need to get hold of witness statements from independent people, who would be willing to attend a court if necessary. Some people refuse to get involved, even though they witnessed an accident. Your Dad should also take plenty of pictures of the accident site from both angles, so people can see where the accident took place. Pictures of the car damage. It might be possible to get hold of an expert report from someone who investigates accidents, but that would not be cheap. This is the problem, where you try to fight being held at fault for accidents. It is not always clear where the percentage of fault is. Is it 100% one drivers fault or 50/50 ?

 

The other issue is the safety of the road in question. Is it possible to access your Dads driveway in the direction he did, given the layout of the road, without there being a risk of an accident ? The local council are responsible for road safety, so if someone has been injured, the council should be informed. They might have to look at what measures can be taken on that road, if this is an issue they need to deal with.


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Thank you for advice, Im trying to remain objective, its hard when a family member is injuried and it appears that law on being in the wrong lane shouldn't apply here.

 

What kind of information would we need to provide to show the other driver in to 'blame'? When I drive over the hill I always brake/slow my car on approach as I cannot see the road clearly- the road that leads onto my parents road is also 30mph so not as if he was transitioning from a different speed restriction. There were no marks in the road from the other car braking, which makes me believe that due to his speed he didnt have time to apply his brakes - I commented to the police on whether there was something to measure and was told now due to ABS its very difficult?!

It really saddens me as I feel that my dad will be penalised for this when he was purely making a legal turn into his driveway, the road was clear, he wasn't speeding- yet the insurance will record this as he is at fault.(QUOTE)

 

 

Perhaps he was looking at his phone… a lot of that goes on… if he didn't react by braking, perhaps he was otherwise engaged and wasn't concentrating

 

There was a case here a couple of years ago… a tractor and trailer pulled out of a farm just beyond a blind bend and a motorcyclist and pillion rider went into the side of it and were killed. The cyclist wasn't exceeding the speed limit but still entered the bend at a speed which wasn't safe…

 

You can't see around a bend so have to drive as though there is stopped traffic ahead…if you drive as though you are the only person on the road, then there will be accidents.

 

I can't see why your father is in the wrong purely for turning into his drive… the other person should have been driving more carefully… he caused the accident and the insurers are doing their usual thing. The police are sometimes useless. TB

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The witnesses gave their names/addresses to the Police, would we be allowed that information or not so we could contact them for a statement. I can understand maybe some of them wouldn't wish to go to court. Would it be worth writing to the insurance company and ask that they reconsider and to inform them that there are witnesses?

 

The road has seen a few bad accidents over the years, in fact my own car along with my brothers were written off a number of years ago when parked near my parents house. (the driver braked and swerved when reaching the downward bit of the hill and hit my car, which pushed my car into my brothers( unfortunately he didnt have a licence or insurance and the car was without MOT) Similar thing happended to a neighbour a few doors down when we had a spell of bad weather, I think maybe drivers don't expect such a steep hill on the other side. A sign was installed about a year ago that flashes slow down 30 when a driver comes over the hill at more than 30 but, unfortuantely it doesnt record or show the speed at which the car is travelling.

 

I will ask my parents to contact the coucil and see if there any other meausures they can take to get drivers to slow down/be aware the of steep hill at the other side.

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Don't think the Police will supply details of the witnesses and they might not appear or their details be removed from any Police accident report.

 

Your Dad needs to ask the Police for a copy of any accident report they have available. These can take awhile to be produced.

 

There is nothing stopping your Dad contacting no win no fee Solicitors that deal with accidents to see if they are interested in pursuing. If your Dad suffered an injury, they might be interested, as if they won, they can claim up to 25% of any award.


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a few thing's to note

 

from the off I think the best result you are going to get is a 50/50 claim, your father shouldn't have been on the wrong side of the road, the other driver should have slowed to the brow of the hill

 

If I were you to try and get a better than 50/50 claim go along your dad's street from the very end from where the car could have joined look both sides of the street and see if anyone has CCTV footage that shows the other driver's speed, it's not a guarantee the police would look at it but it may help

 

As there was no major injury's I don't think the police will get involved past what they have done

 

 

I do hope your dad is on the mend, I'm sorry to have been the bearer of bad news but I'm looking at the situation on how to get you the best outcome, your dads insurnace company already have your dad at fault,certainly I would push for 50/50

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Thank you, I didn't think about walking the route just prior to the accident to look for cctv, I'll do that.

 

Thank you hopefully he'll be on the mend very soon, he has extensive bruising and has trouble sleeping as keeps 'feeling' the bang of the airbag in his face and his car being pushed and spun around. I'm extremely grateful it wasn't more serious. I know it's a childish phrase but it just seems so unfair.

 

I' wonder if every time he makes a right turn on his drive, to a home in which he has lived over 30 years he is at risk as he will always cross the opposing lane.

 

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply, should I write a letter for my parents to insurance company to say they don't agree with their decision?

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You need to try and find out if the police are going to take any action against either party. If theyprosecute the other driver for driving without due care and attention then it will be a clear cut argument that can be takento the insurance ombudsman but until yoi know about any criminal charges the insurers are entitled to take the view they ahve.

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I can tell you from experience that nobody will help you with this case.

The insurance company has already taken the standard approach of your dad crossing the path of incoming traffic, so at fault.

The other driver cannot be held responsible because the speed cannot be determined at this stage.

The only way to determine the speed would be to employ an expert who will make calculations based on where a two ton 4x4 ended up.

Clearly if the other driver was doing 30mph your dad's car would have probably had just a broken bumper, but this can't be proved unless you throw money at it.

No casualties means "not our problem" for the police, so don't bet on their help.

I was hit by a motorbike turning into my road and while doing so it slipped and hit my car.

I had the bonnet over the line and I was honest with the insurance.

Despite this that accident went down as fault because I was coming out of a minor road into a main road.

I couldn't prove that the bike had turned into my road and slipped.

Since then I have invested in a dashcam.

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Since then I have invested in a dashcam.

 

That's the way forward for everyone and I think it's about time the insurance companies insisted on one or added a premium for vehicles not so equipped.

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Looking at this from a different perspective. Was his Dad "crossing the path of oncoming traffic?" I submit that when his Dad started to cross the road, there was no oncoming traffic that he could see. For the other driver: he should have been driving at a speed that allowed him to stop in the distance he could see to be clear. (Highway Code rule 126). He obviously wasn't otherwise no collision would have occurred.

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Looking at this from a different perspective. Was his Dad "crossing the path of oncoming traffic?" I submit that when his Dad started to cross the road, there was no oncoming traffic that he could see. For the other driver: he should have been driving at a speed that allowed him to stop in the distance he could see to be clear. (Highway Code rule 126). He obviously wasn't otherwise no collision would have occurred.

 

Agree… it was a blind summit as far as I can make out… His dad didn't deliberately pull out in front of someone… I wonder what measures the council have taken to ensure adequate road markings/warning, etc… they could be held responsible too if there are no warnings to slow down… TB

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It's difficult to prove that the op's dad had clear way.

Regarding the Highway Code rule 126, you can take all precautions you want, but if someone drives suddenly in your path there's nothing you can do and won't be breaking the law.

The op could get a petition signed to have speed humps fitted so to slow the traffic down as he said that there have been many accidents in the past.

For once I'm going to say that a speed camera would be useful in this spot.

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We all need to have a camera on board… it's the only way to prove who is at fault… insurers don't give a damn, either… never bother to fight your case. I was in an accident where my insurer advised me to go 50/50… this was in a very clear cut case where someone drove into the side of me! I refused, went to court and won. TB

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