Car accident liability dispute - Please help - at wits end
Hi all. I am at my wits end with a car accident that I was in in September - I'm going to explain my story so please bare with me and I would really love some advice. I'm only a young female (23) been driving 3 years (no claims) and I feel completely lost, confused and stressed out with the whole situation.
Ok. I was involved in an accident - I was waiting at a junction in a busy town street to pull and turn right onto the main road. I could see a gap coming up just after a car coming from my left passes so I plan to pull out as this passes. So I begin to move off slowly (still at biting point - not even driving as such) and my nose was just out of the junction. When all of a sudden the car that I could see coming from my left that I planned to pull out behind obviously makes a last second decision to pull into my road (no signals) and not only pulls in with no signals but completely overshoots the line onto my side of the road causing the back right hand passenger door side of their car to collide with the front right headlight part of my car. It was a sloppy and haphhazard monouvere and what's more the road I was pulling out from was quite wide which further perplexed me as to why they had pulled in at such an angle.
The woman (around 60 and driving her husbands giant Alfa Romea car (my car is tiny) admitted that her signals "weren't working" but claims that she used a hand signal. 1. I definitely did not see her use a hand signal and I think she is just lying about this - what's more even if she did I would not think anything of someone sticking their hand out a window in a town centre on a busy day - it would just appear that they were waving to somoene 2. She should have her car in working order. Her husband turned up within 2 minutes with lots of documents which I found rather odd. The woman was babbling and I found the husband extremely intimidating. I was on my own. When I said I thought it was ridiculous they were driving around in an (expensive) car with no signals working he got quite angry.
Basically in my opinion - 1. how in 2011 can it be legal to drive around with no signals working in a busy town centre!? This is just asking for an accident. 2. Her manner of driving and overshooting into my side of the road caused the accident - these are the 2 reasons for the accident. If I had pulled out in front of her she would have hit my left side so the damage speaks for itself as far as I'm concerned.
Their car only has scratches/a bit of a dent. My car bumper has a huge crack right through, lots of scratching and a part fell off completely.
They are disputing liability. My insurers (Admiral) are saying that the best that they can try for is 50/50 because their insurers (Aviva) say that there
is no question that I was at fault because I pulled out - completely ignoring the circumstances of the accident (they didn't hit my left side - they turned into my path and hit front right) and the highway code also says that hand signals can be used to "reinforce" a signal not as a signal.
What's more the third party had a solicitors letter sent to my house claminig to be injured which is malicious lies trying to cash in on money making (a bump at a junction travelling at 10mph max) and it's making me now think that they caused this accident for the whole "cash for crash" thing because I literally cannot understand why else she would swerves. into my path and then the husbans turns up within 2 minutes with lots of documents
I believe it is 100% their fault and I am even mad at my insurers for going for 50/50 and I am now worried sick that I am going to be held 100% at fault for this. This accident would never have happened if she had signals in working order (IS THIS HONESTLY ALLOWED??) and had turned into the junction on her own side of the road!! But because I had begun to move they seem to be automatically saying it is my fault (remember she didn't hit my left side - we hit when i was still in a position of facing out from the junction and she diagonally pulled across my path to collide with front right headlight side) What's more this supposed personal injury thing is just really the final straw.
This couple clearly have a lot of money and are very well off and know exactly what they are doing. I feel so powerless and stressed out all the time. I am one of the most careful drivers that I know. My excess is £300 and I am going to lose my no claims bonus and I find this totally unfair. What's more I have told my insurers that there is NO WAY this woman could be injured and they sort of agreed and are like "but there is nothing we can really do" - I find this claim culture absolutely disgusting - to the point I said so I should have just lied and claimed for "injury" too then!? Can people really get away with this??
What's more I have booked my car in for repairs at a local garage because my insurers own garage is miles away and has a bad reputation. The local garage has a good reputation and is a bodywork specialist. But my insurers want me to pay £25 to insure myself on the local garages courtesy car for a week which is further insult I assumed that I would get this as standard but apparently not because I didn't use their own which is 30 miles away and has a terrible reputation!? Is this right?? What did I pay £400 insurance for, seriously?
Please help - I feel like I am being completely shafted and that there is nothing I can do about it.
Further note - can you claim personal injury for stress?
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
First, the indicators are a red herring - the first anyone will know about a failed bulb etc. is when they try to use them, this can happen at any time to anyone.
Second, hand signals are still valid but again another red herring.
Third, whilst cutting the corner when turning right is common, far too common in fact, this is what caused the accident. From your description of damage to your car, you were still in the junction, not moving, this suggest the other vehicle was 100% to blame.
Fourth, personal injury, anyone involved can claim for almost anything they can think of it is up to the insurers to sort this out, note, nothing to do with you (letter to you is a normal bully technique). I hope you have passed the solicitor’s letter to your insurers, if not do so at once, direct all communication to your insurers.
I would guess that if you look in your insurance terms and conditions, it will probably say a courtesy car is available only if you send the car to the repair shop of their choice.
If you have legal cover with your insurance use it. You could try asking your insurers if they know a good claims management company (a bluff) to see if that changes their approach. If this does not produce results talk to the FSA. In the meantime do not agree with anything unless it suits you. http://www.fsa.gov.uk/
Thanks for the response.
The thing is - the woman already knew that the indicators weren't working - because when I said "you didn't signal" she said "oh yes the right one's not working" - so she was clearly already aware of the problem as was her husband when he arrived. God knows how long they had been driving about like this for - probably as long as they could get away with it. Yes the signal thing does seem a red herring and nobody seems to be able to explain why they are not taking this very seriously and how serious it actually is. (In my opinion - it is very!)
I was moving ever so slightly out of the junction (front half of car just out) - which I admitted to (maybe too honest but I am an honest person) but in my opinion this had nothing to do with the accident itself and I was perfecly in my right to do so as there was a gap. I believe she would still have hit me regardless if I had begun moving or not. They seem to be using this against me "you had began moving out - your fault". Everything seems to be so black and white with insurance - never a grey area or looking at the circumstances in full. It's so frustrating.
I do have legal cover - so if they make a decision I don't agree with I could utilise this? The insurance guy basically just says he sympathises with me but when I say I don't agree with them not going for full liability against the other party my insurance just says "A judge would just throw out - it's always the person who was moving out of the junction's fault" - Surely they have to look at full circumstances and where impact was!?
Thanks for the link.
Hi Sarah welcome to the site, first question I want to ask is, was your car over the Give Way lines, when you were hit?
As you said the other driver came into the junction at an "acute" angle, so I wonder if she was on the wrong side of the line.
As for the 50/50 thing, it would be the best result if, your car had in fact crossed the Give Way line, and her car had "cut the corner" then yes a 50/50.
But if not, and you were still within the lines, then I would contest it, good luck.
Hi - thanks for the response.
Yes and this seems to be the sticking point in the whole matter - I had just pulled out over the give way lines at the same time as the other driver started turning into the road I was still technically in (making the turn way too early and not in line at all with the side of the road she shold be turning into - definitely turning in on wrong side of line - it appears it was a last second decision to turn into the road) causing half of her car to cut over onto the "my" side of the road causing her back right passenger side to collide with my front right drivers side (bearing in mind only the nose of my car had got out of the junction)
I believe that she would still have hit me regardless of me just beginning to come out - but it seems you are saying pretty much what insurance are saying - due to speed and no signals she appeared to be travelling on down main road until the last second decision to turn in at an extremely haph-hazard angle.
Surely it should only be an issue that I was over the give way lines if I was hit on the left side? She crossed my path, I didn't cross hers. She should never have been on that part of the road when making that manouvere regardless.
I am with Admiral and they do state in their terms about a loan car. Having said that, I told them where my car was going - end of. So they relented and agreed to give me a loan car. My repairer is not listed on their repair database but like you did not want my car going to some cowboy outfit. They also agreed to not insist on 2 quotes but you do have to be firm with them. As said above, if you go to one of their own repairers you get the loan car no problem so maybe worth having another go at them.
I gathered from your description that the other driver cut the corner (came onto your half of the road you were turning from), if this is so, signalling is irrelevant. Where did the collision occur? Were you still behind the line of the junction or part of the way across the main carriageway? If the former you are not at fault, if the latter then I would guess the best you can hope for is 50/50.
Originally Posted by sarah154
Legal cover is usually an independant solicitor (of the insurer’s choice, look at your terms and conditions) paid for, up to an agreed limit by your insurers. They will not get involved until you ask for it. Remember what the insurers have been telling you so far is for their benefit, the solicitor should review all the evidence and give you a fair assessment of what is likely to be the result if the matter is resolved in court.
This will be civil proceedings not criminal.
If your front wheels had not crossed the line, you can argue you were still in the junction.