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Any motor insurance / legal experts?

(20 Posts)
ComeOnKenneth Mon 13-Jun-16 13:32:46

I have just rear ended someone at a junction. They had been driving at erratic speed, had stopped ahead of me at junction, then started to pull out, pulled over the line and stopped dead, while I was looking right to check for oncoming traffic. I fully expected them to have moved off, hence not seeing them stop.

Speed was under 5 mph, no damage to my vehicle and no obvious damage to theirs. Couple in their sixties, ish, had a fully loaded small car with only wing mirrors for rear vision.

The passenger of the other car was fairly unpleasant and complained her neck was hurting, despite getting out to berate me, and was aggressive and rude when I couldn't provide insurance details (DH's car which he insures and I rarely drive). She accused me of having been driving too close the whole time I was following them. I had been maintaining a good distance apart from points where the driver had been unexpectedly braking, for no obvious reason. Seeing as we had been moving off from stationary at the time, I don't believe this is relevant to the accident in any case.

I know it's almost always deemed that the car behind is at fault; however, given the erratic driving and circs here, would there be any chance an insurance company would decide differently? Despite lack of damage to vehicles I strongly suspect unpleasant woman will be putting in a whiplash claim.
Please could anyone tell me if there is any hope of not losing my NCD?

Pretty upset by the passenger's reaction to be honest, although I understand people can get angry in these situations when in shock.

leopardspice Mon 13-Jun-16 13:38:14

Sorry this has happened op. I'm definitely no expert hopefully someone e will be along soon but did anyone see her erratic driving? Any witnesses who have seen her break suddenly? Otherwise I'd have thought it's her word against yours that you were a safe distance away
Hope you ok flowers

ComeOnKenneth Mon 13-Jun-16 13:45:36

Thanks, leopard. Ironically I was on my way to a hospital appointment for anxiety, so this didn't help matters much.

No, I don't think anyone would have seen the driver stop suddenly, or if so, they drove away. To be honest, where was driving is pretty rural so only the cars following (only me, for most of the journey) would notice the erratic driving. This type of driving style is also fairly common around me (rural, middle of the day, retired drivers generally) so I really should have expected it I guess!

I'm just upset to be blamed I suppose - when I haven't had an accident for ten years and I feel the driver was at least partly to blame.

PlectrumElectrum Mon 13-Jun-16 23:23:28

Did you take any photos of both cars at the scene? Are there any CCTV cameras which cover the place the accident happened?

What I would suggest you do is write down everything you can remember from the 1st point you noticed the other car & its erratic driving, just so its all noted. When you speak to your insurer ask them to refer the claim to their claim validation dept for a review because you are concerned about the lead up to the collision (the erratic driving, stopping for no reason etc.) and you are also concerned that any injury claimed may not be genuine given the low speed nature of the impact.

Your insurer might still end up paying the claim, but they may be able to check that there isn't anything in the background to suggest this could be a deliberately induced accident. They may challenge the injury too if it's claimed but again the passenger may have health issues which make them more likely to sustain an injury so it would be settled if claimed.

ExitPursuedByBear Mon 13-Jun-16 23:28:28

You hit them. Of course it is your fault.

I had this with a complete twunt who was pissing around in front of me. Stopping and starting suddenly. Eventually he slammed his brakes on and I hit him. I was 6 months pregnant. It was my fault.

I hope he never has a decent nights sleep for the rest of his natural.

Your insurance company will give in.

flowers

EBearhug Mon 13-Jun-16 23:32:41

If they were driving erratically, wouldn't you drop back and give them more space and be watching even more carefully to see what they'd do next? I think you should expect their insurer to ask that.

But what Plectrum says.

ComeOnKenneth Tue 14-Jun-16 05:47:01

Thanks, everyone. No, no cctv and I was too in shock and intimidated at being interrogated by angry passenger I didn't get out of the car to take pics. I'm kicking myself.

Good idea,* Plectrum,* I'll write it all down and raise those points. And yep, absolutely right, Bear, I should have! I drive this road really often and usually give the wafters and random drivers a wider berth. You do need to get right up to the line on this junction to see right (although not well over it, as angry woman tried to claim!).

Cheers for the advice everyone, appreciate it.

ComeOnKenneth Tue 14-Jun-16 05:52:11

Exit, that sounds horrible for you. flowers I know how you feel re: wishing him no sleep! I'd love to take some of these kinds of drivers aside and explain that they should possibly look to themselves rather than casting blame. Aware the insurance company will probably settle though.

I don't get why people are so aggressive in these situations though - I was just as shocked as they were (more so, possibly, seeing as she claimed she had known I was going to do it all along!) - why start behaving as though it was deliberate and all someone else's (moral) fault?!

Autumnchill Tue 14-Jun-16 06:02:36

Sorry you are at fault regardless of their driving (deal with motor claims at work).

Toffeelatteplease Tue 14-Jun-16 06:09:14

I wouldn't bother. You're at fault.

What Ebear said. If they were behaving erratically you leave enough space to still be able to stop. Used to work in car insurance.

I'd just let the insurance company sort it out, the earlier they can do so the best chance they have of mitigating loses. You could fight it but I don't think you have any chance of it coming out differently

It's the kind of accident that is ripe for whiplash (although not as bad as if you were going any quicker). People can be very grumpy when they have been hurt.

I'd just chalk it up as a nasty experience but a risk of driving a car.

IceMaiden73 Tue 14-Jun-16 06:18:38

You hit them, so your fault I'm afraid. If they were driving erratically even more reason to keep your distance

WhereTheFuckIsMyCunt Tue 14-Jun-16 06:41:37

Totally your fault. You drove forward while looking right. Cars infront are allowed to stop for whatever reason, it's your job not to rear end them. Sorry.

She may well put in a whiplash claim which may or may not be genuine. Doesn't matter, you will lose your NCD anyway, regardless of any whiplash claim. Just leave it all to your insurers.

I do sympathise a bit. Dh can be a hesitant driver at roundabouts and got rear ended once. He made as if he was going to drive off and even though it was a big gap decided not to and braked. Got rear ended. Bloke behind said exactly the same as you, he thought Dh had gone. That bloke was found at fault. I agree that Dh's driving maybe didn't help but he is entitled to hesitate/change his mind and legally he did nothing wrong.

ComeOnKenneth Tue 14-Jun-16 07:43:36

Ok, thanks all. Cross with myself now!

Toffeelatteplease Tue 14-Jun-16 19:34:19

Don't be cross with yourself. So easily done and the reason why car insurance is there.

Now had you driven through 6 people's front gardens and not noticed (neither had your passenger you was reading the paper) then you would have had something to be cross at yourself about grin

Autumnchill Tue 14-Jun-16 19:52:39

Hang on Ken, that's far too reasonable! You need to disagree with us all grinwink. Hope you get it sorted quickly. Did similar myself where a Micra hesitated three times and on the third time I helped her ease out the junction! Slight scrape on her bumper and when I rang later in the year to find out total cost for insurance renewal was staggered it was £2k!!! Think she had a Ferrari as a hire car!

ComeOnKenneth Wed 15-Jun-16 11:19:30

grin Autumn! Yeah, you were all right though. My DH rang the driver yesterday and he said there's no damage to his vehicle and his wife is fine too, so they will check the car out and ring us if there are any minor repairs. It seems unlikely they will claim, thank god. It turns out they are friends of the people we bought our house from, who we're still friendly with. (The beauty of rural life, eh?)

He was actually much more reasonable than his wife, but DH is fab with people and they were laughing on the phone.

We will take them a bottle of wine to apologise I think, as they live near us.

So hopefully, all's well that ends well.

(I'm still annoyed at her trying it on and being so rude though - not that reasonable!) grin

ComeOnKenneth Wed 15-Jun-16 11:21:34

And thank you also to everyone (*toffee, Autumn*) for reassuring me with your posts. I feel slightly less of a prat now!

I was really upset over this, for some reason it really triggered my anxiety. Having you all to talk to and your advice has really helped me gain some perspective, and made me laugh. flowers

PolaroidsFromTheBeyond Wed 15-Jun-16 11:49:04

Don't be too hard on yourself. These things happen. Tell you insurance company what happened and let them sort it out. It's what you pay them for.

BreadPitt Tue 21-Jun-16 11:51:00

Even with witnesses I doubt you'd win this one.

Last year I had a woman narrowly miss me when she pulled out of her lane on a roundabout. I beeped to warn her I was there. As she pulled off the roundabout she was waving 2 fingers at me and slammed on her brakes. I hit her at about 5mph.
I had 3 witnesses in a bus stop who saw her do it and a dash cam which caught everything, including her waving the v's at me. Still went down as my fault.
She didn't claim despite some damage to the bumper of her brand new car, had she tried I imagine she'd have had some difficulty explaining why she slammed on given the road was clear in front of her.

I had full no claims and my insurance premiums haven't changed so it cost me nothing. I think her stupidity cost her a lot more. Amazingly she was pregnant and had a toddler in the back.

It taught me to assume that everyone in front of me is a moron and treat them as such.

ComeOnKenneth Tue 21-Jun-16 18:29:46

No, you're right, bread. Sorry you had such a terrible experience, some people do take the biscuit!

We phoned our insurers and they said I'd have to admit fault for the rear end, although there's no damage apparently to either car, so they probably won't have a claim to make. They did say they would dispute any whiplash claim though, based on my account, low speed, lack of damage and passenger getting straight out complaining of injury. She would have a year to make a claim. I think it's unlikely she will though.

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