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Involved in a collision - advice please

(9 Posts)
SunnyUpNorth Fri 30-Nov-12 08:56:37

I hope this is the right place to post this.

I was involved in a collision on Tuesday afternoon. Briefly, I was driving in the lane next to the other driver,as we approached a roundabout my lane split into two and his didnt. We both headed for the lane which became the middle lane so I didn't change lanes as it was my lane which split, and he veered into me without indicating. He had two scratches to the rear door on the drivers side. There was minimal damage to my car. Judging from where the damage was on his car I was probably in his blind spot.

It is a very major big roundabout, with alot of lanes off it and the road markings were only changed in October making it quite complicated.

I use this roundabout alot and so am familiar with it. I don't know if he is local or not.

I am 37 weeks pregnant and had my almost two year old DD in the car,we were approaching red lights so were going really slowly.

I am 100% certain it was the other drivers fault. I wouldn't have pursued any damages as the damage was only to my bumper and the car is quite old.

Anyway we both spoke to our insurance companies who are now suggesting split liability as I don't think he will accept liability.

This is really annoying me as we will lose our no claims bonus plus have to cough up for I presume half the repairs or excess. I'm not sure how that side of things is settled.

Strangely the only other car accident I have been involved in was when I was about 38 weeks pregnant last time. I scratched a parked car when reverse parking. I left all my details on the car and when the owner got in touch I covered the repairs. My point being that if i thought it was my fault I would be the first to own up and rectify the situation.

So my questions are:

How easy is it to get CCTV footage? I've emailed highways agency and the local council re this but have yet to hear back.

Do I have to accept split liability?

If I dispute it, will it be more hassle than its worth given I'll have my hands full with a toddler and newborn soon?

If it is settled as split liability any idea how that works?

Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks for any help.

AMumInScotland Fri 30-Nov-12 09:15:46

You don't have to accept it, and I would have thought your diagram of the scene with the lanes on it would make it clear that it was his fault. Insurance companies are a bit quick to say "Oh just make it split liability" because it's easier for them!

Just tell your insurers you are quite sure he was at fault and you are not prepared to accept split liability. They should then pursue it with the other driver, or rather his insurance.

At worst, his insurers will argue back, in which case it might end up having to go to court. But even if it does, you don't have to get personally involved, most likely you would have to sign a piece of paper authorising your insurers to go to court on your behalf, and they will do everything from there.

I had to do that when a neighbour backed into me. No way I could have hit him at that angle, and it certainly wasn't even slightly my fault for being in the road when he backed out of his drive without looking! I had to authorise them to take it to court, but that was all I had to do.

If you take split liability you will most likely lose your no-claims, plus you'll have to pay the excess (or maybe half of your excess and half of his if they are different? You'd have to check the detail on that with your insurers). You woulnd't have to pay for the actual repairs, as your insurance covers that, apart from the excess.

greenfolder Fri 30-Nov-12 09:19:18

Its early to be deciding liabilty.your insurers will not offer this to the other party unless he brings a claim. Its important that your insurers fully understand what has happened. Find the road on google earth, print out and draw on which lane you were in and how it happened. Insurers are probably second guessig but being honest that if the other partys claim is small it won't be worth defending it financially. If you claim for your car, you pay whole excess up front and may get some back when liability is agreed. If renewal is a way off or you have a high excess, you could say to your insurers that you will not claim for your repairs unless he claims.

SunnyUpNorth Fri 30-Nov-12 12:52:13

Thanks both for your replies.

I came straight home after it and looked at google maps but as the road markings were only changed in October this is not up to date online. I have reiterated this twice to the insurance company. I have instead sent them one picture of the road that I found in google images and the description of the new lane markings from the council website.

I have also asked the council if they can email me a diagram showing the new road layout but have yet to hear from them.

The thought of going to court would terrify me, I would be happy for them to go on my behalf.

Thanks again.

Northernlurker Fri 30-Nov-12 12:56:54

Go to the site and take photos. Have you got photos of the damage to your car? If not take some. I assume you haevn't got photos of his damage? Draw on a diagram where you remember it being. From what you say it should be clear from the position of the damage that he drove across you rather than you driving in to him from behind.

SunnyUpNorth Fri 30-Nov-12 14:43:47

I can't really take photos at the site as it is a very busy roundabout with alot of lanes etc. I could draw a diagram and scan it to them.

To me it is clear that the damage incurred could only have happened by him driving into me due to the lanes we were in. But it ocurred to me that he could lie and say I drove into his lane and without CCTV evidence how would they know who was telling the truth.

It all happened in such a blur and I was so sure that he had driven into me and admit it (obviously naive but all happened in the space of seconds) that it never occurred to me to ask those behind us if they witnessed it.

I'll ring the insurance company again and see why they suggest. thanks.

SunnyUpNorth Fri 30-Nov-12 14:46:43

Ps there really isn't much damage to my car. His was a saloon and mine is a jeep so it was just our bumper which would have taken the impact and that is not metal so just got scratched. But our bumper is quite scratched anyway from over the years so we wouldn't bother getting it seen to.

Familyguyfan Sat 01-Dec-12 08:15:09

Something similar happened to me a few years ago. Briefly, the guy in the lane next to me didn't realise my lane could turn right too, so he tried to move into my lane, thinking I wouldn't be there, but I was!!

I took loads of photos, did a lovely diagram and the insurance company said it was my fault. When I refused to accept this, they queried the road layout with their local office who confirmed my account. Clearly my premiums did not cover phone calls to other offices without me demanding it.

Anyway, they eventually said that as there were no witnesses (late night, no drink involved) it was joint liability.

I know that I was right but there wasn't much I could do so I had to accept it. Best of luck with your case, but you might need to kick your insurers up the bum in order to get them to do more than the minimum they can get away with.

SunnyUpNorth Sat 01-Dec-12 13:02:20

Thanks family guy. It is really annoying isn't it,but I am beginning to see it may just be easier to accept the joint liability.

I spoke to the insurance co again yesterday. They are going to see if CCTV is available and I am going to draw them a diagram of the road layout and car positions (should be fun as I am terrible at art!). But if nothing comes from that then we will just go with split liability. As I won't be making a claim they confirmed it won't cost be anything as we are fully comp against third party claims. Our no claims bonus is protected but they said our policy will probably still go up.

They also mentioned that he is now claiming for injury too!!! Honestly we were driving at about 5mph,it was just approaching a red light. I am 8.5 months pregnant and it never even occurred to me to play that card. Honestly the way people so blatantly screw the system drives me mad!!!

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