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Car accident: Other driver lying
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# 1
There Goes Trouble
Old 23-04-2012, 1:29 PM
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Default Car accident: Other driver lying

Firstly, I have looked through but I can't find any threads about this, however I apologise if it's been done to death already - please feel free to link me to another thread by way of an answer!

Last year, My sister I and I were travelling to a wedding. We had her two children with us aged 2 and 10, she was driving and it is her car.

We were on the motorway but in heavy traffic, and the traffic came to a halt in the third lane which we were in. We stopped and were stationary for maybe 30 seconds when a car approached from behind and hit us. It wasn't a hard collision as they were just creeping, but the bumper was broken on my sisters car.

My sister got out to speak to the other driver. I stayed in the car because the traffic had started to move again and I didn't want the children to worry and try and get out of the car with their Mum. Details were exchanged and the other driver (according to my sister) admitted responsibility straight away.

My sister got 3 quotes for the damage to her car. The cheapest quote was £250. The other driver initially wanted to avoid going through insurance, but then said they couldn't afford £250 and offered my sister £150 instead. My sister refused this so they both agreed to take it through insurance.

Fast forward one year (the first wedding anniversary was last week!) and the story so far is...

The other driver has told their insurance that we changed lanes in front of him on the motorway causing the accident. This is a blatant lie, we were already in the lane and had been for some time and were stationary with the handbreak on when hit by them. Their insurance is refusing to pay out as it's one persons word against the other. I don't count as a witness because I'm not 'independent' and there were no other witnesses because the traffic started to move just as we got hit, so by the time my sister had got her wits about her (we were both quite shocked when it happened) any potential wintesses had moved on.

Is there anything my sister can do? I suggested getting copies of the text conversations between them but apparantly that isn't any help. She's going to speak to the CAB and see if they can suggest anything, but it looks like she'll lose her no claims discount which is really unfair.

Can people really just lie like this, and their word is just taken as gospel?

Sorry if this has turned into a mini rant..... as an honest person myself it really infuriates me when liars come out smelling of roses and honest people bear the brunt of their lies.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by There Goes Trouble; 23-04-2012 at 1:33 PM.
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# 2
InsideInsurance
Old 23-04-2012, 1:51 PM
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You will see hundreds of threads on here that are basically the same as this one in that the two parties in the accident come out with very different versions of events.

With the absence of any independent witnesses or other evidence it becomes exceptionally difficult to prove one version of events over the other and so these can frequently end up on a 50/50 basis because one is as likely to be true as the other and ultimately the insurers are not confident enough in winning the case to justify the cost of going to court (even more true when the claim would be small track and so even if they win they dont get their legal costs back)

It really is down to your sister's insurers to decide how far they are going to go, especially if the cost of the claim is so low. If she can speak to the claims person that is handling the attempted recovery (normally a different person to who dealt with the repairs to her car) she can try and persuade them to push harder but without any evidence it is difficult.
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# 3
Christopher7
Old 23-04-2012, 2:54 PM
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Hi OP
I am sure others are better placed to advise, but i always understood that these cases were far more likely to go in your favour.

I don't understand why the other sides insurer is arguing over £250, it will cost more than that in admin. Your insurer isn't great either, they don't want to fight your case as it will cost more than £250 in legal/admin fees.

Insurers wonder why people use credit hire companies and PI solicitor, well your sisters case is a perfect example, these companies provide a better service and have a greater appetite to fight the case.

Its too late to claim credit hire but I bet you would have a cheque for £250 on your doorstep within a week, if you called the other persons insurer for an update on your case and hinted that you were considering contacting a PI solicitor.
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# 4
learningaboutinsurance
Old 23-04-2012, 3:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by There Goes Trouble View Post
We were on the motorway but in heavy traffic, and the traffic came to a halt in the third lane which we were in. We stopped and were stationary for maybe 30 seconds when a car approached from behind and hit us. It wasn't a hard collision as they were just creeping, but the bumper was broken on my sisters car.
I am not the expert here but surely as you were hit from behind the liability is the TP. not sure why your insurers are not pushing this for full liability from TPI.

was the damage the back of the bumper or the side?
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# 5
There Goes Trouble
Old 23-04-2012, 6:23 PM
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Thanks InsideInsurance, that's useful into.

Christopher7, is PI solicitor Personal Injury? If so, surely we could only contact one if there was personal injury to one of the occupants of the car? Which there wasn't. I'm not sure how else a PI solicitor could help us but then I've never needed one before so maybe they do more than I know about. Neither my sister or I would lie about any injury, besides which it would look very suspicious.... a year down the line after the claim has been thrown out, to suddenly find an injury that hasn't needed any treatment up till now!!!

Have I got the wrong end of the stick here?
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# 6
There Goes Trouble
Old 23-04-2012, 6:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learningaboutinsurance View Post
I am not the expert here but surely as you were hit from behind the liability is the TP. not sure why your insurers are not pushing this for full liability from TPI.

was the damage the back of the bumper or the side?
We're not sure either. The damage was at the back in the middle, right where he hit us!
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# 7
rs65
Old 23-04-2012, 7:27 PM
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Have her insurers paid anything?

Does she have legal expenses insurance with her car insurance?
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# 8
vaio
Old 23-04-2012, 8:50 PM
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I can't be sure but it's one thing telling lies to an insurance company but an entirely different story telling lies under the beady eye of a judge so I'd be inclined to send the other driver a letter saying you hold him totally responsible and if you don't get a cheque within 14 you will issue proceedings in the county court.

You can act as a witness in any court case and also present the text messages as evidence and the judge will attach such weight to them as he sees fit.
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# 9
olly300
Old 23-04-2012, 10:09 PM
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OP starting a claim via moneyclaimonline is really easy so just do what viao said.

Make sure you send 2 copies of the "Letter before action" to the other driver from 2 different post offices on 2 different dates getting a proof of posting for each.

As this driver already is lying about the accident they will not hesitate to lie about not receiving your letters in an attempt to drag out any court action.

Lots of people lie about not receiving "letters before action" and judges have to give them the benefit of the doubt unless it's highly likely they would have received the letters.

Signed for post isn't good in this case as it's easy to not pick up the letters or answer the door to the postman.

Also don't hesitate to start your claim on moneyclaimonline after the 14 days are up, the few people I've started a claim against have paid up long before the case has been assigned to a court.
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# 10
Quentin
Old 23-04-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olly300 View Post
OP starting a claim via moneyclaimonline is really easy so just do what viao said.

Make sure you send 2 copies of the "Letter before action" to the other driver from 2 different post offices on 2 different dates getting a proof of posting for each.

As this driver already is lying about the accident they will not hesitate to lie about not receiving your letters in an attempt to drag out any court action.

Lots of people lie about not receiving "letters before action" and judges have to give them the benefit of the doubt unless it's highly likely they would have received the letters.

Signed for post isn't good in this case as it's easy to not pick up the letters or answer the door to the postman.

Also don't hesitate to start your claim on moneyclaimonline after the 14 days are up, the few people I've started a claim against have paid up long before the case has been assigned to a court.
There is a major flaw to this suggestion!

The third party will deal with any correspondence over this by passing it straight over to their insurer to deal with. The TP won't be concerned over this threat - it won't be his personal problem at all.

Thus although you will have gone to the expense of issuing a claim (in the hope it will force the tp to fold), you subsequently find you are actually "fighting" the insurer!
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# 11
vaio
Old 24-04-2012, 1:13 AM
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fair point, but it will be his personal problem when he has to attend court and repeat his lies in front of a judge.

As for "fighting the other insurer", how much time & effort (= money) do you think the other insurer is going to devote to fighting a small claim for £250 (so very limited recovery of costs) particularly where their insured ran into the back of the OP's sister, the OP was in the car so can give a witness statement and the OP's sister has text messages from the other driver admitting liability and offering to settle?

Not very much is my opinion and I'd be very surprised if it ever saw the inside of a court but even if the other insurer did defend then at least the OP & sister would know they had give it their best shot rather than just accepting the seemingly increasingly common case where insurers prefer to not fight for their clients and just collect the loaded premiums resulting from 50/50 fault settlements & lost NCB
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# 12
learningaboutinsurance
Old 24-04-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by There Goes Trouble View Post
We're not sure either. The damage was at the back in the middle, right where he hit us!
Maybe get you sister to contact her insurers and ask them as this seems a straight case of him hitting your vehicle from behind. why they don't hold TP fully liable. you should ask for full reason.

have your insurers sent any vehicle assesors around to check damage and costs as a they may have increased the repairs to more than £250.

as insurers are now involved it will be hard for you to pursue the TP individual them selfs but i would be banging on my insurers non-stop. assuming your sister has met the claims handler dealing with your case? keep emailing them for updates and reasons on why they choosing this action over that until you are satisfied its the correct. if you have legal cover get you insurers to appoint a decent legal representive on your case aswell.
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# 13
olly300
Old 24-04-2012, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio View Post
fair point, but it will be his personal problem when he has to attend court and repeat his lies in front of a judge.
It's likely the insurer wouldn't even attend court as it's not cost effective and so there would be a default judgement against them.

The trick would be to ensure they can't over turn it by ensuring that they also have a copy of your "letter before action" as large companies are treated differently to individuals by judges (and regulators) when they claim they don't receive a letter. They aren't believed if you send them a letter by at least recorded signed for post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio View Post
As for "fighting the other insurer", how much time & effort (= money) do you think the other insurer is going to devote to fighting a small claim for £250 (so very limited recovery of costs) particularly where their insured ran into the back of the OP's sister, the OP was in the car so can give a witness statement and the OP's sister has text messages from the other driver admitting liability and offering to settle?

Not very much is my opinion and I'd be very surprised if it ever saw the inside of a court but even if the other insurer did defend then at least the OP & sister would know they had give it their best shot rather than just accepting the seemingly increasingly common case where insurers prefer to not fight for their clients and just collect the loaded premiums resulting from 50/50 fault settlements & lost NCB
Agree with you there as I've had issues with two insurers in the past year for different types of insurance and different reasons.

Both tried to fustrate me and one, CIS, also tried to fustrate the regulator. Luckily the underwriter of the insurance Aviva aren't so pigheaded when someone has made a mistake with a quote.

One thing people forget is that as a consumer, insurers need to treat you fairly. This means that even if the insurance policy says they can settle it how they wish you can argue that your insurer haven't treated you fairly if they haven't:
1. Taken steps to verify the damage to your car matches the stories told, and
2. Ignored the fact that for a time after the accident the other party was offering to pay for the damage and you have evidence of this.
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# 14
olly300
Old 24-04-2012, 7:46 PM
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Originally Posted by learningaboutinsurance View Post
keep emailing them for updates and reasons on why they choosing this action over that until you are satisfied its the correct.
Never just email insurers (or any financial company ) always send snail mail letters as well and use recorded signed for post.

They will deny receiving emails and taking your phone calls if it suits them regardless of whether they say they "record your call for training purposes".

They will also deny receiving your letters until they realise you are serious and will send all your slips to a regulator.
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# 15
There Goes Trouble
Old 24-04-2012, 10:50 PM
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Thank you for all the replies!!

I've copied and pasted the whole lot and sent it off to my sister. I know she will find it all very helpful and hopefully she will pursue it all the way!
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# 16
learningaboutinsurance
Old 25-04-2012, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olly300 View Post
Never just email insurers (or any financial company ) always send snail mail letters as well and use recorded signed for post.

They will deny receiving emails and taking your phone calls if it suits them regardless of whether they say they "record your call for training purposes".

They will also deny receiving your letters until they realise you are serious and will send all your slips to a regulator.
They may deny it but the emails should be sent with delivery reports so that as soon as its been delivered you will receive a delivery report email confirming that your email has been either succefully delivered or not delivered and reason for it. so similar to recoreded signed for post and believe now also legal proof of delivery similar to the RSFP.
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