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  • FIRST POST
    • paul10500
    • By paul10500 14th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    paul10500
    Car Claim Problem - Aviva
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
    Car Claim Problem - Aviva 14th Sep 17 at 10:54 AM
    Hi, newbie here. In March, at a council recycling facility, another car drove into the edge of my open driver's door. He was attempting to park adjacent to me but its quite a tight 90 degree turn into the parking space. I had just parked and was getting out of the car, when thump. The damage to the edge of my door was only a slight dent but the damage to the fibre-glass front of his car was more extensive. I had no intention of making a claim for repair of the small dent on my car although I did report the accident to the Insurance company. The recycling facility has signs everywhere reminding drivers to travel at max 5mph and the nature of the facility is that people are getting in and out of cars all the time and carrying waste materials across the 5mph roadway to the disposal bays.
    However the other guy has now claimed for damage against me, by opening my car door such that he could not avoid it. I have disputed this on a number of levels: but mainly he was driving too fast and was driving without care and attention. That in effect if he was watching where he was going he would not have driven into my door which was already open. My insurance company Aviva has been much less than helpful. They seem to be treating me as the one at fault from the start.
    The last communication from them says please find attached a third-party engineers report that proves you were in the wrong! In fact, there was no report attached and Aviva has not yet responded to my repeated requests to send me that Report. I'm their customer, why are they writing that the other driver has proved that I am at fault - are they always like this? Is Aviva always hostile to their own customers? (The insurance was arranged via an Agent company)
    Who is this third-party engineering specialist that can "prove" fault from looking at photographs? I know of forensic accident investigators but that seems a bit OTT for this situation. Can anyone suggest what type of third party engineer might feel qualified to make such a statement? I'm assuming it isn't an electrical engineer or the like!! Should I be looking for some kind of engineering expert that can (hopefully) disprove the other driver's third party engineer?
    This is turning into a nightmarish scenario - although the damage is quite minimal I just cannot believe that this guy holds me to be at fault? Any answers to the questions above or advice in general?
Page 1
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 14th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
    • 89,561 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
    m their customer, why are they writing that the other driver has proved that I am at fault - are they always like this?
    This is how it works with all.

    They have two stories conflicting each other. Someone who was not there has to look at the available evidence and make a judgement call and both sides need to agree to it. What evidence did you provide? (e.g. car camera, witness etc)

    Is Aviva always hostile to their own customers?
    How are they being hostile?

    Who is this third-party engineering specialist that can "prove" fault from looking at photographs? I know of forensic accident investigators but that seems a bit OTT for this situation.
    Where there is little or no evidence, they look at where the damage has taken place and the angles of damage and make a judgement call based on that.

    Should I be looking for some kind of engineering expert that can (hopefully) disprove the other driver's third party engineer?
    If you are willing to pay for that, then you are free to do whatever you like.

    l I just cannot believe that this guy holds me to be at fault?
    That is generally what the average member of the public is like nowadays.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • paul10500
    • By paul10500 19th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    • 5 Posts
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    paul10500
    • #3
    • 19th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    Hi Dunstonh, many thanks for taking the trouble to comment and my apologies, I have been away for a few days. Your comments have helped me think less emotionally about the whole thing.
    I do understand that someone has to make a decision - I was just shocked that Aviva said that the third party had already "proved" that I was in the wrong. I still have not received the so called engineers report. What kind of engineer should I look for to help me in assessing blame?
    I thought Aviva would actively support me all the way up to negotiating partial blame. At the moment, it looks as thought they will be satisfied if I take all the blame.
    I have no idea of the financial impact of this claim. This is my first year's insurance since returning to UK from overseas, so there in not a big no clams bonus to protect. However, it means anther year before I can start to build that NCB. Apart from that NCB issue and the insurance excess, will ther be any other financial impact.
    I am grateful for the comments, many thanks...
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 19th Sep 17, 12:28 PM
    • 89,561 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #4
    • 19th Sep 17, 12:28 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Sep 17, 12:28 PM
    Your comments have helped me think less emotionally about the whole thing.
    It is easier for third parties not involved to comment without emotion. Sometimes people take our responses the wrong way because they still have an emotional attachment.

    . What kind of engineer should I look for to help me in assessing blame?
    Engineer is a term that is quite misused nowadays. Real engineers must be fed up with the number of people referring themselves as engineers. It will be someone trained to examine accident damage and make an assessment based on that.

    I would wait until you get the report to see what is said. You can build your own info file.

    I thought Aviva would actively support me all the way up to negotiating partial blame. At the moment, it looks as thought they will be satisfied if I take all the blame.
    They just go by the available information. To explain this better, you have to apply the four truths principle to insurance claims. You will be claiming what you say is the truth. The other party will be claiming what they say is the truth. Then there will be what actually happened. i.e. The truth (which will likely be different to both parties claims). And finally, there will be what the evidence points towards happened. i.e. the perceived truth (which may not resemble what either party say or actually happened). The latter is what Aviva will go by.

    What may be happening is that your evidence is just what you have said has happened. The other party may have taken photos at the scene of the position of the cars and surrounding area. Maybe they have an on-board camera (which they would only use if it helped their case). So, you could have one side providing a lot of evidence and the other side providing little.

    Often with these types of incidents, both parties take on part responsibility and each insurer takes care of their own side of the claim and both drivers take the hit on no claims discount.

    Damage reports are not reliable. Many many years ago, my wife was turning into a junction was hit by the car waiting to exit the junction. it has started to pull away before my wife was clear. It drove into the side of her. The other driver at the time was all apologetic etc. However, we later found out that the other driver claimed my wife drove into her by taking the corner too tight. The insurer did 50/50.

    I had one myself where I was stationary in a queue of traffic and the car behind me failed to stop and rear-ended me. It pushed me into the car in front. You would think that would be an easy one but the insurer settled it with me being responsible for the car in front as the driver that rear ended me said that I wasn't stationary. I was mad at that, just as you are now, but I couldnt do a thing about it.

    So, now, I have dashboard camera, like so many others. Just in case something like that happens again. Sometimes you have to let the frustration of what has happened go and change your focus to stop it from happening again.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • paul10500
    • By paul10500 19th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    paul10500
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    Hi again, thanks so much for the commentary, it's been really helpful. The four truths - brilliant! Perhaps plus creative truth, partial truth???
    After a long telephone queue wait today I finally got to speak to someone at Aviva claims call centre, a chap who was very helpful and who explained the situation in a sympathetic way, not the adversarial gladiatorial style of the emails sender!
    The gentleman explained that the bottom line is this - as far as motor car insurance history and policy is concerned - in 99.9% of cases where door opening related claims are made, the person who opens the car door will be regarded as the one at fault. No matter if the other driver was exceeding the prevailing speed limit (in my case, 5mph) or that due care and attention was lacking, as these factors cannot be PROVEN, the guy who opened the door is therefore at fault. Your points about the four truths being very appropriate here.
    I am quite angry about this - I remember on the day saying aloud in the general direction of the other driver, "I didn't know the F1 was on today"? He was parking aggressively in a 5mph zone and the trajectory of his turning wheels would have take him very close to the side of my car, before he hit my open door. But unless I can prove the door had been open for 5 or 10 minutes (according to Aviva) then it's my fault, regardless. Grrrr!
    If what Aviva says is correct, then I will just stop and not bother to go through the hassle of taking this any further. Any comment?
    By the way, the telephone claims guy said he was going to have a word with the email claims guy because both the style and the content of his emails to me were inappropriate!
    Thanks again...
    • paul10500
    • By paul10500 19th Sep 17, 1:45 PM
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    paul10500
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:45 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:45 PM
    ...and i did have a dashcam on that day. But my engine had already stopped and the camera faced forward anyway, so it would not have captured any part of the impact. Oddly enough, I had just deleted the dashcam footage a week or so before receiving the Aviva letter - I had assumed that not having heard anything about a March 2017 incident then it was not happening. Silly of me but I had assumed that claims had to be submitted promptly and if no claim or any other contact within 6 months then there was no claim. My mistake in thinking that
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 19th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    • 33,248 Posts
    • 17,191 Thanks
    Quentin
    • #7
    • 19th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    You have 3 years to pursue a claim for damage
    • 2357
    • By 2357 19th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    2357
    • #8
    • 19th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
    They weren't much use to me when I was an innocent party back in Feb.
    The only thing they did do was contact a witness and get a statement.
    The other driver refused to cooperate, he didn't report the accident, then said it wasn't his fault despite admitting at the scene he was speeding, then he refused to answer all correspondence from his insurers.
    His insurance company were obstructive and unhelpful as well.
    I asked Aviva if they would sort my repairs so I could get my car fixed while they argued but they said they would only do that if I agreed to go 50/50.
    I refused since they had a witness statement confirming I was stationary when hit and the other driver was going so fast he couldn't stop in time.
    I had to go through a claims management company and they wouldn't authorise repairs until the other parties insurance company decided to cooperate.
    It took me 4 months of almost daily phone calls but I got there in the end with the claim being declared entirely the other parties fault.
    I was very irritated that it seemed the system protects the guilty party.
    Last edited by 2357; 19-09-2017 at 6:01 PM.
    • paul10500
    • By paul10500 20th Sep 17, 9:25 AM
    • 5 Posts
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    paul10500
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 9:25 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 9:25 AM
    2357, that sounds a horrible situation with much in common with my problem. Even although I can understand that an objective person has to "rule" between two conflicting stories, it seems that our own insurance company is more interested in resolving fast than in resolving fair. Well done for sticking to your guns but according to Aviva, I could stick to my guns as much as I like but the convention in motor insurance is that the person who opened the car door is at fault, regardless of other factors bearing on the result - the other driver going too fast, lack of care, aggressive driving, outright lying!

    Before I retreat to my corner to lick my wounds (!), does anyone care to confirm what the Aviva claims agent said - that it is pretty much always the car door opening driver who is regarded as being at fault?

    Thanks...
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