Car accident claim

2nd July 2023 I was in a small car accident on an Asda car park. I was reversing into a parent child space as I had my children and partner with me and a young driver tried to drive through the space as a short cut to exit the car park instead of following the road round. As he tried to drive through he hit my car due to how little space there was. We exchanged all relevant details and I reported it to my insurer as soon as I got home. No one was injured and the damage to my car was minor. The damage to his car was cosmetic but was worse than mine. 

I had an update on the 14 July 2023 from my insurer via text stating they do not think I am liable for accident and will be sending their findings to the other drivers insurer. 19th September 2023 I called my insurer to get an update and found out the other driver is claiming through a solicitor and in my insurers words “it looks like we will be found liable”. there was a witness who has kindly gave a witness statement but my insurer has said they haven’t received anything back. The CCTV from Asda wipes every 6 weeks so that’s no longer available. Just to top it off aswell we don’t have legal cover with the insurance 

Any help would be fantastic as if not really sure what to do next 


Comments

  • This is one of those where a diagram is going to help as I assumed he was driving through the space you were trying to get into but then you say "how little space there was" suggests it was maybe an adjacent space or such?

    Were you moving at the time of the collision or not? If not how long had you been stationary.

    As a rule of thumb the reversing party is to blame for an accident as they are performing the more difficult manoeuvre so have the higher duty of care. Without fully understanding the circumstances and not knowing if you'd been stationary for more than a second or so then it's highly likely that you will be at least partially to blame for the accident if not fully. 
  • I had waited for a car to move from the space then pulled forward and reversed into the space. My car is the grey one in the photo. You can see the damage to the rear corner of my car. Their car is damaged on the drivers and rear driver side doors. My car stopped when they hit the corsa carried on slightly.

    I’ve done a little diagram. The highlighted space is where I was trying to reverse park. The red line and arrow is my route. The blue line is the route the other driver took. The yellow line is the road to exit. Hope this helps 
  • If this was one of my cases back in my claims days and assuming the witness doesn't come forward I would certainly have initially suggested a 50/50 settlement because you were reversing at the time and it sounds likely you've gone into the side of him as he tried to get through. If you got stroppy about it then I'd have said that we'll initially look to hold them fully liable but I dont hold up much hope. I'd also have warned that as you were reversing it could be worse than 50/50.

    In practice it heavily depends on how the TP has described the accident to their insurer. If they say they saw you reversing and tried to nip through anyway but judged it wrong then your odds are much better. If they say they were just driving through the carpark and you reversed into the side of them then the third party insurer wont be conceding liability any time soon. 
  • I know what he said to us and what he has told his solicitor will probably be 2 different things but he told us he isn’t from around here and was trying to get off the car park. Apologised to us and admitted fault at the scene. I would have reluctantly accepted 50/50 but with how things have played out and the other party deciding to claim through a solicitor doesn’t sit well with me and something doesn’t seem right. 

    Have you got any advice on my next steps considering he has decided to claim through a solicitor. Does this change things in any way 
  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,512
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    Your passenger heard the other driver admit fault? Make sure your insurers are aware of that. The above diagram might help your case as well, but it may not go in your favour, as it isn't a huge claim and a 50/50 split is a quick 'n easy way for the insurers to settle it. Of course your premium will increase next time around, regardless of blame.

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  • keith94 said:
    Apologised to us and admitted fault at the scene. I would have reluctantly accepted 50/50 but with how things have played out and the other party deciding to claim through a solicitor doesn’t sit well with me and something doesn’t seem right. 

    Have you got any advice on my next steps considering he has decided to claim through a solicitor. Does this change things in any way 
    Doesn't change a thing. 

    With some insurance companies if you have Legal Expenses cover and its not a fault accident then standard process is to immediately appoint panel solicitors under the LE cover because at a minimum there will be the excess to recover. You just get told that Linklater's or Shoesmiths or whichever firm it is will be in contact with you about you uninsured losses. 

    The law around solicitors has changed so I dont know how insurers are dealing with it these days but historically for Motor Legal Expenses the insurers basically never payout a penny in 99.9% of cases. Instead law firms paid the insurance companies to receive the referrals - a pay per claim model wasnt allowed so instead postcode sectors were auctioned off based on the average number of claims that sector generates. There was therefore motivation to put as many claims through as possible. You could even have given the LE cover away for free and still make a reasonable profit on it. 
  • Ok so would I be right in saying because I was reversing I’m likely to be found liable regardless of who is to blame? As this isn’t a big claim, I don’t have motor legal protection and the third party is claiming through a solicitor not through their insurance it feels as though my insurers have thrown the towel on and can’t really be bothered. 

    Is there any way I can fight back 
  • keith94 said:
    Ok so would I be right in saying because I was reversing I’m likely to be found liable regardless of who is to blame? As this isn’t a big claim, I don’t have motor legal protection and the third party is claiming through a solicitor not through their insurance it feels as though my insurers have thrown the towel on and can’t really be bothered. 

    Is there any way I can fight back 
    Being liable means being to blame but that's within the framework of the tort of negligence and thousands of cases that have come before where judges have ultimately decided how causal chains work, remoteness etc. The court process is about following the law not really about being fair. 

    Take for example the case of a pedestrian that gets knocked over by a car, they have a good job but their employers sick pay policy isnt great so they receive 2 months at full pay and 1 month at half pay before they are back at work. They can sue the driver/their insures for loss of earnings because they've received less pay as a consequence.

    Their employer, they've had to pay out 2.5 months of salary to someone who's not working sick at home. Not only that but they've had to also hire a temp for 3 months or paid overtime to cover that employees job. Some might say it would be fair that the employer can claim that money back from the driver/their insurer too as its them that's to blame for it but the courts have ruled they can't, its too remote and their losses to bear. 


    You may not agree with the judges that reversing is more difficult than driving forwards and therefore you owe a greater duty of care and so ultimately are more likely to be the cause of the accident but its what judges have decided. This is a rule of thumb though and if the TP admits to doing something totally stupid then the rule of thumb may not apply. Ultimately without video evidence its the judges job to decide what most likely happened. 

    Insurers dont like court, it's expensive and somewhat a roll of the dice. Most cases fall into Small Track so even if they win they still have to pay their own barristers costs which can easily be 50% or more of the amount being claimed anyway. They tend to prefer negotiating a settlement than taking a punt on if both sides turn up, if either policyholder says something stupid etc. 

    Your insurers will defend the claim for you, in the first instance, they should be asking for the other party's version of events and any evidences/witness to back it up. 
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