I've got a slight dilemma at the moment and am coming in here for anyone with experience. On Dec 31st, 2002 I was at a large round about (3 lanes) in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. Road was slightly wet from a light shower and I've stopped with my nose sticking out, front wheels on the line. Now, being a big round-about, There was plenty of room for cars coming from the right to drive through, in fact, while I was stationary, 2 cars went through fine. It was only when the 3rd car came through, going out wide and then coming back in, did the driver realise they were not going to get through safely, hit the brakes and slid about 10 meters into the front side of my car.
We pull off to the side and exchanged details but I didn't have insurance. I had a witness give me her details but I saw no-one give the other driver any details at all before they drove off. Now, inspecting their car, front tyres were totally bald so in the wet, nice slide without any traction, hence the prang.
A month later I get a letter from RACV declaring that I am liable and must pay the cost of damages to the other car. I supply all my details, including witness details and exact description of the accident in response. Nothing from RACV for a while. Two months or so ago, I receive a phone call from RCL Mercantile, acting on behalf of RACV, to retrieve the money. I ask them how they believe I am still at fault and their response was that their client has a witness (NEVER saw anyone exchange details with them) and that I moved my car in front of their client which caused them to hit me. I was stationary for a whole 30 seconds. I had someone in the car with me who cannot be used as a witness and my own witness who was behind me can vouch for that aswell.
So now I have received a letter to pay almost $3500 in damages with my car still bungled and a driver door that when closed is not flush and drips water when raining.
What advice can anyone give here? Who can I speak to or is this too far gone now? They took weeks and even months to respond to anything that I contacted them with.
One thing that made me dubious was when RCL contacted me initially in regards to what I had to owe, they decided to deal by saying "Well how much can you pay". I told them I am not at fault and even if I was I couldn't pay $1000. There response was "We'll get back to you to see if $1000 is enough". Why would a company like RACV use someone like RCL to retrieve $3500 and then make an offer for only $1000. Seems to me like they know who is at fault but because I don't have an insurance company to battle on my behalf they are just using their power to extract what they can out of me.
Its a common tactic used by all insurance company. Issue demands against all parties, and see whos silly enough to pay up.
Get your self a lawyer, and pay them $50 to write a letter of rejection, including a written statement from your witness.
The reason it has gone to a collection agency is again there attempt to intimidate you into paying. But remember this. You are under NO obligation at all at this stage. The only body that can determine who is liable is a court. No one else.
If things progress, you can also pay your own insurance assessor to assess their car and determine the real cost of repairs, will cost you about $80. At that stage issue a letter of demand yourself claiming for repair costs to your vehicle, and stating you hold them at fault.
Chevs may go, but theres nothing like a HO!
Proud LSUG Member, and 9" Nodular Iron driveline test pilot.
Nope don't pay them a cent.
If you have witness statement saying that you were fully stopped let them take you to court.
They sent RCL because they are pricks and know that if the shit hits the fan they will have to cop the bill. Insurance companies constantly use bully tactics when they know they will loose simply because some fools do pay out.
I have a mate who was also involved in an accident and dispite the fact that some fool went through a stop sign his insurance company still pestered my mate for cash.
He told them to bite his cock see him in court and they never showed.
See a lawyer should only cost about $50 to be told what I told you.
Oh and FOR F$%KS SAKE GET INSURANCE!!
Driving on the road uninsured at all is just plain stupid.
If you can't afford insurance you can't afford the car.
If you had 3rd party your insurance company would be doing this for you.
3rd Party is normally about $180 a year.
Breathe! It's only the internet....
I too can vouch for bluff tactics. A few years back, just a few 100 m from my parents place on a semi-rural road zoned 100, a Nissan Patrol with bull bar started to turn right from out of a drive way on my left in front of me. I had to make a quick decision whether I go onto the wrong side of the road in front of them, hoping they stopped coming, or go off of the road to the left and go behind them. I took the first option, brushed their bull bar and pushed in the whole passenger side so I needed two new doors, front guard and the rear guard straightened. They claimed I was at fault because I was speeding (I was doing less than the limit because it there was a bend). I got legal advice from the RAA who basically said if the other driver saw you were speeding, how stupid were they to pull out in front of you. Luckily it was easy, they were leaving a private driveway, so 100% at fault, but my car of the time was very nearly written off because it was 16 years old.
So don't pay anything. Can anyone back you up on their bald tyres? The other driver had an un-roadworthy car. Get a lawyer and then claim the cost of the lawyer from the other driver when you prove the other driver at fault.
Why cant the person in your car be used as a witness?
Car's I have owned. First car purchased in July 1994, in order of ownership.
VC Valiant 245Hemi, 280zx Nissan 5 speed, 88 EA 3.9CFI,94 ED Gli X Chaser, 79 FC LTD, 351, FMX, 91 EA2 Fairmont Ghia, 1999 AU S pack, 2000 AU Forte, 1992 EB2 XR8, 2001 AU2 SR, 2002 VX2 Acclaim, 2002 VX2 Manual S pack,2003 BA XR6 manual, 2001 VX2 Berlina.
While a lot of advice above is good, ie see a lawer.
You even admit that you were across the line at the roudabout,, I think you will find that you are at fault, doesnt matter about the other car unless you had rung the police and they attended the scene and booked the other driver only. Simple rule is if in an accident and its not your fault, you ring the cops.
Hope things work out for you..
It depends what state you are in with the police attendance. In QLD they wont have a bar of it unless someone is injured, in SA you MUST report all accidents, regardless of damage or whatever, to a local police station within 48hrs of the accident. Alternatively, if you call the Police, a traffic officer will come out to the scene, guage it all, take witness statements, do a breathe test on both drivers, and assertain whos at fault.
I had a similar thing happen when my car was covered under 3rd party property, fire and theft. An old lady decided to make a right hand turn infront of me, i had no option but to hit the skids to try to stop, i ended up smacking pretty much into the front of her car. When teh skid marks were looked at and measured it was found that the skids all lined up on my side of the road. The lady was issued with a warning for driving without due care. Her insurance company (Australian Pensioners Insurance) kept pestering me saying it was my fault, i was on her side of the road, and i mean this was AFTER the police gave her a warning for driving without due care! we had to ring up the officer involved and get them to talk to the insurance company.
After all that, my car was held at teh crash repairers for nearly 3 months after the work was carried out because they wouldnt release it until the old woman paid her excess!! I hate insurance companies after that, so I just decided to get full comprehensive, then i KNOW if i ever get in a prang, mi car will get fixed and i will get it back and wont have to worry bout that other person paying their excess.
The moral of the story here is, just fight it, do what everyone has said and get a lawyer and decide then, and NEVER!! and i mean NEVER admit any variety of fault to anyone.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.