Help - No Insurance.
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.
All comments welcome.
Thanks in advance,