Accident with a Truck (Uninsured)

I live in QLD and I had an accident in NSW region last year. The weather was terrible, it was hailing and raining at the same time. I was in a car and was hit by a truck. My car was written off and there were very little damages to the truck. I was uninsured at the time of the accident (my blunder).

Insurance company of the truck slapped me with a bill of nearly $42000 accusing me fully at fault. They forwarded the case to the lawyer. I offered them $10000 for their damages to pay them in instalments. They refused my offer. They want to take me to court. It can be seen from the video footage that the truck driver was not speeding according to the weather conditions. I have uploaded the dashcam footage that they given me as an evidence of my fault.

I want to know if I am at fault? If yes, to what extent? What are my chances if the matter goes to court.

Truck driver was definitely over speeding as per the weather conditions. Any comments on that?

Tried to calculate his speed by the dashcam footage.

He crossed 25 white lines in 10 seconds. Each white line is 10 feet itself and the distance between the lanes are 30 feet, in total 40 feet.

25 x 40 = 1000 feet
1000 feet = .308 meters in 10 seconds
.308 meters x 6 = 1.848
1.848 x 60 = 110 KMPH

Max speed for these kind of trucks in NSW is 100 KMPH

Comments

  • +51 votes

    First of all, obligatory MS Paint diagram please.

    From the potato video footage, it appears that this took place on a highway or freeway. Your car was pretty much stationary (very dangerous on a high speed road) when you tried to change lanes (not sure why when there's nothing in front of you) suddenly. A truck or any other car would not be able to stop in such short amount of time. I think it's quite reasonable that you'll be at fault.

    Member Since
    46 min ago

    Also, welcome to OzBargain, although I have a feeling that you'll be disabling your account or never post anything again.

    •  

      Yes, it was taken place on a highway. I will attach the pictures of my car as well to get an idea and also my version of diagram.

      • +18 votes

        Why you do not have insurance? That's really dumb when you have bought freaking land. Always have to have 3 rd party insurance.

      • +6 votes

        My advice on this is when you paying $42000 ask insurance company what are you paying for?
        If they written off truck then its means need to know report and take local mechanic to have look on truck whether report is right or just made up.
        You need investigate yourself before go court .you have right to know what you paying for.
        If they do not want let you check anything then must be doubtful about $42000 value.
        Better pay to truck repair mechanic few$$ then $42000.00 and ask him your side of report.
        All have to be written nothing on phone which will help you to prove in court if they drag you in court.
        I believe $42000 made up if that not include your car and truck written off value.
        Good luck.

        • -6 votes

          What truck costs $42000?

          • +1 vote

            @CMH: The truck in the photo is a Kenworth T409 SAR. $42k would not buy you a very good truck…

            Here is a second hand one for $180,000 that would be very similar to what hit OP.

            What this claim may also be made up of is lost time. The truck would have been off the road for repairs, and this may have been taken into account.

      • +58 votes

        Sanju,

        You're a complete idiot and are likely to kill someone.

        The fact that you didn't have any insurance (and the way you drive) means you don't know or respect the laws of the country you are visiting.

        I love the way you started this thread..'I was hit by a truck', more like 'I moved into the truck's path on the freeway when he was travelling at 100km while I was basically at a rolling stop for no reason.' Seriously mate take your bullshit elsewhere and learn to take responsibility. Is there anyway we can get in touch with the police to ensure this is followed up and license revoked? We will be saving a life by doing so.

        I was in my first accident where I stopped at a set of lights for an ambulance that had its sirens on and the guy behind me hit me, and had the audacity to get out of the car and say 'WHY DID YOU STOP!?' same non-sense here.

        Video of the accident that he removed for anyone else to see:
        https://vimeo.com/323054028

        • +5 votes

          He's also removed the actual video. That link is dead.

          I'm not sure what he's trying to achieve posting here. I think he's just desperate, so I won't pile on. I know I wouldn't be in the best head space if I'd just incurred a $42k debt, and that's before he looks at legal fees.

          • +137 votes

            @syousef: Don't worry Syousef, I backed up the video and have re-uploaded it here for all OzBargainers:

            https://streamable.com/x48xy

            • +7 votes

              @SpotTheOzzie: I'm not saying his driving or his decision making in canceling his insurance was good, but I'm going to flag again that he might not be in a mental state to make good decisions about the ensuing ridicule. I don't want him making any more bad decisions.

            • +3 votes

              @SpotTheOzzie: why?

              And what makes you think OP is not Australian? Because you're assuming his name is Sanju?

            • -22 votes

              @SpotTheOzzie: Thanks for sharing the video. After reading some of the comments it sounded like the car was at fault. Anyone that thinks that is a moron!!! Not only was the truck driving too fast for the conditions but he also stayed in the right lane overtaking cars be careful in the rain. I noticed this after only watching it once and the reason OP pulled out slightly was due to the cars stopped in the emergency lane, probably due to an accident. Pretty sure it’s a law that you need to slow down but the truck driver didn’t care about anyone but himself. Typical truck driver attitude though…bring on the negs haha

              • +3 votes

                @billybob1978: Exactly what I thought billybob, The truck driver ,though technically in the right, should not have been barrelling down the highway in those conditions! Common sense ( missing in this case) would tell you to back off the speed when seeing a flashing light on the side of the road. I'm in a big truck, buggar the rest of you!, seems to be the attitude.

              • +4 votes

                @billybob1978: It is not about how the truck driver drive at that moment. OP is the one who merged lane right before the accident. This is the major reason of the accident. The rest is just history.

              • +2 votes

                @billybob1978: OP knows he is at fault…

                "I offered them $10000 for their damages to pay them in instalments"

                Even if he could argue otherwise, I'm guessing without legal advice, this right here would constitute admission of liability.

                NEVER ADMIT LIABILITY OR MAKE OFFERS WITHOUT LEGAL ADVICE PEOPLE! Shoot yourself right in the foot

            • +1 vote

              @SpotTheOzzie: Someone should pin this post!

            • +29 votes

              @SpotTheOzzie: Wow what an absolute idiot. Car is 100% at fault, he just blindly merged into another lane. Even if that truck was going half his speed, there is no way he could have stopped.

            • +1 vote

              @SpotTheOzzie: My God, the way that car was driven was utterly idiotic. I'm 100% with the insurers on this one (a strange thing to say, I know).

            • +2 votes

              @SpotTheOzzie: Thanks for re-uploading. OP should keep the video up even when he's at fault.

      •  

        Sanjo bai,
        Next time ahteyat karo; or baghair insurance drive muth kiyakaro.

  • +26 votes

    Assuming you're the car at the end you changed lanes into their path so of course you're at fault. There was nothing in your lane so not sure what you were trying to achieve. I can't comment on damage to the truck, it looks relatively superficial so I doubt it's $42k of damage but I'm not a truck mechanic so maybe it is or maybe they're claiming lost income while the truck is off the road being repaired.

    I'd strongly suggest speaking to a solicitor rather than Oz Bargain.

    • +8 votes

      They would be claiming for a replacement truck while it was off the road plus salvage of the truck, trailer, spoilage etc. depending on circumstances obviously. Cant expect them to be out of pocket because of the OPs terrible driving.

    •  

      Taking a guess: Front bumper - Replace. Front nose panel - repair or replace. Light cluster - Replace. Door (possibly) - repair or replace. Fuel tank (possibly) - repair or replace. Tyres, possibly replace two. So before you even get to whatever it was towing you're already looking at multiple thousands of dollars in repairs.

      For comparison, I scratched a two panels and a mirror on a 5 year old Golf a few years ago and it was a $1000 repair bill. Now think about the damage that might be done by a car scraping along the side of half million dollar truck.

  • +46 votes

    You are unequivocally at fault.

    You will be paying the $42,000 in full.

      • +28 votes

        There's no law that states you need to lower your speed when it's raining.

        You're at fault. If I was you I would request copies of quotes and have these reviewed by someone e.g. private insurance assessor & see where you can negotiate it down?

        Do you own any assets like a house? If not, you can always declare bankruptcy

        •  

          Yes, I have recently settled on a land, but only paying interest as of now. I haven't started paying off loan as yet.

          • +107 votes

            @ausmansan: Negligent is moving into the right lane, when you're stationary, into the path of a vehicle doing 100kph.

            Negligent is when you do this for no reason, as the lane you're already in is perfectly clear.

            Negligent is when you have no idea of your surroundings.

            • +10 votes

              @Spackbace: Negligent is when you don’t have 3rd party insurance. The financial repercussions can be devastating, not to just the driver at fault, but also to the other driver if they don’t have comprehensive insurance.

              Why 3rd party insurance isn’t compulsory when registering a vehicle - primarily to protect the not at fault driver - has always bewildered me. Particularly when it’s not that costly compared to comprehensive insurance.

              What are the arguments against compulsory 3rd party insurance?

              • +4 votes

                @Ozpit: Making a product mandatory will result in prices being jacked up.

                An insurance company has a marketing department to do 2 things, 1) Convince the potential customer that they need insurance and 2) Convince the potential customer their insurance is better than what other insurance companies provide.

                If you make it mandatory, insurance companies can simply fire their marketing departments as they no longer need to convince you, as the Government will force that position for them.

                There is also the position of, 'there is no such thing as an idea so good it must be mandatory'.

                •  

                  @richo262: You'll still need the marketing team to convince buyers that their product is the best and to create awareness etc

                • +3 votes

                  @richo262: Agreed with caveat.

                  People should be free to drive uninsured but they should never be given leniency or financial relief from the consequences.

                  Since driving isn't strictly "essential" making insurance mandatory is technically still discretionary. People can choose not to drive.

                  The argument for making it mandatory can be summarised as such - because the act of driving caries risks and those risks can be significant, and affect others, the rules of minimal government does not fully apply. Think vaccinations.

                  • -1 vote

                    @tshow: How do you feel about Government bailing out Mascot Apartments residents to the tune of about $3million

                    •  

                      @Vote for Pedro: $3million divided amongst residents for the purpose of temporary accommodation.

                      I feel that should be clarified.

                      I'm not familiar with the case so have no opinion either way.

                      Typically, I am against a bailout but there are always nuances. The emergency fund for example, if it is a fund collected from residents of high rise dwellings, then drawing from that fund isn't really an issue. If the fund is taken from the state budget, ie. something else like my street isn't getting resurfaced, then there has to be more justification.

                      Too many nuances to a case I am not invested/informed in.

                      •  

                        @tshow: Yeah, this is coming from the state’s budget. If it was from the residents fund, then that’s their prerogative how to spend it.

                        Edit: Just heard on wireless radio it will be in the form of an interest free loan. Still not totally sure about it, but it’s better than a complete $3million hit to the budget.

                    •  

                      @Vote for Pedro: Government should be billing the construction company and owners, or owner/building insurance should be copping it.

                      That one's totally not fair on taxpayers.

                •  

                  @richo262: Third party person insurance is compulsory, it should be run on those guidelines. There are a lot of good ideas that are mandatory. The third party property would save a lot of problems for a number of innocent people. Not sure why you think this would cause an increase in pricing, in fact it will decrease because it will be spread across more people.

                  • -1 vote

                    @try2bhelpful:

                    The third party property would save a lot of problems for a number of innocent people

                    If you really cared about being compensated for the damage to your vehicle, then get comprehensive insurance.

                    Ergo, by trying to mandate TPP insurance, you're pushing your responsibility to get comprehensive insurance on to someone else.

                    If you buy comprehensive insurance you don't give a crap if someone else has TPP or not.

                  • +1 vote

                    @try2bhelpful: I'd have to side with richo262 there.

                    Third party person consists of medical bills which, in laymans terms, are regulated to an extent and controlled by the health care system. No such systems in place, nor easily implemented, for third party property which could consist of vehicles, fences, houses, bridges, you name it. Would require a huge amount of regulation.

                    in fact it will decrease because it will be spread across more people.

                    Not true. Richo262 is correct.

                    Canada is a classic example here. Some states have privatised auto insurance. Some states have a public system. On average the public system costs 50-75% more than the privatised states.

                    Happy to hear any facts otherwise.

        •  

          agreed. Morally, trucks driver should be cautious in west conditions. But it does not break the rules if they do not slow down.

          Besides, op obviously is an amateur driver because this kind of accidents are absolute avoidable.

      • +30 votes

        Wet or dry, that truck couldn't have stopped in time. Not sure if the average SUV could stop in the dry.

        You pulled out quite literally in front of the truck. It's almost suicidal.

        … and you should be so grateful that it was a truck and not a motorcycle. If you didn't see a truck, you wouldn't have seen a motorcycle, and you'd likely be going to court for manslaughter.

        There would be a chorus of slapping sounds when your evidence video is played as many a palm would be coming in firm contact with the respective faces attached to the aforementioned palms.

        • +1 vote

          Even if the truck was traveling at a lower speed commensurate with the wet conditions on the freeway, it could not have stopped in time.

          The best you can do is get legal advice and work on reducing the $42k claim.

        • +1 vote

          If you didn't see a truck, you wouldn't have seen a motorcycle

          Not a motorcyclist I know that would have blasted past those cars on the side of the road like that truck did without at least slowing down.

  • +19 votes

    Yeh you're at fault. Very dangerous to just change lanes (especially when you didn't even need to) and travel at such slow speed in free traffic, even if not on a freeway/highway.

      • +12 votes

        Pretty sure you're still at fault. You changed lanes when it wasn't safe, you're supposed to give way to cars on the lane you want to change to.
        In addition, at the speed you were going when changing lanes, even if the truck wasn't speeding, he would have to brake for you, which they shouldn't have to do.

      • +4 votes

        The big question is if he wasn't speeding and you pulled out in front of him like that, would he have been able to avoid the accident?

        The answer is a big fat no.

        At best, even if the answer was yes, he'd only be found partially at fault as you were the driver changing lanes. Remember, this is BEST CASE SCENARIO, you'd still be up for most of the cost.

        Given that there is absolutely no truck is stopping in that distance even at 80kmph, you can't even try to use that defence.

        I hope you saved $42000 from not having insurance.

        Might be a good idea to spend a few hundred on a good lawyer and see if they can come up with something. Might be a case of throwing good money after bad though.

  • +3 votes

    Why did you change lane, OP? Not that it matters, you're at fault :(

  • +43 votes

    I want to know if I am at fault?

    LOL, we've struck gold again in the ozbargain forum. I can't believe that a) someone would even doubt that they are at fault in this case and b) actually ask others for their opinion. Nice effort at posting all the evidence, maybe put as much effort into driving next time.

    •  

      It's again one of those ones that makes you wonder if it's even real.. but I've gotta say the level of detail must make it one of the best troll posts.. so I'll enjoy it anyway

  • +8 votes

    Looks like you changed lanes while it was not safe to do so. Truck driver was driving safely and in a straight line.
    100% your fault.

  • +2 votes

    You look to be at fault.

    Legal Aid QLD has a page with some info, and scroll further down, suggestions on how to get free advice if you can't afford to pay for a lawyer.

    http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Find-legal-information/Cars-a...

    • +1 vote

      Although it sounds like it is NSW jurisdiction so not sure QLD Legal Aid will give advice. Usually you have to travel to a NSW office, or he could try LawAccess NSW to get over the phone free advice.

  • +23 votes

    OP…You'll be fine. All those insurance premiums you saved by self insuring would cover most of the $42k.

      • +129 votes

        Best $40 you ever saved!

      • +1 vote

        How do you just forget to renew!

        Big lesson in insurance here.

        •  

          There is no forgot.. All he'd have needed to do is call up and say hey, my premium increased, I am going elsewhere and they would have tried to do something to reduce the premium to keep him. He could have also used even the most obnoxious online brokerage to find another insurer to offer a lower rate, but he didn't do so.

          •  

            @ankor: Not necessarily. I called once because the renewal premium is like $100 more than an online re-quote. They just told me to buy the re-quote.

      • +20 votes

        Not bad luck.

        The decision to cancel your insurance was your executive decision. Your policy wasn't canceled by glitch in the system where you were unlucky enough to be affected.

        You chose to be uninsured. If you blame this on luck, you learn nothing. That's an even bigger tragedy than the accident itself.

        • +1 vote

          And better yet… the statement you posted here means you can't claim ignorance either.

      • +1 vote

        LOL

      • +1 vote

        …and now its increasing by $42k lol

      • +1 vote

        Mate, I just voted + for this message because you have made me laugh. It is hilarious indeed. As a true OZB I would shop around first before I have cancelled the old one. You have had not just driven it to the shopping next door, but you took it for a long distance highway trip with no insurance in bad weather condition, driving reckless/ selfish thinking of yourself only and you have got yourself in trouble losing your car and plus $42000 bill… wait for it: to save $40 dollars? Hillarious story big + for this last message and thanks for the lesson learned in capitals DO NOT DO THAT!. In Germany in the last lane drivers do 140-180+ km/h because they hope there are no insane drivers to pull to that lane at such slow speed. Fatal for everyone on the road including the cars behind. One day someone should make a TV episode based on your story. Thank you OZB community.

  • -1 vote

    If you want to fight it go see a lawyer who deals with this stuff.

    They will probably come up with some sort of defense - truck driver going too quick near an accident in the rain and that you were indicating for a good 5+ seconds so he should have slowed down / anticipated what was going to happen to lessen the damage.

    But i would guess it will still be found to be 75% + your fault

    IMO best option would be to find a lawyer to write you a letter about truck drivers Contributory negligence and try to get the 42k lowered to something like 30k

    • +8 votes

      Uhh… If any lawyer can get away with any of those suggestions, please forward me his/her calling card.

      Seriously. I want that guy on my team for anything.

      • -6 votes

        post me your number.. will send him/her to you.. be careful with their skills though..

      •  

        That lawyer should win the nobel prize for physics

        • +1 vote

          The lawyer should win the nobel prize for medicine too.

          Give the lawyer a Pulitzer as well.

          The level of understanding of physics and the poetic ability to compel a lesser verdict has certainly cured the cancer that is my skepticism.

      • +2 votes

        Insurance lawyers are doing this every day

    • +2 votes

      But i would guess it will still be found to be 75% + your fault

      "Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything Kent. 40% of all people know that!"

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