Other Party Insurance Says It Is My Fault, I Do Not Think It Is. Please Advise

Edit 3: Thank you guys. The other party's insurance resolved the case in my favour. I had asked for a review of their original decision. I got a call today morning. Thanks heaps

I was recently involved in a car accident. I have a 3rd party insurance.

I do no believe it is my fault, and hence my insurance company told me to deal directly with other driver's insurance company. I submitted my version and diagram letter and the dashcam footage.

My version:

  1. I was turning right on green arrow from Great Western Highway into Cumberland Highway.
  2. Other vehicle was travelling on Great Western Highway in opposite direction to me. It was intending to turn left into Cumberland Highway.
  3. Other vehicle had to obey the traffic sign "Turn Left at any time with care" and had to give way.
  4. I had the right of the way into Cumberland Highway. However, the other vehicle did not stop and crashed into my car.
  5. The front right side of the other vehicle crashed into the front left side of my car.

https://imgur.com/a/Ui0OqQk
I am Car A in above diagram.

Now the other party's insurance has come back to me and tells me that they think I am at fault - when I do not think I am.

This is my first rodeo and I do not know what to do. My question to you fine gentlemen and ladies is:
1) Do you think I am at fault
2) How do I approach this? Do I stand firm with other party's insurance that I do not agree. Will I need to file a claim through the court (if you agree with my view that I am not at fault).

PS: I have the video footage, not sure if I can share the youtube link here, given it is an ongoing matter.

Edit: The video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSjTJfxkmas

Edit 2: Thank you all for your helpful comments and suggestions, specially on how to deal with this situation. I will have a chat with other party's insurance and see if we can resolve it amicably. If not, I will take up the escalation mechanism suggested by many of you, including either going to AFCa or going to the court of law.

Comments

  • +98 votes

    You're not at fault, assuming you weren't speeding etc.
    Send them everything. Dashcam footage, diagram, picture of the signage from Google Maps.

    If they don't agree, yes you need to go to court.

    This is why you get comprehensive insurance ;) But we do love a good 3rd party insured accident post, I wondered how much longer it would take!

    • +25 votes

      Kinda surprised that OP's Insurance company is not handling this…
      And fighting for it, cause they're the ones that will pay if he is at fault (assuming OP is claiming)?

      Seems pretty open and shut to me, suspect OP hasn't claimed and Insurance Company B is trying to get away with it.

      Is there any reason not to claim OP?

    • +7 votes

      I know that intersection well as it's part of my regular commute and have had several close calls there myself as cars making that left only look to their right for cross traffic and don't take into account turning traffic from ahead. Agree OP is not at fault. Get a solicitor that specializes in traffic cases OP.

      • -9 votes

        assuming the other driver pulled out as he was coming there then yeah not his fault. Where it gets messy and potentially changes is if the other driver was already out and in the lane and he simply failed to slow or was going too fast. be good to see dashcam footage.

    • +3 votes

      I drive down a main road quiet often and am in exactly the same situation as OP, people always give way to me, as there is a give way sign and I always assume i am 100% right, I would also think the OP is not as fault, especially if the other car hit OP. Means OP was already on the main road and joining traffic through a give way sign must stop

    • -10 votes

      From the diagram I initially thought OP was the innocent party but once reviewing a google earth satellite map of the intersection and the dashcam footage, OP has possibly contributed to the fault as well. It's rarer, but liability can be shared between more than one party - it does not have to be one or the other at law.

      If still the same when this was taken, from Jersey Rd / Cumberland Highway, you can turn right from the two right-most lanes. OP was in the furthest right lane. There are three lanes on the Great Western Highway. OP has strafed across not just the most right lane of the Great Western Highway (that OP ideally should have turned into), but the second lane as well, and then even gone so far as to collide with Car B whilst appearing to have veered over the line into the third lane - this is visible at 00:36 seconds into the video - see https://youtu.be/zSjTJfxkmas?t=36

      It's a bit messy and arguably could have contributed to the accident (and risks an apportionment of liability accordingly). OP should have picked a lane, ideally the right hand one, and centered the car in it without crossing into another lane. If OP had done so, there should have been enough room for Car B to turn out into the left lane without a collision.

      However, judging by the angle of Car B's car, it is possible Car B would also have gone over the line into the centre lane and didn't turn 'with care', therefore Car B also arguably has some fault.

      Sorry OP, but i don't think you can just strafe across the line into the third lane like that.

      PS - Was the accident reported to the police and if so, what did their report say?

      • +6 votes

        firstly, give way means give way regardless, OP is not in the fault as the other person should have waited anyway
        secondly, how do you know you can turn right from the second most right lane

        • +3 votes

          On checking google, no it appears you can't turn right from both lanes in OP's situation - I was incorrect as I had assumed OP's map that north was up, but on checking the labels it isn't, so I had envisaged OP turning the other direction.

          However, you have assumed OP is not at any fault because Car B did something wrong. This is not necessarily the case. Just because Car B has done something wrong doesn't mean Car A gets off scot-free:

          Sometimes there may be more than one driver at fault. If the matter goes to court, depending on the evidence, a magistrate may decide that both drivers caused the accident and they will share the costs of the damage. This is called 'contributory negligence'.
          Source: https://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/Pages/representing/lawassis...

          Regardless, I do think Car B has fault. Arguably most of the fault given their lack of care turning out. However when I did my driving test, my instructor said you can pick any lane turning right at signals, but you can't veer over the lines of two lanes, you have to go into one and once you've done that indicate properly to change lanes if you need to - that's what still concerns me about possible contributory liability.

          Presuming OP wasn't going to the park immediately on the left, there was no reason to use so much of the road to turn the corner, and whilst I would have given way if I was Car B, I would have been frustrated that drivers turning right into a three lane road weren't turning into the first two lanes to allow traffic turning left out to continue flowing too. However I'm not saying it isn't allowed to turn into the left lane, as there is no dotted line marking leading to a specific lane, but you should turn directly into one lane only from the intersection so it is clear which lane is being chosen - otherwise, someone may argue you have changed lanes without indicating.

          • +2 votes

            @MrFrugalSmith: What a load of drivel. The op hadnt finished the turn so half your thought bubble is irrelevant (most of your post is irrelevant but i was being kind). Op has 0 blame and i cant believe people are attempting to defend the other party.

            • -1 vote

              @Piranha2004: A reputable regulated/licensed insurance company has looked at this and determined OP to have some fault - there must be a reason for this as they wouldn't waste everyone's time without at least some basis; I bounced the thread off a friend who's got experience and qualifications in road design/safety before commenting and without knowing my answer, they looked at the dashcam footage and came to EXACTLY the same response as me regarding crossing lanes and shared liability.

              I provided a relevant piece of information - that is liability may be shared. It is quite possible a court will just order each party to pay their own car's damage - the law is rarely as black and white as people think. As I stated, yes Car B has fault for failing to give way, however it is not a foregone conclusion that OP is without some fault too. I wish OP all the best as OP certainly has a case to argue Car B has the lion's share of liability - However it is relevant that OP knows and weighs up all possibilities of risks and outcomes before trying to undertake some kind of further action.

              It could potentially be argued by the insurer that the OP had ample opportunity to straighten up directly into one lane without driving diagonally over linemarked lane separator lines, appeared as though they chose lane 2 but then proceeded to veer further encroaching over the line into the left lane, and was also looking straight at Car B and failed to make corrective action - not exactly tidy driving… it gives Car B's insurer something to argue about and that's all they need to mount a defence / refuse to pay.

              Quick dispute resolution (by a negotiation with a neutral mediator/arbitrator) is how most legal disputes of low value like this are resolved (this is very low $s in law court terms), because lawyers cost $300+ per hour, court appearances cost more per hour again - it costs many thousands for disputing parties to take an actions against each other. Chances are at dispute resolution a mediator will try get each party to just pay their own costs quickly (in the first hour), so everyone can go home and stop wasting billable hours over small dollars. I've been off to court, and mediation - There is no way this low level of damages is worth going to a full Court action - there's a reality regarding hefty costs of legal action that make it a diminishing return. Sometimes it really just doesn't matter who is most at fault etc - all you need is an argument on both sides then avoiding the costs of legal action is the main leverage - parties just need to sort out some sort of compromise and pay a bit each. That's the reality of how it works I'm afraid.

              • +3 votes

                @MrFrugalSmith:

                A reputable regulated/licensed insurance company has looked at this and determined OP to have some fault
                there must be a reason for this as they wouldn't waste everyone's time without at least some basis

                When I was literally rammed from the left by a ute entering a round about - a pretty open and shut case - an opposing insurer sent me the same letter.

                They're not a judge, they have a financial interest in not paying. They benefit if they pressure the innocent party to cave into threats.

                •  

                  @RJK: They were probably told a lie by their insured driver.

                  You can and always should dispute things with banks, insurers, or anyone else if a decent sum of money is involved and you think it is wrong.

          • +3 votes

            @MrFrugalSmith: you are at fault if you cause a crash.
            OP did not cause the crash by changing lanes. The other driver did.
            End of story.

            •  

              @daaaaas: if only legal disputes were so simple in real life

            •  

              @daaaaas: Exactly. Trying to attribute any blame on the OP is just stupidity. It doesnt matter one iota if someone has toad safety and design credentials.

              •  

                @Piranha2004: Its not stupidity if you are Car B's insurer - it gets them out of paying for the damage… welcome to the reality of insurance claims and the law. If Car B / their insurer has one little issue to point even 5% of blame, they can make a stand off that results in legal action, which costs someone like OP too much money, which means the parties go to dispute resolution to negotiate some sort of settlement which reduces their damages.

                PS The same qualifications are those held by people who make the road rules and interpret them as expert witnesses in a court of law - its 100% relevant, that's why I asked them.

      • +7 votes

        Sorry OP, but i don't think you can just strafe across the line into the third lane like that.

        I think you can. If you come from single lane to multilane, you can pick any lane you want. The rule of not changing lanes applies only to multilane to multilane turns. For a right turn, this would be right lane goes to right lane, 2nd most right lane goes to 2nd most right lane, etc. The least most right lane can pick any lane not already taken. (Unless there are specific lane markings.)

        • +3 votes

          You are correct. Turning right with a single lane you can turn into any lane you see fit

        •  

          You have missed my point. Yes you can pick any lane as I already stated (unless it has those dotted line markings that guide you to a specific lane which this doesn't). However, you cannot strafe across multiple lanes once you have passed into the linemarked area. You are required to turn DIRECTLY into one lane. OP crosses over the lane linemarkings diagonally.

          • +1 vote

            @MrFrugalSmith: They hadnt finished turning. How do you know which lane they were going into?

            •  

              @Piranha2004: because they were already in centre lane, but the point of impact was when the left side of the car went over the line into the left lane… that's the point, OP had entered a lane (centre) but the point of impact was left - it's quite possible to take a wider angle then turn into a single lane - look at the diagrams on how to drive here, the car goes forward a lot further then turns sharper to arrive in one lane only… not take a wide sweep running the wheels via the centre lane to get to the furthest lane - https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/images/roads/safety-rules/roadrul...

              Again I agree Car B has some/most of the fault. That won't stop them trying to use a rule like "Giving way when moving from one marked lane or line of traffic to another marked lane or line of traffic" against OP - which states "A driver who is moving from one marked lane (whether or not the lane is ending) to another marked lane must give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving."

              •  

                @MrFrugalSmith: They hadnt finished making the turn so you cant assume it was fully in the centre lane. At no point did the op move the car left (it was still completing the turn). Based on the collision angle the other wasnt even turning into the far left lane anyway so all your ramblings are irrelevant.

                • +1 vote

                  @Piranha2004: Ok I agree - you've convinced me. If I were the judge, having reviewed all this, I'd rule in favour the OP.

                  Doesn't mean everything I've said is irrelevant. There's a reality regarding mounting legal action, it's expensive and people on each side have different points of view they hold strongly. Unless it was a very definite and clear frivolous or vexatious claim, it usually costs both sides something even if one side wins. Usually there's a dispute resolution process first, where each party agrees to concede something to resolve without wasting court / legal representation time. There's a game lawyers play about making offers to settle for a reduced sum at different stages through the process - the court does not like it when a party rejects a reasonable offer from the other side - it effects what costs orders you may get. My main point I'm trying to make if there is ANYTHING that a party may honestly argue as a defense (so as to not make it frivolous), there is a risk the insurer won't roll over and pay, it won't get resolved immediately and it will end up costing time and money to resolve (I'm already right on this because it was timestamped August last year and they still haven't paid up). Even if a costs order is awarded, it may not cover all costs and certainly not OP's time - particularly if self-represented. The courts and mediators push heavily for the parties to reach a compromise. Mediation is an amazing thing - Mediators are very well trained at getting parties to discuss in front of each other and agree to a compromise. Reject all that, want your day in court, waste legal time & $s, and it risks costs mounting. OP needs to know how to play that game to maximise returns for cost/effort.

    • -17 votes

      OP is at fault
      https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/int...

      Left turns can be made into any lane. Right turns have to maintain the same lane. Read the manual. See the diagram. It's clear. It's the law.

  • +16 votes

    Car B at fault.

    (I don't even know which car you are. This is a simple case based on the diagram provided.)

    • +3 votes

      I am Car A

      • +9 votes

        You're going to have to chase the other party for payment. The upside is, the other party has probably lodged a claim so they are not in a position to deny involvement.

        (Just read your post. If the other party's insurance is disputing the obvious ruling, you need to be assertive. You need to know your avenue to have legal representation and pass the cost of said representation to the other party's insurer. Refute their claim and provide them a letter of demand for damages. If they continue to dispute it any further, do not have further back and forth, seek legal rep.)

      • +7 votes

        Hey OP, you are definitely not in the wrong at all. Do you mind naming and shaming the other insurance company trying to pin this on you? Just so I know who to avoid being insured with next time, since all they care about is their own profit and are willing to bully the weak, who they think will not stand up for themselves. Hate those kind of morons and companies.

      • -7 votes

        ARE you using a bs VPN just for this account?

      •  

        Send video it wil lol be enough ask his insurance no and claim reference no. They will fix all.

      • -1 vote

        Go consumer affair. You got more then enough to prove you are right.

      • -17 votes

        Unfortunately you are at fault. Car B can legally turn into any lane. You must turn right into the right lane https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/int...

        Left turns can be made into any lane. Right turns have to maintain the same lane. Read the manual. See the diagram. It's clear. It's the law.

        Expecting you to turn into the correct lane Car B made a left turn with care. You broke the law causing the collision. This is why they are rejecting your claim.

      •  

        Car B had a "Turn left at any time with care" sign, there were dashed lines indicating car B had to give way to anyone on Cumberland Highway.

        You had a Green Arrow, you've turned into any lane as allowed (due to there being no dashed lane lines across the intersection).

        Single turning lane and the diagram posted (https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/images/roads/safety-rules/roadrul...) with the above info should clearly show your insurer that Car B was driving with undue care, and failed to give way.

        Good luck with your insurer, should be clear cut. Other driver failed to give way, they were driving with undue care.

        Would a police report with a copy of the dash footage, diagram of the intersection (and the image from my google maps view below) help?

  • +19 votes

    If you had a green arrow and have footage to prove it, you are not at fault and the other insurance company is bluffing.

    This the reason you should always have full insurance, regardless of the value of your car. It is cheaper than hiring a lawyer.

    • +2 votes

      What if my car is cheaper than the premium x3?

      • -5 votes

        The difference between comprehensive and third party would be minimal for cheaper cars as they will only pay out market value.

        • +8 votes

          That is false. I just insured my bomb second car yesterday and after much research the premiums between third party and comprehensive was at least 40% so it was at least $200+ per year in premiums for the cheapest I could find. The market value payout on this car is $1000-$4000 max (and this car has damage from a previous owner so no way I'll get anywhere near upper range) so third party it is.

    •  

      Agree that full insurance makes life easier, but disagree that it is cheaper than hiring a lawyer. Not unreasonable that if you're not at fault for the at fault party to pay for damages and legal fees, since you shouldn't have to pay said legal fees if they just paid what they should have in the first place.

      Having said that, who's going to want to gouge you more - the other party's insurer who will want to absolutely minimise how much they pay, or your insurer, who will also want to minimise what they pay but also not piss you (their customer) off with a shitty job (which the former insurer won't give a shit about apart from potential reworks).

      •  

        Not unreasonable that if you're not at fault for the at fault party to pay for damages and legal fees

        doesn't always happen though… often judgment is a percentage and you have to pay your own legal fees.

  • +96 votes

    Wow that is an amazing diagram. Please submit a poor quality paint one.

    Car B is at fault. Seems pretty straightforward.

    Your insurance company needs to step up their game. Have you sent the footage to the other insurer?

    Best of luck OP.

    •  

      Your insurance company needs to step up their game.

      Third party only.

      • +3 votes

        Ahh, I've only had comprehensive. Pretty annoying if they don't help out.

        Edit: they should help out right? Otherwise they'd be on the hook for repairs.

        •  

          Otherwise they'd be on the hook for repairs.

          Nope. They can simply say they are not disbursing because client not at fault. That doesn't imply that the other party is at fault.

      •  

        wait so your insurance company won't help you if you only have third party?

      • +2 votes

        That doesn't sound right. "The other party was at fault but their insurance company is blaming me" - say that to your 3rd party insurance and they'll do their best to not have to pay.

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