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Car/Truck Incident - Chasing a claim

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Crispin, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Firstly, sorry to post about a car accident here but I'd really like to get the opinion of any professionals or anyone one who has had a similar problem and hopefully get some advice on how to approach this scenario. May help in future if something similar happens on the bike too.


    About 6 weeks ago I had the right hand side of my Subaru Liberty swiped by a flat bed truck at a round about. I was sitting in the far left hand lane of the intersection at Boundary Rd and Governor Rd, heading home towards Mentone. The truck was in the middle lane and pulling up beside him, I couldn't see past him and thought it best to let him take off first and go after he went through as I know better than to take on a large rigidbody truck through a round about.

    The truck takes off and while I'm stationary, his rear wheels on the left hand side impale my rear quarter panel. The truck kept going and so I followed him, took down his registration and the company the truck was driving for.

    Within 20 mins I was on the phone to the driver who apparently didn't realise he'd hit my car, and I can understand he would not have felt the impact, though his party is at fault for the damage incurred.

    I've since been in contact with the insurance broker but despite the photos of the damage to my car, a photo of the truck's wheels that show where they've scraped my vehicle (taken along side him at a set of traffic lights) and a diagram of the incident, they're dismissing my claim. Which brokers are apparently notorious for.

    About a month before the incident I took my car off comprehensive insurance and put it on 3rd party since I barely drive it once a week (the bike replaced the car for once). I couldn't justify $160 a month for a car I drive once a week.

    I would consider copping this on the chin as getting compensation is a stretch, but the one quote for repairs I got was for $4,500. Not exactly loose change, and half of the vehicle's market value.

    I'd been told to make a Police Report, but as of 18 months ago you can't make a report unless you're injured in the incident. Which leads me to believe that I can't get TAC involved either?

    What are my options?
    Can I make a claim through the truck driver's insurance company?
    Can GIO (my insurer) do anything on my behalf if I press them enough?
    Does anyone know of any solicitors that deal specifically with these incidents?

    Thank you for any advice in advance, it is deeply appreciated.

    (I will post images tonight.)

  2. I will be sure to send a letter of demand and get a second quote for damage repairs.
  3. I believe it's also the case if the damage to property exceeds $3,000 - as it does in your case.
    Edit: Not sure if this applies in Victoria though, but certainly does in other states.
  4. This is how I see it, and I'm not a lawyer by the way.
    I've never heard of not being able to report an accident unless you are injured.
    You should make a claim against the driver or his employer, depending on what info you have they in turn will deal with their insurance, make sure you have all the facts documented. Are there any witnesses to the event?
    It is unlikely that your insurance co will do anything as you are only insured for damage to others, but you can ask them.
    If you we're stationary and in your lane you should have a strong case for at least 75% of your damages. If in doubt find a local law office and ask what they charge for a consult.
    My comments are based only on my own experience, you would be well served to get qualified legal advice.
  5. I had wondered if the cops were trying to fob me off, so I went to two stations and both were adament that they couldn't do anything for me. The second copper I saw definitely wanted to be able to do more and said I would have a good shot with a solicitor given what I have.
  6. Yeah I thought it ridiculous also, but unless someone is injured, you can't make a police report in Vic, regardless of the damages.

    Yep, I'd talked to GIO twice and both times said they couldn't do anything for me.

    Unfortunately it was a busy intersection, I could have got out of my car to see if the person behind me noticed, but it meant I might have lost the truck. I regret not getting on the horn and blasting him till he pulled over, but I was in shock of it all, I'd never been hit (or hit anyone) before.

    I think if they don't respond to my letters of demand, I'll just have to get a solicitor, but who to go with is the question.

    Thanks for your post Mcsenna.
  7. They must be all too busy manning speed cameras to be bothered by petty things such as actual collisions.

    As for professional legal advice, this seems as good a place as any:
    (The link is right there on the LHS navigation menu ;)).
  8. Hope you have more detail about what happened. From the little bit of info given, you will have a hard time proving someone else is at fault, let alone the damage you are claiming....
  9. The images I uploaded are as good as it gets. The only other thing the cops said might help is if I were to talk to the trucker again and see if I could put him at the scene.

    I do actually have a photo of his truck and number plate when I tailed him down Boundary (about 200m from where the incident occured) Road that could be used to put him at the scene.

    But short of filming the accident, or having a witness, this is what I've got.
  10. I don't see why we don't have an Australian standard for Police Reports (and many other laws), surely one criteria is better than one for each state? Either way, I think even with a Police Report it'd still need to go through court.

    Thanks for the link jd, I'll look a little more into Maurice Blackburn and see if they're interested in the car incident.
  11. I don't know why they aren't investigating? After all it is a hit and run. Even if he is telling you that he wasn't aware of hitting you. He shouldn't be telling you that. He should be telling the police that. Maybe go see the second officer again and impress upon him that you didn't speak to the driver at the scene but tracked him down. However, as the officer mentioned putting the driver at the scene will be harder now if forewarned. Not the news you want. I appreciate that you may have been keen to do your bit, but as can be gleaned from this situation, should it happen to anyone else, once you have the info, don't make contact but make the report to police as it stands, a hit and run. Good luck with further proceedings.

    Did you get given a copy of this form?

  12. Perhaps because I wasn't distressed and seemed pretty complacent they didn't see fit to do everything they could or press me for more details.

    I didn't at all see that form, they both recited that I couldn't make a police report if I hadn't been injured. I did tell the second cop that he hadn't pulled over and I was on the phone to the driver within 20 minutes, but maybe if I phrased it differently the "hit and run" would have clicked.

    I have a photo that puts the truck at the scene (or within 200m of it).

    I'll take the pamphlet down and all the evidence I have again. That said, the pamphlet doesn't say anything about making anything official. Will hopefully make it down tomorrow.
  13. Sorry, should have posted this one too: http://police.vic.gov.au/retrievemedia.asp?Media_ID=69965

    It is a while since I have seen the first one. The main point of interest in the second is this paragraph:

    Traffic Accident Reports may be available if:

    •" a hit-and-run collision occurred and there is a chance of identifying the offender"

    The forms aren't the greatest for explaining what is required. They were taken from this page: http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=683

    Noting: "Please note that if no person was injured in the accident and all involved parties have exchanged name and address details, Victoria Police will not normally make a formal report of the accident."

    In your case details were not exchanged, however, the fact you were succesful in making contact makes it a grey area.

    What it all boils down to, even if you get a report from police pointing at the truck driver as being responsible, the insurance company is not bound to accept that as far as I am aware. They make their own investigation and findings. There are some members on this site who are very cluey with regards to i nurance. They could give you the best input.
  14. Yeah it would be a grey area, I think if I pressed the Police they would feel inclined to get involved but as you said, even with the report, it's possible the insurance can still dismiss it.

    I don't doubt that the driver and the insurance broker I spoke to are aware that it is a genuine claim. The broker for all I know could never have forwarded my evidence/claim to the insurance company.

    Do you think speaking with the truck driver's insurer would be helpful?
  15. I can't say. There are others on this forum who are well versed in the insurance matters. Wait for their input. I just cause claims to be raised. Either way, good luck with the outcome.
  16. I just realised, this thread may be in the wrong place to get the correct input. Consider moving it to the Law, Politics and Insurance forum. Then you may be spotted by more knowledgeable members.
  17. Well thanks very much for your input Day, it is deeply appreciated; I will continue to update the thread with my progress.

    Thanks again!
  18. I had posted it there, but I'd say it was moved.

    Edit: Must be because it is car related.
  19. Could be.

    Hope it helped in some small way.