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Insurance + civil claim - is this right? [VIC]

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by [FLUX], Feb 25, 2009.

  1. MOD: I was sorely tempted to lock this because you should KNOW by now that placing the STATE is extremely important when it comes to getting the correct legal advice.
    Call it a weakness or the fact I have Laryngitis and can't talk at all at the moment, I placed the STATE in for you.
    wisen up :p

    Got a friend who's in a spot of bother. Let me explain the situation. Raining, car in front decides at the last second that it wants to turn into some driveway, flashes the indicators and slams the brakes on. Friend hits the skids but can't stop in time on the wet road, and impacts the back of the car.

    Okay, fairly cut'n'dried case of it being my friend's fault, and this is NOT about attributing blame. Friend does not have insurance, but can we save the wailing about that too, this is not about that.

    Friend receives a letter from the car driver's insurance company, AAMI, asking for $2800 for the damages. Fair enough really.

    Here's where it gets odd. The car driver has then gotten their solicitor to draw up an additional letter of demand for $13000 for damages to the car, and sent that to my friend independently of the AAMI sourced damage amount. Is this correct? Does this person have a legal leg to stand on with respect to demanding for more damages over and above what AAMI have assessed the damages resulting from the incident to be?

    I know from a prior claim from my wife with AAMI that AAMI rarely do a new for old replacement policy, and typically will do in-house repair jobs paid for by their own people which is what keeps their premiums down, so it's got me wondering if the car driver is trying to hit my friend up for the cost of new for old part replacement 'cos they're not happy with AAMI's repair policy. Just a thought though. I don't really know what the car driver's story is, just that I didn't think it was right for the car driver to be demanding for additional damages over and above what their insurance company is claiming for.

    Thoughts? Is the car driver just trying it on for size?
  2. Mate it does sound like that to me, but TBH the only responses you're going to get here are guesses. Get your mate to contact the Law Institute of Victoria. They can refer you to a lawyer and a free 30 min consultation.


    Clairebear? Tramp?
  3. If he's gone through insurance, tell him he can f^&* that extra $13k off.

    Also, i'm not 100% sure on the details, but i'm pretty sure there's a road rule / law that your indicator must flash 3 or 5 times before commenceing the turn. Could turn the other way with this fact, if it does, sick it up him.

    Good luck.
  4. Sounds like a try-on.

    Is it just a letter demanding cash? Is there a clause stating liability for non-response or anything?

    If there isn't; I'd throw the letter in the bin and deal with the insurance company.

    Otherwise, I could be wrong in this buuut...

    I'd be writing back to the person/their-solicitor saying I am dealing with the person's "elected agent" for handling the matter of damage claims relating to a traffic incident, and are unable to deal with a 3rd party in such a matter.

    Or in other words "Nice try. You've claimed on your insurance company, they claim on me. If the damage is different somehow: you talk to them."

    Once he's made his insurance claim, he can't come after you for damage to the vehicle, can he?
    I mean - health matters, or emotional distress or other such bullshit; sure. But if AAMI are repairing his car, THEY say what the damage is worth and what they think he's liable for.
  5. I would ring the Case Rep at AAMI and ask them their opinion of what their client is doing (or try it on them anonomously).
  6. my thoughts are along this line, but I have some self doubt.
    What is insurance? A contract by an insurance company to pay for damages to a vehicle? Are they really his agent? Or do they just hold a contract together. It is after all up to them if and how they recover their money.

    So if they are not his agent, then does that mean he can't claim the money from somewhere else?

    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to have two insurance companies, but that is not the case hear.

    I'd be interested to know the actual answer to this one.

    [edit] I'd also like to know what the letter actually says. Also is that $13K or $1,300?

    He could be suing for the excess and expenses because your mate didn't have insurance and his insurance told him "tuff luck".
  7. just checked with a copper mate of mine, no exact number of counts for how long an indicator has to be on for, my bad.
  8. The letter is claiming for $13,000. Just because my friend doesn't have insurance shouldn't mean that the car driver can claim for extra, after all, that's what AAMI is there for, to repair the car to pre-crash condition and pass the expenses on.

    I'll try to find out exactly what the demand is for. My friend was relating it to me as a demand for repair expenses arising from the accident, but perhaps it's for something else. Heck, might even be the solicitor's fees for all we know.
  9. I really want to see the outcome of this one. You'd think it would have to be illegal to demand to be paid out TWICE for the same damage (but I don't know).
    If that happened to me I would (after getting advice) be paying the insurance company ASAP along with a letter stating that they accept the payment only on the understanding that this is the full and final amount to be claimed. (How does that sound Trampy? :wink: )
  10. May be for loss of income or similar. My mum had an accident with a garbage truck many years ago where the damages to the truck were first covered, then the truck company sent a civil claim for loss of income from the truck while it was off the road. This is what comprehensive insurance is for.
  11. Section 46 (2) and 48 (2) (46 is left hand turns and 48 is right hand turns) of the Australian road rules states that:

    "The driver must give the change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians."

    That was in the national legislation, with the NSW and VIC mirroring that statement.

    I wonder if there would be grounds to turn the allegation around, it would however be a hard thing to prove.

    Reference: http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/ARR_February_2009_final.pdf
  12. you beat me to it, cole.

    the problem here is i think flux's friend was in the same lane as the person who decided to brake late and turn. irrelevant of the turning, they chose to brake for whatever reason, it could have been a duck crossing the road etc.
    the car behind still failed to maintain a safe distance.

    it couldnt hurt to check it out with a lawyer, the failure to indicate adequately would play a much bigger role if the accident involved changing lanes or entering/exiting a lane.

    regarding the initial question Stew, i'd say go see a lawyer, ASAP. $13k is not a bill i'd want to be staring at :?
  13. unless the ops friend already said they were at fault
  14. +1 to the free 30 min session. I think the time that the blinker was on for would be hard to prove on either side, plus they will just turn it around and say your friend wasn't at a safe distance. I know i would.

  15. Okay, further information. Had my friend read the letter out to me over the phone. The letter from the solicitor is basically asking for the full market value of the car, plus legal costs, plus some of the car's contents (a baby capsule), or ~$13,000 in total.

    The letter from AAMI is saying that the car is repairable, and the costs are $2882.

    Sounds to me like my friend just needs to reply to the solicitor letter informing them that my friend will just be dealing with AAMI as their plaintiff's nominated insurance agent.

    Definitely sounds to me like the car driver is just trying it on for size to get a new car out of the deal.
  16. Funny, there wouldn't be any legal costs if he hadn't engaged a solicitor!

    Baby capsule was damaged too?
  17. Irrelevant.

    Whether driver signalled or not does not remove fault from rider.

    Tell your mate to send $13k from a monopoly game with a note
    asking him to kindly forward his payment in full to other party.
  18. The whole thing stinks slightly.

    Firstly a person cannot "profit" from a situation like this.
    If he / she is insured and claims, that is what they get. Period.
    The purpose of insurance is to put the person insured back to the position where they were, not to give them a windfall.
    I would write to AAMI explaining that thier client is "double dipping" and write to the solicitor explaining that the client has made an insurance claim.

    Any further problems PM me.
    I do an unofficial 30 minute type deal for NR members... :p
  19. You do have to wonder whether the driver told his solicitor he was also claiming through insurance.

    Tramps right. Fire off a letter to the solicitor at least.

    And do the free legal session.
  20. not unreasonable to claim for this - but as part of the whole deal through the insurer. Could easily be damage that is not apparant on the outside