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QLD Uninsured trailer & track bike written off

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by lachlanmann, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Thank you for reading my post.

    To provide some context, I was on my way to Morgan Park last Wednesday with my bike, trailer and car, when a Chemtrans truck sped through a red light and destroyed my bike and trailer, and also hit my car.The trailer had a prop bar sheared off, and looks more like a rhombus than a square. The bike was catapulted 13m through the air, and landed on it's tank & subframe. The frame is bent at a right angle, and the bike is a complete right off.

    The intersection it happened at (Calliope Crossroads) is infamous for trucks blowing through red lights early in the morning, and i've seen many many trucks go through there on a red light.

    While my car was insured, my bike and trailer were not. I bought the trailer for $2000, and assembled it myself with the help of some mates. The bike is/was an 03 ZX6r, which i bought for $3000. However, i've bought many bits and pieces to get it in a workable state, and have also invested a fair amount of time into getting it ready. Given the time it took to build both the bike and the trailer, i'd value the trailer at ~$2500, and the bike at $5000 - $6000. Not that i'm a mechanic, but I would estimate there is at least $1000 in damages to the panel of the car. I have receipts for the bike parts I bought, but not for the time invested - as I didn't charge myself for doing the maintenance.

    I contacted Chemtrans at the time of the accident, and they were less than helpful. As you'd expect, they have completely denied any fault, and claim I had run the red light. While I don't yet have footage (have asked RTI for the footage from the camera on that intersection) I know I was in the right. I had to get a detective to call them before they would call me back about the accident.The driver didn't leave any information at the accident scene, so I don't have much to go on at all.

    I was told their Insurance Company would call me on Monday to discuss the accident further, and a company representative would call me back. However, this hasn't yet happened (Monday was 2 days ago). I have been researching my legal options, and have been thinking about writing a letter of demand to them. However, I have the following questions in regards to that. They are:

    1) I do not have receipts for the time spent assembling the trailer, or performing maintenance on the bike. Am I able to claim the time I spent in the letter of demand
    2) If I issue a letter of demand, will the insurance company deal with it, or will Chemtrans deal with it? I'd like to remove the wheel chock off the trailer (the only working thing left), and am afraid if I do so the an Insurer will believe I tampered with the bike
    3) I have not slept properly since the accident. Can I claim this on damages?
    4) Do I have right to access the trucks dash cam & GPS data, given it's my property (don't think so, but would check)
    5) Is it likelier the company will pay me to go away (accept the letter of demand), or take it all the way through court? I would prefer to settle it outside of court, as the only people who win when you go to court are the lawyers. Just wanting to know in case I have to start researching decent lawyers for the case.

    Sorry about the long post, need to get it out of my head and off my shoulders.
    Thanks for your help,

  2. that's an offence in itself, so I'd be using the police report to demand payment from their insurer.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Sorry to hear mate. I would think (and I'm not a lawyer) the company won't do a damn thing for you until forced to, or at least until it seems obvious to them it will cost more to defend than to settle. You may therefore find it useful to get some professional legal advice on this one. Probably worth spending a small amount to outline your position and see what the lawyers think. Or access any free legal aid service you can and do the same.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I would ask your insurer how they are going to get the repairs to your car paid for and see if they'll assist in forwarding the valuation of the other items to the at fault party -- you don't get if you don't ask!
  5. It's an offence, I believe, to not exchange details. I'm assuming that the truck did stop?
    I hope you took pics.
  6. Where's Justus????? LOL
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sorry to hear, Im with chillibuttonchillibutton they wont do anything until forced, so Id be going back to cops mention the driver refused details bit to see if they care?
    Then invest a bit with a lawyer so you can get full amount back from they a/holes
    Good Luck
  8. I seriously doubt that you will get any money for your time. The purpose of the court is to try to make somebody 'whole' financially. As the work that you've done can't be quantified or proven I doubt you'd be awarded it in court.

    Another thing is that the replacement value of your items may be less now as the second hand bike market is constantly depreciating.

    Having said that though, if you are able to put the company on the back foot and in a position where they would rather settle than go to court there is every chance that they will pay a negotiated amount. Whether this makes up for your time spent comes down to how well you negotiate.
  9. #9 lachlanmann, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2016
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for your replies. The driver did stop, but didn't give me any information about himself. The only reason I got his name was because I coerced it out of him of him just before he drove off. I had given him all of my details, including my insurer, yet he wouldn't do the same. Thank fully, I have a photo of him in front of his truck, with the cab?? ( the actual truck thing) and the trailer, and photos of the number plates. The cab had a 'Chemtrans' logo on it, which is the only way I knew who to start chasing. I reported the matter to the local police station, who told me to call PoliceLink... who told me to talk to the local police... who told me to talk to the Policelink. After about an hour of that, I eventually got a detective. Got the local detective to call the organisation, who called me back about half an hour later. Mind you, the call came at about 2:30pm, and the accident was at 5:30pm. I was told they would get in contact with me on Monday, which they haven't done. I still don't know who there insurer is, or any information about the driver - only his first name.

    I have just been on the phone with the police (another hour of the flip flopping from local to policelink) and a Constable has finally agreed that I need to report it as a hit and run. I guess once it's a report the police can sort it out. Will I be doing damage to the case if I get a lawyer while a police investigation is on-going?

    You're right - the company won't do anything unless they are forced to. I did have a hope they would review the footage from the dash cam (they have them, I did ask the lady working for them) find they were in the wrong, and own up. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work like that.

    I will be getting myself a dash cam ASAP. It would be worth it's weight in gold right now if I had one.

    Thank you again for your advice. Might start shopping for a lawyer..

    Thanks for your reply,

    Is there any reason I couldn't just claim $6000 as the cost of bike? It's not exactly the largest amount of money in the world, and the organisation in question is huge.. Is anybody going to question the cost?
    Worst bit about it is I only bought the bike 3 months ago - the trailer less than that. They're both new to me, and this was going to be their first outing. Didn't even get a chance to ride the thing over 60km/h.

    P.S Bikes don't fly well.

  10. #10 A boy named Sue, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2016
    Their employees might just be slacking off on internet forums. Ring them back and make it in their personal interest to get it sorted --- ie they won't have to deal with you phoning every day.

    If that is the replacement cost or market value and you only refer to it as 'replacement cost' I can't see any problem. Find some bike sales examples and print them to PDF to support your claim.
  11. #11 GeorgeO, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2016
    If your car is ensured and damaged start by contacting your insurer. They will get a better response than you can. Maybe just add your other damage to total claim since you are not at fault.

    Best person to give advise on this is JustusJustus -
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. IMO the most important thing right now is to make sure the police follow up and then get a copy of their report. The police will not 'sort it out' for you - although they may charge the driver - but once they have investigated and determined the events, you've got third party evidence that you can use in further action against the culprit.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. #13 Vertical C, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2016
    Trailers are often covered by your car insurance when attached to said car. Read your PDS.

    The contents of your trailer might not be. Read your PDS

    Does it get frustrating when you are continually wrong?
  14. This This & This make sure the cops follow up on the hit and run aspect
  15. Your insurance company should be handling all of this.

    It is possible that Chemtrans is self-insured. Many large companies are.

    Search prices for similar trailers and bikes to yours so you have a reasonable market value. There will be a reasonable range of bikes of that age and model. It may not be what you think it is worth but it is really the best you should expect unless this was an expensive show bike.

    Is there a commercially available trailer that is similar size and functionality to yours? That is the price you should be looking at minus depreciation.

    Damage to your car is between your insurance company and the repair shop to determine. I'm assuming you have comprehensive insurance.

    If the trucking company are arseholes (and they probably are) they will drag things out until you are worn down. If your insurance company is any good, they will handle it all for you.

    The truck driver probably won't have had any details of the company's insurance provider (if they have one and not just their own claims section). He should have shown you his license and, if possible, I would have photographed the front and back.

    Were there any witnesses? Did you get their details. That will make a huge difference.
  16. Was about to post this. As an example AAMI cover your trailer up to $1000. Not a lot but maybe your insurer offers more.
  17. Of course, that's if you fcuk up. If someone else plows into your trailer then you (or your insurance company) should be pursuing the full amount of the damages.
  18. No company will admit liability to your face. It's stock standard to do this. No company will do anything about anything until you have put it in writing. They think you'll go away and will wait until they have hard copy in hand.
    You need copies of - Letter of demand (should be pro forma on .www somewhere), quotes for replacement bike and trailer or repair of same. Two or three of each to cover your bases. All receipts of anything added to your bike (I still don't think your lab our will be recompensed, but slip in a figure anyway). Witness statements or phone numbers if none were written, police report, and photos. Don't do anything to the bike or trailer as their insurance company may send out an assessor.
    Give them 14 days to respond to your letter of demand, then follow up with a letter stating legal action will be taken in 14 days if no response to demands. As I recall, solicitors don't charge TOO much for a couple of official demand letters and it usually scares them into action, but I'm afraid you may have a month or so to wait if they are being s!@theads.
    Good luck.
  19. FWIW some lawyers will give you a first free consultation (?). You wont get much out of it, but basically advice on a plan that is most likely too succeed and what the next (paid) steps should be.
  20. 1. No one is going to pay you for time, but that is besides the fact - Make the claim if you so desire
    2. The letter of demand is to Chemtrans. The recipient would then forward the communication to their insurer
    3. Same as (1)
    4. No
    5. How long is a piece of string? Given that you are being blamed, one would assume you may instead receive a letter of demand of your own for damage caused to the truck

    The demand is made to the other party involved in the accident. OP does not know, or needs to know who the insurer is anyway.

    How his insurer is going to get the repairs paid for is not OP's concern, and damage to the trailer and motorcycle is not the insurer's concern.

    Assuming you asked the driver for his details and this was refused, why would you not then call the police instead of leaving the scene empty handed? An accident in Queensland is reportable if a driver involved in the crash for any reason fails to give their required details to others involved. The driver does not have to provide you with drivers licence, telephone number or insurance details, but the person does need to give you a name, address, vehicle details such as make, model, colour, registration number etc and agree/confirm time and place of accident.

    Link: Reg 287 Transport Operations Regulations 2009

    You can. You will need to justify any claim you make,

    No need to. An uninsured trailer is not covered by a car policy. If it were, we would not need a separate trailer insurance policy. An uninsured motorcycle being carried on a trailer is not covered either.

    No. The uninsured trailer and written off motorcycle has nothing to do with OP's insurer.