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VIC Car Accident - Other Party Denies Fault

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by HWTseng, 22 April 2015.

  1. HWTseng

    HWTseng Member

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    Hi all, first time poster, I hope this is the correct forum. Basically I was in a vehicle with my aunty as the driver. We stopped behind another vehicle that was also stationary, it was at a T junction and we believe the driver in front was waiting for the road to clear before proceeding a right turn.

    However, instead of going forward, the driver for some reason reversed and hit the front of our vehicle. Note that we were not moving when this happened and they were the ones that moved. We parked about 200 meters away from the car accident and exchanged details.

    The driver presented an indian drivers licence along with her phone number. She said she does not remember her car insurance details, but that she was with AAMI. We took photos of damages to our vehicle and theirs and went on our way. Later on she called up on my aunty's number and said that the vehicle was actually her friend's (who was with her in the car) and that it was uninsured, she would like us to file the claim with details of another vehicle that belonged to her and is insured. Not wanting to get caught up with dodgy shenanigans, we filed the claim with RACV as is.

    RACV has now reached the other party. However, she is now denying fault. So it is now kind of a 'he said, she said' situation. I was wondering what are our options from here on?
     
  2. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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  3. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    Whilst it may appear to be a "he said, she said" situation, there may be indirect evidence you can rely on:
    • Get a couple of mechanic's opinion on the damage to your car, are they able to provide evidence as to what happened (e.g. is the damage consistent with you hitting into the car or the car in front hitting into you) - look at the actual front bumper damage, wheel damage, car logs etc.
    • Is there any other witnesses to the accident? Speak with the neighbours in the area, did anyone of them witness the accident?
    • You and your aunt are also witnesses and can provide evidence
    • The other car's driver and car's owner can also provide evidence (obviously it will be inconsistent with your story) but can you attack them on credibility and consistency?
    • Get RACV to prepare a report as well
    • Did the driver have an international driver's license? Was she legally allowed to drive in Australia?
    • Did the driver tell you at the scene that she was the owner of the car? Did you speak with the claimed owner? Did her friend tell you that she actually owned the car? This is usually not a fact that people get wrong or make honest mistakes on (i.e. whether or not she owned the car) and could be used as evidence against their credibility
    Just some thoughts..
     
  4. HWTseng

    HWTseng Member

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    Hi Tracey and Cath, thanks for the replies!

    To answer some of the questions
    1. The car is already repaired, but I'll see if my aunty can ask the mechanic
    2. Unfortunately it is a heavy tourist area, we can try and return to the "crime scene" and see what happens
    3. I believe the driver had an indian licence, not sure if it is an international licence, I will check on if she is actually legally allowed to drive as well

    4.The driver did not tell me at the scene, she called us up about 15~20 minutes later, we only had the details of the driver, as assumed that she owned the vehicle, but that was not the case. She was the one that told me that she did not own the car, her friend, while present at the scene did not speak at all.
     
  5. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi HWTseng,
    Thanks for updating us and clarifying some details. If the other side really is denying responsibility and refusing to pay, you will need to chase this debt up in VCAT. Therefore, try and gather as much evidence as you can, document all correspondences between yourself and anyone else (the other side, the driver, your mechanic, insurance etc.) as al this could prove useful in the tribunal. It may come down to a case of "he says, she says" in which case, the tribunal will look at
    (i) who has more supporting evidence; and
    (ii) how reliable this evidence is; and
    (iii) how credible the witnesses (yourself, driver, owner, your aunt) is.

    If the driver does not have a proper international drivers licence and is not lawfully able to drive in Australia, then they will likely wish to stay away from the tribunal (or courts) and aim to settle.
     

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