NSW Car Park Reversing Accident - Help?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Solitaire4, 2 August 2018.

  1. Solitaire4

    Solitaire4 Member

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    Hi,

    I was hoping someone could help me with this as I can't seem to find much in the way of what the rules actually are. I have a question regarding a car park accident and car insurance. I was involved in a reversing incident which I have clear video footage of.

    What happened:

    I started to reverse out of my spot. When I was almost the whole way out, the person in the spot behind me started to reverse out too, I'm guessing not looking behind. I saw him coming in my rear vision and braked, sounded the horn and threw my car back into gear hoping to move forward back into my spot before he hit.

    Unfortunately I was a fraction too slow (I hadn't had time to straighten my wheels, hence in the split second I thought returning to parking spot would get me out of the way more quickly than straightening and driving off.) His large utility hit my left rear bumper corner, damaging it and the reversing sensors significantly. There was no damage whatsoever to his vehicle. The footage clearly shows my car stationary as the other driver continues reversing into my vehicle. The collision happens just before my car moves forward to attempt to avoid the collision.

    When I tried to find information online on who is at fault, one insurance company's advice says, "If one car had stopped reversing and was stationary at the point of impact, then the other car who continued to reverse is liable for damage to both vehicles. The problem in these types of situations is that often the parties disagree as to what the exact circumstances were". Since I had video evidence of my car being stationary I though the other driver could be proven at fault. I am aware that without evidence or witness, 2 party reversing accidents are generally deemed 50/50 accountability, each driver paying for own damage.

    Upon calling my insurer, they contradicted what I had read and told me that I'm still 50% at fault 'because my wheel weren't straightened', regardless of whether I was stationary and unless I could prove what gear my car was in. Not sure why I'm at fault when I left the spot first, stopped when I saw the other driver was beginning to reverse and tried to avoid the collision by moving forward out of the way...all the while the other driver continued backward and into my stationary (at the time of impact) vehicle. My insurance company isn't even interested in seeing the footage.

    Do all insurance companies have to follow the same 'rules'? If someone knows what the actual rule is, could they let me know? And if I am actually not at fault, how do I go about convincing my insurance company?


    Sorry that was a little long winded. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    From the initial of it, it seems your insurance company will not disagree with you for the following reasons:

    1- You are not at fault and they can claim all expenses from the other party

    2- You have the footage showing what you described. So for those reasons, I think your insurance company is correct in what they are saying. There are couple of people who post here, work(ed) for insurance companies and I'm sure they will provide their input (regardless if I'm wrong or not).

    One other way to get more feedback which I may think, is to call other insurance company and tell them your story, they may be able to give you an answer.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. Zerojay

    Zerojay Well-Known Member

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    Hi Solitaire4,

    You have not said whether or not the other driver is disputing fault.

    Insurance companies know it is very difficult to make a recovery of costs for car park, both reversing, accidents so I am not surprised that your insurer is choosing to overlook your video footage and come up with some nonsense about “straightened wheels”.

    My opinion has always been that if you have backed out first before the other car has begun to move and are no longer still reversing, then the other driver should bear most of the fault. You have seen the other car and tried to warn him of the danger of impact and had no time to do anything else. It is critical to your case that you saw him coming and he did not see you.

    Suggest that you should inform your insurer in writing that you do not accept their decision in regards to fault, state your reasons why, and advise you wish to go through their dispute resolution process. If this is not successful you can then refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service for independent consideration. This process costs you nothing and any decision made by FOS is binding on the insurance company but not on you.

    This is not legal advice but rather my opinion based on working for an insurance company for over 20 years.
     
  4. Solitaire4

    Solitaire4 Member

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    Very helpful, thanks!
    Yes, the other driver is disputing fault. Mind you, his initial response was, “How can it be my fault? You were out almost the whole way and I’ve barely moved out of my spot”.
    Wish I had that recorded!! Haha.
     
  5. Zerojay

    Zerojay Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I almost had a similar accident. I was slowly reversing from my bay and was more than half way out when I saw the reversing lights come on the vehicle opposite which almost immediately began to reverse towards me. I was able to react quickly and jump back into my bay with centimetres to spare. The other car drove off seemingly oblivious to what had nearly occurred. The point is that if I had not reacted instantly or had been a bit further out, impact would have been inevitable despite any efforts by me to avoid impact. And the insurance companies say it is 50/50? If you have clearly begun to reverse well before the other vehicle, then you should have right of way. If the other driver keeps a proper lookout he will see you and wait till you are gone. Of course the problem will be that the other driver will dispute the facts and if no witnesses, the insurer will say it is one word against another and therefore fault cannot be determined. In this case there is video footage that can prove the facts.
     
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