VIC Drink Driving but Not at Fault at Car Accident?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Notatfault, 11 January 2018.

  1. Notatfault

    Notatfault Member

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    Hey all,

    Question:

    My partner was involved in a car accident, not at fault (with dash-cam footage). A lady pulled out in front of her when not looking, smashing up both cars. However, police were called to the scene and my partner was unfortunately .05.

    No excuses but life has been hard at the moment. Anyway, because it was the other party's fault, but she was .05... what happens? Claim-wise, would have there been a police report made? Do we need to go to court? She was issues with a drink driving infringement notice... that's it. In Victoria.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    Both parties are at fault. Your insurance may not pay if they become aware your wife was over 0.05 - check your insurance policy ASAP.

    re: over 0.05. This is a separate matter and is up to the police what they do. Nothing to do but wait. Some indication can be found here: Drink-driving penalties : VicRoads however other charges can be laid including dangerous driving.
     
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  3. Notatfault

    Notatfault Member

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    Thanks for your reply Rod. I will make a claim through our insurance. Even though the accident was clearly not her fault!?

    She has just got an infringement notice. Other party does not have insurance which has thrown a spanner in the works. Would a police report have been made? Will hope for the best!
     
  4. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    The issue you may have is that your insurer may decline coverage on the basis of drink driving.
     
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  5. Notatfault

    Notatfault Member

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    Yes this is true Rob. Even if she wasn’t over the limit, the crash was still unavoidable... that’s the hard thing! Is worst case scenario going to court if insurance denies coverage?

    Cheers.
     
  6. Zerojay

    Zerojay Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dave,

    If lodging a claim with your insurance company, bear in mind that the insurance company will need to fairly judge to what extent your partner’s state contributed to the accident occurring. In other words, if the outcome would have been the same had your partner been 0.00 then the insurer cannot deny or reduce your claim. The dash cam footage may clearly show the accident would have happened anyway.

    For example if you were dead drunk stationary at a red light and another vehicle ran into your rear, your insurer should still pay for your damage because your state did not cause the accident. Of course the police will still suspend or cancel your licence for breaching driving laws.

    This type of issue is covered by section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act.

    This is not legal advice. Just the opinion of a guy on the internet who worked for an insurance company for 20 years.
     
  7. Notatfault

    Notatfault Member

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    Ok that’s a weight off our shoulders Zerojay, thanks for your reply. I will keep this in mind and either way... Just glad we have the footage for proof!

    The dash cam has definitely paid for itself in this instance. If all goes well, will the insurance company pay out the agreed value before chasing up the other party? As they were uninsured...

    Thanks everyone!
     
  8. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    If you have sufficient coverage, your insurer will pay out per their assessment and then chase the other party. This is called subrogation - all of your rights against the other driver are transferred to the insurer - and is a standard aspect of motor vehicle insurance.
     
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  9. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised the law seems sensible on this toppic?

    I would have expected if your slightly under the influence they will immediately knee jerk blame you for everything including world hunger!
     
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