QLD Uninsured Minor car accident at intersection

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by John Jonathan, 15 September 2019.

  1. John Jonathan

    John Jonathan Member

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    Im in the process of trying to rebute a claim and the insurance company is saying that im at fault. I solemnly beleive that is not the case though. At the moment im seeking two different options...
    1. Take this further up and seek a lawyer for advice and possibly take them to court or
    2. Consider some ways i can somehow reduce the large amount of money they are asking for.
    Before choosing either option, i wanted to get some input here first on how strong my case is looking.

    So what happened is that i was planning on making a right hand turn from within an island. The intersection looks like this.
    [​IMG]
    So in this scenario, im the blue car and my desired direction of travel is to take a right hand turn from within the island, cross red car's direction of travel first and go down the road. The other vehicle, the red car, was waiting behinda dotted line where there was a give way sign. My indicator was on and my vehicle was turned already within the island so red should've already known my desired direction of travel. Once a gap had emerged within traffic from my left i proceeded to turn right; red car also decided to drive forward a second before i did. This lead to me crashing into the right rear door of her vehicle. Her vehicle was here during the time of the crash.[​IMG]
    The reason they had decided to drive forward anyway was because they thought i was making an illegal u-turn. The insurance company claims that i failed to conduct a u-turn safely, saying that i couldv'e prevented a collision. I was paying more attention towards incoming traffic on my left however, did not expect the red car to drive forward before i did, and only drove centimeters before the collision had occured. I also don't beleive this turn counts as a u-turn either, since i already positioned my vehicle behind the white line in the island before choosing to turn right. Im not very knowledgeable in traffic law however and the only people i've talked to so far is the insurance company and driver making a claim against me and my own family who for obvious reasons will claim im in the right regardless of what happened. I just wanna know who is in the right here and what my next course of action should be.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    And do you have comprehensive insurance yourself?
     
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  3. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    The road markings in your pictures don't look right to me. Where exactly is the intersection?
     
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  4. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    Okay, forget the markings because it looks like all that matters is whether or not your manoeuvre constitutes a u-turn under the road rules.

    Schedule 5: Dictionary
    U-turn
    means a turn made by a driver so that the driver’s vehicle faces in approximately the opposite direction from which it was facing immediately before the turn was made, but does not include a turn made at a roundabout.


    According to that definition, you were making a u-turn. Section 38 therefore applies:

    38 Giving way when making a U-turn
    A driver making a U-turn must give way to all vehicles and pedestrians.
    Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.


    In short, when making a u-turn, you must give way to all pedestrians and vehicles, including any vehicles stopped at a stop or give way sign. (Watch this RMS Qld video from 0:45 to 1:00.)



    It's also important to note that the definition of a u-turn does not specify that the turn must be made in a single manoeuvre. The fact that you stopped in the middle of the turn (in the island) would therefore be irrelevant.

    To sum it all up, it looks like you're at fault because you didn't give way.

    Ref: Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009
     
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  5. John Jonathan

    John Jonathan Member

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    Sadly not
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Well then, you've got nothing.
    You took the gamble that the dollar cost of any damage you caused in an accident
    would be less than the cost of a premium-and-excess.
    And you lost.

    I am inclined to agree with @Scruff's interpretation of what you have presented above.

    On which basis, my suggestion is:
    Start making financial arrangements such that you can pay the demand.
    You can make them an offer of less, but that is not likely to be accepted (why should it?).
    The alternative is that they take you to court, and you lose (which you will).
    You will end up with an order to pay for the damage, and their costs, as well as your own.
     
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  7. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    I disagree with @Scruff's reasoning, but not his answer. I don't consider this to be a u-turn situation, but rather a giving way situation.

    Both of you were under a 'give way' situation. The other driver had a posted street-sign and you didn't, but that is irrelevant. Both of you had to cross a broken white line on the road - that's a give way line, and it has the same meaning and authority as a sign (Road markings | Transport and motoring | Queensland Government).

    Given you were both under give way rules, you apply the 'giving way at intersections with 2 stop signs or give way signs' (Giving way | Transport and motoring | Queensland Government). In that situation, the vehicle turning right across the path of the other vehicle (i.e. you) must give way.
     
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  8. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    @Rob Legat - SBPL - Your interpretation is why I was curious about where the intersection is and if the line markings in the diagrams are actually correct.

    When you look at the diagrams, the red car is stopped at a give way line, but the line in front of the blue car looks like a normal lane marking rather than the standard short dashed or dotted give way line. I don't think a lane line is technically a give way line and if that's correct, and the diagrams are accurate, it might be a valid argument that the blue car has right of way because the red car is stopped at a stop or give way line and the blue car isn't.

    That's how I saw it when I first looked at the markings, but when I looked up the definition for u-turn and saw how "loose" the definition is, it made me think that the u-turn rule would apply here - specifically because it doesn't specify that a u-turn must be performed in a single manoeuvre.

    It's certainly an interesting question if the diagrams are accurate.
     
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  9. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    We can only go off what the diagram show in terms of what is marked on the road. Lane markings have relatively the same effect - broken lines mean you can cross but have to give way, unbroken lines mean you can't cross.

    In this instance, my interpretation is the 'break' in the island is the be construed as a lane in itself making the situation akin to a four way intersection.
     
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  10. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    I can see how that would rule out the u-turn rule. My only concern is the lack of a "proper" give way line on the right side of the island. I just find that really bizarre given that they took the time to paint them elsewhere at the intersection.

    @Bill Murray - I'd be interested to know how the boys in blue see this one.
     
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