Disputed Motor Claims

what does it mean?

A disputed liability claim is not ‘knock for knock.’ A knock for knock claim is one in which both drivers accept that there was nothing they could do to avoid the accident and that neither was to blame. Both will have to make a fault claim on their own policies. But in a disputed liability claim both insurance companies pay part of the cost of the others claim. An accident will be settled on a disputed (or split) liability if:

a) The accident circumstances presented by the drivers involved are so contradictory that it cannot be established beyond all reasonable doubt about what exactly happened.

b) Both drivers carried out actions that contributed to the accident.

The most common accidents that are settled on this basis are:

1) collisions on roundabouts.

2) collisions involving more than two vehicles (concertina)

3) collisions in car parks

4) collisions where one car attempts to change lanes.

5) collisions that happen at cross-roads

6) overtaking.

7) accidents on a narrow road.

8) a car over shoots a ‘give way’ road marking at a junction. They reverse and hit a stationary vehicle behind them.

In cases like this the drivers involved will often expect their insurance company to “fight their corner.” But if the drivers who were there can’t agree on what happened there is no way the insurance companies will be able to make a decision. No insurer will go to the expense of fighting a disputed liability claim unless it knows it can win. And if I knows it can win the claim wouldn’ t be disputed anyway. Many of these disputed claims in any case are backed by Case Law where a legal precedence has been set.

People often think that because the third party admitted that they were at fault at the scene of the accident that the claim will be treated as a fault claim by the third party insurance company. But an insurance company will never be bound by their policyholders admission of guilt at the scene of an accident, even if that admission is put in writing as there is always the possibility that any admission could have been extracted under duress. Apart from that in the ‘heat of the moment’ people will often say things they didn’t mean. A woman’s tears and apologises cannot be construed as an admission of guilt. Emotional distress is not a confession. It is not unusual for someone to ‘admit fault’ at the scene of the accident only for them to deny all liability for it when they report it to their insurer.

Nor is the area of damage proof of how the accident happened. It merely confirms that an accident happened. Classic examples of this are accidents that happen on a roundabout and in car parks and on a duel carriageway for instance. Who hit whom first? It's impossible to tell by looking at the bodywork damage. (The only exception to this are accidents in which one car is damaged by a door from another car. If the damage is to the front of your car it prove that you drove into an open door and you will be held at fault. If however, the damage is to the side of your car then it shows that the door was opened as you drove past and then it will be the other car owner who will be held at fault).

Nor will an insurer by swayed if you tell them, “well when the police arrived soon after it happened and they said that the other driver was at fault.” If they didn’t actually see the accident happened their opinion carries no more weight than anyone else’s (even if they are police officers).

But after investigation carried out by an insurance company or their agents a claim that was initially marked down as a disputed claim can be amended to a fault or non fault claim. If:

1) There is an independent witness.

2) CCTV footage.

3) Once all the evidence has been reviewed it might become obvious that one of the drivers version of events simply cannot be true.

4) The ‘at fault’ party does in the end admit that their actions caused the accident. As long as a claim is being disputed both drivers policies will be affected, they will lose 2 years NCB and the full excess on their policy will apply. Even if the claim is settled as “partial fault” both drivers will loose 2 years NCB though they will have a portion of their excess reimbursed.

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Comments 57 comments

claire 3 years ago

hi I want to ask if I am totally at fault I was parked in a parking bay across the road from my house I reversed out and went to head down my street I was at 10mph if that as I just headed out of bay with 3 kids in car there is a blind spot for cars coming round the bend and that zone is 20mph it is known for cars going to fast round that bend so im always cautious ,anyway a car came speeding round the corner and on my side of the road there was cars parked all the way down the street ,this driver wasn't going to stop and my instinct straight away was to pull in somewhere and because of the cars already parked on the side of road I had no where to go so I had to back up fast ,it was then I hit a stationery car , and the other driver seen backed down turned and drove off leaving me to cop the lot ,I am quite annoyed because I felt I was backed in a corner because of a driver in front who clearly wasn't going to stop so I was basically avoiding a head on crash which is the safest option and hitting a car who was parked in the most stupid place giving me no where to back in safe and on saying this there is parking bays directly opposite free so was no need for her to park there she put her car at risk by doing that yet I always park my car in a bay to avoid obstructing others .am I totally at fault are is it 50-50 x

reinhard beck 3 years ago

Hello Claire,

Yes you are at fault here...because you reversed into another car. I know you feel that it's not fair because you were forced into it but fact is the car you hit is also (more) innocent than you. why should they have to accept 50-50 because you had to take evasive action to avoid a headon collison? That was your problem and you wont be allowed to dump 50% on the car behind you. You were unlucky the insurer of the car you reversed into wont share it with you by going 50-50

Sean 3 years ago

I had an accident on a roundabout

Stuart Norman profile image

Stuart Norman 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

A car drove into the back of me whilst I was stationary on a roundabout.

The driver subsequently claimed to his insurance company that I had changed lane in the roundabout giving him no chance of stopping which is totally untrue.

I am furious with my insurance company have accepted a joint liability settlement against my wishes and haven't even asked for a detailed diagram or account from the third party as to how the incident took place.

There are no witnesses, but I can't believe that the other driver could present a reasonable account of how having driven directly into the back of my car I could be jointly liable. The idea that he could have been going too fast to stop on a roundabout under the M4 in rush hour also seems implausable. My insurance company just don't want to know. Do I have any other course of action available to me?

Reinhard Beck 3 years ago

Hi Stuart,

Accidents on a r-a-b are very often settled on a 50-50 basis for the reason it cannot be established who did what to whom first. However, you say you were hit in the rear...does that mean flush on the rear?

Why were you stationary, was it because of traffic or traffic lights?

Were you in the right lane for wherever you wanted to go? These q's should have been asked by your insurer of you. Your insurer should have asked the same q's of the driver that hit you. You should call back your insurer and a) ask them what info they have of your version of events and b) what version they have from the other driver bearing in mind the points I made above. If you still get no joy ask to speak to a line manager who is experienced with liability resolution. c) still not happy go thu your insurers complaints procedure once that has been exausted and you are still unhappy you can take it on to the FOS.

Stuart Norman profile image

Stuart Norman 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

Yes my impact was almost flush on the rear, about twelve inches to the left of the centre of my rear bumper. I was stationary in heavy traffic which was also waiting at red lights. I was in the right lane for where I wanted to go.

These were all questions asked of me and I've spent hours filling in incident reports and diagrams.

None of these questions have been asked of the other driver, and my insurance company tell me he has no obligation to provide any statement of events other than to say 'he pulled in front of me and I couldn't stop'. I have also spent hours on the phone speaking to my insurance company as to why this is, but they now wont even enter into conversation with me about it when they take my calls.

Is the FOS the financial ombudsman? Does it sound like I have a case?

Reinhard Beck 3 years ago

Hi Stuart,

Your insurance company needs to advise you what your next steps should be if you have complained (offically) to your insurance company and that means going to the FOS and they should supply you with a leaflet and/or letter telling you how to do this. But they will only act if you have gone thru the complaints procedure with your insurance company. Do you have a case? Well you were hit smack in the rear and your insurer needs to say why your insurer doesn't believe your version of events. If the other driver "couldn't stop" how on earth would you ever have any time to nip into his lane?

Quite frankly the other driver needs to justify his allegations (otherwise anyone could claim "oh he did this or that...") they seem far too ready to take his voe. The obvious question for me is: how could you move into another lane bearing in mind the lights were red and you were in heavy traffic and you were hit smack in the rear. If you were talking to me I would at the very least challenge the 3rd party voe and have a word or two with my manager to see how we can get round this. A final point if you were in the right lane why would you change lanes?

Paul 3 years ago

Good afternoon

I was in lane 1 on the motor way and a lorry was in lane 2. The lorry changed lanes and hit me putting me in a spin across 5 lanes of traffic. He says I changed lanes and hit him and I am saying he changed lanes and hit me. There is a photo of my skid mark in lane 1 and it is a straight skid mark but the insurance are still going down the line of split liability. Is there anyway I can win this?

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Paul Ramano 3 years ago

Good afternoon

I was in lane 1 on the motor way and a lorry was in lane 2. The lorry changed lanes and hit me putting me in a spin across 5 lanes of traffic. He says I changed lanes and hit him and I am saying he changed lanes and hit me. There is a photo of my skid mark in lane 1 and it is a straight skid mark but the insurance are still going down the line of split liability. Is there anyway I can win this?

reinhard beck 3 years ago

Hello Mr Ramano,

No there isn't and for the reasons you have given. But may be (a tiny chance) if the area of damage to your car towards the front...the logic behind that is that you just wouldn't change lanes if the lorry was in your line of vision (but that is a tiny chance).

Uzma mark 3 years ago

Hi I was crossing a junction and went from a major road into a minor Road. As I entered the minor Road a child decided to cross the road. I covered my brakes and was stationary. A few seconds later, a range rover from the main road hit my car which may have been slightly sticking out onto the main road. It was only like the because I had to stop for the child otherwise I would have cleared this by then. My insurance company are saying I'm at fault because I was partially obstructing the man Road but had I not then a child would have got injured. I am not happy with this decision . where do I stand with this?

reinhard beck 3 years ago

Hi Uzma Mark

See me answer on the other hub "fault or non fault."

Donna stephens 3 years ago

my neighbour has crashed into our parked car and had marked the side of our car. He claims we hit his car and this is not true! the insurance company want a 50-50 split and i am not happy, is there any way i can fight this?

Reinhard Beck 3 years ago

Hi Donna,

But if your car was parked why is the (your?) insurer wanting to settle 50-50? If your car was parked and you weren't even in it then you have no case to answer and your insurer should be thinking the same. How is your neighbour saying this "accident" actually happened. Any allegations he might make have to be credible before any laibility can be considered.

donna stephens x 3 years ago

He is saying when my husband left for work he hit his. But as we park behind our space to stop his kids opening their doors into our car there is no way we could have marked his car. Any advice on how to fight this?

Reinhard Beck 3 years ago

Hi Donna,

He needs to make his case. It's like with anything else if you make an allegation you need to be able to back it up. Otherwise anyone whose car is damaged can simply point a finger at anyone and accuse them.

I would hope your insurer is telling the other guys insurer "put up or shut up". They have to show you are at fault you do not need to prove you are innocent. They need to show (for example) that the way your car was parked meant it must have scratched his car when your husband left for work. He needs to be able to show that the paintwork of your car was all over his damaged car. He needs to be able to produce witnesses.

In other words he has to show that the way your car was parked

carmen 3 years ago

hi. I was just involved in a small collision in a car park in Tesco. I came in parked front first and then reversed to straighten the car. before reversing I checked to see if there is anything behind me and I couldn't see any cars, and when I reversed and I heard a bump. The other car was passing by behind me, but she clearly saw my intention of reversing.. afterward she started being verbally aggressive towards me and pushed me away. Am I at fault? this a 50-50?

reinhard beck 3 years ago

Hi Carmen,

Sorry, but you're at fault here. When you are reversing it will always be your responsibility to check that it is clear to do so but that does not mean you should assume other road users are aware of your intentions. You need to give them priority before reversing.

sebastian 2 years ago

Hi on a roundabout a taxi was in the left lane. But he didn't turn left or go straight on. Instead he decided to go all the way around the roundabout... in the left hand lane and hit me as I turned left off the roundabout. He is saying I am at fault. My insurance is going to say 50 /50. This is so unfair. He did have passengers and I did give my insurance her address.

reinhardBeck profile image

reinhardBeck 2 years ago from LEEDS Author

Hello Sebastian,

I'm sorry to say this is to be expected in an accident like this. You and the taxi driver have a different version of events and the respective insurers therefore wont know what really happened so they'll split the difference and call it a draw. The passenger wont help as they wont be considered "independent" indeed they might even say you were at fault if their opinion was asked!

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StevoUK 2 years ago


I was on a bicycle, I overtook a van on its rhs as the traffic was stationary, and the left side was blocked.

Once I had overtaken the van, a car pulled out in front of me (it was attempting to turn right) from a side road (on the left) - I took evasive action but the car still hit me. I was going about 15mph.

I just wanted to make sure who was liable - I did not cross the central line. The car claimed not to see me, and was let out by the van.

I lost teeth (i was wearing a helmet!), and suffered other injuries, my bike was damaged, and have other financial losses as a result.

Is liability likely to be disputed, and what action do you recommend that I take? Thanks

Sharon 2 years ago


Again another roundabout incident where the other party involved was in the wrong lane and then hit my car diagonally denting the side. However the other party are claiming that I hit them as I was changing lane - neither of us have witnesses present - and their insurance are offering 50/50 liability. Yet, the party involved did not contact their insurance regarding the accident and when questioned denied being involved in an incident at all. Admission was only confirmed once I had sent text messages between myself and the party involved. Therefore, would the fact the party firstly denied involvement and then claimed they were hit first result in the split liabilty being overturned ? Thanks.

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hi Sharon,

No is the short answer. You are required to report an accident to your insurer but they wont assume you are at fault if you didn't. Likewise denying involvement when in fact you were does not prove you must be at fault. Turn the logic around. Lets assume for the sake of argument it really is 50-50. Just because the other driver did the wrong thing doesn't mean that changes. If the respective insurers cannot positively demonstate that one party was at fault then it will always be 50-50.

Rich 2 years ago

I was partially merged into a main carriageway from a side road behind a vehicle waiting at a red light and sat stationary for at least one full minute while waiting for the lights to change, my vehicle at least 50% exited onto the main carriageway. When the lights turned to green I exited fully onto the carriageway. At this point I was struck by a vehicle travelling along the main carriageway from the right, straddling both lanes. Who is at fault?

reinhard Beck 2 years ago

Hi Rich,

You are I'm afraid. traffic on the main rd always have priority. Arguing that the lights were green for you wont help. A) because you were already partially on the d/c/way and B) what colour the lights were are never taken into account in a claim because whether they were red or green cannot be proven. Again the fact that the car that hit you was straddling 2 lanes is immaterial a) it can't be proved and b) he has the right of way and it makes no difference if he was or not.

Hollie D. 2 years ago

I was driving on in a 6o mph zone, following a far going approx. 25mph. Behind me (some distance) was another car I looked, indicated, pulled out, was alongside the car I was overtaking when I was hit from behind (in the centre of my car). My car swerved around the round, (I missed the car I was overtaking.. who continued to drive on). I thought straight forward claim.. but no! 4 months later and still no answer. 3rd party claiming I was at fault and 'cut them up' pulling in front while she was overtaking both cars. She is also claiming I admitted liability at the scene which is also not true... any suggestions?

Reinhard Beck 2 years ago

Hi Hollie,

You're right; it is a straightforward claim.

First of all what you said or didn't say at the time wont be taken into account by your insurance company (who is at fault or not is their decision not yours). And the driver who hit you in the rear is at fault. They can't prove you cut them up so that allegation is irrelevent. And even if you had, they would still be at fault because they failed to keep a safe braking distance away from you. The only thing anyone can be certain about is you were hit in the rear everything else is conjecture and cannot be taken into consideration. What your insurer needs to do is repair your car and send the bill to the other drivers insurance co.

Hollie 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply. My car has been repaired thank you, this happened 4 months ago now and it's still not resolved. And now I have been told it could go 50/50 as they cannot prove it as 3rd party is saying I cut them up, which I am 100% certain I did not. I have drawn diagrams, explained many times what happened, sent pictures of the damage to my car. I'm at loss what to do and will very unhappy if it goes 50/50 as I was 100% not at fault. Do you have any suggestions as to how to help? Thanks again

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hi Hollie,

I can't say this often enough: if the other driver alleges you "cut her up" she has to be able to prove it. Otherwise anyone can say anything after an accident to avoid taking responsibility. You were hit in the rear and your insurer shd not simply settle for 50-50 unless it can be proven that you were in some way partially at fault for the accident. Liability can only be decided on what is known to have happened not what might or could have happened (think of a multiple shunt. How would any decision be reached about what happened if each insurer only listened to their policy holder thought had happened). The decision about libility rests with your insurer and they make their decisions on facts...that could be challenged in court. Your insurer doesn't need to prove your innocence. It's the 3rd party (who are making the allegation) that they are right.

dell 2 years ago

I was parked on my driveway alongside a truck also parked. We were both facing the road and both stationery. As I opened the door to get into my car, the truck moved and took my door with it. Whose fault is it?

Reinhard Beck 2 years ago

Hello Dell,

If your door was already open before the truck drove off, then he would be at fault. But if you opened your car door when the truck was already moving, then you'd be at fault.

Amelia 2 years ago


I was a passenger in my husbands car. We were on a single lane 60mph road in a line of four cars. The first car was driving around 30mph, the car behind them over took but the next car did not. My husband decided to over take the van in front of us. Whilst overtaking the van decided he would overtake too and pulled into the side of us. We had damage all along the side of the car. He was upset and said he was going to lose his job. The car in front of him did not stop but the first car the 30mph people did stop. They claim that the van was overtaking first and that my husband tried to overtake him when he had already pulled out. Our insurers want us to take liabilty. Firstly it would be impossible to overtake two cars at the same time because the road was too narrow. Secondly the first car would not have been able to see us because if they what they say is true our car was obscured by the van. They also claim my husnband was on the phone, which is a lie and also how could they see this.

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hello Amelie,

First of all the driver in the car ahead of you and the van is in no position to be a reliable and say for definate who did what to whom when and how.

Second, why is you insurer insisting you take full liability? If you were already overtaking the van when he decided to overtake the car ahead of him then he would be at fault for moving into your lane when (if he'd checked) he should have seen you. Okay, lets say it is impossible for you to overtake a van when it is already overtaking the car in front. That means, the worst case scenario is 50-50 because even if they don't believe it is impossible it cannot be proved that is what you did. (similar scenarios are playe out on d/c/ways and motorway up and down the country where two cars collide each driver blaming the other for moving into his lane and this is very similar).

Amelie 2 years ago

Thank you I really appreciate your time. I hope the insurers will listen.

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hello Amelie,

So do I. Remember; he has to prove his allegations.

Dotty 2 years ago

I was in an Aldi car park looking for a space I initially followed the road markings upon entering the car park, I then saw a space which was half was round the car park, however the road markings were pointing in the opposite direction I pulled in ready to park in a bay when I was hit by another car, I have read that road markings in private car parks are there for guidance and cannot be enforced, who at fault?

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hello Dotty,

What was the other car doing? Following you? Pulling in/out of a parking space.

Yes, they are there for guidance which means if you were not following that guidance and as a result hit another vehicle you will be at fault.

Anthony 2 years ago

Hi, back in May this year i was on my motorbike on my way home from work. The weather was great, nice and dry, sunny etc.

I'm heading up a road that for most part does not have any lines in the center of the road (does this make it a single lane up until lane markers actually appear?) the lane markers appear 20 meters just before the upcoming roundabout. Anyway, i'm indicating left as i want to make it known i want to take the first exit, i'm currently positioned in the center of the road (at this point there are no lines in the center of the road) i check my wing mirror and see a car about 10 meters behind me, i start moving to the left of the road ready to occupy the left lane, at this point the upcoming lame markers are also approx 10 meters away, but the car that was behind has now came up on the left side of me and clipped the center of my bike with the front right quarter of his car. I swerved for a few seconds (40 feet) before loosing control completely and then slid across the floor still on my bike for another 5-6 meters breaking my collar bone and wrecking my bike and clothing.

The contact made by the car was still before the lane markings and at that point if you imagined the lane markings were there my position in the road would have been in the left lane. I personally see this as me being undertook by a car coming from the rear in a single lane.

Neither myself nor the driver of the car will admit liability and the insurance company is still investigating, could you possibly share your thoughts please.

My collarbone still has not healed yet, i had to have it operated on last week and a bone graft/pins put in. Hopefully on the mend now though but have been left financially ruined as i have only been on sick pay since the accident and my outgoings are more than my in-comings so would love for this matter to be resolved asap.

Many thanks for your time.

Reinhard Beck 2 years ago

Hi Anthony,

Ouch! It's been a very unpleasant experience in more ways than one. But my thoughts are: it wont get any better. The other driver merely needs to say he was proceeding in a straight line in the left hand lane when you swerved into him. Which makes it your fault. The best outcome is 50/50 where it is decided (by the insurance companies) that it is not clear who did what to whom and when. They will conclude that maybe you moved into him and maybe he swerved into your path. No one can agree what happened (rd markings and indicating an intention to move left/right) wont help. So they will call it a draw. My own view is: be prepared for the worst. Yes, he was behind you but he was going straight on and it was you who moved into his path and if the damage to the o/s of his car that would confirm it.

Anthony 2 years ago

There is absolutely no damage to his car to indicate where about he may have made contact, it was most likely just the slightest of taps that knocked me into an uncontrollable wobble.

Why wont road markings or indicating help?

Reinhard Beck 2 years ago

Hello again

Because you say; "i start moving to the left of the road ready to occupy the left lane, at this point the upcoming lame markers are also approx 10 meters away,"..." when the accident occurred. In any case broken white lines on a road are a visual guide to cars travelling in opposite directions and they have no relevance here (they might have done if you'd had an accident with an oncoming vehicle). Likewise indicating wont be taken into account because you can't prove you were. The problem you have is that all the other driver has to tell his insurance company "I was driving in the l/h/lane on this rd & approaching a r-a-b when this bike just swerved into my lane right in front of me and there was nothing I could do."

steve 2 years ago

I was in a parking space and reversed slowly 3 to 5 mph I was stationary in the middle of the road when a car goes around my car and clips the rear right bumper causing. Who is at fault here please?

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hi steve,

I know you were stationary but is the problem is all he has to say to his insurer is you reversed into him as he passed. Even if you were stationary he still had to go round you. The only way he would be at fault is if you had left your car there parked and unattended. But you were behind the wheel and reversing. In insurance terms its academic that you were stationary.

Anthony 2 years ago

Sorry for late reply, i can prove i was indicating as when my bike was recovered the recovery driver turned the key and my left indicator was still on.

reinhard beck 2 years ago

Hello again Anthony,

See my earlier reply. I think the best outcome for you is a split decision but if you were on the phone to me I'd be telling you that you were at fault. You knew a car was only 10 metres behind you but you nevertheless moved across into his path and he hit you because you gave him no chance to stop (or slow down) in time. The fact that you were indicated doesn't change that.

paula 21 months ago


Can i still ask a question about disputing a car accident fault? Hope it's okay. Basically i was on a dual carriageway and wanted to turn right onto the petrol station.The other side of the road was single carriageway and bus lane. It was morning rush hours and traffic was really slow. Someone stopped for me, stopping the oncoming traffic, to let me turn. So i entered the other lane then stopped to check the bus lane and stack "the nose" of my car out slightly onto the bus lane i guess. At this point taxi came flying down the bus lane and scratched along the front of my car, the number plate fell off, nothing more serious happened. She had a dent on the right hand site (corner)bumper and scratches along right side. Now the taxi driwer wants to claim. should i take a full responsibility for this incident or can i dispute it as a partial fault?

reinhardBeck profile image

reinhardBeck 21 months ago from LEEDS Author

Hello Paula

(Of-course you can ask a question. There is no time limit or anything)

but back to business. If you turn into oncoming traffic as you did then you are at fault. You might argue, that the taxi shouldn't have been in the bus lane & if he hadn't been the accident would never have happened and that, therefore, he is at the very least partially to blame. You can try and put that argument to your insurance company but I doubt you'll get anywhere with that. The fact is you will be held at fault for making this manoeuvre into the path of oncoming traffic. (The fact that he shouldn't have been in the bus lane in the first place wont help).

It was your responsibility to check that it was clear (including the bus lane). I would certainly report the incident even if you are not claiming for any damage yourself (after all I might be wrong) and it's important your insurer hears your version of events as well as his.

paula 21 months ago

Hello again

Thank you so much for your reply. I spoke with my insurer and they said the same. So i guess i haven't got a leg to stand on.

It just angers me, cause i always try to be careful and considerate while driving and if i was that taxi driver i would have proceeded with more caution in a heavy traffic, especially when approaching side roads or places like petrol stations (where people may want to pull out/in). And also i did stop to look if it was clear but i gueass i failed ;) front of my car was sticking out slightly.

The driver said not to worry and that it wasn't clear whose fault was that (at time of accident) then drove off. Now, two weeks later, she puts the claim through + injury claim, and I'm worried cause i haven't taken a photo of her damages.

Any more thought/ advice?

reinhardBeck profile image

reinhardBeck 21 months ago from LEEDS Author

Hello Paula,

No surprise the taxi driver is claiming injury (who doesn't these days). Don't worry that you didn't take photo's etc. Obviously if you had it would help your insurer to make a decision. But it's not your job...it's their job; that's why you pay a premium. But your insurer ought to confirm if the taxi driver is "trying it on" they accident cirxs and the area of damage ought to make it clear to them what happened and what their liability is.

Andy 21 months ago


Sorry for length of story..............

In April this year my wife was traveling home on a normal high street (one lane in either direction) and was stationary behind a motorbike that had stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the road (not at a zebra crossing just a central reservation) in front of him. A car hit the rear of my wife's car full force and as a result my wife was propelled forward and her car pushed onto the motorbike making contact at least twice with his motorbike. My wife described she was propelled in the car seat like a rag doll and had no reaction time at all to avoid the motorbike as the force from behind sent the car forward. There was an ambulance crew nearby who attended as they heard rather than saw what happened nearby. They checked all 3 parties and recommended calling the police, The other 2 parties ignored this suggestion but my wife called the police who did attend and just checked all parties were ok/insured. All parties left the scene.

The car had considerable damage to the rear and noticeable but less severe damage to the front.

When reported to our insurers they declared immediately after our description that the issue would be dealt with as a 'no fault claim' as far as my wife was concerned. The car was repaired fully and returned within a few days.

A few weeks later our insurers now desperate to speak to my wife (not via e-mail or letter) and attempting to get her to verbally accept partial fault as the car driver that hit the rear made up a claim that my wife had already hit the motorbike before the car driver hit my wife. And some reference to an independent witness but only mentioned verbally.

So far I have advised my wife not to accept anything they are suggesting which seems to mean they keep ringing to try and speak/persuade acceptance of 'partial fault'.

Where do we stand in this scenario where all you did was sit stationary in traffic behind a motorbike and then get hit at considerable speed from behind? We have not denied that my wife's car hit the motorbike at least twice but not as a consequence of anything my wife did.

Are we wasting our time continuing to dispute this? My wife is now understandably upset as something she had no part in is now being decided by our insurance as 50/50 with all the effects that brings financially. We appreciate any advice thank you!

reinhardBeck profile image

reinhardBeck 21 months ago from LEEDS Author

Hello Andy,

Well, if your wife was hit in the rear then she is not at fault. But, what about this witness? Your insurer should actually tell you who this is and what they saw (are they indep and did they actually see the accident?)

And how did your wife hit the motorcyclist twice? Because it could that when she was hit in the rear she hit the motorbike once. And then...did she do something that caused her to hit it again (because if she did she could be held liable for the damage caused by the 2nd impact). That is all I can think why your insurer are wanting to change their mind. In the end if your insurer insists on dealing with this as a "disputed" claim they can (your policy booklet will say you agree to let them deal with any claim as they consider appropriate). Finally; what does the motorcyclist have to say about all of this? Also (finally) was any further damage caused to the bike when it was hit a 2nd time?

Speak to your insurer: ask them who the witness is and what they saw.

How and why did your wife hit the bike more than once. Did these additional impacts actaully cause any further damage to the bike?

sarahh 20 months ago


Just some advice please. I was in an collision two months ago and I turned into a side street and half way down the road is a no entry sign so you have to turn round at that point to go back out into the main road, so I turned round at the no entry point making sure I did not block the road and to ensure all cars could see me, just as I went into reverse a car which was previously parked up on the side of the street came speeding down the road and smacked into the side of my car ans damaged the drivers door ans front of his car..the speed limit for that area would be nowhere near 30mph as it has parking on either side and can only fit one vehicle width in the middle so you would have to give way. The driver looked as though he was going to go straight through the no entry sign as if he didn't no it was there..his brakes screeched and admitted he had to slam on his brakes. He is disputing liability even though he has admitted fault to me and apparently had a courtesy car and crashed that after crashing into myself as a new driver. Have had no news from insurance in two months I gave insurance info of cctv whuch would show what happened but they requested it too late even though I gave them this info the day of the accident and somebody witnessed it aswell. Doe anybody know if it will stay unresolved or 50/50 or if my witness person is contacted will that make them at fault. If they are proved at fault will my ncb stay untouched and my excess fee what happens with that ?

Thanks and sorry for long story

sarahh 20 months ago

Sorry to add to my story.. where you turn there is a car parking area as there are houses on one side of the street..plus after the accident all details were switched and pics of the vehicles and debris on the floor were taken ..and during that time at least 3 other vehicles reversed and turned round in the same area as they had turnes into the street ans it is the only safe place to turn around on that road. Thanks

reinhard beck 20 months ago

Hi sarahh,

You were making a 3 point turn I think - to go back the way you came?

Point is - if you were reversing if a car hits you then you are at fault.

Now, this car that hit you... it sounds like it was parked at the side of the road to start off with but set off (at speed) just as you were reversing? If that is so then he is at fault too. If you are parked and want to enter the road you need to be sure it is safe for you to do that.

The problem you will have though is proving that. It will be easy enough for him to say "i was driving down the road when sarahh reversing out directly in front of me" & the area of damage on your car and his would prove that. You need to make sure your insurer get their finger out and ask a few questions - esp of that witness. But to be honest I think your best outcome is 50/50

Sarahh 20 months ago

I have been on my insurers case constantly and informes them that my front end was in front of the no entry sign but no I was not doimg a 3poimt turn I literally turned fully around in the car park and faced out into the road so I was just about to reverse slightly to then turn but I had clear views from the main road so I could see oncoming traffic and I had just put my gear into into reverse and noteven moved my vehicle , behind me was clear as its a car park area as I was going to reverse abit to turn back right to go back out into the main road. And yes the car was already parked up and saw my vehicle go down the road But he left his spot at speed . TThanks for your advice

reinhard beck 20 months ago

Hello Sarahh,

"I was going to reverse a bit" which sounds like you weren't moving. But I think you will have difficulty in convincing your insurance company of that (don't forget they have to convince the other drivers insurance co. that your version is the true one but I suspect their policy holder will tell them you reversed out into his path hence the damage to the side of your car. You really need to find that witness). If , just for the sake of argument it's settled as 50/50 you will loose 2 ncb and have to pay some of your excess towards the cost of the claim.

reinhard beck 20 months ago

Hi Sarahh,

You say "I was going to reverse". Sounds like you were stationary. In which case you are not at fault. Trouble is though even though your insurer might believe the other drivers insurance might not because they will have been told a completely different story by their policyholder (you reversed into his path & hence the damage to the side of your car). You really need that witness! If it goes 50/50 then you will loose 2 ncb and you'll have to pay some of your excess towards the cost of the claim.

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