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Insurance - who's at fault, moving lanes
chester45
post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 15:23
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hi

I was on the A34 heading to Newbury the other day, I was in heavy traffic with both lanes congested and very slow moving

I indicated to change from the inside to the outside lane, there was room but as soon as I started moving over the car behind (in the outside lane) started to close the gap

I assumed that as there was plenty of space I would be fine and he was just annoyed. He sounded his horn

I was at least half way or more when he tapped the back of me on the rear drivers side back bumper - slight paint damage to both cars (his X5 BMW)

we pulled over at the first layby and exchanged details

speaking with my insurance, they say as I was moving lanes I'm at fault

even thought I believe the guy tapped me on purpose when there was plenty of space

have I got any sort of defense

cheers K
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post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 15:23
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DancingDad
post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 15:28
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That's my understanding as the "normal".
Which puts the onus onto you to show/prove that he was partially or fully at fault.

TBH your account can easily be read as I indicated to change lanes, moved over despite the guy I was cutting up blowing his horn to warn me and hit him.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 15:30
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The Rookie
post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 15:40
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You won't win that one, whatever he did (assuming he stayed in lane) the onus is on you, the one changing lanes, to avoid him.


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I am Weasel
post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 18:58
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+1 for it not being the BMW driver's fault. He might have been acting a bit of a cock to close up, but that is his right - he has the right of way in this instance
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chester45
post Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 23:52
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thanks guys

I thought as much

but it's great to be able to check

I always trust the advice I get here

cheers K
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DancingDad
post Tue, 30 Jan 2018 - 10:36
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QUOTE (I am Weasel @ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 18:58) *
+1 for it not being the BMW driver's fault. He might have been acting a bit of a cock to close up, but that is his right - he has the right of way in this instance


He doesn't have right of way, just the right to expect to be able to drive in one lane and not be hit by someone changing lanes.
Certainly doesn't have the right to close the gap or indeed hit the car changing lanes.
Trouble is proving that is what he did.
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Churchmouse
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 19:31
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 - 10:36) *
QUOTE (I am Weasel @ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 18:58) *
+1 for it not being the BMW driver's fault. He might have been acting a bit of a cock to close up, but that is his right - he has the right of way in this instance


He doesn't have right of way, just the right to expect to be able to drive in one lane and not be hit by someone changing lanes.
Certainly doesn't have the right to close the gap or indeed hit the car changing lanes.
Trouble is proving that is what he did.

According to the OP, Mr. BMW had time to "sound his horn" in "very slow moving" heavy traffic, and still was unable to avoid hitting the OP's "rear drivers side back bumper". I'm not sure how much additional proof would be needed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. BMW hit the OP's vehicle on purpose...

--Churchmouse
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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 01:30
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 19:31) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 - 10:36) *
QUOTE (I am Weasel @ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 - 18:58) *
+1 for it not being the BMW driver's fault. He might have been acting a bit of a cock to close up, but that is his right - he has the right of way in this instance


He doesn't have right of way, just the right to expect to be able to drive in one lane and not be hit by someone changing lanes.
Certainly doesn't have the right to close the gap or indeed hit the car changing lanes.
Trouble is proving that is what he did.

According to the OP, Mr. BMW had time to "sound his horn" in "very slow moving" heavy traffic, and still was unable to avoid hitting the OP's "rear drivers side back bumper". I'm not sure how much additional proof would be needed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. BMW hit the OP's vehicle on purpose...

--Churchmouse


Time to hit the horn is not proof, wish it was.
I have often wondered about people's reactions when in imminent danger of a collision.
Mine have always been to brake/steer/avoid.
A friend of mine would hit the horn, if not first then at least while braking etc. I could never see that it helped and may well have hindered.

I'm fairly certain that Mr BMW did try to close the gap and likely misjudged ...... see it all the time, indicate to warn the guy outboard and behind you, they see it as a challenge and close it up.
Also see the other way, one flash of the indicator (if that) and the twonker in the inner lane moves over, expecting, hoping or attempting to force you to give way.
Without a dashcam, other CCTV or witnesses, prove which it was.
End of the day it was a game of chicken and the driver changing lanes will lose that in the eyes of the insurance.

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The Rookie
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 08:20
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By the same account the OP had time not to drive int9 the BMW’s path, but as the OPwas the one changing lane......


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Churchmouse
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 13:10
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 01:30) *
QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 19:31) *
According to the OP, Mr. BMW had time to "sound his horn" in "very slow moving" heavy traffic, and still was unable to avoid hitting the OP's "rear drivers side back bumper". I'm not sure how much additional proof would be needed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. BMW hit the OP's vehicle on purpose...

Time to hit the horn is not proof, wish it was.
I have often wondered about people's reactions when in imminent danger of a collision.
Mine have always been to brake/steer/avoid.
A friend of mine would hit the horn, if not first then at least while braking etc. I could never see that it helped and may well have hindered.

I'm fairly certain that Mr BMW did try to close the gap and likely misjudged ...... see it all the time, indicate to warn the guy outboard and behind you, they see it as a challenge and close it up.
Also see the other way, one flash of the indicator (if that) and the twonker in the inner lane moves over, expecting, hoping or attempting to force you to give way.
Without a dashcam, other CCTV or witnesses, prove which it was.
End of the day it was a game of chicken and the driver changing lanes will lose that in the eyes of the insurance.

Sounding the horn would not have been sufficient proof, on its own, but in the totality of the circumstances described by the OP, sufficient along with the other facts, for me to comfortably conclude (albeit for the limited purposes of an Internet discussion) that Mr BMW hit the OP and was, therefore, 100% at fault.

Like you, I am not an aficionado of the horn (perhaps my motorcycle background has coloured my perception of its utility), and I can only conceive of a few situations in which I would want to use it defensively. Another vehicle backing into mine whilst stopped is one of these situations. Most people use their horns offensively, as I'm fairly certain Mr BMW did in the OP's situation. But it is not my certainty that matters.

The insurance company will take one look at the damage and see that Mr BMW hit the car in front of him. His excuse is that the OP "cut him off", and thus, he couldn't avoid the collision. And then the fact that there was heavy traffic and likely frustrated drivers not moving at any appreciable speed will be considered and the supposed wrongfulness of the OP's rudely "barging in" will be completely ignored. Mr BMW hit the car in front.

You can see where I've placed the emphasis. You and Rookie focus on the "inappropriate lane-change" aspect. Which one of these would be easier for an insurance company to deal with?

--Churchmouse
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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 13:30
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 13:10) *
........ You and Rookie focus on the "inappropriate lane-change" aspect. Which one of these would be easier for an insurance company to deal with?

--Churchmouse


Simply because that will be taken as the root cause barring any other evidence.
There are many scenarios that can be woven around point of impact and the like but what is the difference between BMW accelerating to ram and car in front decelerating and not giving BMW room after squeezing in...from the visible damage?

I'm not saying the OP is telling porkies or defending the BMW driver, with the basic tale as told, easy to see what could have happened.... all the options and then probably a few more.
But not what did happen.

IMO the insurance will take the simple option, driver changing lanes and collided, their fault.
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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 6 Feb 2018 - 12:47
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Surely an impending collision is within the 1% of times a BMW driver legitimately needs to use the horn? Certainly I would if someone was trying to change lanes when there isn't space.
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Churchmouse
post Tue, 6 Feb 2018 - 18:29
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 13:30) *
QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 13:10) *
........ You and Rookie focus on the "inappropriate lane-change" aspect. Which one of these would be easier for an insurance company to deal with?


Simply because that will be taken as the root cause barring any other evidence.

The only physical evidence is this:
QUOTE
he tapped the back of me on the rear drivers side back bumper - slight paint damage to both cars

What evidence is there of this inappropriate lane change? In the absence of independent witnesses, one party says one thing, the other says the opposite. Now we're into weighing credibility...

My experience with insurance companies is that they prefer to focus on the easy aspects. "Car behind hits car in front" is as easy as it gets.

--Churchmouse
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DancingDad
post Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 10:16
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Tue, 6 Feb 2018 - 18:29) *
............What evidence is there of this inappropriate lane change? In the absence of independent witnesses, one party says one thing, the other says the opposite. Now we're into weighing credibility...

My experience with insurance companies is that they prefer to focus on the easy aspects. "Car behind hits car in front" is as easy as it gets.

--Churchmouse


?? OP admitted the lane change.
Whether or not they have with the insurance company, dunno.
But at least in this thread they have introduced it and I don't think we can ignore that.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 9 Feb 2018 - 06:55
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Maybe CM is suggesting that changing lane and driving into another car isn’t inappropriate?


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Churchmouse
post Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 11:47
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 9 Feb 2018 - 06:55) *
Maybe CM is suggesting that changing lane and driving into another car isn’t inappropriate?

The OP said the BMW driver hit him, on his rear bumper. Please explain how you can "drive into another car" by them hitting you on your rear bumper...

--Churchmouse
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nigelbb
post Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 13:19
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 11:47) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 9 Feb 2018 - 06:55) *
Maybe CM is suggesting that changing lane and driving into another car isn’t inappropriate?

The OP said the BMW driver hit him, on his rear bumper. Please explain how you can "drive into another car" by them hitting you on your rear bumper...

--Churchmouse

Rear bumpers wrap around the corners. It’s perfectly possible to change lanes & drive into another car striking the side of the other car with your rear corner.


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The Rookie
post Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 18:14
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It’s also quite possible to move in front of another car such that it has no option but to come into contact, which is no less driving into another car....


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Churchmouse
post Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 20:18
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As long as we're speculating about things that evidently did not occur in this case, I could mention that it's quite possible to reverse into another vehicle. This actually happened to a friend of mine many years ago. He was following a car into a driveway to a business, and the vehicle in front stopped suddenly and reversed back out--hitting the front of his car with its rear bumper. Guess which party the insurance companies decided to blame for the incident? That's right, the driver of the car behind...

Many people seem to have a difficult time with the fact that you cannot stop someone from "cutting in front" of you in traffic. Your only options are to let them continue their maneuver, or hit them with your vehicle to "teach them a lesson".

The OP's own insurance company apparently thinks he's to blame, but that may not be their final position. As the Rookie observes, there is a "lane change" related exception to the above two options, and that is applicable when the car behind cannot avoid the impact. However, the facts presented to us by the OP make that exception clearly inapplicable.

Unless there is case law to the contrary, I would suggest that the OP does not have to accept the insurance company's initial position; he can also file a court claim against Mr BMW if he fails to accept liability. It's only fair.

--Churchmouse
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 11 Feb 2018 - 16:42
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 10 Feb 2018 - 20:18) *
As long as we're speculating about things that evidently did not occur in this case, I could mention that it's quite possible to reverse into another vehicle. This actually happened to a friend of mine many years ago. He was following a car into a driveway to a business, and the vehicle in front stopped suddenly and reversed back out--hitting the front of his car with its rear bumper. Guess which party the insurance companies decided to blame for the incident? That's right, the driver of the car behind...

Over a decade ago I was following a car in a car park. They stopped and decided, for whatever reason, to try and to reverse into a space about twenty metres behind them, ignoring the fact that I was about 15 metres behind them.

There was minimal damage to my car and I probably would have said "forget it" but the lady and her son got out and went mental - so I said if they felt that way go through insurance. To her credit she must have given a truthful account because the insurance company immediately settled in my favour.

Shortly before someone changed lane into my side on a roundabout - again the sum of the damage to me was one hubcap so I would have happily said "forget it". Again she insisted that she was in the right lane despite crossing white lines and the bloody huge letters of a different destination on her lane. Turned out she didn't have insurance so plod dealt with it instead.

Seems I have a habit of being hit by people who can't keep their bloody mouths shut.


This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Sun, 11 Feb 2018 - 16:46
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