I had an accident and lucky for everyone I was in a 4wd

Submitted: Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 18:26
ThreadID: 64965 Views:2854 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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Hi everyone

I recently had an accident. I was on a bush gravel road with a friend behind me on a trail bike, on our way to a lookout. I went around a right hand hairpin corner and their was a guy in a Ford Courier tray with a child in his passenger seat, barrelling down at a million miles an hour, and when he saw me he dived on the anchors, was fishtailing it and everything.

Lucky for him I was in a 4wd, I drove off the side of the road up a bit of an embankment as far as I could, he was then sliding down the road with the brakes locked up half straight half sideways and slammed his tray into the back drivers corner of my car, missed my friend by about one foot and went about 10 metres past the hairpin corner into the bushes, so even if I wasn’t there, an accident was going to happen, if only I was there 15 seconds later, wrong place wrong time, don’t you think.

It’s funny about it, there was a friend of his driving behind him, my friend was talking to him afterwards, and apparently he was a rally photographer and what do you know, he had a really good camera on his dash, funny coincidence there hey.

This guy doesn’t even have third party insurance, quotes I’ve got say about $3500 for mine and his tray is seriously bent and damaged, I don’t know how much that would cost. He said that he couldn’t get it out of gear, one thing that makes me wonder, if he really couldn’t get it out of gear, before he’d go sideways into other cars, nearly run over people and run off the road, I would’ve thought that he’d put the clutch in, slow down and sort out what’s going on, do you think so? Even if he couldn’t get it out of gear, he was going twice the speed he should’ve been for a road like this. Do you think he was hooning or something and making up an excuse?

Let’s just say I’m sorry that I didn’t get this on video, it would be perfect to show people who think 4wd’s are dangerous, if I were in a 2wd, I couldn’t have driven off the road and there’d be 10 times the damages and 10 times the chance of injuries / death and a child was in his car, and it didn’t help when we were in the middle of the bush.

A lot of people are worried that if he takes it to court, the judge will make it a 50 50, because apparently the judges say that if you’re on an unsealed road, you’ve got to drive at a speed and in a way where you know nothing will go wrong. Do you think this might happen?

After I’ve told people that he doesn’t have insurance, so many people think that it should be compulsory to have at least third party insurance, because if you can’t afford third party, you couldn’t afford the cost of a serious accident if you had one, what do you think?

I’ve also got a tough choice, I’ve got RACV comprehensive, do I get my insurance company to handle it and get the money of him because he’ll be more scared to mess around with the insurance company than mess around with me, or do I handle it myself where I won’t end up with a worse driving history with my insurance company. Will I even end up with a worse record with my insurance when it wasn’t my fault?
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Reply By: BenDiD - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 18:43

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 18:43
Hi bucky00

I've had a similar experience (been run into by an uninsured driver).

Trying to get money out of someone who is too miserable to even have third party insurance is next to impossible, not to mention the cost and drama of doing so.

My 2CW? Let your insurance company handle it. Even if you have to pay an excess and suffer a premium hike it will be less than the cost of chasing this guy yourself. Plus you wont have to wait forever to get your vehicle fixed.


AnswerID: 343455

Reply By: westozal - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 18:46

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 18:46
Hello Bucky,
Sorry to hear about your drama's re the accident, but look at the bright side, you are still alive and healthy...it could have been a lot worse.
In my view you dont have much choice re using your insurance unless you fork it out of your own pocket for repair's , after all thats what you have insurance for..the fact that he has none is an issue for your insurance company, him and possibly a court room if he is aportioned blame.
As you say it could be judged 50-50 and as such each fixes his own.
Not fair by the sounds of it, but as my mate Ben Cousins would say "such is life".
Wish you well.
AnswerID: 343456

Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:08

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:08
unless ive read it wrong he was off the road and stationary when hit by the other vehicle - that puts the other vehicle at fault in 2 ways
FollowupID: 611304

Reply By: get outmore - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:05

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:05
re the insurance-theres no descision to be made go through your agency, its what they do. All you do is photocopy the police report i assume you made out and send it to your company
- they handle the rest job solved
all you do is tell them he was at fault and as hes uninsured he gets the option of either
- taking it up with the insurance company in court (not smart theve got heaps of lawyers and money)
- paying them

either way you wont even have to pay an excess as you have identified the at fault driver

been there done that recently
AnswerID: 343458

Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:20

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:20
As I see it, you took evasive action and the other guy still hit you - off the road. In my experience ( 30 years in courts) it would be most unlikely that he could convince a court that there was contributory negligence on your part. Even if he did, it would be nowhere near 50%. His trash talk about the gear is really irrelevant when it comes to the question of negligence. The question to be asked is "was it foreseeable that he would lose control and collide with another vehicle by continuing to drive with the problem he claims to have had?"Your concerns about the judge are ill-founded. If that was the case we would all be approaching curves and crests on gravel roads at 10kph. This seems to be a clear case where you are not at fault and can identify the at fault driver and therefore there is absolutely no reason for you not to put the claim through your insurance company. BTW what is the relevance of the photographer being present. Is he suggesting that he took some photographs which would show some form of negligence on your part?

AnswerID: 343460

Follow Up By: Member - Tony B (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 06:46

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 06:46
teege. The way I read it, I think he was suggesting that there was some rally driving being filmed and in fact the person was hooning. Anyway I can not see why the bloke is not 100% in the wrong thus responsible. Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 611347

Reply By: 96 GXL 80 series - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:26

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:26
Contact your Insurance company and tell them everything that happened.
They will take it from there and will tell you to get a quote on getting your car fixed etc.

Just ask if you will loose your no claim bonus, if they say yes, push it that he caused the accident and was fully his fault.

Push that part and tell them he caused it and and why, and it was not you that caused it.

They will follow it up and if needed take him to court to recoup there losses.
AnswerID: 343462

Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:35

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 19:35
Hi Bucky

It would be good to get extra information first on two points - the likely extra cost to your insurance until it comes back to what it was - this might mean bigger premiums for 3 or more years.

Second , real cost to get your car fixed , cash with no insurance company involved. This can make a lot of difference sometimes.

Only you can judge merrit of chasing the guy if uninsured , I have let some off with an on the spot cash payment - and also been involved in persuing someone for years who lied alot , said the had no money , and years later we found them with a job and got more court orders and after 5 years got justice and the cash.
I felt both cases were worth it for their own particular circumstances.

At this Xmas we meet a local 4wder on station track near Dargo who came around a corner hanging the tail out and the guy in front of me on his trailbike immediatly laid it down and just bounced of the cars rear wheel leaving him with sore arm for a week.

So I guess there are good and bad everywhere.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 343464

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 21:23

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 21:23
You don't mention the speed you were travelling? and to be honest whether you are in 4x4 or not if someone is barrelling down on you, you really don't give a sh&t you try and get out off the road (as you did) or out of the way. I don't believe if you were not in 4x4 you would have sat waiting for the impact, not really human nature (well not mine anyway).

Not sure about the camera thingie, who said it was it on?

You say a lot of people say they are worried if he takes it to court it will be a 50 / 50 result personally heresay what the court will say to be honest.

As for third party insurance i agree should be compulsory mind you I feel the save about home insurance but how many don't have any???

If your worried about your driving record front the driver with the quote and ask when it will be paid and if you feel suss insurance co all the way .................. the pain of excess will fade over years :)

The good thing is all are ok and lessons can be learnt if they can be taken off road later is a different matter.

AnswerID: 343481

Follow Up By: bucky00 - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:00

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:00
If you're all curious, I was going a safe speed and after I'd gone through this hairpin corner, I was going walking pace speeding up again and that's when I saw him and he saw me after he came around a slight corner up further. This embankment I drove up was about the height of a bonnet on a 2wd, I only just had the approach angle and wheel travel I needed. It had fallen trees above it where I couldn't go any further, I would've thought a 2wd is not physically capable of getting up that, you'd just crash the front of the car into it, I could try but it wouldn't work and the guy would have put his whole car right into my whole car. There were too many trees everywhere else to go anywhere, if I tried to get off, I'd just crash into them and stop. I could be wrong but if I were in a Hyundai Excel, I could look and try to get off the road, but there'd be nowhere to go, the best I could do is hug the left and the accident / risk of injuries and death would've been 10 times worse. It didn't help when I had my mate behind me on a trail bike.
FollowupID: 611322

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:23

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:23
everything your saying although i dont have the complete picture
- over to the left,off the road, low speed, witness can only lead to him being in the wrong

stop wasting time on this forum , get your police report in and claim to the insurance company. As the other driver is at fault and you can identify him your NCB will not be touched and you will have no excess to pay
FollowupID: 611386

Reply By: 96 GXL 80 series - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:13

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:13
Be careful if he offers to get a mate to fix it or says he is going to pay cash to get it fixed.

I went through this years ago only to find out he was having a lend of me.
Lucky I had told the insurance company about it and what he had offered.

After it was fixed if I didn't pay the panel beater I would not have got my vehicle back.

The insurance company reimbursed me all expenses and recovered the money through the courts.

I did not loose my no claim bonus nor have to pay excess.

Cover all avenues first.
AnswerID: 343495

Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:34

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 22:34
Glad you weren't badly hurt Bucky. It seems the other driver was lucky too, as he tried to slow when he saw you. If he hadn't he could have come to grief far worse at the bend. He should be thankful to you that his child was not badly injured or killed, let alone his precious camera. Maybe the camera was on watch u-tube.

Unless it is only going to cost you a $100 - $300 to get it fixed without insurance (yes it is cheaper when they know they won't have to wait months for the money), go through your insurer. Ask them to pursue the other driver to recover your excess. They will pursue him if it saves them a lot of money. He may not be penniless, but just someone who chooses not to insure as he can cover his own costs cheaper. Unwise when it comes to the third party cover though, as bills can be huge, depending on what is hit.

Follow Robin's advice and do your sums on the long term cost of claiming versus paying it yourself.

getoutmore makes a good point about you being stationary when hit - however this may not be proven (i have had a similar case which occurred on a beach).

Was it a public road? Gets messier if it was not.

Insurance is for when you have an accident - and to have an accident usually means it is not your fault.

Definitely put in a report to the police, even if it is under the $$ value that you have to, or it was not a public road - insist on putting the report in.

Good luck, and buy a lotto ticket because your alive to tell us about it.



Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 343496

Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:06

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:06
doesnt matter if its a public or private place. as long as it can be accessed by the public it it is treated the same - just like in a private premises carpark. You can still be done for reversing without due care if you hit another car (from when i was young and dumn)
as for putting a report in - you dont have to justify it they just give you the forms and you fill them out. Makes it look alot better when you present your insurance company with a photocopy of this police report and he didnt even report it 9again personall experience)
FollowupID: 611333

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:54

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:54
It is most likely different in different states.


Red desert dreaming

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FollowupID: 611335

Follow Up By: Member - Tony B (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 06:53

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 06:53
Motherhen- Good point about Utube - These days they would be silly enough to post the crash video if they had it :-). Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 611349

Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:09

Friday, Jan 09, 2009 at 23:09
Why else would you have insurance, this is what you pay the $$$$$$ for.

Let your insurance deal with it.
AnswerID: 343499

Reply By: Member - Bucky, the "Mexican"- Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 04:50

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 04:50

Sorry to hear that because someone else "stuffs up", you may get caught. I fear not, as long as you have good evidence, then you should be OK.

The caution I suggest you take, is be careful of the RACV.
That mob will go for the cheapest and nastiest panel beater they can.
I know they sent me to "Mr Dodgy", after I hit a roo, with my new Navara in 2003 (just 8 days old). I wanted to go to a reputable panel neater, but was not allowed.
When I got it back it looked like a second hand door had been bolted on. No colour match, very poor work ect... I complained to the RACV, and they sent it back to him, and made him do it again.
After the second go at it, I then had 2 doors a different shade of colour, than the rest of the vehicle, and paint bubbles, lots of oevrspray, small dents (which weren't there after the first go at fixing it)..
Needless to say I just waited for 10 months and when paint peeled and bubbles burst, I then got stuck back into them..
I want it fixed, with a reputable panel works...

A massive arguement, between the reputable panel beater, and the RACV's accessor, and yours truley, started.The accessor wanted me to get my Navara out of there, to another panel shop..I stood me ground.

The ensuing battle took 2 1/2 years..barristers..solicitors..an Independant accessor... some 50 photos..paint samples..and about 4 court cases. (bluff, counter bluff,..offer/full quote stated, and not budging).

Eventually the RACV relented, mainly because we all stood our ground. The Navara looked like it should, "mickey mouse", once again.

A simple $2000 job, in the first place, went mega $$$$$

Be carefull


AnswerID: 343515

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 09:39

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 09:39
You pay the accident insurance in case you are involved in an accident. Notify them, get the statements and reports together and let them deal with it. The other driver with no insurance just let RACV Insurance worry about that. Your no claim bonus may be useless now and your premium may rise as your rating will go up but it'll come down again.
Each accident is different and sometimes the bulk and ability of a 4WD helps out and sometimes it hinders. So some stacks I'd rather be in the Falcon and some stacks I'd rather be in the Nissan but generally I'd rather not be in a stack at all but we all never know whats around the corner.
AnswerID: 343535

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