Car accident

  VNAM75 19:50 08 Nov 2007

I had an accident in my car today(2002 focus). A taxi braked sharply and I hit it causing some large scratches to its back bumper, but no damage. My front bumper is not damaged. A transit van then hit my rear bumper because I had to brake sharply. My rear bumper is slightly dented with scratches but it is still perfectly intact.

No one accepted liability apart from the van driver who drove in to me. Me and the taxi driver swapped details and the van driver offered me a choice of claiming on his insurance or he will get a second hand bumper and fit it for me.

What should I do? What if the taxi driver wants to claim on my insurance which the damage is only very minor, and its only half my fault, if that.

And should I accept the van drivers offer of bumper replacement or should I claim on his insurance? If he doesn't accept liability which is unlikely (he seemed genuine enough because his bumper was damaged and did not take my details)

Should I
1) claim on his insurance, so my premium won't be affected would it because I not claiming against my company?
2) accept bumper replacement from van driver
3) if I can't do the 2 above, I can claim on my own insurance or pay for a bumper myself. If I had to do this, which would be cheaper ie.higher premiums next year vs paying for a rear bumper (second hand)

  Pine Man 19:53 08 Nov 2007

'A taxi braked sharply and I hit it'

You were driving too close to the taxi - your fault!

If nobody is injured no insurance details need be given but if you are at fault you or your insurance companyhas to pay the taxi drivers claim.

  Pine Man 19:55 08 Nov 2007

...Never drive so close so that you cannot stop within the distance you can see to be clear.

One of the ten commandments of advanced driving.

  hastelloy 19:58 08 Nov 2007

then you are reponsible for the resulting damage. If the van ran into you, then he is responsible for that damage. I'm not an expert but I don't think you can claim directly on his insurance - your claim will have to go through your insurance company. I think the cheapest, though not necessarily safest, option is for you to pay directly for repairs to the taxi and the van driver to pay directly for repairs to your back bumper.

  VNAM75 20:03 08 Nov 2007

I wasn't driving too closely, about 5 car lengths behind at 20 mph. Thats why there were only minor scratches on his bumper. Have driven for 13 years and first time this has happened. The van driver hit me about 5 times harder but I wasn't hurt.

Normally its the person who hits the car who is liable, but I strongly believe I am not at fault here - at least not fully liable. He braked too sharply and I know I could have been driving slower but how can you be perfect 100% of the time. I was no where near speeding.

  jack 20:04 08 Nov 2007

Oh dear your fault because you were too close to vehicle in front
Your fault because you were on the bit of road the van wanted to be in
If you has stayed in bed the van would have hit the taxi - harder.
Coming back to earth claim on the Van - Keep quiet about the taxi.

  VoG II 20:05 08 Nov 2007

Just a note of warning. Several months ago my daughter had a very minor prang when she ran into the back of another car as they were exiting a multi-storey car park. The damage to both cars was slight (scratched bumpers) and although they exchanged names and addresses they agreed verbally that neither driver would make an insurance claim.

About a month ago - and totally out of the blue - my daughter received a letter from the other driver's insurers solicitors demanding payment for several hundred £s (repairs, hire car cost etc. etc.). A complication was that she had subsequently sold the car involved in the prang. Anyway she contacted her insurers (the AA) and explained the situation. Fortunately they were very understanding and simply asked her to forward all the paperwork to them. She did and hasn't heard any more about it. However, I'm sure that not all insurance companies would be so understanding.

  g0nvs 20:38 08 Nov 2007

'A taxi braked sharply and I hit it'

You were driving too close to the taxi - your fault!

Good job it wasn't a pedestrian then.

  cream. 20:46 08 Nov 2007

" I wasn't driving too closely, about 5 car lengths behind at 20 mph. "

" He braked too sharply and I know I could have been driving slower "

and you still ran into the back of the taxi!

It certainly looks like it's your fault for the taxi, the good news is that the van is responible for you rear damage.

  Totally-braindead 20:47 08 Nov 2007

Forgetting about the fault aspect of this for a moment.

VoG™ has brought up the problem with not using an insurance company and sorting it out yourselves, it might go fine, everyone might agree not to make claims and to do this repair etc but theres no guarantee that they will stick to the agreement. They just might reconsider later on and decide to go through the insurance and what do you do if van man doesn't fix the bumper etc.

Sorry for being so cynical but I have seen many cases of people being ripped off in the past for being trusting.
If it was someone I knew that would be one thing but a stranger? Will he fix the bumper and if so when? Will you have to chase him to get it done or will he do it ASAP?

  egapup 20:54 08 Nov 2007

Report it all to your insurrance company, take no chances.

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