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Fault determination rules application
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:08 pm
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Location: Ontario
Hi all,

A friend was in an accident about a week ago caused by another driver as they were making a lane change and hammered on the brakes to avoid hitting another driver who had also started a lane change. No police were called or charges laid at the reporting centre. The other driver is claiming they were rear ended but the impact locations on the front right of the vehicle and the rear left of the other vehicle cast doubt on the other their story.

Question is what kind of due diligence can you expect from an insurance adjuster when it comes to determining fault? Are they overworked and always unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt even when given a plausible scenario? Are they obligated to discuss and take into consideration photographs of damage and debris on the road that would confirm that it was likely the other vehicle was changing lanes at the time of impact?


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:29 am 
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Your description of the accident itself is unclear, and makes it hard to offer an opinion on the circumstances themselves.

Adjusters can (and do) consider whether or not the damage to vehicles involved in an accident are consistent with the participants description, but this is not the same as any sort of forensic analysis. It might tip the balance, but the adjuster is going to have to apply the FDRs as best they can.

In the case of disputed details, no independent witnesses and no clear application of the FDRs the adjust might default to 50/50.


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Location: Ontario
More to the story: Turns out there were 3 cars here's what I know.

Driver A was driving in the left lane.

Driver B and Driver C was driving in the right lane.

Driver C approached a car parked in the right lane and stopped or slowed down waiting for an opportunity to switch into the left lane.

Driver B begins a lane change in front Driver A and abruptly stops and is hit by Driver A. About a third of Driver B is still in the right lane and the impact causes Driver B's front right to hit Driver C's rear left. (the photo of the debris from the accident between B and C is in the left part of the right lane)

Based on the impact location between B and C logic dictates that the damage is consistent with one of them actively making a lane change or not driving in their marked lane.

I am pretty sure the fault determination rules if applied the situation as described would absolve Driver A but if Driver B claims they were completely stopped and rear ended would make it the fault of Driver A.


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:32 pm 
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End result is that the insurance company was swayed from an initial 50/50 to a not at fault determination. Photos of the cars and debris on the road was used to make a successful appeal to logic and reason. Apparently the other drivers were also able to convince their insurers that they were also not at fault. (It was not in their interest to acknowledge they were changing lanes and took the position that they were rear ended.) I was surprised to learn that the insurance companies don't have to agree on who is at fault.


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Nobody is at-fault? :lol:


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:52 pm 
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I'm still curious about how it works in the backend between insurance companies. I remember hearing that your insurer will try to recoup losses from the insurer of the at fault driver (assuming it is a different insurer). Maybe I am remembering the days before No-Fault. (Now I'm feeling old :( )


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Re: Fault determination rules application
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:13 am 
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Location: Toronto
ynotp wrote:
I'm still curious about how it works in the backend between insurance companies. I remember hearing that your insurer will try to recoup losses from the insurer of the at fault driver (assuming it is a different insurer).


This is more or less what happens. In a 75/25 or 100/0 fault case the insurance company of the "not-at-fault" or "less-at-fault" will try to recoup the money.

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