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Accident damage


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Woe is me.

Last Thursday, I was T-boned by a driver on J36 (Tankersley) roundabout of the M1. Two lanes controlled by traffic lights, the driver's car stationary on the inside at red. I pull up alongside to go straight on i.e. first exit, the dual-carriageway A61 to Sheffield.

Traffic lights turn to green, we set off and just as the front of my car leaves the roundabout and enters the exit, smack! The inside-lane vehicle hits my rear wheel perpendicular to my intended travel.

The driver thought she was in the proper lane to take the second exit - in spite of the big white arrows painted on the road and the Highway Code's sections 184-187 that indicate otherwise.

Deranged rear wheel and slight scuffing to the passenger door and rear nearside wing. No broken fibre glass but the rear lid does not close easily. Surprisingly, the wheel is intact and the tyre hasn't deflated. The car is at a depot awaiting an inspection. I find out the verdict on Monday.

Simple suspension damage that is repairable (plus painting of the side of the car) or something worse? Broken gearbox? Twisted chassis? Non-economical repair?

Anxious and well and truly grumpy!

Fingers crossed . . .

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Still no news about the car.

Pursuing reimbursement of my excess and removal of prejudicial effects on my protected no claims bonus.

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Edward - If you'd like the car transported to the factory for an assessment and repair, contact me via PM with your number.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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A week and three days on, no definitive news about the car.

After a great deal of much appreciated help from Bibs and similarly helpful conversations with Rowland Lefley at Lotus, my car is now with Peter Smith Sportscars where on Monday, it is hoped that a decision will be made. The signs are optimistic that an economic repair will be possible but until a full inspection of the suspension, gearbox and chassis is undertaken, that cannot be confirmed.

In the meantime I have received a letter from Sue, Grabbit and Run - or was it Shyster, Shyster and Shyster - an accident compensation company. They are acting for the person who ran into me and claim that it was me who caused the accident, I was speeding, not watching carefully enough and two other similar fatuous claims. Oh yes, and the other person is claiming personal injury for whiplash.

I have sent my point-by-point-listing-of-circumstances letter to my insurers along with photographs I took at the time on my mobile of the damage to both vehicles, the big white arrows painted on the road to show that I was in the correct lane (right hand) to proceed immediately from the traffic lights and that the other person's occupancy of the inside lane for her intention to go onto the next exit was incorrect. Plus reference to sections 184 - 187 of the Highway Code (Roundabouts).

Speeding? I was doing probably 40 mph - if that - when I entered the dual-carriageway A61 to Sheffield. The other driver and I were initially stationary at red traffic lights. By dint of being in the left-hand lane that had greater curvature than the right-hand one that I was in, if I was speeding, how come the other driver could drive into me? I used downloaded Google Earth aerial photographs to show the roundabout (Tankersley, J36 M1) in various magnifications.

I wondered at the time if said driver had been appearing in that morning's Jeremy Kyle programme. That view is beginning to gain added credence.

I suspect that those who have been in a similar position can appreciate that all this is unsettling and draining. The time and energy required to counter someone who a) simply doesn't know how to negotatiate motorway-junction roundabouts, B) is trying to absolve themselves of responsibility and c) has sought the involvement of what I suspect is a no-win-no-fee let's-give-it-a-go company of ambulance chasers simply adds to the already considerable inconvenience and duress.

My first telephone call after the collision was to the police to verify the circumstances but, understandably, as there were no injuries and the carriageway wasn't blocked, they said there was no need for them to attend. Similarly, no witnesses stopped; the collision was low speed and as each of us made it to the lay by that was only 30 m or so further up the A61, other motorists probably felt that it was not worth bothering with - if they noticed at all.

Unfortunately, the other driver can now make claims in the knowledge that it is one person's word against another.

We shall see.

I have followed my initial intention and entered a counter claim for reimbursement of my excess and removal of any adverse effects on my protected no-claims' bonus. I haven't taken up the option of my fourteen-day hire car until I know how long my car will be off the road. I don't want to use up days unnecessarily and then there are possible days beyond the allowed fourteen to consider.

I await word about my car and a response to my letter from my insurers. I will reconsider my hire-car position when I have that response.

For those interested, I'll keep you posted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Better news!

Authorisation to proceed with repairs was granted yesterday. It seems that damage has been restricted to a broken hub although the rear wheel has been classified as u/s. I am surprised that the suspension links have escaped unscathed but apparently, they have. Peter Smith have all the parts required.

Final assembly will reveal whether or not all wheels point in the right direction and hence in turn, indicate if there has been chassis misalignment. Then for the repaint of the passenger door and rear wing.

My claim for liability against the other driver continues . . .

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Better news indeed Edward.

If the links are not damaged then the chances are the the chassis will be fine.

Good luck.

Mike S

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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With that in mind - sounds like a fiarly economical repair - I must admit I would push for that suspension to be rebuilt completely - new links wont cost hardly any money and taking the old ones off might ential damage....it's just not worth the hassle imo for a

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Good news that things are progressing Edward, happy days! Keep us informed mate on the claim :(

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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I'm at Peter Smiths tomorrow so I'll have a nosey at your car

Fingers crossed and all that

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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  • 2 weeks later...

Much better news.

I collected my car from Peter Smith this morning. All repaired.

New left hand rear hub and wheel and repaint of the entire left-hand side of the car along with new wheel-arch extensions. All looks good. No additional suspension components were required; the wheel and hub had absorbed most of the impact - that was low-speed - and the body work had absorbed the rest.

Also, my insurers are pressing the third party for full liability and recompense of my excess etc. My letter and photographs clearly indicated that said driver (I always drive in the left-hand lane of roundabouts until I get to the exit I want) was contravening sections 184-187 of the Highway Code. I had been enjoying a leisurely drive and was abiding by all relevant traffic instructions.

So, just over four weeks after the collision, my Esprit is back on the road.

Peter Smith have done a good job and I have been most impressed with their handling of the matter. I intend to use them for servicing.

Bibs, thank you once more for your help.

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I'm pleased it's worked out well, happy days :unworthy:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • 6 months later...

For those who might have been following the saga, after eight months it has been accepted that the other driver was at fault and I will get all my out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed, this includes both my excess and reinstatement of my full protected no-claims bonus.

But what a performance. In spite of road markings to the contrary and contravention of sections 184-187 of the Highway Code, the driver who ran into me was occupying the left-hand lane of a roundabout but was intending to use the second exit. Consequently, instead of taking the first exit into a dual carriageway, she continued her merry way and T-boned me as I was about to enter said exit.

She was quick to use the services of Sue, Grabbit and Run along with Shiseter, Shiseter and Shiseter to allege that I caused the accident. Four days after the accident I received a letter in which six specious claims were made about the circumstances.

I was able to make evidence-based rebuttals by means of mobile-'phone photographs I took at the scene and Google Earth aerial photographs of the roundabout and clearly indicated road markings which demonstrated emphatically that her claims were simply wrong and probably a try-on to absolve her of responsibility which she knew was hers.

Because no one was injured, the police did not attend (in spite of my request) and similarly, no one stopped partly because the carriageway was not blocked. Both vehicles involved moved under their own motive power to a place of refuge - a layby - some 100 m or so from the point of collision. That makes it easier for one part to lay claims no matter how preposterous, and the other party - in this case me - to refure those claims.

While the outcome has been successful, there isn't a thing I can do about Sue, Grabbitt and Run (actually Cogent Law). They can claim all sorts of bollocks on behalf of a client but there is little if anything one can do if bollocks is confirmed. That's what really riles.

Edited by Winter
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even if she initially admits responsibility then the insurance company will frequently contest in an effort to, as minimum, achieve a knock for knock outcome, thereby lowering their own liability!!

such is the claims society we now live in!!

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Thanks Toby. This was suggested by my insurers (Direct Line) but I asserted - I hope courteously - that this was not acceptable. The evidence that has been accepted by DL and that has not been disputed by the other driver clearly indicated that it was she who caused the collision. I invoked the legal-protection part of my policy that supposedly covers such matters.

A complication is that DL also insure the other driver. It is not actually sensible for a company to take itself to court and so incur additional expense. Of course, insurance companies don't lose in the long run: they hike customers' premiums so Don-Qixote-like stands of principle are fallacious or self-defeating. In a way, that adds to the frustration.

Through their obduracy, a numpty can hold other parties to ransom. However, that assumes they have the intellect to do so; here, perhaps harshly, I think they are just dim.

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If Direct Line insure you and the dozy mare that attacked you car, then it doesn't really matter to them who was at fault, does it? They still have to pay out the same amount either way. Of course, it will affect you as your no-claims and excess are on the line but thte effect on Direct Line is negligible to nothing, I would think.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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All now settled. Direct Line sent me my excess, out-of-pocket expenses plus a small amount (about £35) as an expression of good will. In addition, all prejudicial effects on my protected no-claims have been reinstored. So, after eight months, the other driver has been held liable. What a palaver though.

Edited by Winter
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I know how you feel, and it can take ages to get the outcome to be correct, if at all. Many years ago I had a collision on a roundabout, the other driver said he was in the correct lane, he was using lane two to turn left, my insurance company wanted me to settle knock for knock, I refused and cited the highway code, including page number of the latest edition to them and suggested they pass that info to the other insurers, it only took a couple of days after that for the other party to accept responsibility. It seems they will try anything, no matter how far removed fro the truth, so well done for keeping at it.

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