Hi Folks, need some advice. A motorist is trying to make an insurance claim against me for an accident, and i want to know if they can legally do this? The accident occurred when the traffic was taking off from lights at t-junction and making a hard right. There were two lanes (no bike lane) and i was in the inside lane. As I rounded the corner I released that the traffic had come to an abrupt stop in my lane and i slammed on the breaks but could not stop completely before rear ending a stationary car. This left two white marks on the bumper and a broken windscreen wiper (never mind the damage to the bike at this stage). We exchanged numbers in good faith and i offered to pay for the damage to the window screen wiper. Now they have texted me and said that they are going through there insurance company to get the damage repaired. Can they seriously think that i am liable and can they make me pay?
I would think so. You've run up the back of them so you'd be at fault and liable. The circumstances you describe don't suggest any mitigating circumstances at all.
The quickest and less stressful way would be to offer to pay the excess to the car insurance. even if you feel it wasnt 100% your fault.
If thats not an option and you dont mind dealing with lawyers (personally I would rather ride with square wheels) let them go through the insurance. the insurance company will try and recoup 100% from you, but after a year of legal letters there will be a 50/50 change they will walk away from the cost or you will have to pay 10 time more than option 1.
As Kristian has mentioned, it sounds like you are at fault.
Even if you offer to pay their excess, there's still the possibility for their insurance company to try to recover costs from you. You might be paying out twice.
If the repair costs are very high you might want to consider claiming on your insurance (if you have any)
Do you have a BikeSA / Bicycle Network / Cycling Australia membership - they provide third party property insurance with their memberships.
You could also check your home contents policy to see if it covers third party property for accidents as a part of it's legal liability cover.
You will need to weight up whether engaging with your insurance and paying your excess is worth it, or just settling directly.
Yes, my home+contents covers 3rd party damage on my bicycle (as long as it's not "professional or competitive use"), and I believe most contents policies do these days.
Thank you everyone for your insightful and informative discussion. Hopefully home contents insurance has got this covered.
Damage to the wiper was caused by my hand hitting it (not the bike) :?