A driver hit my car on a narrow road - so why did my insurer settle 50/50 against my insistence that he was at fault?

I was involved in a car accident back in April 2017. It happened on a small stretch of single track road with some passing places, 30mph, three tonne weight limits. I had stopped safely and quickly, the builder’s pickup truck coming the other way did not. My insurance company, Aviva, engaged Irwin Mitchell as my solicitors. But the two companies never shared any information that I provided, between them, regardless of repeated phone calls on my part. Irwin Mitchell wanted to settle 50/50 right from the start, I insisted we go to court. Much to my surprise on 20 October, I received a cheque from Aviva for half my excess (worked out from the claim number alone on the letter). No further explanation of any kind except a contact name and number was on the letter. After a call to Aviva, I was told no instructions were ever received from Irwin Mitchell regarding my stance, and so they had settled the claim on a 50/50 basis. I’m obviously upset about the accident, as I know the builder was driving too fast for the road limits and could have been avoided had he been a sensible driver. His own dash cam footage was suddenly not available to either insurance company. All I had were pictures taken from the accident scene. But more upsetting was my fight trying to get my insurer and solicitor to share information or at least talk to each other, not to mention the unwillingness of taking any action on my behalf. Why do motorists have to put up with this insurance apathy?

Asked on 24 October 2017 by Surly Turk

Answered by Tim Kelly
I have dealt with, and won, an identical case to this. The lack of communication that goes on with insurers and solicitors is very frustrating. Raise a complaint with Aviva and take it to the financial ombudsman. Also contact Irwin Mitchell, ask for their complaint policy and the raise a complaint with the Legal Ombudsman Service. Accident reconstruction is the best thing for this situation along with witness testimony. But here lies the crux, with no witness and lack of credible evidence, i.e. skidmarks or any means of evidencing the speed of both parties, insurers will always opt 50/50.
Similar questions
My car was hit in France whilst parked in October 2016. The owner of the other car admitted full responsibility and signed a statement. The repair to my car has been paid by my insurer, less my excess....
My car was subject to a very minor accident whilst parked car outside my home, whilst a third party was attempting to park. The damage was very minor (possibly none to theirs and a small mark on my bumper)...
The van driver cut in front of my grandson, luckily he was not hurt but his bike was run over. The driver apologised but left the scene without leaving his details. I think he should be reported for this...
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car