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Insurance woes after Polish lorry driver hit our car

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Last Sunday I was travelling home from London on the M25 with my other half, was going past Heathrow airport when a Polish lorry driver decided to plough his vehicle into the side of our car!  We were in the middle lane doing about 35mph (there was a long line of slow moving traffic due to an imposed speed restriction of 40mph), we overtook a lorry who was on the inside lane, and as about 3/4 of our car had passed him he decided to pull out into the middle lane,despite there being about 6 car lengths of room in front of him in the inside lane.

Well of course he went straight into the back of our car, scratching it all down the side and denting the back bumper as he dragged us along the motorway!  I was in the passenger side so leaned out of the window and indicated for him to follow us to the hard shoulder.  I might add that he only decided to do this when I got out of the car as if I was going to run across the carriageway and kick his door in!

At the side of the road he patted the damage to the car and in very broad Polish, "Is small car... I did not see!", to which my reply was "If it had been a guy on a motorbike you would have killed him you ass-hole!"

A car accident Lorry drivers are a liability at the best of times...

He only gave me his insurance details when a lovely lady pulled over and said she had seen what happened, he had simply not looked and pulled out into our car!  She has kindly said she would be our witness - thank God there are honest people about!

I am so cross, luckily both myself and my other half are OK but the car is FUBAR, it could have been so much worse.  Lorry drivers are a liability at the best of times, but the foreign ones drive like maniacs!  Only 10 minutes before we had been cut up by a Portuguese lorry driver doing 50mph (in the 40mph zone).  If they can't read simple signs (like how fast you should be going) and abide by the Highway Code (Mirror Signal Manoeuvre) they shouldn't be driving in this country!

Furthermore, since the accident we have been told we are unable to claim for the damage to the car.  The driver did not report the accident to his insurance company and they have no record of the accident or the lorry.  The lady that I spoke to at the call centre said that all we could do was to either contact their insurance company ourselves (which I have done by email already) and wait for a response or to have the repairs done ourselves and keep all receipts and then take the matter out with an independent solicitor.

She said that when people are hit by Polish drivers in this country, more often than not the case is never resolved.  If an English man or woman had a RTA abroad the foreign police/authorities can contact the DVLA in Swansea and get all our personal details, but as the driver was Polish and has Polish insurance, due to some stupid EU regulation the British police cannot force the Polish authorities to trace this individual.  How is this right?

By:Sarah


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notahappybunny

notahappybunny

I have had the same issue as many. Hit by Polish lorry simply changing lanes into me on the M6 toll. Severe damage to my three week old car. First thing driver did was to climb into his cab and delete all files on his dashcam and then refused to give me his details. Called 999 and eventually a Highways Agency officer arrived who obtained the details for me but when I asked if he would confiscate the dashcam he said he had almost no powers and that in his opinion the police should always attend as often the vehicles were breaking many of our laws. I have been given a tip to get the police to attend which I will pass on in that when asked by the emergency service operator if anybody is injured say no but the other driver smells of drink. He denied all liability so am faced with at best a knock for knock claim and loss of £500 excess. Have always resisted the idea of dashcams - there's enough snooping in our CCTV / ANPR world - but have since bought one. I have been told that the regulations applied to UK trucks driving in mainland Europe are much more stringent with regards to mirrors etc than those we apply to foreign drivers here. Can anybody confirm or deny this ??
notahappybunny
10th Jan 17 11:01

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JayE

JayE

Polish car driver rushing to the airport didn't notice my car had stopped in the queue of traffic at a roundabout. He went into the back of me causing £1k of damage.

He's been very good. Gave me his mobile number which is actually his, provided insurance details and admitted liability. Yet his insurers are giving mine the run around saying he has never reported an accident to them.

It's been 2.5 months now and I paid out £400 excess to have my vehicle repaired. Doesn't seem any closer to being resolved. I did stop and take photos clearly showing the policyholder and his vehicle. Frustrating!
JayE
9th Jan 17 12:01

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Bunny

Bunny

Me too, 65 mph in lane two of M25, light traffic. Romanian driver of artic decided to change lanes and hit near side rear of my car which started a 360 degree spin, x 3, another impact and finally a heavy smack into the barrier which ended with me facing the wrong way. Luckily I was not seriously injured despite being in a convertible with the hood down! Five police cars, ambulance, fire engine, rolling road block, the works. Driver of truck was witnessed by following vehicle just hanging lanes with no indication and obviously not looking in mirror. Truck driver asked by police to move tractor unit into side of road which he did, promptly driving into the side of a police BMW!!! His comment, 'sorry, I did not see you'. Says it all really.
My car, a write off, paid out by insurance but having to wait lord knows how long for reclaim of lost excess, £500. Two weeks without a car, lots of stress and sleeplessness but told by solicitor that one cannot claim for stress, amazing. Fifty years of claim free driving, around 25k per year and now seriously pissed off.
Bunny
11th Nov 16 11:11

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Nasty?

Nasty?

Maybe these two situations was not fold of the foreing drivers, maybe it is you, maybe you do not know but one survery showed that british are the worst drivers in europe. Maybe if your country is joined to EU they should change driving rules as are in whole of the europe. Do not you thing so? Get drive righ side of road and then we will see who is the maniac and who can not manage on the road.
Nasty?
24th Apr 16 08:04

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horn

horn

Horn - rule 112: Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence.
If you drive in lorry's blind spot and you see he is putting indicator on, HORN!
That's what it is for, not to tell other drivers off!
horn
12th Feb 16 02:02

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Rob

Rob

ALL, i repeat ALL Polish/ German etc EU HGV are insured for EU/GB usage/driving. Your insurance is too lazy to sort this out and prefer to charge you than involve themselves. You can always call straight to Polish insurance companies asking about advice if you have all insurance/driver/accident photos/police details. They are obligate to help you. If you still have problem ask Obusman for help. Driving HGV without insurance through EU can costs up to 10 000. Nobody risk it. Again, they have valid insurance but your companies dont want spend a time for it.
Rob
28th Dec 15 08:12

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irenabee

irenabee

Hello I had a very similar incident on the M42 last October (2014) and like you I have suffered the same frustrating situation with the police, and insurance company- of course had the driver actually caused any fatalities they'd be forced to have done something. We were travelling at a set 60 mph and sandwiched in the middle lane. No one wanted to know. There is no where to go with this and you're left feeling really angry.
irenabee
29th Sep 15 10:09

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Tired and emotional

Tired and emotional

Excuse the typo, good night and safe driving if you encounter any cars (usually rust buckets) with Polish plates do be careful not all drivers are as good as me.
Tired and emotional
25th Feb 14 10:02

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Tired and emotional

Tired and emotional

I'm in no hurry to lose all my rights at work and I like the idea of other people enjoying workplace rights so I won't be voting UKIP, I also have a perfect driving record have and have never been involved in an accident or even picked up a speeding ticket, from what I have observed Eastern European drivers aren't very good and the 'workers' are vastly over rated too.
Tired and emotional
25th Feb 14 09:02

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Vote UKIP

Vote UKIP

Leo-Lady,
Yet another reason why people should vote UKIP in May.
Vote UKIP
25th Feb 14 08:02

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Leo-Lady

Leo-Lady

I was recently hit on the M25 by a lorry driver from the Czech Republic, who entered into my lane in the road works on the North side of the M25, he hit me twice and pushed me over into the crash barrier in the center of the motorway, I am so lucky to be alive and uninjured (I think it was only due to the slowness of the traffic) I called the Police as I was unsure what to do and being a female driver on my own, the Police would not attend as there was no injury, and advised me to get the drivers details. The lorry drive stopped and gave me his insurance company details, I have just been informed by my insurance company that the driver was not insured to drive in the UK, what are we supposed to do? I suggest that a record of all these drivers and their Lorries registration details are kept at the ferry terminal and when they try to enter the UK in future they should be prevented form entering, or is that against EU regulation or their civil liberties'? mine have not been taken into account as my car was written off, by the time I had the excess deducted and the rest of the outstanding balance of the insurance policy I was unable to purchase a car of equivalent condition. Not a happy person.
Leo-Lady
25th Feb 14 08:02

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Eve L

Eve L

My sister was driving my car on A23 at Handcross northbound in a 40mph roadworks zone. We were travelling in the middle lane and an HGV was travelling on the inside lane when all of a sudden I felt a surge and looked out of the nearside window to see a wall of white metal pushing against the side of our car. The dutch lorry had decided to pull out with no indication. he continued to push us forward until our car was spun out of control and was then carried horizontally on the front of his cab for what seemed like an age. The car was then dumped on the inside lane of the A23 facing the oncoming traffic.The lorry drove on past and we thought he wouldn't stop but he did and parked up and came back to our car. He said he was sorry and didn't see us were we ok as he had to go, we said NO, we are calling the police. The police arrived and took a report and said he'd accepted liabilty. However, two weeks later I still have no car no courtesy car either and the dutch lorry driver has only just reported the accident and still has to give his report to his insurance company. Mean while I am shocked could have been seriously injured or even died. I live in rural Somerset, where there is no bus and no shop I am also disabled. He is carrying on his life and mine is in turmoil. Something has to be done about this. it is not fair!
Eve L
25th Feb 14 04:02

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Sheri

Sheri

Yesterday, I was hit by a lorry and so very grateful I am alive. Whilst driving down to Brighton from Crawley on the A23, after it changed to two lanes, I was in the right lane and as I was passing a large lorry I noticed (with my peripheral vision) his right light indicating to come into the right lane where I was. The very next second, I was jolted and realised he had hit the side of my car and found my car spinning out of control across the lanes and ended up horizontal up against the lorry as it was travelling at 60 mph. I was convinced I was going to roll and die as he proceeded to push my car without stopping or slowing down. My car then spun again as he must have tried to push me off and I ended up on the grass embankment. The driver then got out of his lorry and ran to my car and started banging on my passenger door. I rolled down the window and was greeted with a tirade of Spanish abuse interspersed with shouts it was my fault! I called the police immediately. Before they arrived the driver came back and again started hurling threats at me whilst on the phone and I honestly think this had happened to him before as he seemed panicked and suspected, unlike me, that this was not the first time he had been in an accident and was clearly worried. (The Police later told me that he kept pushing for them to side with him and claim I was the guilty party, which they refused to do.) In my opinion as he had been driving a left hand lorry, he barely looked in his side mirror before moving into my lane (and me). When the police arrived they got all his details for me and I was taken to hospital purely as a precaution. The police had difficulty understanding his English and had to get an interpreter. He told them that I had hit him because I had moved into his lane - which was either an outright lie or he only noticed me after he had hit me and I careered into the left lane in front of him! Luckily for me a witness subsequently contacted the police and substantiated my account of what happened. My insurance company has been brilliant and AA Law are making sure I suffer no financial loss - because we're also going to sue the drivers insurance company over and above the cost of my car. I was told that the European Law states that abroad, insurers have up to 6 months to sort the matter out, unlike the UK. However, because I called the Police and they investigated on the scene at the time the driver cannot pretend the accident didn't happen. Therefore I would strongly urge anyone in the same position as I was in, to make a call to the police. Also having a crime number from the police strengthens your claim as it's more difficult for a driver or even an insurance company, (for those who are unscrupulous and obstructive), to wiggle out of paying for any damage or trauma.
Sheri
17th Dec 13 11:12

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sue

sue

Sorry this happened to you. My advice to anyone who has an RTA with a foreign driver is get police out. Dont just take their word that it correct details you been given. Hope you sort it out.
sue
30th Oct 13 04:10

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MT

MT

had exactly the same happen on M25 on Friday by a Turkish driver who then didnt stop, my 5 year old was traumatised. Called the Police there and then expecting they would send a car out to stop him but no they just took details!
MT
5th Aug 13 08:08

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