About

I'm an Aussie who moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2008. I'm always having a moan about something. This is where I moan and whinge about things. Enjoy.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Insurance Company. Part II

So to recap, at the end of the last post, I had emailed the person I had been in contact with, asking,

It has been a week since I replied to your email, can I please have an update on this matter?

A couple of hours later I found in my spam folder in Gmail..

"Please be advised I am on vacation and returning Sept 28".

I had also emailed the complaint/ombudsman address, with the following:

I am currently quite unimpressed with the service that I have "received", after a collision which occurred on Friday 11th September.

On Saturday 12th I called and provided all the details of the collision, including the fact that I was rear ended, before the guy who rear ended me then drove into the side of my vehicle, and proceeded to ram me off the road and into the barrier, before he got out of his car and proceeded to punch my window and explode glass all through my car, which the police informed me is a criminal offence.

On Monday 14th I was called, to have to provide all of the information and details all over again for some reason, only to be told that apparently it's my fault that I was rear ended and rammed off the road, and that you're not going to pay for any of the repairs to my vehicle.

I then replied and included dash cam footage showing that I was rear ended and pit manoeuvred and rammed off the road, including photos, and diagrams to show what happened, and the Quebec Police event number, to receive the reply of.. nothing.

Hello? Can I please have some sort of reply to all of the evidence I have provided which shows that I am not at fault for this collision which occurred?

Your assistance with this matter would be greatly appreciated.

This afternoon I noticed a new email in my spam folder (WTF Gmail?!):

Good afternoon Simon

I tried to reach you by phone today but it appears you were occupied. I didn’t want to delay in providing you with a response to your claim’s concern, and so I thought I would send you an email. Apologies in advance for the length of my message.

My name is [redacted] and I am an auto claims supervisor with Co-operators. The Ombudsman’s office forwarded your concern to me and requested I review the claim and your emails and respond.

I want to start off by saying that I understand how frustrating and time consuming being in a motor vehicle collision can be. 

[ Do you really? It certainly doesn't fucking seem like it, and it certainly doesn't help that this shit has been dragging on for almost 2 weeks now, with you mostly just ignoring me. ]

It’s not something we are ever ready to deal with. I also want to acknowledge that the actions of the other gentlemen involved, 

[ Gentleman? That's not how I would describe someone who puts their fist through your fucking window.]

after the collision, were unacceptable and I am truly sorry that this has happened to you. It does sound as though you handled the situation well and I’m happy to hear you weren’t hurt.

I can assure you that I’ve thoroughly reviewed your entire file, photos and dashcam footage that have been provided. Thank you for being so thorough with your explanation, it was very clear. And with that, I can understand your thought process as it concerns liability (fault). Being in your shoes, I think it’s easy to come to that conclusion. I do need to advise that as an insurance company, we are bound by certain rules that are written and legislated by the Province where the collision occurs. These are not our rules but Provincial rules that we must abide and follow.

So, I want to go over what happened and how I’ve understood it. It appears as though we are driving down a road 

[ Whoever the fuck "we" are. I don't recall having some random woman from an insurance company in my car when all this shit happened. And if she expects to be riding around in my car then she can chip in some petrol money, bloody freeloader.

Also, maybe if she had actually been in the car, then perhaps I'd be getting some useful responses instead of all the horseshit I've received so far. ]

with two lanes going in the same direction, with traffic flowing in both lanes. According to your dashcam, there are some signs that indicate the left lane (the one we are established and driving in) is going to end soon. Vehicles in front of us start to merge over to the right lane. As we keep driving, it appears as though we get to the end of our lane(our lane begins to shrink in diameter). 

[ A lane has a diameter? I was not aware they were round. ]

It is at this point that we attempt to merge over to the right lane. As you have described and the footage shows, we aren’t able to fully complete our merge when the vehicle in the right lane strikes our vehicle. This collision causes us to have to manoeuvre ourselves to the right shoulder of the road and come to a stop. The dashcam footage ends here. But you have advised that the driver of the vehicle that struck you, then comes out of their vehicle and proceeds to strike your window, causing it to shatter. Police are called and later arrive.

I hope that was a good snapshot of what took place.

From this, we are then able to establish liability. To do this we must apply the rules provided by the Province to assess fault. I want you to know that since you are our client, every effort is made to determine and prove fault to side in our favour. We in no way wish to accept responsibility, if we truly feel we are not. This is not good business. But based on the collision details, it pains me to say that in fact, we would be considered at fault for this collision according to the Insurance rules. I wish it were not the case, as I feel this other driver was out of line with his actions after the accident.

With that, I’m going to do my best to explain to you the reasons why we have no choice but to rule this way (even if our personal emotions/reactions would be to place them at fault).

Here is where it gets a bit technical. But I want to be as transparent as possible. Fault is decided based on the Rule of the Province of Quebec (Direct Compensation Agreement) you can see it here https://gaa.qc.ca/media/59385/convention_ang.pdf. The areas I need you to review that pertain to our collision are the following:

PAGE 6. This means that just because you are struck from the rear, it doesn’t make the other party at fault. The point of contact is not used in these rules.

Further on page 6

 

[ Oh, is that what a lane change is? I have only had to go through the process of obtaining in my drivers license in 2 countries, driven in 5, and currently hold a bus and motorcycle licence. I guess I'll have to try to remember this for the future. ]

Page 11, Next is the rule that we need to apply to this situation (keeping in mind that the point of contact between the two cars aren’t used to determine fault)

We also determine fault as if this claim would be taken to court and we would need to plead our case in front of a Judge. The questions we would need to answer are:

-prove to us that the other driver was negligent…. This is difficult to do as he was allowed to be in that lane and was allowed to be driving.

-what did the other vehicle do that was wrong and against rules of traffic…. Not letting someone merge in front of them, is not against highway traffic act.

-prove to us that he did something wrong…with this I have no evidence to use against him. I can’t prove that he struck your vehicle intentionally (vehicle to vehicle) and I can’t prove anything else that what he did violates the traffic act or rules of insurance etc

So at the end of the day, if I can’t prove he did something wrong, and we are the one’s that are moving from one lane to the other (directional change, not stopping to ensure safe to merge), then we have no choice but to accept liability. This is one of those scenarios that doesn’t seem fair but according to the rules, we have no choice.

I do recommend that you seek to get reimbursed for your broken window, as that appears to be an act of violence and you would have every right to go after that gentleman for that reason. 

[ ie, Feel free to try to get the other driver to pay for your window, but we're going to provide no assistance whatsoever with this. ]

I know this is not what you wanted to hear and I don’t expect you to agree. You have every right to be upset and frustrated. But I do hope that you at least understand the position we are in.

[ Oh, I know exactly what position you are in. It's slightly different to the "bent over" one you're trying to put me in. ]

Please reach out if you prefer to discuss this over the phone. I’m sure that we can find a time that would accommodate both of us.

Thank you for your time. My apologies for such a long email, but I wanted to be sure I explained myself and gave you as much information as I could.

Kindest regards,

 

Deep breath.


I replied..

Hello [name].

I am currently physically away from my phone, which is why I was not aware of your attempt to call, and why I was unable to answer. [ I had left it in my office, and was working downstairs. Probably for the best that this wasn't done via a verbal exchange. ].

Please allow me to respond to your understanding of my explanation of the events:

It appears as though we are driving down a road with two lanes going in the same direction, with traffic flowing in both lanes.

This is correct.

According to your dashcam, there are some signs that indicate the left lane (the one we are established and driving in) is going to end soon. Vehicles in front of us start to merge over to the right lane.

This is correct.

As we keep driving, it appears as though we get to the end of our lane(our lane begins to shrink in diameter).

Correct. I travelled to the end of the lane, at which point I need to leave the left lane, as it is ending. This is referred to as a zipper merge, and this is how people are supposed to drive. This news article attempts to explain, in case you are not familiar with the principle: https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/all-hail-the-zipper-merge-how-canadian-politeness-is-killing-the-efficiency-of-our-highways

It is at this point that we attempt to merge over to the right lane. As you have described and the footage shows, we aren’t able to fully complete our merge when the vehicle in the right lane strikes our vehicle.

Correct. I was merging into the lane, using a nice gentle movement to the right, which will use what's left of the lane which is ending for me to integrate into the single lane of traffic, as the road is designed to be used. I have all but completed my merge, when the vehicle behind me, who could have slowed, but chose not to, rammed into the back of my car.

This collision causes us to have to manoeuvre ourselves to the right shoulder of the road and come to a stop. The dashcam footage ends here.

Sorry, you are incorrect at this point. After the driver behind me impacted the back of my car, which was a fairly minor impact in the scheme of things, before I had a chance to do anything in the manner of trying to pull over, he proceeded to drive around to the right side of my vehicle, and then steer his vehicle back to the left, directly into the right side of my vehicle. This causes the rear of my vehicle to start drifting to the left as he is actively pushing my vehicle sideways. My rear tyres are screeching on the road as my car is being pushed from the side. This causes my car to end up aiming towards the barrier on the side of the road, which I am then unable to steer away from, and collide with.

If you review the dashcam footage I provided again, you will see that it demonstrates that this is exactly what happened. I am pretty sure this is also what I have explained several times already.

But you have advised that the driver of the vehicle that struck you, then comes out of their vehicle and proceeds to strike your window, causing it to shatter. Police are called and later arrive.

Correct. As soon as the vehicles stopped, he exited his vehicle, and proceeded to smash my rear window.

-what did the other vehicle do that was wrong and against rules of traffic…. Not letting someone merge in front of them, is not against highway traffic act.

-prove to us that he did something wrong…with this I have no evidence to use against him. I can’t prove that he struck your vehicle intentionally (vehicle to vehicle) and I can’t prove anything else that what he did violates the traffic act or rules of insurance etc

I am aware of the fact that there's nothing described in the HTA which requires a driver to let another driver change lanes. I wasn't aware however that apparently you're allowed to then rear end and then drive into the side of a vehicle and then ram them off the road because it changed lanes in front of you.

The other driver drove around and then steered into the side of my vehicle. He rammed my vehicle off the road and into a barrier. You have the dashcam footage I provided, which shows that there was a minor impact, when the other driver chose to drive into the back of my vehicle, at which point my vehicle continues travelling straight and forward for several seconds, until it abruptly starts travelling sideways and then smashes into the barrier.

I am having difficulty understanding how you seem to be unable to see that this was caused by the other driver actively ramming into the side of my car, as a second impact, after he chose to drive into the back of my vehicle. Why would my vehicle just randomly decide to start going sideways and then smash into a barrier off the side of the road, several seconds after being rear ended, which caused no difference to the trajectory of the vehicle?

[ It was at this point that I lost my patience, and went off on a little bit of a rant, about how pissed of I am with this whole process. Realising that it's probably not going to be the most constructive thing to add to my email, I later removed it, however I have saved it, and I suspect I will be using it in my reply if/when I receive a response to this email.. ]

Can you please review the information I provided and the footage once again?

If you are adamant that it's my fault that I was rear ended, and you aren't going to act on my behalf against the other driver for that, then let's move on to dealing with the fact that he then drove into the side of my vehicle, because by that point the roles had changed, and I now had right of way in the lane as I was fully inside the lane, before he exited the roadway and then re-entered the roadway/lane, impacted the side of my car, which makes him at fault for the collision which ultimately caused my car to be rammed off the road into the barrier, which is where the side and front end damage occurred.

Thanks.


Now I guess I wait to receive some more horseshit.

Update: 1hr later.. Oh, FFS! This just landed in my Gmail spam:

Thank you for your email.

I am currently out of the office and returning Monday September 28th.

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