Damned if I do, damned if I don't


(Hilary Newhall) #1

Following a minor accident in which my daughter (pedestrian) was hit by a car on a ‘passage pieton’, I am faced with the dilemma of pursuing this via the insurance company (the gendarmes say that as the woman stopped, the penal code wasn’t broken).



In order to pursue this, I have to find the woman driver - she lives locally but until I knock on the right door of the right house, I won’t know - and ask her to sign a constat amiable and effectively make a claim against her insurance. I’m worried about doing this because although she stopped, she didn’t get out of the car and proceeded to tell my daughter it was her fault because she hadn’t been looking where she was going!



This is not about the money - it’s about trying to avoid a more serious accident in the future. I’m being told that I’m just creating problems for myself by trying to take this to its logical conclusion and that I should forget it, but my daughter and I are both being nagged by the ‘what if’ of doing nothing.



Not asking for answers, but I would be interested in your point of view.



thanks - Hilary


(Hilary Newhall) #2

Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately I wasn’t there and the gendarmes weren’t called. I went to see them the next day because I’d been told to ‘dépose une plainte’. After checking with his superior, the gendarme on the desk said that as the driver had stopped, she hadn’t committed an offence and therefore to settle the matter through the insurance company. I’ve spoken to my insurance company and know what steps to follow to resolve the issue ‘materially’. But this isn’t the point. The point is, regardless of the outcome of any insurance claim against her, has anything changed that will prevent another similar accident from happening (perhaps with more serious consequences) in the future?

Thanks - Hilary


(Stuart Wilson) #3

Lynn is absolutely right. We had this discussion at work last week funnily enough. It is absolutely down to the driver, pedestrian crossing or not. The Gendarmes should know this. Even if she stopped, she obviously didn’t stop in time. I would seek advice from your own insurance on how to proceed.


(Guillaume Barlet-Batada) #4

Dear Hilary,

In the first instance, it is advisable to check your insurance policy. You may be entitled to “aide juridique” (legal advice) so you can call the insurance company and receive free advice. They should be able to let you know what to do.

Bonne chance,


(Lynn STONE) #5

I remember reading a month or so ago that a new law had been introduced stating that even if pedestrians were not on a designated crossing, they had the right of way if they were to cross the road.
As this incident was on a crossing, even if the woman stopped I would say it is serious enough to follow through, even if only by asking the gendarmerie to issue a warning?
If gendarmes were involved anyway, they must have deemed it pretty serious?


(Kate Ryley) #6

Hello Hilary - was your daughter injured in any way? What were the circumstances of the accident - were you a witness? If the gendarmes aren’t interested in pursuing this then in my opinion the best thing you can do is go and give the woman a piece of your mind (if you are absolutely sure she was at fault in some way) and move on with your lives.