Chinese Truck Driver Hits Rolls-Royce, Must Pay 1.05 Million

Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom

From NetEase:

Guangxi Cargo Truck Driver Ordered to Pay 1.05 million Yuan After Hitting Rolls-Royce report — Recently, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Guilin city Yanshan district People’s Court heard a traffic accident compensation case involving an ordinary cargo truck and a luxury car, and ruled that driver Chen X bear all responsibility and pay the luxury car company compensation over a million yuan, a compensation amount rarely seen in the cases this court has heard. This case has been a wake-up call for all drivers, that they must be careful when driving.

Chen X is a driver from a town in Yangshuo county. On 2013 December 28, he was driving a cargo vehicle from Guilin city Yangshuo county Baisha town towards Longsheng county Sanmen town. While overtaking a car in front of him, he hit the Rolls-Royce (Phantom, stretched version) owned by the plaintiff, X Holding Company Limited, causing a traffic accident that resulted in different degrees of damage to both vehicles. The traffic division of the Longsheng various ethnic group autonomous county public security bureau wrote a traffic incident report determining that Chen X bears all responsibility for this traffic accident.

X Holding Company Limited took Chen X to court, demanding that Chen X compensate them 1.25 million yuan in losses for the vehicle; 62,500 yuan in depreciation to the vehicles; 6,500 yuan for towing expenses; 50,000 yuan in labor and traveling expenses involved in handling the traffic accident; and 10,000 yuan for the cost of substitute transportation while the vehicle cannot be used, totaling 1.379 million yuan.

Through the court’s hearing and investigation, Chen X was the only person he was driving, was operating under the defendant Guilin X Transportation Company, and had the required motor vehicle traffic accident liability insurance (property damage compensation limit of 2000 yuan) and third-party liability insurance (200,000 yuan limit in liability per accident) from defendant Tianping Automobile Insurance Corporation Guilin Subsidiary. On the basis of these findings, and in accordance with legal regulations, the court made the following judgement on 2014 September 29: 1. Defendent Tianping Automobile Insurance Corporation Guilin Subsidiary must pay RMB 202,000 yuan in compensation for losses to the plaintiff, X Holding Company; 2. Defendant Chen X must pay RMB 1.05 million yuan in compensation for losses to the plaintiff, X Holding Company; 3. Defendant Guilin X Transportation Company must bear joint and several liability.

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Comments from NetEase:

网易美国手机网友 ip:198.228.*.*

Big cargo trucks drive around recklessly every day, without any fear, so he deserves it.

网易浙江省湖州市手机网友 ip:61.130.*.*

He shouldn’t have to pay that much! You are just a car. Even when people die, it doesn’t reach a million! If you can afford such a car, you can afford to fix it, can afford to bear the cost of it. Or do other cars and people on the road have to yield to you just because your car is both big and expensive as you swagger through the streets? It’s not like you’ve contributed much to society anyway, nor paid more in road maintenance taxes, so [the money] shouldn’t be given to you, you pig!

jeffma [网易黑龙江省手机网友]:

The cargo driver had long gotten used to being “I’m number 1 under the sky”.

zmt00 [网易上海市松江区手机网友]:

Why aren’t such luxury cars required to purchase additional insurance when they go on the road?

竉哥哥 [网易天津市手机网友]:

Deserves it, who told you cargo vehicles to be the most arrogant [aggressive] on the road?

网易浙江省温州市手机网友 ip:124.160.*.*

He was out of his mind, daring to overtake [this sort of] car.

哇噻这个人的昵称好长耶 [网易辽宁省沈阳市手机网友]:

Looking forward to seeing a taxi hitting a luxury car.

网易山东省青岛市手机网友 ip:112.224.*.*

He’ll be spending the rest of his life living for this car.

网易河北省石家庄市手机网友 ip:106.117.*.*

That’ll teach you to overtake people.

网易安徽省马鞍山市手机网友 ip:114.102.*.*



Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Markus P

    Bummer… Though i feel nothing will change on Chinese roads, people will always assume it will happen to someone else, until the day that it happens to them.

  • firebert5

    “This case has been a wake-up call for all drivers, that they must be careful when driving.”

    Unless of course, you drive a luxury car!

    • Confucius

      It’s always fascinating to see upvotes on a comment that doesn’t make sense. Unless of course they’re just agreeing with the general “I hate people who drive luxury cars and it doesn’t matter if whatever I say doesn’t make sense” sentiment.

  • Toasty

    Have to agree with most of them. Truck and bus drivers are by far the most dangerous on the roads. They think because they have a big vehicle every one else will jump out of their way. Its good to see that one has finally got what he deserves.

    Regarding the case, how come the driver has to pay and not the truck company? They the ones who provided him with such crappy insurance. It seems a bit harsh he has to pay more than 1 million RMB (which he surely cant afford) just for an accident whilst doing his job.

    • Rick in China

      It could be argued that if it wasn’t ‘just’ an accident – but if he was driving in an illegal fashion, that he should have the responsibility to compensate. I don’t know what the road was like when he was overtaking – but since the investigators say he is 100% responsible for the accident, I’m guessing he may not have been driving in a fully legal fashion (ie. overtaking while in the oncoming lane or something like that)

      • Ken Morgan

        You shouldn’t trust the word of investigators 100% even in the UK some of them are get corrupted. For instance a friend of mine was hit from behind at traffic lights. The driver who hit him then said he reversed into her. Except he was on a motorbike. Then added to the story was he picked his motorbike up and threw it to make it look like an impact (it was a CB500 180kilos!).

        Shockingly the the crash investigators agreed with the story the driver who hit him saying his motorbike had reversed at highspeed into her car. He lost and had to pay out for the damage (indemnified by insurance).

        Turns out the woman in the BMW happened to have family connections with some high ups in the police.

        • Rick in China

          Seeing that motorbikes can’t mechanically go in reverse (except with kits or some specific cruisers or whatever), I find that hard to believe man. Doesn’t much of the UK also have traffic cameras and the such? Even family connections ‘with the police’, I would imagine the police would likely be able to come up with a better story than something that’s physically impossible to have happened, else that would be a wonderful case to get a _lot of people_ in trouble. Or, perhaps, contact the media, and it’s all over. I find that all hard to believe….

          • Ken Morgan

            You’re making a big assumption that UK police aren’t corrupt. It was only 30 or so years ago any accident on the road would be blamed on the darker skinned person.

            Currently right now in the UK there are problems with police seizing vehicles. Police can seize vehicles without insurance, as such people carry around insurance certs. The cop stops you at 8pm (when most insurance companies are closed) says your certificate is fake, conveniently can’t contact the insurer so seizes your car. It gets impounded with a £150 fee and £20 a day storage fee. Even if proven innocent you have no right to claim back those fees.

          • Confucius

            While I have significant gripes with the UK and corruption in the upper echelons of politics, I find your story very hard to believe. I must live in a very different part of the UK to you. I fully accept this is a case of your anecdotes vs my personal experience (significantly over half a century).

          • Boris

            Are these what a friend of a friend told you?

          • Ken Morgan

            Nope, I know these people

          • Boris

            The reason why I find your stories suspect is that my dad was caught about 3(?) years ago without insurance (his insurance ran out the previous day) because he did a stupid thing at a roundabout. He said he renewed it the same day so that is why it may not be on the system. This was after 8, the police let him go and asked him to produce the certificate at the station the next day. Which he did (thank God for the internet). So this calls me into question such stories of yours.

          • Ken Morgan

            The case law you are looking for is Pryor Vs Greater Manchester police 2011.
            This bit:

            165A Power to seize vehicles driven without licence or insurance
            TL:DR Pryor was insured and had a insurance certificate with him but they stilled towed the car anyway issuing multiple penalties and a £150 release fee. He went to court, and he won.

            The Daily Mail has a story on the 26th September 2014 from a person called Nathan Phipps. He was insured, the insurer hadn’t updated the PNC and the MID databases. He was stopped, car was seized. He was left at the side of the road. Next day he proved his innocence by producing insurance documents. He STILL had to pay the £150 release fee. A fee which amongst motoring circles is known to be impossible to get back.

          • Boris

            The first story does back up your point, the second only on the fees font (“says your certificate is fake, conveniently can’t contact the insurer so seizes your car.” – In the case you presented, the database wasn’t updated by the insurers, and I’m guessing the cop was an arsehole that stopped the guy).

            What we both can agree on (which, going through my previous comments I did not mention) is on the last point. Regardless of reason for the towing away, when found innocent, the fee should be waived. IMO, this as well as private clampers are basically legalised form of robbery. The law needs to change in this regard, we should start lobbying the MPs.

      • If everyone drove on a legal way would there ever be accidents and thus a need for insurance?

        • Rick in China

          Come on man..seriously? I hope you’re joking :D I’ll pretend you’re serious anyways.

          Accidents aren’t limited to law-breakers. People simply don’t pay attention all the time – they’re not in breach of the law and can be driving fully legal, yet cause accidents. In addition, people may be driving legally and for a (long list) of reasons, get in accident. Long and obvious list, not sure how this even comes up. I wouldn’t be surprised if a large majority of accidents occurs when people are driving fully legally and shit just happens, but don’t have interest in looking it up.

    • Kai

      Read the link on joint and several liability.

  • da_shan223

    1.05million yuan? I’m gonna just assume this is one of those symbolic rulings and that they don’t actually expect to collect the full amount. Unless truck drivers make a hell of a lot more than I think.

    At first, my western mind thought “shouldn’t insurance cover this?”…Then I considered what an extremely risky venture it must be to be an insurance company in a loosely regulated society. That goes double for auto insurance companies when you factor in that everyone is driving like the lines in the road are decorations.

    • SongYii

      can you imagine how much insurance fraud there would be!

      • da_shan223

        wow! now that you mention it…

      • lacompacida

        Fraud is OK, as long as the premium is equally steep.

        • da_shan223

          too steep of a premium and you have no customers and no insurance company would agree that fraud is okay (fraud equates to loss of profit). All money issues aside, I assume what SongYii was referring to was the safety issues involved with already erratic drivers now using an accident as a source of income.

          • Zhegezhege

            I think what lacompacida means is that insurance companies are not so naive as to not know that there will always be some degree of fraud, so they factor it in to their pricing.

            It’s like if someone hacks in to a bank account and transfers a few thousand out, it’s cheaper for the bank to just refund the victim and inform the police each time it happens than attempt to ensure that it never happens again – which they wouldn’t be able to do anyway.

    • lacompacida

      Insurance companies do not depend on how careful people are, nor how closely they follow rules and regulations to make money. It depends on large number of policy holders, and huge premium. I can always insure you for 10 million yuan damage with a 11 million yuan premium, even if I know I am sure you will claim. Running an insurance company is like running an casino. You depend on traffic.

      • da_shan223

        that’s incorrect. insurance companies and casinos depend on statistical models and probability, respectively. You need a certain volume to cover the fixed costs and overhead with a casino but that volume doesn’t matter if customers are walking out with more money than receiving. A casino is relying on the fact that any given game is more likely to pay the casino than the customer (look up “expected value”)…so volume, while important, is secondary. With an insurance company, it’s nice notion to assume that just charging a high premium takes care of the risk, but you there is a lot of time for accidents and “accidents” (read “fraud”) before the customers payments reach the premium amount. if I buy a new car through financing, put full coverage on it, and then total it two months later, I only lose out on the two months of insurance payments I made, the insurance company loses out on the value of the car less depreciation. insurance companies factor in the risk of an individual through statistical models and increase the periodic premium to account for it, but you assumption of how insurance works would mean only the very rich (that is, those who could afford to run into a rolls-royce) would have insurance…and I’ll tell you that the very rich would be better off just putting money aside in a savings account or another investment before they through money toward a possibility.

        • Poodle Tooth

          That’s incorrect! Here is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t actually contradict anything you said!

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    I have a friend who is a bus-driver and she told me they had special ‘car-recognition’ classes to teach them which vehicles were ‘too expensive to hit’…

  • mr.wiener

    Hmm. just by the by .If he offs himself, is the debt passed on to his kids?

  • Rob

    For those with no sympathy for the driver, keep in mind that truck drivers are often “forced” into reckless driving to fulfill their schedules by simple peer pressure. I know a guy who runs a small transport company and he’s complaining about that all the time. The expectations are often unrealistic or too optimistic because of tight competition, and when you don’t deliver timely you won’t get new contracts.

    Of course this doesn’t excuse breaking laws and endangering other people, but it’s another aspect of this story which comes to mind.

    • SongYii

      this is a good case for making the company partially responsible. charging this guy 10% as much would ruin his life just as much. an investigation into the company’s policies could probably uncover evidence for legal culpability, even under the arbitrary court rulings of china.

  • If I May

    If the truck driver was driving like a lunatic (what else in new in China, right?), then he must own up to the mess he made. That said, it’s disgusting that if he had killed a person, he would not have to pay nearly as much, and probably not even see jail time. Life is cheap over here, but some cars aren’t…

    • Confucius

      If you kill someone in China, you probably would face the death penalty. Your comment is more a reflection of how much value you place on a human being’s life, not how much the Chinese legal system values them as your comment “Life is cheap over here” seems to imply.

      • If I May

        That’s bullshit. There are numerous published stories from China where someone killed a person due to some form of negligence (typically some form of manslaughter) and the person that caused the death is made to pay a certain amount of money, almost invariably (possibly *invariably*) much less than one million yuan. I won’t look up such stories for you. You can do your own work. There might even be a few right here on ChinaSmack. Incidentally, I value life a good deal, but I do dislike assholes. They use resources that are better left for good people.

    • lacompacida

      Thank heavens to no-fault insurance.

  • SongYii

    1.05 million dings for this court.

    These assholes on chinas roads and highways need to get it through their tiny heads… if you drive recklessly, damage property, and risk other peoples lives to save 2 minutes drivinig time, you should and will pay for it for the rest of your shitty life.

  • JayJay

    This does not make legal sense. If the lorry driver can’t pay either through his insurance or employer, then why sue him?? all he needs to do is to declare bankruptcy, if he can. The plaintiff has to realise he won’t be able to pay even after selling both kidneys.

    • babe

      No such thing as bankruptcy for individuals in China!

  • Amused

    Wait, are they saying only $300 of liability coverage is required to get on the road???

    • lacompacida

      And the driver thought that is sufficient ?

  • da_shan223

    if he pays on the debt for the rest of his life on a fixed amount, the “time value of money” principle means the Rolls-Royce driver will extract little value form the gross amount (there’s no interest to compensate for the damage itself, opportunity costs and inflation). Unless there is debtors prison in China or unless debt is enforceable to descendants/spouses after death, I’m not sure what was accomplished here except for a symbolic act.Unless there’s some solace in knowing that the RR driver’s cellphone bills are covered from here on out.

  • lacompacida

    He has no insurance ? China is a very modern society.

    • da_shan223

      ??? Where’s Mr. Wiener? Somebody enlighten this guy.

  • lacompacida

    I have coverage for 12 million yuan.

  • Poodle Tooth

    Truck driver destroys a Rolls Royce Phantom – 1,000,000 RMB.
    Truck driver destroys my mother in law’s leg – 200,000 RMB.

    That said, if you’re going to put more money in harm’s way on the road than the average road user can afford to insure against, you shouldn’t expect compensation if you lose it. Otherwise just by being on the road, you are putting everyone else at risk of financial ruin.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I’m just surprised this hasn’t happened sooner. Traffic in China is insane. Like France but instead of confusing traffic laws, they just ignore their laws.

  • Xia

    “You are just a car. Even when people die, it doesn’t reach a million!”

    The sad reality: People’s life is worth less than a luxury car.

    • Nocturne

      This reminds me that in China it’s often cheaper to kill someone during a car accident than to seriously injure him. The one-time payment for the former is often lower than than lifelong support.

  • FYIADragoon

    I just wish it was one of those people on the electric scooters. Truck drivers are reckless drivers, but the scooters are always the worst.

    • da_shan223

      The motors are so silent, you have to rely on the courtesy of the driver to constantly honk the horn. Not that I wouldn’t get one, if given the chance. Just saying that it’s hard to adjust to as an American pedestrian…especially when your focus is on how to waltz through a crowd.

  • Confucius

    Are you able to post a link? I find that quite unbelievable and would love to read it myself even though I’m quite prepared to take your word on it.

    • Ghshhdjddhhd

      I remember reading an article on china smack about a driver who accidentally ran over a kid, but because they didn’t want to risk paying fees like medical expenses or something, he ran over her again on purpose to make sure the kid died. Sad stuff.

  • What shitty insurance policy!

  • j-pax

    Doesn’t insurance company have to pay?

  • mike921

    I guess the typical 3rd world ‘largest vehicle has the right of way’ rule didn’t apply here – or the Rolls owner is a Party stooge.