Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Author:
Rose Gibson
Partner, Serious Injury Solicitor
Date:
16/10/2019

Determining who is at fault in a car accident is vital if you wish to claim compensation, but in many cases, this can be complex. So you need to consider whether the other driver made a mistake or breached the Highway Code in any way.

Even if you were partly responsible for the car accident, you may still be able to get compensation, as long as you can prove that the other driver also contributed, and that this was responsible for any injuries you’ve sustained.

For free legal advice get in touch with our Car Accident Claims Solicitors. We may be able to deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Did the Other Driver Make a Mistake?

A car driver may be deemed negligent in the eyes of the law if they were committing an offence at the time of the accident. For example, the driver may have:

      • Skipped a red light
      • Been travelling at excessive speed
      • Pulled out without looking
      • Not checked their mirror before making a manoeuvre
      • Acted out of road rage
      • Racing with another car
      • Stolen a vehicle and caused a collision in a police chase
      • Been drunk/ or under the influence of drugs
      • Lost control
      • Run over a pedestrian by failing to stop at a crossing
      • Run over a pedestrian by mounting the pavement/kerb

In many instances, it’s hard to prove that any of the above took place. However, witness statements documented by the police can prove invaluable in establishing the chain of events and proving it during legal proceedings. If the police collected contact details of these witnesses, our Car Accident Claims Solicitors can get further testimony from them if necessary to back up your version of events.

Did the Accident Directly Cause Your Injury?

To succeed with a car accident claim, you need to be able to demonstrate that the accident was responsible for the injury you’ve sustained. This is known as causation, and your medical records or a doctor’s report should demonstrate whether your injuries existed prior to the car accident or if the accident was the direct cause.

Has the Other Driver Been Convicted?

The other driver may have been convicted of breaching the rules of the road, receiving points on their licence and/or a fine for their offence. This can help to prove in a car accident claim that the other driver was negligent.

Just because the other driver has not yet been convicted, it does not mean that you can’t start your claim either on your behalf or on behalf of a family member.

Furthermore, did you know that even if the criminal proceedings are dropped or are unsuccessful, that is not a bar to a successful injury claim because it does not mean that the other driver was not negligent. It just means that the other driver was not responsible for committing a criminal offence.

Typical offences are

        • Driving without due care and attention
        • Causing serious injury by careless driving
        • Causing death by careless driving
        • Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
        • Causing death by dangerous driving
        • Driving whilst unfit through drink and drugs
        • Causing death whilst no policy of insurance is held

Did the Other Driver Hit Your Car from Behind?

It’s become a rule of thumb that, in the event of a car accident, if someone crashes into the back of you, it is their fault. If you are rear-ended and your car is hit from behind, the car accident is the fault (or liability) of the driver of the car that crashed into the back of your car. If you have been injured, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

There have been cases where the car in front stopped abruptly, causing the car behind to slam on the brakes and be crashed into the back of; but only when this has been on purpose, i.e. to cause a car accident so they can make a claim, has the blame ever not been on the car behind.

Did the Other Driver Apologise for the Crash?

If a motorist apologises for the accident or says something along the lines of “I didn’t see you”, this may constitute an admission of fault (liability), and may be recorded in a police report and insurance claim. It may therefore prove vital in establishing liability should you choose to make a claim later on.

Is There Video Footage of the Accident?

CCTV or dashboard camera (dashcam) footage may clearly depict some or all of the circumstances surrounding the accident, and therefore prove that the other driver was at least partly responsible for the accident.

For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors

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