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Who is Responsible for a Traffic Accident

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 28 Apr 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Accident Insurance Injury Injuries

When you're involved in a road traffic accident it's likely that you will initially be suffering from shock, whether or not you are physically injured. To add to that you've got to worry about your car insurance, who is admitting liability, and what the law demands you do in the aftermath of a collision.

Straight After a Collision

Regardless of your initial thoughts on who is to blame, don't get out of your car and start shouting and yelling at the other driver(s). Whatever the situation, it's not going to help if you lose it and all that people can remember at the scene is you going mad - it won't cast the kindest light on your situation if you end up having to go to court.

Admitting Fault

First things first, don't admit that you are to blame for the collision. Insurance companies take a dim view of people who admit liability, and even if you feel that it is your fault you shouldn't offer to take the blame at the scene. Remember that it's up to investigators to figure out what happened and who to point the finger at. You can provide the insurance company with a full statement later on and let them take the appropriate course of action.

A driver is not legally obliged to admit that they are at fault at the scene of an accident, so don't be bullied into doing so or try to force anyone else to admit liability. Of course if you do say that you were to blame and apologise for the crash, then if anyone hears you, they might be asked to stand up in court and say that you admitted liability at the scene. Remember that if you're in shock it can do funny things to you and you might say something that you don't mean, so avoid taking responsibility for anything.

Why Shouldn't I Admit Fault if I Think I am to Blame?

If the other driver is pushing you to admit fault remember that if you admit liability when you aren't to blame then you run the risk of losing any compensation you might have got from injuries sustained in the accident, and depending on the level of car insurance you have, you may end up without a car or a settlement payment.

The Other Driver Hit Me. How Can I Prove This?

Straight after the accident, look around and see if there are any bystanders. Unfortunately lots of people don't want to get involved as witnesses anymore, but you might strike lucky and find someone who saw the whole thing and who is willing to give you their contact details so that you can get in touch with them later on. If you can, it's a good idea to ask for a business card or to ask them to write out their details for you, you will probably be running on adrenalin after the accident and might get things wrong.

It's always a good idea to carry a disposable camera in your glovebox or somewhere in the car just in case you are involved in an accident. It doesn't take up much space and investigators can look at your photographs when you put in your insurance claim and may be able to tell from the position of the cars in the photograph who is most likely to be at fault.

If you suspect the other driver was on their mobile telephone or was distracted in some way, make a note of the reasons why you think this. When the insurance company are looking into it they may make the choice to contact the mobile service provider and find out if the other driver was on the phone. If you think any witnesses saw the other driver doing something that caused the crash, make sure you speak to them and get their details first.

Leave it to The Experts

Insurance companies have dedicated investigators who will look at all the evidence and make a decision based on what they can see and what they find out from their enquiries. The best thing you can do is get as much information and evidence on the accident as possible and forward it onto your insurers - it's their responsibility to decide who was at fault.

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I pulled in to kerb to park, driving through all 3 avaliable spaces - no other cars.stopped at the end, checked rear view...put her in to reverse, just to get a fraction closer to kerb, planned to reverse back to the first park space too as i knew they were vacant! .mirrors, mirrors, mirrors.....bang, smash.Mirrors.....nothing!!Hop out, here is this little blue sedan with its passenger headlight smashed in, bumper hanging off and a nice big dent in the bonnet from mytow ball.I have a ute with a lift kit....they had a little old sedan.So in the time ive stopped, put my head down to change gear, hes snuck in behind me.I was only a foot or so from kerb when i started to reverse.Ive gone almost through the middle 'free' space, and my back tyres are nice and snug next to kerb, when ive hit him. So, if anyone has the answers, i would like to know please: 1.What was his (if any) responsibilty to me, having not completed my maneuver? 2.He had stopped 1.5 metres (at least!!) away from kerb, is THAT a contribution factor? 3.Is this 100% my fault? I saw this car waiting at the intersection as ive come in.Now, his passenger had already stepped out or was stepping out of the car (apparently i almost hit him too!)when i hit them.So to me that says they have just pulled in quickly from intersection, without paying attention to my parking.. Thanks :)
BettyB - 28-Apr-16 @ 5:57 PM
I was at a junction waiting to turn right onto a main road. There was a parked car in front of me opposite the junction (on my side of the main road) and 2 parked cars on the corner of the opposite side (on the main road) i looked both ways twice and it was clear so i pulled out. As i was pulling out and was on my side of the main road i then heard and saw a car skid towards me coming from the opposite side. I broke hard and almost stopped as i just reacted out of instinct when he then pulled out to overtake the parked cars (as he wasn't going to stop in time) trying to squeeze inbetween us and hit my rear driver side quarter of the car with the corner of his car.He was clearly on my side of the road and i assume he was speeding as he skidded so far and it is a 20mph zone and there was speed bumps that im also assuming he was trying to go down the middle until he saw me pull out. He is saying i pulled out in front of him? Could this be when i had pulled out in plenty of time and was already on my side of the road when the accident occurred on my side of the road because he had to overtake the parked cars on his side?
H - 22-Apr-16 @ 4:22 AM
LF - Your Question:
My daughter was slowing reversing from a parking space. She noticed a man wanting to pass so stopped to let him by, she checked and it was free for her to pull out just to have a car traveling at a good speed come out of nowhere and the two cars scrape together. My daughters scrape is on the back bumper where the other car was near the wheel of the rear driver side door. Who would be at fault please? The lady came out of her car swearing away and was not pleasant to my daughter too.

Our Response:
We are able to say who's at fault in cases posted in comments as we don't have full possession of the facts.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 21-Apr-16 @ 11:28 AM
My daughter was slowing reversing from a parking space.She noticed a man wanting to pass so stopped to let him by, she checked and it was free for her to pull out just to have a car traveling at a good speed come out of nowhere and the two cars scrape together.My daughters scrape is on the back bumper where the other car was near the wheel ofthe rear driver side door.Who would be at fault please?The lady came out of her car swearing away and was not pleasant to my daughter too.
LF - 19-Apr-16 @ 6:43 PM
I was indicating left to come out of a side road I came out and some idiot was driving on the wrong side of the road and hit me he braked and moved but still scraped my bumper and then he said can we sort this abother way what an idiot. What do I do?
Irving mitchell - 17-Apr-16 @ 11:56 PM
Kirst - Your Question:
I was driving down a a single carriage way, when we got to one of those mini roundabouts, you know the ones where they are painted on the road and it's only a dot of a mound in the middle. At the round about you can either go left at 10o'clock or straight over at 12o'clock, or go round the roundabout back on yourself at a right turn. Anyway the car in front of me without any indicators that I could see turned left, so I carried on straight. However as I got to the centre of this so called roundabout the car that had turned left before me was now right I front of me indicating right and altho I slammed on brakes I still went into his drivers door. Who is said to be at blame.

Our Response:
We can't really say who is to blame when we only have one view point unfortunately. Your insurer should be able to help you.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 15-Apr-16 @ 10:51 AM
I was driving down a a single carriage way, when we got to one of those mini roundabouts, you know the ones where they are painted on the road and it's only a dot of a mound in the middle. At the round about you can either go left at 10o'clock or straight over at 12o'clock, or go round the roundabout back on yourself at a right turn. Anyway the car in front of me without any indicators that I could see turned left, so I carried on straight. However as I got to the centre of this so called roundabout the car that had turned left before me was now right I front of me indicating right and altho I slammed on brakes I still went into his drivers door. Who is said to be at blame.
Kirst - 14-Apr-16 @ 10:17 AM
Can you advise me on who is at fault - everyday I have to access a roundabout to approach the motorway via a slip road - the approach is a dual carriage way and one lane has road markings clearly showing it should be used to go straight ahead, whereas the right states that it is to go around the roundabout to access the slip road.There are however two lanes around the roundabout itself. Everyday I see near misses where people use the left lane deliberately with a view to accessing the slip road - treating it as a short cut.Very often they don't bother indicating and undertake in the process. Generally speaking, people in the right lane will look to move over to the left to access the slip road. Where a collision takes place in the process who is at fault?Technically the car in the left lane should not be there in the first instance, they have ignored the road markings, have not indicated and undertaken - the driver following the correct procedure would have collided with the car, which may have been in his blind spot and may have been undertaking? I think it is knock for knock but don't know if ignoring the road markings have any bearing on the situation?
debsydoodah - 23-Mar-16 @ 5:12 PM
I was reversing out of a parking spot and it was clear put my car in first gear after reversingand was hit frombehind.the other person had reversedout of a parking spot in the main car park didn't give way at the give way at the give way lines on her part of road just drove straight out an into me who at fault
Lel - 18-Mar-16 @ 4:31 PM
Hi My partner had an accident last week. He was overtaking a bus which had stopped at a bus stop another car came from behind him shot past dragging his front end out (and completly off) and around the bus nearly squashing him up against the bus, they travelled on for well over 50 metres before they stopped..... They got out the car immediately and started taking photos I approached them and asked if they was ok to which they replied yes then called the police...... My partner and her swapped insurance details and she drive her car home ours was not driveable and now we are awaiting an investigation from the insurance companies however since then we have also received a personal injury claim
lcy_cts - 17-Mar-16 @ 1:58 PM
William - Your Question:
Hi, looking for some advice on this one. I was driving along a clear single carriageway main road that has two residential streets leading off it, one to the right, the other to the left some 50 meters further along. I indicated to turn left down this second residential street, slowed down to make the maneuver and as I looked into the street, I could see cars parked closely to the junction off the main road. I had to turn slowly to avoid hitting the parked cars on my left. The vehicle behind me came from nowhere, hit my passenger side door, front passenger wing, near-side front wheel and suspension. The speed of his vehicle was such that it hit me completely across this junction with my car ending up in the residential garden wall. My car was written off and I suffered some minor injuries. The driver insisted that I was indicating right and so he undertook me and that I had turned into him - he hit me in the side from behind? It has gone to court with the insurance companies to prove liability and as no defence was given from the other driver, my insurance company obtained judgement. Now, months later, they are trying to set aside judgement using my indicating as their defence. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he thought I was indicating to turn right (I wasn't), is one allowed in law to undertake a vehicle on a single carriageway when there was no room to safely do so? I don't know how they think this is a defence? Also, his speed on this 30mph road was far, far in excess of the limit and that shows by the side damage on my car (scrapped by insurance now). HELP - I'm at my wits end. I need clarification on what seems a simple liability fault and I can't see his side of the argument. Any advice please.

Our Response:
Did the police take any measurements etc at the time of the incident? This will help indicate the speed of the other driver. Regarding undertaking...the highway code states that you should:
"Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so.
And
You should only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so"
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 16-Mar-16 @ 10:20 AM
Hi, looking for some advice on this one. I was driving along a clear single carriageway main road that has two residential streets leading off it, one to the right, the other to the left some 50 meters further along. I indicated to turn left down this second residential street, slowed down to make the maneuver and as I looked into the street, I could see cars parked closely to the junction off the main road. I had to turn slowly to avoid hitting the parked cars on my left. The vehicle behind me came from nowhere, hit my passenger side door, front passenger wing, near-side front wheel and suspension. The speed of his vehicle was such that it hit me completely across this junction with my car ending up in the residential garden wall. My car was written off and I suffered some minor injuries. The driver insisted that I was indicating right and so he undertook me and that I had turned into him - he hit me in the side from behind? It has gone to court with the insurance companies to prove liability and as no defence was given from the other driver, my insurance company obtained judgement. Now, months later, they are trying to set aside judgement using my indicating as their defence. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he thought I was indicating to turn right (I wasn't), is one allowed in law to undertake a vehicle on a single carriageway when there was no room to safely do so? I don't know how they think this is a defence? Also, his speed on this 30mph road was far, far in excess of the limit and that shows by the side damage on my car (scrapped by insurance now). HELP - I'm at my wits end. I need clarification on what seems a simple liability fault and I can't see his side of the argument. Any advice please.
William - 15-Mar-16 @ 9:12 AM
Hi, I was involved in a collision the other night. As I was emerging to go right from a T junction I was pulling into the middle lane to turn when a car collided with the front left side of my car. I did not see them until just before the point of contact where they hadn't indicated from the outside lane and turned well after the arrows indicated on the road in order to find the middle point of the road to turn into the junction I was coming from. If they had been going straight on the box to indicate this is just after the end of the entrance of the junction I was coming from, thus meaning they turned too early. Although at this point I wasn't straight, I was most certainly in my lane. Who is at fault?
Dave - 14-Mar-16 @ 5:18 PM
I was involved in a collision with a man on a off road bike this morning the police have charged him with numerous affences my car is a mess can anyone please tell me where I stand .Many thanks. Thinker
Thinker - 13-Mar-16 @ 7:25 PM
I was hit by a drunk driver, coming over a bridge he was on my side of the road and hit my car. He was 4 times over the limit, fled the scene but was so drunk the police found him asleep in a puddle behind some trees. He couldn't be interviewed until the following afternoon as he was so drunk. I was not injured (8 months pregnant!) but my car was written off. He was charged and convicted. His insurance company wont pay mine and think I should take 50/50 as they say there were no witnesses and he says I was on his side of the road!! I want to take it to court as I'm so angry. Why should my insurance be affected when none of it was my fault!! What are my chances of winning? Thanks.
N125 - 12-Mar-16 @ 7:19 PM
Hi, I was driving up my side of the road, with no obstacles, and a car coming from the opposite direction broke my wing mirror -there was parked cars on his side and not enough room for two cars (I was already on the stretch of road). He seems to think I am to blame, eh? I also had another adult in my car with me, who would be a witness. He proceeded to shout obscenities at me - leaving me a bit shaken. How would an insurance company view this? I know I wasn't to blame!
Th - 9-Mar-16 @ 4:49 PM
manofvision - Your Question:
I was in the outside lane on a 3 lane roundabout. At the point of the 2nd exit, in my lane I could either exit the roundabout or carry on to the next exit. I was already indicating right showing I had not intention of exiting at that point. Suddenly this car, from the middle lane, with what seemed twice the speed I was going, maneuvered in front of me aiming for the 2nd exit and in the process took off the whole of the front panel and grill of my vehicle. I came out and asked him why he drove in such manner but he wasn't remorseful at all instead arguing with me although I can't exactly remember what he said. I told him I wasn't prepared to argue and that I was going to call the police which I did. At a point before the police arrived he asked to move his vehicle but I refused. The police arrived and with their help we exchanged details. Now 3 days on my insurance company have not been able to speak to anyone from the other party's insurance company as 'they're not taking their calls'. I'm livid right now because I'm beginning to smell a rat. The police confirmed he was fully insured but could something fishy be going on here? I have no car use because the courtesy car people want admission of liability before they can proceed. Please what do I do now to make a successful claim off this third party's insurance company?

Our Response:
Chase it via your own insurance company. If you keep on angling for a response they should get a move on.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 8-Mar-16 @ 1:01 PM
Hi, My husband was in an accident at the weekend. He was travelling down a straight A road, slowed down and indicated to turn right at a cross roads and a car behind him overtook as he turned and crashes into the drivers side of our car and ended up in a ditch. The other driver said that my husband was not indicating to turn, which is untrue, and he actually indicated early as he had seen the car behind coming up very quickly. The police told us and the other driver at the scene that it was his fault as you should never overtake at a crossroads, so we thought we were in the clear with a no fault claim. I'm now reading posts however that say if the third party insurance company take the other drivers testimony that my husband wasn't indicating to turn, this might not be that case. Any ideas whether this might be the case? Or when I will find out from the police who they are blaming in their report and if the third party insurers will have to take their findings? Thanks!
Alasa - 7-Mar-16 @ 4:46 PM
I was in the outside lane on a 3 lane roundabout. At the point of the 2nd exit, in my lane I could either exit the roundabout or carry on to the next exit. I was already indicating right showing i had not intention of exiting at that point. Suddenly this car, from the middle lane, with what seemed twice the speed i was going, maneuvered in front of me aiming for the 2nd exit and in the process took off the whole of the front panel and grill of my vehicle. I came out and asked him why he drove in such manner but he wasn't remorseful at all instead arguing with me although i can't exactly remember what he said. I told him i wasn't prepared to argue and that i was going to call the police which i did. At a point before the police arrived he asked to move his vehicle but i refused. The police arrived and with their help we exchanged details. Now 3 days on my insurance company have not been able to speak to anyone from the other party's insurance company as 'they're not taking their calls'. I'm livid right now because i'm beginning to smell a rat. The police confirmed he was fully insured but could something fishy be going on here? I have no car use because the courtesy car people want admission of liability before they can proceed. Please what do i do now to make a successful claim off this third party's insurance company?
manofvision - 6-Mar-16 @ 4:24 AM
Oley - Your Question:
Hi - I am a cyclist and was involved in an accident this morning. Slow moving traffic and I was in the bus lane. A car from the other side of the road was turning right across the traffic. He began to manoeuvre, then stopped before pull across the bus lane. I shouted to attract his attention to me, but then he continued and he drove directly into me. Just cuts and bruises to me, but my bike has some damage. I have his details - I estimate the parts to my bike that need replacing being approximately £250/300. Front wheel, front brake, and potentially the front fork. The driver apologised and has said he will replace what needs replacing. What's the best thing to do in this situation?

Our Response:
If the driver has offered to pay, then you could simply, let him know what it will cost and ask for the money. He may want to take it through his insurance - and you may find that your household insurer is willing pursue this on your behalf.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 29-Feb-16 @ 12:17 PM
hi - i am a cyclist and was involved in an accident this morning. Slow moving traffic and I was in the bus lane. A car from the other side of the road was turning right across the traffic. He began to manoeuvre, then stopped before pull across the bus lane. I shouted to attract his attention to me, but then he continued and he drove directly into me. Just cuts and bruises to me, but my bike has some damage. I have his details - i estimate the parts to my bike that need replacing being approximately £250/300. Front wheel, front brake, and potentially the front fork. The driver apologised and has said he will replace what needs replacing. What's the best thing to do in this situation?
Oley - 26-Feb-16 @ 12:28 PM
Kimmgez - Your Question:
I was behind a van on a long road for at least 3 minutes on my moped, we had come to a stop light and I stopped half a car space behind the van (as I have always been told to do) the van then began to reverse into me and hit my moped damaging my mud guard. Fortunately I was not injured and completely fine. I have taken the mans details and he has mine but I don't know what to do now. Can anyone help?

Our Response:
Do you need financial assistance with the repari to your mudguard, you can either contact the van driver directly and ask (it's useful to get 3 separate quotes for this) or call your insurance company for advice.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 23-Feb-16 @ 2:06 PM
I was behind a van on a long road for at least 3 minutes on my moped, we had come to a stop light and I stopped half a car space behind the van (as I have always been told to do) the van then began to reverse into me and hit my moped damaging my mud guard. Fortunately I was not injured and completely fine. I have taken the mans details and he has mine but I don't know what to do now. Can anyone help?
Kimmgez - 22-Feb-16 @ 4:52 PM
I was in a partial accident today, I was driving on the left side of the road, with an island(or median) next to me filled with grass bushes, tress ect. A truck came up to the left hand side of my car, sped up and changed lanes in front of me but he was so close that he would have hit the front right side of my car, I swear we into the island and it jacked up my front and back left tires/hub caps. But the truck just drove off without stopping,If I had not swerved he would have hit my car. But he caused me to plunged into the island and and I'm lucky I didn't hit a tree and injure myself or my unborn baby.
Anna27 - 17-Feb-16 @ 10:11 PM
I was in my lane going straight ahead when a car that was in the outer lane side swiped car the outer lane was closed off with cones merging into 1 lanebut instead of putting the brakes on she went straight into my lane and hit me to my drivers side
Jay16 - 15-Feb-16 @ 11:03 PM
Peanut - Your Question:
I had my first accident today where I caught the back right hand side of the car. The woman in front had been driving and had indicated to turn left in to a new road, I preceded to carry on straight but as I did, the woman slammed on her breaks half in/half out of the road. She said it was due to an oncoming car. The oncoming car was moving on to the opposite side of the road to avoid a parked car. As I've hit the back of her car am I automatically to blame? I have read elsewhere that vehicles that are turning left should wait until it is safe before they turn, in case of oncoming traffic/pedestrians/cyclists etc. At my angle I could not see the oncoming vehicle so could not preempt her breaking suddenly. Does this make her liable?

Our Response:
We cannot comment on individual cases sorry. From the way you've described it, the other driver is probably NOT at fault though.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 10-Feb-16 @ 10:45 AM
I had my first accident today where I caught the back right hand side of the car. The woman in front had been driving and had indicated to turn left in to a new road, I preceded to carry on straight but as I did, the woman slammed on her breaks half in/half out of the road. She said it was due to an oncoming car. The oncoming car was moving on to the opposite side of the road to avoid a parked car. As I've hit the back of her car am I automatically to blame? I have read elsewhere that vehicles that are turning left should wait until it is safe before they turn, in case of oncoming traffic/pedestrians/cyclists etc. At my angle I could not see the oncoming vehicle so could not preempt her breaking suddenly. Does this make her liable?
Peanut - 8-Feb-16 @ 2:44 PM
Hi was wanting abit of advise, I was on a dual carriageway travelling the speed limit in the left hand lane, I checked my right hand mirror and a car was roughly 2-3 car lengths behind me, so I signalled right then started to move into the right hand lane, normally I would agree it was my fault, however I was travelling the speed limit with them going over the limit, is this still considered my fault with insurers?
Luap - 5-Feb-16 @ 2:49 PM
Was traveling over a cross junction where there was two car sitting in a yellow cross hatched are after I have just enters the junction the first driver turn in front of me and then the second as well I collided with the second on the front right side of my car now they have a witness and stating I went trough a red which I had not. Who's should win if going court
Raj1994 - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:01 PM
I was in the middle lane coming off a roundabout. I looked in my left hand mirror and saw that the left hand lane was clear. I signalled and started to pull over to the left. As I did so a car came off of the roundabout very fast and straight into the left hand lane. We collided and slid alongside each other, both stopping immediately.
bobby - 3-Feb-16 @ 10:03 AM
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