There are two ways to look at car accidents. Either, they were your fault, or they were someone else’s. To be honest, that’s the only thing the police care about once they arrive at the scene of a car crash. You’ll know this because once they’ve confirmed no one was speeding, they’ll move along quite quickly. You, your lawyer and your insurance provider will be left wondering who caused the car accident. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure there’s no chance of you being blamed. First, we need to think about a few basic checks.
Safe Driving Checks
Essentially, you need to make sure you weren’t breaking the law. Think about whether you were on the phone or speeding. Also, make sure you weren’t driving with your lights off in the dark or without a seatbelt on. All those checked off? Good, so we can now calmly reason that legally, you had done nothing wrong, and that’s a great start. However, there are some other issues we need to think about as well.
You see on the road you might have been keeping to the law without driving with due care and attention. Due care and attention is a legal term which means you weren’t distracted while driving. Unfortunately, despite what the media suggests there are other forms of distraction rather than just speaking on the phone. For instance, you might have been having an argument while you were driving. Or, you might have been playing with the radio. While not a legal fault, you could still be held accountable for the accident if this is discovered.
But if you’re sure you were driving safely, and you weren’t breaking the law, you can confirm the accident wasn’t your fault. Can’t you? Actually no, because your description of the events might be different to someone else’s. You might say you were driving under the speed limit, but another driver might disagree. You might say you weren’t distracted while someone else swears they saw you fiddling with the radio. At this point it becomes a ‘he says, she says’ scenario. So, these factors alone don’t necessarily mean you’ll avoid accountability for the accident. Then, what does?
Rear End Crash
If someone crashes into the back of your car, it will always be their fault. There’s good reason for this. If someone crashes into the back of you, they should have been driving with enough care and attention to stop on time. If they didn’t, it’s obvious they weren’t focusing enough on the road. This is the theory at least and it does tend to hold up in court. It’s why you should never speed up to stop a driver pulling out on you. If you crash into them, it’s your fault for speeding up. An accident lawyer can help you out with more details on how this type of situation works. But, if a car has hit you in the rear and you’ve been moving, you’re in the clear.
Did the car not react as it was supposed to, thus causing the crash? If that happens, you will actually be entitled to sue the car company. Assuming your MOT is up to date, and the accident couldn’t have been prevented by maintenance the car company is at fault, not you. In the past, this fact has been used in law cases where cars have rolled over after traveling below the speed limit. While the driver is not at fault, the car company often has to pay out millions in this situation.
If you crash due to bad weather, and you weren’t speeding, you won’t be held liable for the accident. However, it’s important to realize speeding might not be traveling above the speed limit in this situation. It might imply the speed limit that should have been followed due to the weather conditions. For instance, you should not be traveling at sixty in torrential rain.
If your car is stationary, parked safely and someone crashes into you, there is no way you can be held accountable. They will have to pay compensation and again, it could lead to a legal battle with a large payout. Generally speaking, these types of car accidents aren’t simply handled by the insurance company. It gets a little more complicated because the injuries are often severe.
Act Of God
Finally, you will not be held accountable for an accident if you experience an act of God. This could be crashing into a tree that has fallen on the road after being struck by lightning. If there wasn’t enough time to stop and you were traveling at the right speed, it was an act of God. Unfortunately, in this situation no one is liable. Therefore you should not expect a payout from an insurance company.