Determining who is at fault in a car accident can sometimes be quite tricky. Sometimes there is a difference between who caused the accident and who is legally at fault and this is important when it comes to who will be liable for personal injury compensation.
Violating traffic law
In most cases, the person who is at fault in an accident is the party who has violated a traffic law. To put this in perspective, if the accident was caused by a motorist who drove through a red light and subsequently crashed into another vehicle, then that motorist would clearly be at fault for flagrantly breaching the laws of the road. However, this is not always a clear cut case, if for example a vehicle is overtaking and pulls in suddenly in front of the car behind them, this car then brakes suddenly but is rear-ended by a car travelling too close behind them to react in a timely fashion, then the latter will be the party at fault and liable for any claims for compensation.
Perhaps where the biggest difficulty arises in determining who is at fault in a car accident is in the case of contributory negligence. This is where both parties are at fault to some extent and in these cases the courts will normally apportion blame based on the facts of the accident. Any person who has been found to have acted negligently and is partially responsible for their injuries may have their claim for compensation reduced accordingly.
If you believe you were not at fault in a car crash, it is vital to gather evidence to help support your claim. You should take photos of the accident, highlighting the damage where possible. If there are any witnesses to the accident, take down their names and addresses so that they may be called upon to support your version of events.
Claiming compensation for a road traffic collision
Have you been injured in a road traffic collision and someone else was to blame? If so, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. By contacting Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 you can speak in strict confidence with one of our professional and highly-trained advisors.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown