It can often be very difficult to know who is to blame for a car accident. Most insurance companies explicitly state in their policies that drivers should not admit fault in any way until it has been incontrovertibly established. This may seem strange, because it only seems natural to apologise after colliding with another driver, but it ensures that the other driver involved is not able to claim against you when you really weren’t the one to blame.
Establishing fault in a car accident
There are various ways to establish which driver is to blame for a car accident. If either driver has been breaking the law in any way at the time of the accident, for example, they are likely to be responsible for the incident. It is assumed that any illegal action is likely to have contributed to the accident, no matter how seemingly insignificant. If one driver has collided with the back of another, again it is likely that they will be blamed, even if the driver in front had stopped suddenly. The law states that all drivers should leave enough distance so that the driver in front can stop suddenly if necessary.
What to do if you are involved in a car accident
The first thing to do after a car accident is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Turn on your hazard lights if your car is in the middle of the road, as well as the hazard lights of any other vehicles if their drivers are unable to do so. Next, if anyone has been injured, call the emergency services. If no one has been seriously injured, you should immediately call your insurance provider. The other driver should also do this.
Remember not to admit fault in any way until it has been legally established who was responsible for the accident. The driver who is to blame will then pay for damage to the other vehicle through their motor insurance policy. If you have been injured, you can also claim for personal injury compensation from the driver who was at fault.
How to claim
To find out more about claiming personal injury compensation, call our expert advisors here at Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to explain the claims process in detail and tell you how much compensation you could receive based on your personal circumstances and legal precedent. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so feel free to call whenever is convenient on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile. For a quick guide to your possible eligibility, check our 30-second online claim calculator.
Date Published: February 18, 2014
Author: David Brown