How Do I Know if I Am at Fault in a Car Accident?

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By Cai Bradley

on Friday 1 December 2017

two people assessing damage after accident

Knowing who was at fault in a car accident is a must, as that is essentially what determines who will be held liable for any costs, damages and compensation.

Using our car accident claims expertise, this guide outlines how to know if you are at fault in a car accident, the ways of proving the fault, and the steps to take following a road traffic accident.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident

Using Location of Damage

Proving You Are Not At Fault in a Car Accident

Why is it Important to Determine Fault?

Car Accident that Was Not My Fault

Car Accident That Was My Fault

Car Insurance After an Accident

Declaring an Accident to Insurers

How to Determine Who Is At Fault in a Car Accident

Car insurance companies will often determine the fault of an accident using various factors, but there are also methods of gauging an idea yourself.

Insurance companies generally use the UK car accident determination rules to determine the liability of an accident, but these can vary with each situation as all collisions include differing factors.

The location and amount of damage on the vehicles can be used to judge who was probably to blame. We say probably because it is important to keep in mind that each case is different.

Using Location of Damage

Determining the location of damage on the car can give a rough idea of whose fault an accident was.

Who is at Fault When a Car is Hit From Behind?

The fault of rear-end collisions in the UK typically lies with the car travelling behind the other vehicle.

Damage on the vehicles can determine this pretty simply, as one vehicle will have damage to its front-end, and the other will have damage to its rear-end.

Who is at Fault in a Left-Turn Accident?

The case of determining the fault of a left-turn car accident is also quite straight-forward in most cases.

If there is damage on the front-end of the car making the turn, and damage on the front-right side of the other, the car that has made the turn is usually deemed the at-fault party.

T-Bone, Side-Swipe and Right-Turn Car Accidents Fault UK

Other car accidents can be difficult to determine without analysis done by experts, as each driver may have contrasting recollections of the incident.

When the accident is more complex than a simple rear-end collision and the like, it may be necessary to consider an accident reconstruction expert, who will use all the available evidence to gather a more clear idea of who was at fault.

There are not always clear-cut answers to who is at fault in a car accident, and the factors in each claim vary considerably.

Some examples of additional factors considered, other than the damage to vehicles, are:

  1. Steering wheel angles
  2. Headlights
  3. Anti-lock braking systems
  4. Sudden acceleration 
  5. Crashworthiness
  6. Weather conditions
  7. Road conditions
  8. Visual impairments

How to Prove You Are Not At Fault in a Car Accident

So, once it is determined, how is the liability of a car accident proved?

Evidence is imperative. In order to prove that you are not at fault in a car accident, you need to gather as much evidence as possible from the scene and the aftermath of the incident.

Gathering information from the scene is the first step, taking a note of all involved vehicles, their drivers’ information and any witnesses. Try your best to get their contact details if possible.

If circumstances allow, you should also take photographs of the scene immediately after the incident, in order to visibly show how the cars ended up. Photographs of damage done to the cars are also worth taking.

You also need to be seen by medical professionals if you are injured, thus creating official documentation of the physical damage done should you pursue personal injury compensation.

In more serious circumstances, the authorities will seek accident reconstruction experts – who can recreate a scenario in order to depict exactly how the collision took place.

Knowing how to prove that you are not at fault in a car accident is crucial, as some people can incorrectly take the blame if they are unsure of road laws.

The best way of doing so is by ringing us after the incident, once you have been medically assessed, in order to discuss the next step in the claims process.

Why is it Important to Determine Fault Correctly?

The person who is deemed liable for the car accident is typically responsible for the damages and costs associated with the incident.

If you are at-fault, you can still receive some compensation but is far less likely than if you are not at fault.

Should the fault be incorrectly placed on you, perhaps due to you prematurely admitting fault without proper legal advice, you will be hit with the costs of the incident – and therefore higher insurance premiums.

What Happens After a Car Accident that Was Not My Fault?

Non-fault claims occur when one party is completely liable for the car accident, and you – the other party – demonstrated no negligence.

If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault, you should report the incident to the police, and then your insurance company as soon as possible.

Following an accident, you should give us a call when circumstances allow so that we can begin your non-fault claims process against the liable party.

Not all cases are black and white, but we will always attempt to complete your non-fault accident claim as soon as possible.

The more evidence available, the quicker liability can be decided. The earlier the liability is proved, the earlier we can recover your non-fault accident compensation.

What Happens After a Car Accident That Was My Fault?

Sometimes, cases are pretty straight-forward and there’s no escaping the fact that an accident was your fault.

However, when you are involved in an accident that is your fault, you should still contact your insurer as soon as you can in order to make them aware of the occurrence.

Of course, you should still stop and share your details with the other parties involved. Being cooperative can do no damage to your case, but be mindful not to apologise explicitly until it has been confirmed that you are at-fault.

Although it may be an act of showing concern or shock, apologising after the incident can be deemed as a confession of guilt in court, and could be used against you.

Whether you think you are liable for the incident or not, it is important to wait until you are officially considered at-fault – just in case!

If you have any queries or you’d like to start your non-fault claim, just get in touch with us here at Non-Fault Claims today.

Car Insurance After an Accident

The fact of the matter is that with most policies, any type of car accident can affect the price of your insurance, whether you were at fault or not.

The amount it affects your insurance largely depends on the circumstances and who has admitted liability, if anybody.

How Does Car Insurance Work if I Am At-Fault?

If someone makes a car accident claim against you, and you agree with them that it was your fault, the process is pretty straight forward.

Remember, if you are unsure whether you are at-fault or not, contact us and we will walk you through the process.

If you accept liability for the incident, your insurance premiums are affected quite considerably due to your increased likelihood to be involved in another car accident.

When you are considered as the at-fault party, you are likely to lose at least some – if not all – of your no-claims bonus (NCB) or no-claims discount (NCD).

Your no-claims bonus builds over the years that you are driving without having made a claim, but your premium could still go up regardless of whether your NCB was protected or not at the time of the claim. 

As time goes on and you begin to rebuild your no-claims bonus again, the claim will start to have less of an impact on your premium.

Will a Non-Fault Accident Affect my Insurance?

When you are involved in a non-fault claim, your insurance premium can still unfortunately increase, depending on which insurance company you are with.

As unfair as it sounds, as the accident has been deemed as no fault of your own, insurers do have their reasons for doing so.

Statistics have shown that non-fault claimants are more likely to make another claim in the future.

This is essentially due to external factors that may have led to the likelihood of you having an accident, such as the busy nature of the roads on your daily commute or the area which you live in, and so on.

When you use our services at Non Fault Claims, your no-claims bonus is unlikely to be affected by a non-fault claim.

Do I Need to Declare an Accident to my Insurance Company?

When you read that your insurance premiums can increase regardless of whose fault the accident is, you may naturally be tempted to avoid declaring the accident to your insurers.

We really recommend that you do declare any accident to your insurance company, as you are likely to face much worse consequences if you don’t.

Almost all insurance companies include a clause in their policy that states you must notify them of any car accidents you have been involved in over the previous five years.

Some even require you to provide details of all car accidents that you have been involved in since you began driving.

Failing to do so could lead to the insurance providers invalidating your policy.

Cross-reference checks are carried out by insurance companies that involve a number of vehicle insurance databases, so it is probable that any undeclared incidents will be discovered.

Get a Car Accident Claim Quote Today

Here at Non-Fault Claims, we offer high-quality lawyers and advisers who work on a no win no fee basis.

We handle the whole process for you in a hassle-free manor, allowing you to take much-needed recovery time should you be injured in the incident.

Our team of specialist advisers are available to provide you with all the information you need for your non-fault car accident claim.

Either give us a call, or complete a short contact form and we will be in touch in due course.

0808 1454275

Non Fault Claims can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!

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