Car accident. Who is at fault? Advice please

  • Fern's Avatar
    I have been driving for 1 week and have a black box fitted and have been t-boned by a learner driver who was out with her mum for the first time. I was turning right at traffic lights. She was at opposite lights. Both lights turn green at same time, i edge forward, she doesn't move/very slowly. I thought i had filter or she broken down so set off across her path of traffic. She sets off and hits my rear passenger door/t-bones me. We have a 20 yr old car so quickish fix, hers is 6 yr old car. Both sides want to stay away from insurance if possible. Nothing registered on black box. Who do you feel is at fault? What do you feel is a fair settlement? Thanks for reading.
  • 11 Replies

  • Best Answer

    Santa's Avatar
    Best Answer
    Let the insurance deal with it. It can happen that after you agree to settle privately, someone in the other car starts a claim for whiplash or some other injury.

    Yes, it will put your premiums up, but it's worth it for the peace of mind.
  • TC1474's Avatar

    99% of the crashes I have dealt with have normally gone split liability (50/50) because the insurers cannot be bothered to investigate.

    Have I read your description right in that you were at a Crossroads controlled by traffic lights, you were turning right and the third party was turning left to travel in the same direction as you?

    If that is the case, then she should have waited until you cleared having seen you move whilst she hesitated or moved slowly.

    You in turn have made an assumption and jointly this has caused a situation where the 2 vehicles have come together. That said, I am saying this based on the fact that we are given very little detail and junction layouts can vary.

    Either way, insurers will still in all probability put it down as a 50/50 and I do not see that you can avoid not notifying the insurers given the amount of damage, especially given the age of the third party vehicle.

    Not what you wanted to hear I am sure, but you will just have to accept that these things happen.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    What do you mean by "I thought I had filter"? Could you see a green arrow?

    Whatever, I suspect insurers would regard you both as at fault. You for failing to anticipate that an L-driver might stall and/or hesitate, and she for proceeding when the road wasn't clear. Others may disagree.

    You are both required to inform your insurers, whether or not you claim.
  • Fern's Avatar
    @TC1474 Thanks for your detailed reply. She was actually going straight ahead and had full right of way but didn't move so I went and she hit my rear side doors. Like you say just one of those things really. I wondered that as she hit so far back on my car she would be at fault too but yes 50/50 sounds fair to me. Thanks again
  • Fern's Avatar
    @Beelzebub thanks for your reply. Great advice. Definitely no green arrow for me so guess I just wrongly presumed as she didn't move and it was a new junction for me. Suppose premiums now rise hugely 👎👎
  • Fern's Avatar
    @Santa. Thanks for your advice. Do you know generally how long after an accident that we can still make a claim?
  • TC1474's Avatar
    @Santa. Thanks for your advice. Do you know generally how long after an accident that we can still make a claim?

    The time frame is called "Statute of Limitation"

    In injury crashes, you have 3 years from date of injury or date of knowledge to start proceedings.

    In damage only crashes, the time frame is 6 years. But just be aware, the longer you leave it the more awkward it makes things, especially if you leave it for several months.

    I had one guy who started his claim for his damaged car 4 years after the so called "crash", suffice to say that it was quickly given the heave ho.
  • Fern's Avatar
    @TC1474 Great information - thank you. Hopefully we ll know overall repair costs soon and can make a decision between us. We all just feel that new driver premiums will increase substantially for 5 years which would add up. Thanks again for your input. Very much appreciated
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    I had one guy who started his claim for his damaged car 4 years after the so called "crash", suffice to say that it was quickly given the heave ho.
    It was a regular occurrence that someone would come to the police department to report a fender bender (Slight accident with no injuries) and the conversation would go something like this.
    Citizen: "I'd like to make a report of a traffic accident"
    Me: "When did this happen?"
    Citizen: "About 2 weeks ago"
    Me: "Has your insurance company just asked for a copy of the police report?"
    Citizen: "Yes"
    Me: "Sorry, I can't write a report on something where I have no proof that the accident even happened. Why didn't you call the police at the time of the accident so that we could take statements?"
    Citizen: "Because the other driver wanted to settle without going through the insurance"
    Me: "And I'm guessing you can't contact the other driver now?"
    Citizen: "No, his phone number is invalid and nobody knows him at the address he gave me. I have his license plate number, can you find out who owns the car and give me his name and address"
    Me: "Sorry, that's privileged information and I can't just give out such details without an order from the courts, but you can file a request with the DMV to get that information."
    Citizen: "This is ridiculous"
    And storms out of the PD.
  • TC1474's Avatar

    Police here stopped attending damage only crashes 30 years ago unless the road was blocked or there was an allegation of a serious offence such as drink/drug driving or dangerous driving.

    The reason for this was that we got fed up being nothing but agents for the insurers, so it was made clear that the Police would only get involved from a recording details point of view if the law had not been complied with, and then it has to be reported as soon as practicable but in any case within 24 hours.

    Statute of limitation (as you are probably aware) applies in respect of the civil case.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    It's a legal requirement here if the damage is over $500.
    Problem is the law hasn't been updated in years, and you won't find any bodyshop here that will quote any repair, no matter how minor at under $500.
    And as a cop I was never trained as an estimator, so we just made a report on every accident we were called to, no matter how minor.
    But as my FTO (Field Training Officer) once told me. "If in doubt write a report. Much easier to have your Sergeant tell you you didn't need the report than him asking for the report you didn't write a month later."