Non Fault and Fault Motor Claims
Non Fault Accidents.
So long as your insurer is able to make a full recovery for all of all the costs involved in a claim then it will be classed as a Non-Fault Claim. Classic examples of non-fault claims are:
You are hit by a third party vehicle while stationary
You are hit by a third party vehicle in rear.
You are hit by a third party vehicle exiting a side street.
You are hit by a reversing third party vehicle.
You are hit by a third party vehicle that is turning across your path.
You will be at fault if you carried out a manoeuvre that directly contributed to the accident happening. Typical examples of circumstances where you would be held at fault are:
You hit a stationary/parked third party vehicle
You hit another third party vehicle in the rear
You hit a third party vehicle on the main road as you exited a side street
You hit a third party vehicle while reversing
You hit a third party vehicle if you turn across its path.
Sometimes people will put forward mitigating circumstances to try to persuade their insurance company that they are not really at fault. By says such things as:
“But the other driver was going too fast.”
An argument often put forward especially in an accident involving one car exiting a side road and hitting a vehicle on the main road. But it is an argument that clearly points to you being at fault. If you could see that the other car was travelling at speed then you should have let them to pass and waited until the way ahead was clear.
In any case, It doesn't matter how fast the other person was driving the deciding factor is that you carried out an manoeuvre that was directly responsible for the collision. The car on the main road always has the right of way even if they were driving too fast which cannot be proved by your insurer in any case. Nor does it matter if the driver of the other car was drunk with his feet on the dashboard a mobile phone in one hand and a sandwich in the other; they still have the right of way and if you hit them you are at fault.
“I couldn’t see him because my view was obstructed."
You are edging out of a side street but your view is obstructed by parked cars for instance, or by hedges along the side of the road, or perhaps you didn't see the other car because they were coming round a bend in the road. And as a result you hit the car on the main road. It’s your fault. You might not have done anything wrong because you might have taken every precaution to guard against the possibility of something like this happening. But if it does, it will be your fault. Again because the vehicle on the main road always has the right of way and it was by your actions the accident happened. When you are in your car you drive at your own risk.
“He shouldn’t have been parked there/He was parked illegally."
That doesn' t matter. He was there to be seen and it is your responsibility to make sure that the way is clear before you carried out your manoeuvre.
“But he was indicating to turn left.”
You are at a junction waiting to join the main road. You look to your right and see a car on the main road coming towards you indicating left. You assume that he will be turning down into your side street. You exit onto the main road but instead of turning left the car on the main road continues straight on and there is a crash. You are at fault. You shouldn't t have assumed he was turning left. You should not have moved away onto the main road until you were sure that indeed he was turning left.
“He stopped very suddenly and for no reason.”
It is your responsibility to keep a safe braking distance between you and the car in front. The fact that you hit him proves you were too close .
“He should have seen me reversing."
No. You should have checked to make sure that the way was clear for you to reverse. Likewise, if you check before you start reversing to make sure the way is clear but a car suddenly appears behind you while you are reversing and you hit it you will still be held at fault. Reversing is an inherently risky and it is therefore your responsibility to make sure you carry out this manoeuvre safely .
“There was a car stationary on the main road. He flashed his lights to say it was okay for me to move into the line of traffic in front of him when he suddenly started to move forward and hit me."
You are at fault as he had the right of way. Likewise if a driver on a main road flashes his lights to indicate that it is okay for you to exit the side street and you do but you then hit another third party vehicle on the main road you will be held at fault. Because it is your responsibility to check that the way is clear.
A Brief Summery.
You are at fault if you did something that directly contributed to the accident. Even if you couldn’t help it, even if you did everything humanly possible under the circumstances to make sure that an accident didn’t happen you will be held at fault.