Car accident - Should I accept liability?

I was in a car accident last week and my insurance company seem to have accepted its my fault.


I pulled out turning right onto an A road from a minor road. The reason I went at this point (be it an error in judgement) was that it was clear to my left and to my right a lorry was indicating left thus blocking all traffic coming from that direction. Another car however was overtaking this lorry and thus hit me, this car, to the best of my knowledge, was at least half in the shaded area (which belongs to neither lane) and less than half his own lane.


I thought this was constitute an overtaking manouvere which I thought was against the highway code at a junction. Would this make us both at fault?


I made this scenario as clear as I could on the insurance form but they dont appear to be going for the dual libaility.


I am fully comp and so will get a settlement for my written off car anyway but should I phone the insurance company to tell them that I dont think its all my fault.


There are a few reasons this is putting me off:


1- It may slow down my settlement claim


2- If it goes any further and the witnesses do not confirm my story (it happened so fast, and the other driver seemed to co-erse with them afterwards anyway) then I fear I may be proscecuted.


3- Im fully comp anyway so does it really matter? Will I be any better off.


Another question I need to ask is how do I know if I am being prosecuted anyway?


I got a mail from the other persons solicitor which i have forwarded to my insurance company (for Whiplash and car recovery costs). I take it the insurance company will fund all of that but when a claim like that is made is it instant prosecution? (cant afford to have any kind of crim record as Im currently applying to be a police officer).


Thanks

08:20 Tue 07th Mar 2006
 
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Sorry to tell you this but it is your fault.


You were crossing the stream of traffic from a minor road and did not anticipate the risk from an unseen vehicle.


The fact that he was overtaking really is pretty immaterial.


Insurance companies don't admit liability if there's any chance they could get away with it.


Never mind, it happens all the time , happened to me about 5 years ago. Forward all correspondance to your insurance company unanswered and they'll sort it out.


I'd very much doubt the police would be at all interested in any way, if they investigated all cases of "whiplash" they'd never have time for anything else - even if there was impartial evidence.

It seems to me that neither of you took sufficient care to make sure the road was clear. The insurance company will probably deal with this as a 50 - 50 blame. There is no instant prosecution, it is up to the police to decide if you or the other driver have a case to answer and that would probably only happen if you were reckless and someone was seriously injured. Be more careful in future.

As jake-the-peg advises, your company will contest the claim if they think they can get away with it, but legally, you were at fault, in spite of your reasoning.


If you are to be prosuected, the police will be in touch - may take six weeks or so. They won;t get involved in any claims against either of you - these are classed as 'civil' actions, and they won't give evidence for either of you.

Question Author

Thats worried me now.


Is prosecution likely? I know I should have been more carefull but I really cant afford to be prosecuted.


Thanks

I know from personal experience that very few accidents result in convictions, as they are often just that - accidents. In what sounds a serious accident such as this you may find there are investigations as one, both (or perhaps neither) of you could be convicted of careless driving. If this is the case the police normally have 17 days to issue a "notice of intended prosecution", just as you'd get if you'd been caught speeding. You could face points on your licence and possibly a large fine.


Fingers crossed for you though!

I'm no expert, but I wouldn't worry too much about the police, you were at fault, but it does not seem there were serious consequences. They might not prosecute you but say, "if you don't come on one of our courses to improve your driving and pay �150 to do so we 'might' prosecute you"
Question Author

In terms of severity of the accident it wasnt that bad (well it could have been worse).


Although both cars were writeoffs this was touch and go (damage to my car was �3200 and value of car was �3000).


Neither of us were seriously injured (hes claiming for minor whiplash), all damage was confined to the front exterior of the car and the cars remained upright. Granted the fronts looked pretty mangled but there was no penetration to the cabins.


Granted if it were a motorcyclist I hit then it would be very serious... but this is an "if".

I should not worry at all!


I was involved in a small accident which technically was all my fault, the police just happened to turn up but there was no prosecution.


If no police were involved in your accident and no statements were taken I am sure you can forget it and stop worrying about it.


AS above the insurance will treat it as both to blame.

Question Author

Oh dear then.


The police were called out (my car wouldnt start again so they had to be called to control the traffic).


Obviously we both got breathalised to which I came up zero and the police did note down what happened... I guess thats a bad sign then :-(

The comment about the notice of intended prosecution is wrong. The notice does not apply in the case of a road accident. If it did apply, the period would be 14 days not 17.


You are at fault, but so was the other driver. Your mistake was lack of anticipation that someone would do something silly. If action is considered against you, it may well be considered against the other driver as well, but the police will probably file it. If the lorry, because of its size, needed to use the bit of road that you occupied, you should have crept forward extremely slowly until you could see that the road was clear.


I don't think a conviction for careless driving would affect your police application too much. All you can do is tell them the truth. As far as the case is concerned, you will have to wait and see. The time limit for proceedings is 6 months.


Question Author

I cant imagine it looking very good on the application form tho.


If there are two application forms that are very similar, one with no conviction, one with a conviction I think I know which one would be accepted and which one rejected.


I know now what I should have done but at the time; I made an error which can now prove very costly (and not just financially this could have a very bad effect on my career). Now Im stuck in a waiting game to see if this is the case which is particularly frustrating

Don't worry too much about fact police were involved and took statements. I had my crash while the police were watching! obviously breathlysed me and they could not believe what they had just seen, I hadn't been drinking, but upshot was. It was my fault, they said they would do me for driving without care and attention unless I went on a course for a day. I paid the fee, did the course (which was actually quite useful) and that was the end of the story. Obviously every case will be different, but that's my story. Good luck

If it goes to court , you will asked "did you pull out when it was save to do so ? "


You can only answer no to that , they have you by the short n curlies im afraid

I wouldnt worry at all about being prosecuted. i or my friends have been in so many accidents that nothing has come of, even took out a council fence and they havent even tried to get money back let alone a prosecution. dont listen to what anyone says about it police have better things to do. as long as u didnt kill anyone forget it

As stated, it was your fault as you were pulling out. According to the Highway Code, you should have waited until the lorry had turned and you could see the road was clear.


Anyway, the police are not interested if there are no casualties or fatalities so don't worry about them.


The personal injury claim from the other driver is normal and his insurance company would push him to do this even if he wasn't that interested in claiming.

Just my opinion after a few sherries!!


Unless the police took measurements at the scene then tey will not be interested in a prosecution.


What speed was the other car doing? Seems like a lot of damage for a mere bump. Surely the other driver was overtaking when he could not see that the road ahead was clear.

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