Insurers consider me at fault!!

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ramesh046 | 18:40 Wed 27th Jun 2012 | Insurance
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I was driving on main round round the bend at about 20 mph. 20 meters ahead I saw the Traffic light turn fom amber to green. So I kept going. At the lights I saw a pedetrian started to walk across and there was a clash(3 ft away from the curb). My passenger side wing bringer came off , but the man fell and hurt his head. He is Ok now per the hospital. Now my insurers say they will take me at fault and that I should have taken more care. I just dont understand. I have fully protected NCD and have Legal cover. They said any driver clashes with a pedestrian, the driver will be held at fault. They said even at red light and if a person is crossing and there is an accident, the DRIVER will be fault!!!

Any advice please ?


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I suspect that they are right. The lights may have been green but you still have a duty of care - and if you could see the man start to cross, you should have stopped, green light or not. You could always mount a counterclaim against the man for walking out without taking care - but you could have stopped.
^^ and my driving instructor always said to take extra care with pedestrians as they are unpredictable - if that had been a little child who ran out, you could have killed him.
A driver is not always at fault if they hit a pedestrian.
A man suddenly ran out in front of me a few years ago. I did not have a chance as he came out from the front of a parked lorry.
He had been on drugs and was also drunk.
Sadly he passed away but the court said there was no blame on my part and it was recorded as a non fault accident by the insurance company.
My premium went up by £18 the next year.

Can I just clarify what happened...

You saw a pedestrian start to cross the road and you collided with him.

If the lights were amber it is my understanding you only proceed if the road is clear. And to be quite frank you'd only proceed if the road was clear after the green signal.

Have I missed something?
He thought he was starring in Death Race 2000
If the lights were amber it is my understanding you only proceed if the road is clear

It is my understanding that if they're Amber, you stop.
And it's my understanding that the lights go red after amber, not green
ramesh is saying the light was green, not amber. However, I was always told by my driving instructor that when the lights change from amber to green, you must always approach with caution just in case. If you saw the pedestrian, which you say you did, then I am a bit confused as to why you didn't stop or slow down. I don't know the ins and outs of the law but I'm afraid it looks like your insurance company are right.
good point - OP says "amber to green" - it doesn't work that way.
If the lights flash amber you can go if its safe to do so (this is telling you that the lights are going to go green).If the lights solid amber, then you are being warned that it is going red and so you should stop. (from memory - can't be 100% sure that's right). But anyway, you say that you saw a pedestrian started to walk across the road but don't say anything about trying to avoid, brake, swerve etc to avoid collision. How far away were you when he started walking? was the light still green when you got to the lights (not when you saw them turn green 20 metres earlier)? the pedestrian was 3ft into crossing the road when the collision occurred so you should have spotted him before reaching him. It is not necessarily always the case that the driver is at fault, as clearly some pedestrians take no care for their own safety, but you are under a duty of care to pay proper care and attention and take evasive action if possible. Need more details about accident circs before can advise you properly. But there's no counterclaim to be made....what for and on what basis?
If it's a crossing don't the lights flash amber for a few seconds and then change to green to tell pedestrians to stop and traffic to go?
Fair point, I read 'amber' as flashing amber prior to turning green.....
That's what I took it to mean too Eccles.
Why didn't you slow down and stop?
Are you in the UK?
he was in the wrong clear and simple - amber means caution if you are moving......and he didn't obviously exercise it. You are lucky, ramesh, if the police aren't interested - hope you reported it.
Traffic lights don't turn from Amber to Green, they turn from Red/Amber to Green.
Whats a 'side wing bringer'?
From some of the replies some people obviously haven't read your statement thoroughly - the lights were green before you reached them.

Furthermore, to say motorist always to blame when hitting pedestrian is clearly rubbish - I once hit a girl who ran straight out from behind a bus and I was considered blameless by the insurance company. I was fortunate in having supporting witnesses, including the bus driver.

Why kamikaze pedestrians should get the benefit of the doubt is beyond me, don't they have a duty of care when near moving traffic, or are they permitted to blithely step out in front of it and be blameless ?
canary - he said the lights were green 20 metres before he reached them, and that he saw the pedestrian start to cross the road. I'm not suggesting that the pedestrian is blameless if he crossed when the "red man" was on, but there's a lot of detail missing from the original post so none of us can given an informed answer.
Found this relating to pedestrian crossings:

"These are signal-controlled crossings where flashing amber follows the red 'Stop' light. You MUST stop when the red light shows. When the amber light is flashing, you MUST give way to any pedestrians on the crossing. If the amber light is flashing and there are no pedestrians on the crossing, you may proceed with caution.
After the lights start flashing, watch out for people making a last-minute dash. Be prepared to let them cross but do not wave others onto the crossing."

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