How do I know if I am at fault in a car accident?

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By Grace Hickman

on Friday 1 December 2017

two people assessing damage after accident

Determining fault after an accident can be stressful. The stress can lie in not knowing how to proceed, so it’s always beneficial to understand the claims process.  

If you are partly to blame for the accident you could still be entitled to claim, however, the compensation award will be decreased by your contributory negligence.

You shouldn’t admit fault if you are unsure who should accept liability for the accident. After the crash you should;

  • Call the police or necessary emergency services
  • Get photographic evidence of damaged vehicles and other persons involved
  • Take note of the names and information
  • Notify your insurance company

What is Contributory Negligence? 

Contributory Negligence is a term that describes a compensation award that’s reduced if the driver, passenger, or pedestrian is partially liable.  

The umbrella term ‘contributory negligence’ can be used to illustrate a variety of situations, such as:

  • Car passengers failing to wear their seatbelt
  • Pedestrians not looking for oncoming traffic before crossing the road
  • Driving in a way that can be deemed unsafe for the road conditions

Contributory Negligence is calculated as a percentage deducted from your compensation award reflected by the percentage in which you were deemed to be liable for your injuries.


What will my insurance company do to prove fault for the accident?

It is part of the process after a car accident for the insurers from both sides to start investigating everything that happened, using photographs and statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses.  

After analysing physical and verbal evidence, both insurance companies will determine what happened to cause the car accident using on a set of guidelines.

In the attempt to prove that the other driver is at fault for your accident, you should remember to:

  1. Record any traffic citations or traffic law violations
  2. Gather useful evidence
  3. Note anything said by anyone involved that could insinuate a drivers liability
  4. Keep a note of anything witnesses said about how the car accident may have happened

Unfortunately, you will not be able to seek a claim through Non Fault Claims if you are 100% to blame for the car accident.


How will my car accident affect my insurance premium?

It is more than likely that your car accident will affect your insurance premium, especially if you’re at fault. Being the cause of an accident will result in the loss of any No Claims Bonus (NCB) you have accrued over the years. It is also probable that your insurance premium will increase even if your No Claims Bonus was protected during the time you made the claim.

You will have to state your claim during your renewals process although each year the effect of your car accident on your insurance premium will decrease and you can focus on rebuilding your No Claims Bonus.

You should always inform your insurance company of any Road Traffic Accidents as a failure to do so may nullify your insurance policy.


What should I do next?

If you wish to make a claim for compensation but you are finding it difficult to come to a conclusion about who’s at fault for the car accident, call Non Fault Claims obligation-free today and our advisers will be happy to help.

0808 1454275

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