car crash

Who’s at fault for your car crash?

Australia ranks 17th out of 34 OECD countries for road fatalities per 100,000. This is a better score than American motorists have recorded. However, 10% of all car crashes results in multiple deaths. Over a third of all crashes occur in major cities where the traffic lanes are more likely to be saturated. However, while the figures might sound worrying at first, it’s important to remember that road fatalities are dropped by half over the past 30 years, with effects on passengers, pedestrians and cyclists too. However, the constant increase in the number of vehicles on the road makes it difficult for drivers to eliminate the risks of car accidents completely. Indeed, while the fatalities have dropped significantly, the number of injuries sustained in an accident is on the rise, meaning that the overall number of accidents remains high, ranking up a cost of over $33 billion in 2016. For drivers involved in a crash, the first question now is to figure out who is liable.

The vehicle is faulty: Driver’s fault

Unless exceptional situations, no insurer or court will take a faulty vehicle as an excuse. Indeed, if your car is not in a safe driving condition, you, as a driver, have to deal with the consequences. It’s a driver’s primary responsibility to maintain their car, which is why you will struggle to shift the blame onto someone else. Owners who have chosen to buy a second-hand vehicle, especially, need to make sure their car is reliable. You can’t claim you didn’t know the car has a leak of that the tyres were almost run-down, for instance, even if you’ve just bought the car. Road safety regulations expect a driver to perform the necessary checks before taking the road.

The weather conditions caused the accident: Still your fault

The weather can change fast. A sunny day can suddenly turn into a wet afternoon with torrential rains. Unless exceptional situations, the law expects drivers to adapt their driving style to the weather. In other words, if the crash was caused by rain, car accident injury lawyers are likely to argue that the driver should have slowed down their vehicle. Similarly, sun glares, snow and wind are rarely considered as being the direct cause of an accident, as it’s your responsibility to drive safely in your surroundings.

The road sign is confusing: You might get exempt

More often than not, a judge will consider that a vehicle that didn’t respect road signs is at fault. However, a recent British case disputing road fines has revealed that there might be a way out for motorists. Indeed, an appeal against a fine argued that the road signs on site are confusing and conveys the opposite of what they should mean. While it is an unusual situation, the court is prepared to reconsider a decision is the driver can provide evidence of confusing road signs, such as unclear information or even a temporary road sign that has been misplaced or moved. However, most judges will expect cautious driving in sites with temporary signs!

Determining who’s responsible for the accidents, ultimately, answer the question of whose insurer has to pay the bills. Indeed, there are special cases in which a driver may not be held responsible at all.

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