If I was involved in an accident, how is it determined who was at fault?

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was involved in an accident, how is it determined who was at fault?

I was turning left into a driveway. The other vehicle was driving straight in the opposite direction, with no lights. In the middle of the turn my vehicle stalled. The other vehicle hit me in the back tire on the passenger side. Who fault is it?

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Accident Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no simple, right or wrong answer about fault--it always depends on the exact situation. It could be either of your fault, or, more likely, you both share fault to some degree, which impacts how much each could recover in a lawsuit. For example: driving without lights, if at night, would be careless or negligent on his part--that argues in favor of his fault (if during the day, it probably doesn't make a difference). Your car suddenly stalling in front of him would only add to his fault if the reason he couldn't stop was either that he was going too fast or saw you turn and kept going when he should have slowed or stopped to let you do that.

On the other hand, if even without his lights, visibility was good enough to see his car, then if you turned left across traffic when an oncoming car was near, that argues in favor of your fault. Or if the car stalled because of poor maintenance by you, because you made an error driving (e.g. a  stick shift and you stalled it out), or because you'd forgotten to fill it up, those also argue in favor of your liability or fault.

In short, it depends entirely on the circumstances, and from what you write, it is plausible you both share fault. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, recourse, and also exposure. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption