Accidents suck – pardon me for the blunt delivery, but it’s true. Even if you have the best iron-clad insurance out there, when accidents happen, they just plain suck. It is a hassle to be without your car. It’s a hassle to have to be on the phone with your insurance or the police. Let’s not even talk about the trauma that comes from having to go to the hospital because you or someone you love was hurt due to the accident.
Putting aside those serious accidents where your main care and focus should only be on the health and well-being of those involved in the accident… let’s discuss the minor ones. The pain in the you-know-what ones that drive us nuts. We sometimes work with clients who are shocked whenever an accident has occurred to learn who would be considered “at fault”.
For example, let’s say you are driving along on a road, going the appropriate speed limit, and the person in front of you stops for what you think is no reason. And then – BAM – you rear-end them because you had no clue that they’d be stopping in the middle of the road. Who would be at fault here? Believe it or not, you would. Even if the person in front of you stopped literally for no reason, you would still be at fault. I’ll pause for a moment while you recover from this news….
Ok, now hear me out. Your job as the driver of your vehicle is to be alert at all times. Always expect the unexpected. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. You know – all the things you’d tell your newly licensed teenager. The person in front of you may have stopped for any number of reasons. Because you didn’t also stop, you would be considered “at fault” and you’d have to pay your deductible to repair your vehicle. Also, your insurance would be paying for the damage to the other person’s car too.
Parking Lot Fender Bender
And now for another scenario – Whenever a fender-bender occurs in a parking lot, it is always tricky to determine who was at fault. In a rare occasion, it is clear cut. Perhaps there were witnesses, or perhaps it is obvious by the damage to both vehicles who was at fault. But often times, one person is backing out and so is another, and they collide. Of course, they will both say that the other person was at fault. But it’s a he said-she said argument. In those cases, insurance companies will split the responsibility appropriately. Did you also know that police officers rarely come out to parking lots for accidents because they are private property? You should still call the police to see if they’ll stop by, but more times than not, they’ll say no.
This blog post may be a bit of a bearer of bad news, but hopefully it has left you feeling well-informed and perhaps you will pay extra close attention when you’re driving to ensure that you aren’t the one who is at fault for an accident. Be safe out there!