Accidents and Liabilities - Jonathan
Does anyone know what the legal situation is about liability in an accident?

A couple of years ago, i witnessed an rta. A van had pulled out into the road with the intention of turning right. He was holding up the traffic on that side of the road. i indicated that i would let him out, except the car to his right, waiting for him to move, overtook him, on the wrong side of the road (ie my side) at the same time he started to pull out.

I have at last received a form from the insurance co, asking me to provide the details of exactly what I saw. Before I do so, i just wanted to find out whether I would be opening myself up to any liability. I did not cause the accident (imo, it was the driver who overtook on the wrong side of the road).


Re: Accidents and Liabilities - Tom Shaw
It depends on how you indicated to him that you were letting him out, Jonathan. Eye contact and a nod of the head would be ok, but something which could be deemed as misuse of a signal, such as a headlamp flash or a wave of the arm indicating him to proceed might well leave you open to some liability. The Highway Code is quiet clear that the only signals you should give are those contained threrein.

What you put on the form from your insurance company would depend on how the question is worded. You don't have to tell them what they don't ask for.
Re: Accidents and Liabilities - Andrew
Think I've got the picture of this one. As Tom says never flash someone out, slow down, leave a gap and let the other driver make the decision. There are some times when attempting to turn right at a simple junction due to heavy traffic flow when you may have to pull into oncoming traffic to facilitate the manouvre and force their hand into letting you out. Traffic from the left would then do likewise and everything is hunky dorry. This can be done safely providing the timing is right and other drivers are courteous. However not all of them are and then the fireworks start.
It seems in this case that the car that swerved around the van was either blind or was not prepared to show a degree of courteousy. Or the timing was not right and the van actually pulled out infront of it forcing it to swerve around it in an attempt to avoid an impact.
The bottom line is that the van driver should ' Give Way ' to traffic on the main road and should have waited for a suitable gap. Unfortunately its not a perfect world.
From your position could you actually see the oncoming car or was it masked by the van? What was the speed limit of the road? What was your perception of who was at fault? What were the timings involved?
Forgot to ask, was this an injury or non injury RTA. 2 years seems an awful long time to be arguing the toss over a non injury RTA.
Based on my questions do you feel in yourself that perhaps your signal had some contributory factor based on timings. If you do then be careful about what you put on the form. However its not compulsory to complete it. You could be called before a civil court to give evidence.
Reminds me of the time I did the self an same thing and was straddled over a right turn slip lane attempting to join the straight on flow. Car entered the slip lane with plenty of space to ease off and assist my manouvre. But oh no! Kept coming and lit his tyres up right at the last minute. I had been there some time and was clearly visible.
I had 2 x 4 1/2 year olds in the back. " Dad,. Whats a "
Re: Accidents and Liabilities - Jonathan

When I left the scene, no-one was injured. The form does not include my insurance, it merely makes reference to your insured (ie my car). While I am pretty sure that the claim lies between the two crashing parties, I don't (for obvious reasons) want to implicate myself.

Besides, I sold that car a couple of months later, and i am with a different insurance co. So should be pretty hard to bring me into it.

Thanks for both of your contributions.

Liability - Guy Lacey
Whether or not you signaled to give the "OK" doesn't give the guilty party the carte blanche to disregard his/her liabilties and you are totally in the clear.

Think of it like this.

A motorist is pootling thro town and sees a pedestrian trying to cross the road and the motorist stops and gestures to the pedestrian to cross. The motorist cannot stop the cyclist/motorcyclist from driving up the inside/outside and going straight into the pedestrian who took the gesture from the motorist as a 100% OK on the carriageway gesture so took no further observations.

You have nothing to worry about.

Value my car