determining fault in a car accident in northern ireland

Who Determines Fault After A Car Accident In Northern Ireland?

Determining fault after a car accident is a tricky business. Blame tends to be thrown around a lot as, sometimes, it’s unclear who’s responsible. But what determines who is at fault in a car accident in Northern Ireland? We set out to explore the answer.

Police

If police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will assess the scene and take statements to determine what happened. Police can tell quite a bit from the evidence immediately gathered on the scene. They will speak to all parties involved in the accident and will speak with witnesses. They will also examine the location and also where the vehicle was impacted. Interestingly, this can go some way in revealing who is responsible for the accident. For example, if a vehicle has been hit from behind or T-Boned. The evidence provided by police will have a signifiant impact on decisions made by insurers and the courts.

Insurers

If drivers deny responsibility, insurers can review the evidence to determine who is at-fault. They often use complex algorithms to examine all the data and determine how best to respond to the situation. They can determine who is entirely at fault or even partially at fault.  Interestingly, even if you are adamant it wasn’t your fault, an insurer can settle a claim without your permission.

Solicitors

Solicitors are there to represent you and help uncover the truth by gathering evidence. They will investigate and determine whether the accident was someone else’s fault. They will examine medical evidence and try to prove the opposing party breached their duty of car as set out in the Highway Code. Once it has been proven that it was someone else’s fault, you will be able to claim compensation if you suffered any injuries.

Courts

In the event that all parties deny responsibility, a judge can decide once they examined all the facts and listened to the arguments made by solicitors. They are the ultimate arbitrator of fault. It is important to note that very few disputes end up in the court. The vast majority of claims are settled earlier by insurer or solicitors.

If you have any questions about your car accident in Northern Ireland, reach out to our solicitors. We’d be happy to walk you through the whole process and provide you with some clarity. 

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