If the accident is definitely your fault, then you won’t be able to claim compensation from the other party to the accident. Depending on the amount of damage there is to your vehicle, you may decide to pay for your own repairs. Alternatively, you may want to let your insurers cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle, as long as you have comprehensive insurance.
Either way, it is best to notify your insurers. It is a must if you want them to cover the cost of your repairs. However, even if you intend to pay for your accident damage, you are still advised to report it to your insurers, as the driver with whose vehicle you collided may want to claim their damages from you.
Extra tips for what to do after you have been in a car accident that was your fault
- Do not apologise or admit liability even if the accident was your fault. If you tell the other driver the accident was your fault, your admission may be held against you should they try to claim from you at a later date. Also, your insurers may refuse to indemnify you because your admission of liability invalidates your insurance policy.
- Ask any passengers in your vehicle if they are injured. Do the same for the other driver and any passengers in any other vehicle involved. Keep a note of what you are told by any of them, even if they say they aren’t injured. It will be helpful evidence if any of them decide to claim for an injury at a later date.
- If you have any reason to believe that the other driver deliberately caused you to drive into their vehicle, call the police, whether anyone is injured or not. Fraudulent accidents aren’t as common as some insurance companies or the Press would have you believe, but they do happen.
- Finally, another reason for not admitting liability at the accident scene is that some accidents may, at first instance, seem to be the fault of one or other driver involved in the accident. However, when statements have been taken from everyone involved, including from any independent witnesses’ it may turn out that liability is not as clear-cut as it first appeared. Don’t make the mistake of admitting liability at the accident scene only to discover that a claim would have settled on a split liability basis.
An example of this would be when one car pulls out of a minor road because of a misleading signal given by the driver whose car they collide with. The main fault will lie with the car driver who pulled out from the minor road. However, there may also be liability on the driver who indicated his intention to turn into the road out of which the other driver was emerging.
A specialist car accident solicitor will be able to give you advice on whether your case is one of split liability, which, if proven, may still mean you can claim injury compensation. In that case, the payment you receive will be reduced to take into account the percentage for which you were liable for the accident.