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  1. #1
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    Default Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: CA

    I had always been told that it is a driver's responsibility to try to avoid an accident if possible, without creating further danger of course.
    Is this really a part of the vehicle code, or is it just common sense?
    If it is part of the code, can you direct me to that section?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting Donnarose
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    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: CA

    I had always been told that it is a driver's responsibility to try to avoid an accident if possible, without creating further danger of course.
    Is this really a part of the vehicle code, or is it just common sense?
    If it is part of the code, can you direct me to that section?
    What?

    It will always depend on the details.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Well, if it always depends upon the details, then I am assuming that there is no such law and it is just a matter of common sense.

    The details are a truck making a left turn with a green arrow was hit by a woman running a red light. She denies she ran a red light and no witnesses. Therefore, it is simply a he said, she said issue. However, had she simply moved just two feet to the right, not even having to change lanes, which she could have done easily and safely, there would have been no collision.

    I had been told previously by an insurance agent that it is always my responsibility as a driver to avoid an accident if I can, even if I have the right of way. Which I personally think is just plain common sense. I would rather let someone run my right of way than get hit.

    So, I was just looking to see if this really was a law, or just plain common sense. Doesn't seem to me a law would "depend upon details". Laws are usually set forth and then interpreted to fit the details.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting Donnarose
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    Well, if it always depends upon the details, then I am assuming that there is no such law and it is just a matter of common sense.
    For the most part, yes.

    In theory, a person who has technically violated the Vehicle Code can still be in the clear when it comes to "fault" as assigned by the police. Insurance companies are a different can of worms, however.

    The details are a truck making a left turn with a green arrow was hit by a woman running a red light. She denies she ran a red light and no witnesses. Therefore, it is simply a he said, she said issue. However, had she simply moved just two feet to the right, not even having to change lanes, which she could have done easily and safely, there would have been no collision.
    It is likely that a few more details can be extrapolated from the nature of the damages. In this situation the insurance companies can apportion fault as they wish.

    Whether she COULD have moved or not is not likely to be part of the equation.

    I had been told previously by an insurance agent that it is always my responsibility as a driver to avoid an accident if I can, even if I have the right of way. Which I personally think is just plain common sense. I would rather let someone run my right of way than get hit.
    Insurance companies can assign fault as they wish. If they want to opine that people should run off the road to avoid a collision in order to escape any assignation of fault, they are free to hold that opinion. They do not have to adhere the rules that the police have to follow in traffic investigations, nor do they have to agree with the assigned fault in a police investigation. Typically the two insurance companies dicker over the apportionment of fault and payments are rendered as negotiated. Or, in extreme cases, they go to court and let a judge decide.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  5. #5
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    Toledo Ohio
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    I learned this law in drivers ed back in 1980. One of the first laws or rules I learned. If you can avoid an accident safely you have to do. I don't know if that rule has changed.

    To me what it means is that if you pull out in front of someone they shouldn't be able to step on the gas and clobber you saying "hey you pulled out in front of me now its your fault". You can't purposely slam into someone because they denied you the right of way if you could have slowed down safely or would not of hit the person otherwise.

    Ewwww Insurance time!!! I'm going to speed up and hit that person and get a new car for pulling out in front of me.

    This does happen though as I have had people speed up on me to get me to move faster and then tailgate me.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting DaveJames
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    I learned this law in drivers ed back in 1980. One of the first laws or rules I learned. If you can avoid an accident safely you have to do. I don't know if that rule has changed.
    It's a good practice, but it is not a specific statute.

    Each situation must be evaluated for the specific fact set.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    It's a good practice, but it is not a specific statute.

    Each situation must be evaluated for the specific fact set.
    I just went through our driver ed manual and how things have changed and the language a bit of street talk. I saw nothing about the law in question.

    I also saw no law about being in a parking lot with more than 10 spaces you have to follow the rules of the road in that lot.

    They probably removed some of the common sense stuff out to make way for driving in a new era of all sorts of scenarios that have come about over the years.

    Gestures.

    If you want to wave to another driver, please use all of your fingers. Obscene gestures have gotten people shot, stabbed and beaten.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Thanks for the input.
    Does the insurance company have to go along with what the court says. It's kind of scary to think that the insurance company can just decide of it's own volition without any proof of any kind that you ran a red light.
    This one will be in court, as that is what the insurance company did.
    Also, both drivers insured with the same company.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting Donnarose
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    Thanks for the input.
    Does the insurance company have to go along with what the court says. It's kind of scary to think that the insurance company can just decide of it's own volition without any proof of any kind that you ran a red light.
    This one will be in court, as that is what the insurance company did.
    Also, both drivers insured with the same company.
    Why is it going to court? Were damages beyond the coverages of the two parties?

    It will be difficult to show fault in such a situation, but there are ways to hedge your bets. I suspect the matter will be settled out of court because a battle of the technical experts will be expensive. Unless we are talking about a great deal of money (tens of thousands) fighting it is not an economically viable position for anyone.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    533

    Default Re: Legal Responsibilty to Avoid an Accident if Possible

    Quote Quoting Donnarose
    View Post
    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: CA

    I had always been told that it is a driver's responsibility to try to avoid an accident if possible, without creating further danger of course.
    Is this really a part of the vehicle code, or is it just common sense?
    If it is part of the code, can you direct me to that section?
    There is such a concept but it isn't a 'statute' nor 'law'...hence cops may not be fully aware of it:

    http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictiona...eDoctrine.aspx

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