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Old 12th January 2022, 16:51   #1
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Default Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Recently I was involved in a minor accident. I was driving my auntís car (S-Cross 2021) in Kolkata, returning home after a hospital visit. It was about 9 PM in the night and since the night curfew was to begin at 10 PM the roads were mostly empty. I was doing around 50 kmph which is in allowable limits. There was a traffic intersection coming up. When I glanced, it was blinking yellow and in front there was a Zomato delivery bike. With the yellow blink I decided to pass the intersection. Suddenly the delivery guy applied sudden brake and stopped at the traffic light. He was straight in front of me.

I hit my brakes hard as it was most evident I was about to hit him. I had to swerve to the left to save the delivery guy from getting hit. At the end, I was able to stop (my carís bonnet was around the middle of the bike which was on my right) and also I had not breached the traffic lightís stop line. In a second I heard a loud thud on my car and when I looked to the left, I see a bike had rammed into my car and apparently the guy fell down as well. I got down from my car to see what happened.

Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?-picture1.jpg

By the time I reached the left of my car, some by-standers were helping the guy up and also getting the bike up. The first communication I had with the guy, was about my action of sudden braking followed by asking if he was alright. I saw he had hurt his finger and it was bleeding. In the mean time crowd was starting to swell up in the place. The bike guy, now started to blame me and kept repeating and asking what I did, why I didnít kept going, why I came on left etc. I did not answer anything but just asked if he was alright. Since I saw him bleeding, I started to tell him to come with me and I would take him to the emergency room. One bystander parked his bike, I took him to my car and seated him.

In the car I gave some cotton to help him with the wound. I asked him which hospital he wanted to go. We finally agreed and went to a government hospital which was also the closest. I helped him all throughout the process in the emergency room. An X-Ray was done as well. The attending doctor said that the X-Ray is clear, no fractures and itís only a laceration and putting stitches also was optional. The doctor brought the stitching kit. Now, the attending doctor was an intern and the bike guy said he doesnít want to get stitched by an intern. He started asking for a senior doctor, or an orthopedic doctor etc.

Now, Iím not sure how much liability I hold here, but I told him that I can take him to one of best plastic surgeon in the region. He agreed to it. This was doable since my wife worked in his clinic. After we left the hospital I took him to his house, another guy joined him. I then took both of them to the accident spot where his bike was still parked. On the bike, the only things damaged were a small bend on the number plate and the rear view mirrorís bolt had come loose. Both were fixed there (by hand). After this they drove off and I went back to my home. Where as on my car, the rear lamp was broken and the rear bumper had damages as well.

Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?-img_8688.jpeg

After I reached home, I started lamenting on all the things that happened. In my own judgement I found that I had braked to save someone and I saved my vehicle as well. It was evident that the bike guy was also coming at a good speed which didnít allow him to stop. I was like, yea, may be I had some fault, but the bike guy was not innocent as well and over that I had tend to him as humanely as possible.

The next day, he called me. He asked when I was coming to pick him up to go to the plastic surgeon. I told him that Iím not able to pick him (since my family member was in a hospital and I need to tend to them in priority) to take him but instead I had already spoken to the clinic and mentioned that he will be taken care of and the doctor will do consultation (and sutures if required) free of cost but he must arrange his transportation. The bike guy then started to demand reimbursement of cab fares. I found this very unreasonable and then went into an argument as well. I strongly mentioned that he will be taken care of at the clinic and my liability ends here. Some search on Vahaan also concluded that neither the bike belonged to him nor did it have insurance. Also he had put a doctor sticker on the bike when he "claimed" he was a second year medical student.

Now, why I wrote in the forum. I wanted to seek your opinion on the incident and like whose fault would you think it actually is (nothing legal, just your opinion and advice)

P.S. Later I went to the Nexa service station, they quoted 25k to repair the damages on the car. But thankfully our insurance will cover it wholly.

Last edited by chiro3110 : 14th January 2022 at 13:49.
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Old 14th January 2022, 21:15   #2
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Street Experiences section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th January 2022, 21:57   #3
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro3110 View Post
...The next day, he called me. He asked when I was coming to pick him up to go to the plastic surgeon. I told him that I’m not able to pick him (since my family member was in a hospital and I need to tend to them in priority) to take him but instead I had already spoken to the clinic and mentioned that he will be taken care of and the doctor will do consultation (and sutures if required) free of cost but he must arrange his transportation. The bike guy then started to demand reimbursement of cab fares...

Now, why I wrote in the forum. I wanted to seek your opinion on the incident and like whose fault would you think it actually is (nothing legal, just your opinion and advice)

P.S. Later I went to the Nexa service station, they quoted 25k to repair the damages on the car. But thankfully our insurance will cover it wholly.
1) Glad you're safe.

2) Yellow Blink = Stop - check and proceed, especially late night. If signals are fully functioning with Red-Yellow-Green, prudent to cross if you have already crossed the white line.

3) Legally, you've done your part by taking the biker to the hospital. Your responsibility ends there.

Morally, you've gone further to compassionately offer a plastic surgeons services (!) for a minor laceration which didn't actually need stitches anyway. Good on you, you've redeemed yourself beyond reasonable measure. But maybe make it clear to him that he isn't medically unfit as such & can't make claims against you.

4) The car insurance would lose its No Claim Bonus in the next term.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 14th January 2022 at 22:03.
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Old 15th January 2022, 00:43   #4
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

In most circumstances, sudden braking is not a crime that makes you liable for the accident behind you. When following a vehicle, the driver behind needs to keep a safe distance. In fact, the medical student should be held responsible for the rear-end collision of your car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro3110 View Post
I was doing around 50 kmph which is in allowable limits. There was a traffic intersection coming up. When I glanced, it was blinking yellow and in front there was a Zomato delivery bike.
It is a recipe for disaster to drive 50 kph at an intersection with yellow lights. A recipe delivered instantly to you by a zomato guy.
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Old 15th January 2022, 01:09   #5
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

I have seen a T-bone accident video between 2 SUVs (Fortuners or maybe one was an Endeavour) posted by Chandigarh Traffic Police a few years ago.

Reason for accident: Both drivers kept on driving at a constant pace of 60ish kmph at night when the signal was blinking yellow.

As far as the accident is concerned, the person who hits from behind is at fault as per rules. Period. Police however tends to harrass the “bigger car owner” compared to a two wheeler.

Back in 2011, I had come across a case of accident where a school teacher driving a Santro rammed into a two wheeler driving on the wrong side. When I was summoned for cross examination, I spoke to the investigating officer (IO), who told me that regardless of the circumstantial evidence (biker driving on wrong side), the car owner is being held guilty by the “system” unless he shows some video proof that bike was on the wrong side. The biker’s mother had suffered an open fracture of the thigh in this accident. So the punishment would have been for grevious hurt.

Regarding your event, consider yourself lucky that the biker did not suffer any fracture etc or a more severe injury. And driving at 50kmph through an intersection that is blinking yellow could have been much more dangerous. Maybe the biker in front also stopped because he spotted some fast approaching vehicle.

Edit: Surprised to see a 25k quote to fix the car. The non LED (zeta variant) tail light costs around 1000-1500 and bumper replacement and painting should not cost more than 10k or something along with labour charges. Can you share the approx. price or items that will be replaced (whenever you have this info).

Last edited by PaddleShifter : 15th January 2022 at 01:18.
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Old 15th January 2022, 01:28   #6
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Few facts-
1) When it's yellow, you should start to slow down.
2) Never accelerate keeping in mind, that the vehicle in front of you will accelerate. Accelerate only when the road in front of you is clear. Depend on others driving skills (braking/accelerating) as low a possible.
3) As you decided to go faster and cross the signal, even when the Zomato guy braked, you should have swerved and accelerated out instead of braking hard if the road in front of you was still clear.
4) Always look at the orvm before coming to a sudden halt. Suppose you decide to stop, but someone is tailgating you closely, then it's better to brake slowly even if it violates the stop line. It's better to pay a small fine than getting involved in an accident.
5) Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle going in front of you. Even if he brakes hard, you get enough time to stop.

Lastly you did your job as a responsible person. Do not allow the biker to exploit you. Just say a firm 'No' to his further demands. You have done your part & at the end it's an accident, so do not feel guilty.

Last edited by Samba : 15th January 2022 at 01:36.
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Old 15th January 2022, 10:55   #7
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post

2) Yellow Blink = Stop - check and proceed, especially late night. If signals are fully functioning with Red-Yellow-Green, prudent to cross if you have already crossed the white line.
Valid points. Exactly my thoughts.

2 things to add here:
Maintaining 360 awareness - Defensive Driving Improvement Suggestion
It's not always possible, but I frequently glance at my mirrors to see if and what type of vehicles are following me and at what speed. If I know for sure than nobody is following me left/right side, only then I swerve to avoid a crash. Otherwise, it's all on the brakes. Then I might get sandwiched between 2 vehicles but it is what it is.

Under promise. Over deliver.
Making it clear to the motorcyclist as soon as the adrenalin rush is down what all we can do for him. Then we have room to exceed the expectations if we can. If the motorcyclist keeps on ramping up his compensations, then suggest a legal route. I'd ask him if we should head out and file an FIR. Let 3rd party insurance take the legal burden. What's the point of paying for it and never using it?

If the compensation he's asking for is reasonable, then he'll be more than willing to sit through the process, during which the authorities and lawyers might also look for other wrongdoings - like in this case, no insurance. In fact, at best he might walk away empty handed and at worst he might have to pay for damages to the car from his pocket, since he doesn't have any kind of insurance.

One thing I thought I understood wrong was about flashing red and flashing orange in low traffic intersections. So, I ducked it again; as in searched on duckduckgo.

Flashing red = stop -> check -> go
Flashing orange = slow down -> check -> go

Source: https://www.ctp.gov.in/TrafficLights.htm
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Old 15th January 2022, 11:29   #8
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro3110 View Post
Recently I was involved in a minor accident...
Sorry for this unfortunate incident. That said it ended relatively well for all parties.

If any mistake, on your part, would be that you should have slowed a bit and honked/flashed generously for the bike in front of you to know you do not intend to stop. That is generally what I do. While at the same time being prepared to stop.

I have seen incidents where multiple vehicles try to rush the signal (knowing that its coming to an end) and the car driver in front develops cold feet and slams on the brakes, possibly leading to a mini pile up scenario behind.



- Slick
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Old 15th January 2022, 12:07   #9
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

1. Keeping calm in such situations when the other party is agitated is a great skill. You seem to have mastered it. The situation could easily have turned ugly against you with the usual 'the bigger vehicle is at fault' scenario.

2. You have gone above and beyond your required responsibility by offering to pay for a plastic surgeon for what appears to be minor laceration.

3. Having lived and driven in Kolkata for over 10 years, i can say this. Traffic intersections at night can be hazardous. In your case, 50 kmph on a blinking yellow light was not advisable. Defensive driving is what is best. Keep an eye out for whats in front AND whats behind you. Never adjust your speed with the vehicle's speed in front of you. Instead, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

4. I suppose while swerving to avoid the bike in front you could have moved some distance ahead instead of hard braking (assuming the road ahead was clear). Hard braking in such situations tend to come with risks.

5. Overall, glad that it is sorted out with just minor damages to the car and of course to all parties involved.
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Old 15th January 2022, 12:26   #10
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

You did more than enough.

A month ago, I was involved in a similar accident where I accelerated to cross an intersection as the biker sped in front of me and braked suddenly. I braked hard to avoid him , but the car behind me could not .

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...ml#post5214648 (Pics: Accidents in India)

As one Bhpian puts it, the fault always lies with the one who hits from the back as he is the one who needs to maintain the safe braking distance.

We could only learn the lesson that never ever accelerate on the yellow light.
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Old 15th January 2022, 12:38   #11
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

I can understand your situation here. It's one of those days where a small mistake cost a lot. Your fault was going at 50kmph in an intersection. No matter what the light is, never cross an intersection at speed higher than normal unless it's green. Speaking for myself I slow down a little even when it's green lest it turns amber and red in a flash and someone tries to jump early specially those semi literate bikers (not all bikers are like them. I ride a bike too). As for the accident you've done your part and your responsibility ends here. You haven't mentioned what that delivery guy did after the accident. Did he run away.

What surprise me is the fact that you've been quoted 25k for this minor job. From the pics it looks like only taillamp assembly replacement and bumper repainting job. 25k for this job from Maruti is probably more than what Skoda/VW would charge for it. Better to get this done from FNG and save your NCB.
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Old 15th January 2022, 13:58   #12
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

I was involved in an accident last year and at that time, I remember being told that specifically in Chennai and Kolkata, if a driver fails to provide first aid to an injured party after the driver's vehicle meets with an accident, they might have to pay a fine or serve a period of three months in jail. Basically like a duty of care.

So, you have personally complied with the law after the incident occurred. For anything beyond that, you would need to ask the insurance/legal folks to step in.

I remember a lengthy discussion happening on the Accidents thread on whether we should offer to pay some money or handle it via insurance. In your case, I think you've extended help to the maximum possible. Anything beyond that would only be you getting exploited.

Also, I concur with the above views that 25K seems way too expensive for the actual damage seen in the pics. Are there some other internal parts damaged which they haven't told you about? Might be worthwhile having the damage to the car and scope of repair both checked out by a skilled FNG first.

Last edited by Small Bot : 15th January 2022 at 14:00.
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Old 15th January 2022, 14:44   #13
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

In my experience. Here are a few pointers

1. Car on the Right side is ALWAYS right as per eyes of the law.

2. No motorist can demand for compensation in case of an accident, thats what insurance is for. If he doesn’t have insurance, too bad for him, he’s riding his bike illegally on the road. You should have immediately called the cops and all fault would have gone on him.

3. You are morally and sometimes legally bound to take the person who has suffered a grievous injury to the nearest hospital (irrespective of whose fault it is). That is where all your responsibility ends. You do not need to pay for his medical expenses, but can choose to do so as per your moral views.

4. NO. A medical student cannot put a doctor symbol legally. IMA has set certain pointers on doctor sticker cars. Only a fully registered medical allopathy practitioner who renders emergency services can display a red doctor logo (Dr.) , Asclepius or the more commonly used (and highly misused) Caduceus symbol. (PS: I’m a doctor and IMA member)

5. If he really is a medical student and is demanding compensation by a plastic surgeon, cab fare, riding without insurance, etc, then its purely a shame that he’s joining such a noble profession but doing all unscrupulous things.
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Old 15th January 2022, 22:58   #14
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

I believe you are at fault as he had right of way on his lane irrespective of whether he wanted to stop or go, you cannot cut in to his lane at the last minute and expect him/anyone to do the same. Having said that, you have done enough to attend to his injury and both should move on.

Coming to your aunt's car damage, I would suggest taking care of it outside as that would be much cheaper and save your aunt's NCB in the longterm.
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Old 15th January 2022, 23:28   #15
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Default Re: Experience of an accident | Whose fault was it?

Your only fault was trying to beat the light (yellow) when there was someone in front of you as you can never be sure of their reaction. It could be that person also maybe thinking the same thing, then both of you could have crossed the intersection before the light turning red. As you mentioned this did not happen which is why this whole issue took place.

You had to brake and take avoiding action which you did well or the bike person in front would have become a football and this would have developed into a much more serious incident.

It was completely the bikers fault (the one coming from behind). He was further behind you obviously and the light should have been red by then. He should have been ready to stop, instead it seems he was on course to commit a traffic offence by breaking a red light.

You did a more than a decent job by helping him as much as you did. In the event he takes it further, please let him know it was his fault/mistake which led to him being injured and your car being badly damaged.

Cheers

Last edited by Cyborg : 15th January 2022 at 23:30.
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