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equal liability in a car accident?

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1 equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:28 am

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
I recently got into an accident making a legal right turn on red. I checked if the intersection was clear, then slowly made a right turn, as I was about to complete my turn, a motorcycle going straight slammed into my left at an angle. I'm amicable to paying for our own damages since in my opinion both parties are at fault but he insists on me shouldering his damages. The only thing I think that might be going against me is that I was entering the second lane rather than the right most lane, but that's only because I was avoiding a bicycle that had suddenly decided to switch into that lane.

I have dash cam footage to prove that I was moving at a reasonable speed of 10kmh at the time and that I had very nearly completed my turn, and that I yielded the intersection properly. Going by my dash cam footage, the driver did not have any attempt at avoiding the accident as he was going completely straight at the time we collided, as proven by damage to my car fender all the way to the bumper (since he hit me at an almost parallel angle). Given the sound of his brakes, it's also reasonable to assume he was moving at high speed.

According to his police report testimony, he'd already seen me enter the intersection from at least 30 meters away and travelling 50kph in a 40kph road (that's what he claims although based on the footage he was probably moving faster than that.

Can I just file a counter suit if he decides to go ahead and file



Last edited by Ddlord11 on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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2 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:27 pm

Jadis

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Reclusion Perpetua
I don't really drive, but why not just make your own narration for the benefit of the police blotter as well, and file a case against this person before he does?

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3 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:34 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
I did, I have a police report stating both his and my statements. My concern is that I believe we share fault for the accident, but some people are advising me to settle because according to them in the Philippines, the injured party will always win these cases. I just can't accept shouldering all responsibility just because I drive 4 wheels and he drives 2.

A friend narrated a story where a motorcycle ran a red light and hit the side of his car tossing both riders on the pavement. And the police made it out to be his fault.

Is there any truth to the widespread belief that 4 wheels always lose to 2?

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4 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:55 pm

Jadis

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Even if you win eventually, if that takes five, six, seven years, settling would be the easier, less expensive and less stressful route to take, especially if at this point in time, the amount being asked of you is not so unreasonable.

So this person suffered physical injuries? Don't you have comprehensive insurance? The problem in settling without consulting your insurance first, if you do have insurance, is that you might waive any claims you have against it.

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5 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:03 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
I'd just recently bought the car second hand and was in the process of canvassing comprehensive insurance. Yes I brought them to the nearest hospital and they were discharged that same day with no findings other than a few cuts and scrapes, all necessary tests and measures were done.

I feel that it's an unreasonable amount considering the bike just fell on its side and in the first place he was the one who slammed into me. He's asking nearly 30% the price of the brand new bike of his model and he's not amendable to give and take.

Should I just file a claim if they won't discuss things properly? Or do 4 wheels have a poor win record against 2 even when b both parties contributed to the fault?

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6 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:20 pm

Jadis

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How about compulsory third party liability? That might help defray the expenses as well, no matter how minimal.

I honestly hate speaking in generalities because not every case is that way and the reason why the motorcycle riders seemingly win or whatever is that the parties settle out of court without the court going through the evidence, or the rider dies and well, the parties settle out of court.

It's actually your decision to go ahead and file a criminal case for reckless imprudence. Again, I don't drive so in this instance I cannot apportion blame from the facts you stated.

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7 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:56 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
Yes I have CTPL such would offset the ER costs, but excluding all expenses I've already shelled out the rider is asking for what I consider to be a ridiculous amount.

I will be reviewing the cctv footage of the mmda but as far as I can tell from the facts on hand I should have enough for the doctrine of last clear chance to work in my favor as well as the ruling from Adzuara v. Court of Appeals,[78] it was established that a motorist crossing a thru-stop street has the right of way over the one making a turn; but if the person making the turn has already negotiated half of the turn and is almost on the other side so that he is already visible to the person on the thru-street, he is bound to give way to the former.

Thanks so much, will update when I have more information. Smile

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8 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:08 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
I've obtained CCTV footage that establishes he was travelling at speed during collision. However, the motorcycle claims absolute right of way because he had the green light. However I'm contending I made a legal right turn with caution after first checking that the intersection was clear before I initiated my turn.

During my turn I also turned to enter the second lane as a bicycle had suddenly switched to the outermost lane, as well as a motorcycle following me showed intent to enter the lane to my right. Thus I was probably in violation of Ra 4136

Section 45. Turning at intersections. -
(a) The drive of a vehicle intending to run to the right at an intersection shall approach such intersection in the lane for traffic nearest to the right-hand side of the highway and, in turning, shall keep as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway.

However seeing as it was a blind intersection same RA imposes a 20kph speed limit which motorcycle did not comply with. Also, moving at an unlawful speed supposedly disqualifies any right of way a vehicle operator may have.

Through crowded streets, approaching intersections at "blind corners," passing school zones, passing other vehicles which are stationery, or for similar dangerous circumstances.
20 km. per hour

Section 42. Right of way.
(a) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right, except as otherwise hereinafter provided. The driver of any vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit any right of way which he might otherwise have hereunder.

Even if he was exercising right of way..

(c) The driver of a vehicle entering a "through highway" or a "stop intersection" shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching to either direction on such "through highway": Provided, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed as relieving the driver of any vehicle being operated on a "through highway" from the duty of driving with due regard for the safety of vehicles entering such "through highway" nor as protecting the said driver from the consequence of an arbitrary exercise off such right of way.

I've read that proximate cause is one of the determining factors for an accident, thus while speeding is an mmda violation, swerving is not.

I've also read the following court cases and decisions to see if fault is entirely one sided.

in G.R. No. 147437 in scjudiciarygovph

Where
It is must be stressed that this restriction on speed assumes more importance where the motorist is approaching an intersection. Ordinary or reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle at an intersection would naturally require more precaution than is necessary when driving elsewhere in a street or highway.[57] A driver approaching an intersection is generally under duty, among others, to be vigilant and to have the vehicle under control as to be able to stop at the shortest possible notice,[58] that is, he must look for vehicles that might be approaching from within the radius that denotes the limit of danger.[59]

Since compliance with this duty is measured by whether an approaching motorist has exercised the level of precaution required under the circumstances, then with more reason that he exhibit a relatively higher level of care when the intersection is blind at the point where the roads meet. In other words, where the view at an intersection is obstructed and an approaching motorist cannot get a good view to the right or left until he is close to the intersection, prudence would dictate that he take particular care to observe the traffic before entering the intersection or otherwise use reasonable care to avoid a collision,[60]which means that he is bound is to move with the utmost caution until it is determinable that he can proceed safely and at the slowest speed possible[61] so that the vehicle could be stopped within the distance the driver can see ahead.[62]

Also

Adzuara v. Court of Appeals,[78] it was established that a motorist crossing a thru-stop street has the right of way over the one making a turn; but if the person making the turn has already negotiated half of the turn and is almost on the other side so that he is already visible to the person on the thru-street, he is bound to give way to the former.

As we were both negligent, with me as to my die turn and him as to speed, could the doctrine of last clear chance be put into play?

The doctrine of last clear chance states that where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence caused the loss, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the loss but failed to do so, is chargeable with the loss. Stated differently, the antecedent negligence of plaintiff does not preclude him from recovering damages caused by the supervening negligence of defendant, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence.[69]

As he had a clear line of sight while I as the turning vehicle was unaware of him until the actual collision, wouldn’t last clear chance fall on him?

I'd much prefer to settle for a lesser amount but if he refuses and goes to litigation, what are the chances that arbitration or even the court can decide that this was a case of contributory negligence and just not award anything to both parties?

Thank you for your time.

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9 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:14 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor

this is me at the corner letting the bike pass


this is me at the corner making my turn, the intersection is clear at this point, at this point i can no longer check for incoming traffic as my mirrors would be reflecting a scene diagonal to the road


and suddenly there he is

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10 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:18 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
Could anyone give me a lawyers perspective regarding last clear chance?

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11 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:37 pm

xtianjames


Reclusion Perpetua
it will be based on the lawyer's expertise who will represent you if he can make the court see it your way since your case can go either way if both parties are in the wrong.

imho, in this case, i believe that you are more liable since the right most part is what is assigned for merging traffic hence the speed of the motorcycle will not apply if he is not in the merging side of the road since traffic law dictates that no one should be merging through this lane. just think of cases where jaywalking pedestrians in a highway are hit by cars. do you think it's the drivers fault if in the first place they should not have been there?

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12 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:05 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
i agree with the jaywalking but then it's reasonable, at least imho, to expect people to cross the road, unless its the skyway or commonwealth. what if a PWD need to cross but cannot use the overpass?

you can also see in the stills of the video that the motorcycle behind me chose to cut to my right the moment i decided to make my turn, now as he was visible and the through motorcycle is not, the sudden emergency doctrine says that it cannot be considered negligence if an unanticipated circumstance occurred that caused me to make a sudden decision to veer left.

therefore since turning right is legal and that there was a motorcycle that forced me to veer left, it is the MC driver to my left who is negligent based on the fact that he was operating his motorcycle at a speed that is not under control and does not allow him to stop at a moment's notice.

would the circumstances and the legal precedents hold any water in a court annexed mediation?

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13 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:13 pm

Jadis

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You are talking about trial proper, legal precedents and evidence are shown in a full-blown trial. If that is your mindset, mediation will fail.

Mediation is not about allocating blame and what not. It's about willingness to settle and forgive and grant concessions based on what you can give in to, in good conscience.

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14 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:20 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
I have extended an offer of about 30% of what he's asking, that's above the hospital bill which I willingly shouldered in good faith as they were hurt and I was not. However they do not seem interested in give and take and refuse to listen to reason. Although I am allocating blame on them by looking at legal precedents, I'm not absolving myself of blame but rather I'm already willing to take a loss to avoid the hassle of a trial. However I'm also looking for a bit of give and take on their part.

The reason I ask is that if ordered to court annexed mediation, perhaps the word of an experienced mediator would convince him that taking the offer would be the best for all parties involved rather than going through the hassle and cost of a trial. As they're not listening to me, perhaps they will listen to the facts when presented to a mediator?

I've repeatedly tried to settle amicably but perhaps a mediator might be better about to get through to them? What I want to know is if I'm at a good position to have the mediator think it's a fair settlement given the facts of the case..

Thanks again Smile

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15 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:24 pm

Jadis

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Just wait for court-annexed mediation.

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16 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:27 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
Do these cases typically get ordered to CAM? I'm not a lawyer but insofar what I got is that they usually go to CAM before being docketed..

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17 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Jadis

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Reclusion Perpetua
You have to be arraigned first.

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18 Re: equal liability in a car accident? on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:04 pm

Ddlord11


Arresto Menor
Okay ma'am thanks so much

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