Distracted driving accidents, I need a lawyer

At a crossroads, a car followed him despite the fact that it was his. Surprisingly, however, insurance denied him compensation. According to the liquidator, in fact, you also have a part of responsibility. You don’t understand the reasons. With the intention of starting a legal battle, before hiring a lawyer, you ask yourself: can I be responsible for the traffic accident if I have not caused it?

The answer is quite simple and can be guessed by reading the jurisprudence that, until now, has been formed on the subject of traffic accidents and compulsory rc car insurance. In particular, a recent ruling of the Court of Cassation [1] established a guiding principle applicable to any hypothesis of collision between motor vehicles: liability for traffic accidents also depends on the predictability of the behavior of others. What does it mean Is it really true that you can be responsible for an accident without causing it?

Distracted driving accidents, I need a lawyer

To better understand how this rule works, let’s step back.

Traffic accident rules

In the case of a car accident, the insurance compensation rules can be summed up in one general rule: to be right and get the insurance money, you must prove both the fault of the other driver and the unpredictability of his behavior.

In fact, each motorist has two obligations:

respect the rules of the Highway Code;
adopt the necessary prudence to anticipate any possible confrontation, even if it is dictated by the illegal behavior of others.
This imposes a specific duty on motorists: anticipate, when possible, violations of the Highway Code by third parties to ensure road safety. An example will better clarify how things are.

Distracted driving accidents, I need a lawyer


Constantine is about to cross an intersection. The traffic light has been green for a while. Therefore, to avoid yellow shots, speed up. At the crossroads, he realizes that a car, coming from the other road, despite the red, shows no signs of braking. Trusting that the other driver respects precedence, it is the same. The two vehicles, however, collide. Before authorities arrived at the scene, Constantine claims he clearly saw that the other driver was not stopping at the stop. His statements, however, nail him down: he, in fact, admitted to having had an early perception of the possibility of a crash and not having done anything to avoid it. On the contrary, he forcefully prevailed on the road, avoiding, as prudence would have required, letting the rebel motorcyclist pass first.

How to determine who is at fault for an accident

In establishing who is to blame for road accidents, we start with a presumption of equal responsibility: in practice, both motorists are assumed to be equally liable. Each cannot obtain more than half of the compensation for the damages suffered unless they demonstrate:

that the other driver has not respected the Highway Code; that the latter’s behavior was not foreseeable and, therefore, the crash was not avoidable.
Only if both tests are provided is there an exclusive liability charge against only one of the drivers.

However, demonstrating the inevitability of the shock, that is, the unpredictability of the infringement of others, is particularly difficult, so the Cassation considers a simple «presumption» sufficient.

For example, the fact that the police intervened and did not impose a fine on the driver in question implies the absence of his responsibilities. And yet, predictability may stem from the fact that the victim was traveling on a highway in perfect visibility at a slightly higher speed than allowed, a situation that generally allows others to see the car.

Can those who have not caused it be responsible for the accident?

In light of the above, it is understood that it is possible to deny compensation to the motorist who did not cause the accident if, however, he could avoid it. The road user, says the Court of Cassation, is also responsible for the reckless conduct of others, when this falls within the predictability limit based on the specific case.

Example of a traffic lawsuit:

I actually felt

1. With the sentence in the epigraph, the Ancona Court of Appeal, in a partial reform of the judgment of the Ascoli Piceno Court, reinstated the sentence in six months in prison, with the benefit mentioned in art. 175 of the Italian Penal Code, which confirms the rest of the judgment against LG, in relation to the crime of homicide, aggravated by the violation of the rules on the regulation of road traffic, committed in (omissis).

2. According to the reconstruction of the facts subject to the imputation received in said ruling, the accused1 is reproached for general and specific fault for having caused the death of CS, in that, as driver of his own BMW X5 tg car (omissis ), traveled, with a south-north direction, a straight and flat section of (omissis), in the Municipality of (omissis) with wide visibility of vehicles coming in the opposite direction; He reached number 241, performed a left turn maneuver. omitting to give priority to the motor vehicle driven by C., which traveled the same stretch of road, in the opposite direction, at a speed of approximately 60 km / h, in the phase of completion of the maneuver, due to inexperience,

Violation of articles. 145 and 154 CdS, for having failed to proceed with the turning maneuver with due caution and giving priority to the movement of the C., and for not having made such a maneuver near the center of the intersection and so as not to create danger for other users of the road: violations, these that, according to the reconstruction of the episode accepted by the Court of merit, caused the accident.

3. The defendant appeals against the sentence, through the defender, complaining (in summary, the provisions of art. 173 dispos. Att. Cpp, paragraph 1) as follows.

I) Defect of incorrect application of the criminal law in terms of the erroneous reconstruction of the case provided for by art. 589 of the Penal Code

He complains that the correct emphasis has not been given to causal determinism (the principle that the road user is also responsible for the reckless behavior of others1 as long as he is within the limit of predictability.

In the present case (the motorcyclist, who advanced at a speed higher than the allowed speed of 50 km / h, after having seen the car that crammed his lane, if he had not been distracted or was unable to drive, or in incompatible psychophysical conditions the guide should not have slowed down, but only avoided the obstacle, widening to the left towards the center of the road; this was the foreseeable and normal maneuver, not the one put into practice by the victim who brutally nailed, instead of gradually braking , and thus lost control of the motorcycle.

Considered in law

1. The appeal must be considered manifestly unfounded, based on generic and non-specific reasons, merely repetitive of the complaints of the appeal and that do not compare with the articulated arguments of the Territorial Court. In fact, the contested judgment logically and consistently motivates the unreliability of the statements made only at the hearing by witness F., years later, and inconsistent with what was indicated in the preliminary investigations (fol. 4) and proceeds to the reconstruction of the facts, based on the objective elements offered by the expert’s report ordered by the Court and the statements of the eyewitness PG, which excluded that C. As he passed his dealer, he turned to greet him And so he was distracted and remembered hearing a huge bang and the driver of the car stirred as he left the cabin and repeatedly yelled, «I haven’t seen him.» On the basis of planimetric and photographic studies and cinematic experience, the Territorial Court correctly assessed the concrete predictability of the arrival of the motorcycle that had the right-of-way, which traveled at a speed of between 58 and 62 km / h, therefore, it could be seen by the ‘attributed to the distance of a few tens of meters;

1.1 Considering the above, the guidance of the Legality Court is now consolidated according to which the allocation principle, in the specific field of road traffic, finds an appropriate temperament in the opposite principle, according to which the road user It is also responsible for the reckless behavior of others, provided that it is within the limit of predictability (in recent times, for all, see Section 4, No. 8090 of 11/15/2013, dep. 2014, Saporito, Rv. 259277). However, this predictability must be evaluated not in the abstract, but in practice (Section 4, No. 46741 of 08/10/2009, Minunno, Rv. 245663). The predictability criterion in practice is based on the assumption that predictability applies not only to define in abstract the conformation of the risk protected by law,

Furthermore, since the precautionary rules, which in this case are supposed to be violated, appear as «elastic» rules, that is, they indicate behavior that can be determined on the basis of contingent circumstances, however, it is necessary that the attribution The subjective nature of the event occurs through an appreciation of the concrete predictability and avoidance of the anti-legal outcome by the model agent (Section 4, No. 37606 of 06/07/2007, Rinaldi, Rv. 237050).

These jurisprudential references raise the problem of concrete predictability and avoidance in the conditions given by the applicant for the legal development of their conduct, also taking into account the fact that the concrete evaluation of predictability cannot, in the present case, be independent in fact, peacefully verified that the victim was traveling at a speed slightly higher than that allowed by a straight and flat urban artery, in conditions of perfect visibility; that there was a real possibility of detecting the arrival of the motorcycle driven by the C., which launched a sudden braking maneuver, which cannot be defined as abnormal or unpredictable, in an attempt to avoid the obstacle constituted by the defendant’s car who suddenly and unexpectedly ran into his lane, using at least 2.38 seconds. at a speed of 15 km / h.

2. In conclusion, the appeal must be declared inadmissible and the appellant ordered to pay the legal costs and the sum of two thousand euros in favor of the Cassa delle Fines.