Who Is at Fault? (Car Reversing out of Driveway)

So, it's one of those times again.

Driving, exiting a roundabout, driving straight, a car suddenly exits their driveway with no indication. I forcibly swerve my car to see if I can avoid him and we unfortunately hit each other the back of his car is damaged, whilst the side and back of mine is. The driver is a man in his 80's, admits fault for reversing as I was going past (50km zone) - unfortunately neither side made a written or recorded agreement.

Both agree to not involve insurance, and we'd both be in contact later. A week passes, gets a call from the man's son saying that his dad would require $1k for the repair. Asks me how I would like to pay. I'm confused, his dad already agreed he was at fault, and that they would be paying for my repairs (not the other way around). Can't agree, argument ensues. Neither party has dashcam footage.

So who is actually at fault?

Obligatory MS paint.

For reference, between the exit of the roundabout and the old guy's house, it's about 8 metres* (for tht one guy), with a crosswalk about 6 metres before it.

Forgot to say, I'm from Vic, so by right, the reversing give way rules are on my side.


So the son said they had security footage, and the claim is that they'll show it to the police station since neither party can agree on fault. I'm not sure if the Police station can actually make a verdict or not, but it seems the only choice is insurance, or both parties just drop it. Now the problem with going with insurance is this: my excess is 900. The insurer is unlikely to waive the excess, and the repairs are likely less than the damn excess. Do I go through with insurance just to prove a point, or do I just take the L.

FYI the argument the son is making is that because his dad was exiting slowly, and I was apparently going fast, I'm at fault for not stopping when his dad was "clearly" reversing onto the main road (his argument hinges on security footage that he says shows his dad already had a wheel on the main road (even if he was doing it slow).

Edit 2.

So figured I'd update you folks, and after waiting on the phone for 2 hours finally managed to speak to someone on the other end. I explained the situation, and they agreed that I was not at fault, and that provided I can give them the details of the other party (I can and did), they would waive the excess (I assumed they wouldn't since I had a previous incident about 6 years ago - also not at fault - where they did not waive it. So all's well but ends well? (assuming nothing else happens of course - no death flag intended).

Poll Options Wed, 24/04/2024 - 00:00

  • 10
    I'm at fault
  • 574
    He's at fault


  • +15

    Driving, exiting a roundabout

    Did you indicate off the roundabout, and how fast were you going?

    Was it wet, and do you drive a FWD?

    • +2

      Yes, the guy said he didn't see me exiting, but his son claims that I should've given way. No it was not wet, just your regular SUV.

      • +103

        His son is wrong. Just let insurance know and let them deal with it.

        • +16

          This ^ /thread

          Don’t over complicate this OP, just let insurance deal with it and you’ll recover your excess as they’re at fault.

          Good luck!

      • +22

        Exiting private property, he has to give way to traffic on the road. Put in an insurance claim. You won’t be paying the excess. Let them deal with it if the other party are going to be a-holes.

        • +1

          Sadly some insurers can ask for the excess until they can claim it from the other party. Better ones will waive it if you can provide details of the other party and it's clear who is at fault…

      • +13

        Son and dad are wrong, the OzB court has ruled in your favor, now you can sleep easy.

    • +38

      None of these things are relevant. The old man failed to give way, end of.

      • +2

        Exactly. He's failed to give way appropriately. End of story. Provide the details to your insurance company and let them sort it out.

    • +18

      There is only one basic rule that applies here…

      Take care when reversing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      When reversing out of a driveway in particular you must give way to all vehicles.

      Nobody is obliged to give way to the reversing car.
      Its just a courtesy.

    • +7

      Classic ozb…always trying to find fault in the OP lol

      • +13

        The 6 who voted OP at fault are the son and dad family.

        • +2

          Yes, and those who voted believe that when they put their indicator on to change lanes, a gap for them appears magically, they can just move over straight away and everyone else has to move!

          • @splicer: Damn straight they are, the 'entitled' drivers.

    • +2

      I'm assuming the last part was a reference to a previous thread. And I think this is funny

      • +1

        A seemingly current thread…

    • +1

      Looking at the roundabout and visual lines, if they did crash speed from the OP's car most likely would've been a factor.

  • +70

    Both agree to not involve insurance

    Time to contact your insurance company.

    • -2

      Could be very minor damage because OP has overstated everything..

      "I forcibly swerve my car"

      So the car did not want to obey OPs commands

      • +6

        I just wanna see someone go all out one day.

        “I had seconds to react,Dropped it down a gear, floored it and took extreme evasive manoeuvres.”

  • +4

    Pretty sure reversing vehicle needs to give way


    Could be helpful.

    EDIT - that's for NSW so not sure if same (I assume it would be)

    • +6

      You are correct, reversing vehicles always need to give way.

      In addition, vehicles exiting a private driveway and entering a public road needs to give way to all vehicles on the public road.

    • +1

      Even if you’re going forward you still need to give way to traffic already on the road.

  • +5

    Should've involved insurance I guess, but if you didnt notify police on the day you may be SOL

    • +25

      It might vary by state, but I know that in NSW the cops don't want to be notified at all unless there is an injury or a vehicle requires towing.

      • +11

        Or if one or more parties don't stop and/or exchange details.

        • +8

          Or if you suspect the other driver is intoxicated. This is a good one to remember if you do want police involvement.

          • -5

            @morse: Nope, police don't care here. Not your call to decide if you think someone is intoxicated.

            • +7

              @hudrob: You can definitely do this. Straight after an accident. Call the police and say that you are concerned that the other driver may intoxicated or drug affected and a danger to the public. You’d have to say why, acting irrationally, smells of alcohol etc. It’s not your call to decide, but you can raise your concerns.

              If anyone has any reason to suspect that a driver at a crash site is affected by alcohol or drugs (e.g. appearance, behaviour, smell etc) they should immediately call police on Triple Zero (000) and they will attend.

              You can also alert police if you have an older relative who shouldn’t be driving for medical reasons but continues to do so. They won’t treat it as an emergency but they can come and speak with that person, this is definitely a thing too, have seen many families resort to this.

          • +1

            @morse: This can cause issues with a claim, particularly if you don't have comprehensive insurance. If the other party is charged with DUI, their insurance will not be valid.

            • @maianbar: That’s a really good point. I think it’s only worth doing if a) the person is actually intoxicated, in which case I would be genuinely concerned for other people, there’s been some horrific incidents like this and irrespective of money most people would like to see them not happen. b) you feel it’s unlikely you’ll get a fair process without police involvement.

              I always have comp insurance, as I’d rather not deal with such situations uncovered.

          • @morse: Cops will just turn up, breatho each driver and if no one is injuries/details are exchanged they will leave. Unless the above criteria is met no report is going on.

            • +1

              @I like freestuff: That’s not been my experience. You can also go to cop shop and just make a police report, very often an insurer will ask for this. I know often police will try a wiggle out of it, but there are ways to get the incident recorded officially, and I believe sometimes it’s worth doing eg if the person threatens you or it’s pretty clear they are going to try and get out of it unfairly.

    • +1

      You only need to notify police if there is a serious injury or one or more of the involved vehicles needs to be towed from the scene of the accident (if you can move it to the side of the road, you're clear here). Or if one or more parties doesn't stop and provide details.

      The vehicle reversing into traffic is at fault. End of story.

  • +14

    Exiting a driveway onto a main road means you have to give way

  • +8

    What's a "crosswalk"?

    Oh, you mean a pedestrian crossing.

    Both the existence of it, and the roundabout, seem entirely irrelevant. A vehicle entering the roadway from a drive has to give way to one driving down the road. I'm trying to think of any circumstances when that wouldn't be the case.

    Oh, and while I'm at it, the measure of distance in this country is "metres". not "meters".

  • +15

    He's definitely at fault. Sadly time to call your insurance company, sounds like the son has gotten involved and made a mess of things.

    He might have had a complaint if you rear ended him, but since he clearly still had to be reversing to do that damage he's in the wrong.

    • +3

      Look, i feel like if the son is only asking 1k, he might realise he's really trying his luck with this shake down.

      Maybe OP can get a couple of quotes for repair+10% and go 'look, Mistakes happen, but we both know i'm not at fault. So your father and i can both involve our insurance companies, or if he has the money, he can $3,000? for my repairs, like we originally agreed to. I'll be contacting my insurance in 2 days if i don't hear from you.'

      But then i wonder if it's first come, best served with insurance….

  • +15

    Get him to write down his sequence of events and why you're liable then casually ask if he could remind you what the penalties for fraud were?

    • +5

      this ^

      it'll be pretty funny to see how their story unfolds….

      Sadly, without a witness, dashcam, etc. its always challenging.

      I recently had to deal with an incident whereby a guy tried to overtake but clipped the front side of our car. Just straight out denied it was his fault. Had to take it further. Won the case but not without some serious following up (only had third party insurance on the car).

      • +3

        Man… I got side swiped by a hire car crossing onto my side of the road.

        Didn't stop him and his wife doing a stat dec to say I did it. Warned him I had a dash cam too….

        I would have been at fault if it was word of mouth.

        • yeah there is no shame these days…. its also slowly created the age of woke… its a decay to society.

  • Curious, what rationale/logic did the son use as an argument for you being at fault?

    Based on the info here, I can't see how on earth someone would believe it's your fault.

    • +2

      no one likes to be wrong. So I can see how they'll make up a story to always blame someone else.

    • If the son has only seen his father's car he might believe that it had already made its way onto the road and was rear ended. Side damage to OP's car would show that this is impossible.

      • Exactly. The location of damage on both vehicles will clearly show who is at fault. A reversing car must give way to all traffic.

        If the damage is on the rear of the old man's car and the side of the OP's car, this indicates the old man's car was still in the driveway at the time.

        If the old man had mostly reversed out and the OP then drove into the back of the old man's car, then damage would be on the front of the OP's car and no doubt treated as a rear-end, with the OP being at fault.

        The other party is just trying it on to make the OP think it's his fault. Who knows? Perhaps they are worried this event if it goes through insurance may force the old man to lose his licence due to age? But that might be fair enough if he can't give way safely or reflexes are too slow.

        OP, you have insurance, USE IT. Even if you have to pay the excess, if the other party is at fault (which I can't see how they can't be) you will be refunded the $900 excess.

        Don't let the other party manipulate and twist things.

    • +1

      People will do mental gymnastics alot when it's their parents and/or money. When it's a thing that might - might - be another nail in the coffin that dad s getting to old to drive and what that means for family and well….that he's one step closer to that coffin….it can be complicated.

      Or Dad could have exasperatedly told him the story as if he was in denial it was his fault….for similar reasons as above.

  • +5

    unfortunately neither side made a written or recorded agreement.

    That means jack shit anyway. The insurance company is the final arbiter.

    Nearly all insurance companies tell you to never admit fault at the scene of an accident. Just exchange details, capture as much evidence as possible and tell the insurance company the facts.

    Don’t admit liability at the scene of the accident because this could have insurance implications.

  • +4

    There is no circumstance where someone exiting a driveway doesn't have to give way to vehicles already on the road.

    Even if you'd been approaching from around a blind corner right on the speed limit and he had no chance to see you, it sucks to be him but he's still the one at fault.

    It must suck to have a driveway that close to a roundabout, especially one that you have to reverse out of.

    • +2

      he only had to reverse out because he didn't reverse in. If he knows it's a blind spot, that's what he should be doing.

      Or you know, not driving at 80 years old.

  • +8

    They've obviously recanted on their word to not go via insurance. Go and lodge a claim with your insurance and let them deal with it.

  • +14

    Had an experience where I too tried to assist the other driver (at fault) by not going through insurance. Their mother ended up calling me and accusing me of causing the crash and saying that they won't pay for the repair.

    I simply ended up going through insurance.

    OP, can't see how the situation could be turned around for you to be at fault (based on the information provided).

    • +5

      The only way I would not go through insurance is if they open a briefcase and hand me 10k on the spot.

      • I wouldn't accept a briefcase with $10k in it from a stranger as payment for anything. Unless the exchange was made at a bank and it was deposited into my account immediately.

      • +2

        Do you accept PayID? :)

    • +2

      Why is there is always a family member to tell the at fault person to fight it or fight it for them?

      • +1

        Old fella clearly isn't on Ozbargain, so son is required

  • +5

    Unless they open their wallet on the spot and cash you out above what any reasonable person would ask for the damage, always involve your insurance company.

    • agree, a little naïve of the OP but you live, you learn.

  • +4

    Tell him unless they pay for everything you will need to call the police and give them your dash cam footage to file a claim with your insurer. 80 years old, I bet he can find the cash. Assuming the old man doesn't now believe it was your fault, he's probably scared of losing his license and wouldn't want the police involved. You really should just claim through your insurer and let them tell him these things. You gave the old man a chance to settle it himself and his son blew it. You should file a police claim, the man is a menace on the road, just backing into oncoming traffic could get someone killed.

    • They probably already told them they don't have a dashcam, being all friendly and all. Otherwise excellent advice.

  • +2

    Contact your insurance lol

  • +3

    Absolute facepalm dude.

    You need to lodge this with your insurance company.

    Driving, exiting a roundabout, driving straight, a car suddenly exits their driveway with no indication.

    It's their fault. 100% of the time it's the fault of the person entering the road. It's like rear ending someone, it's always the fault of the person rear ending.

    unfortunately neither side made a written or recorded agreement.

    Doesn't matter. The damage of the vehicles is evidence of what happened.

    • always the fault of the person rear ending

      Not relevant in this case but without camera evidence, reversing into another vehicle's front end looks like rear-ending.

  • +6

    Contact insurance, you are dealing with unreasonable people.

  • +7

    Both agree to not involve insurance

    Why on Earth would you do this?

    You have insurance use it to make sure the repairs are done and paid for.

  • +1

    What is the cost of repairing your car?

  • +2

    Why would you not involve insurance when you're clearly not the one at fault.

    You got duped by an old man mate.

  • A week passes, gets a call from the man's son saying that his dad would require $1k for the repair. Asks me how I would like to pay.


    As others have commented you should go through your insurance and let them deal with it.

  • OP, did you call your insurance company yet?

  • +3

    You'd have to place an extraordinarily low value on your time or have an extraordinarily perverted interest in frustration in order to not involve your insurance company.

    • +2

      Remind me not to take out insurance cover from you

    • +5

      This is completely incorrect. Person reversing is at fault as they are required to give way to everyone else. There's nothing about needing to do less than the posted speed limit just because you're near a roundabout.

    • +4

      What a load of rubbish.

      A car entering the roadway must give way to all other cars travelling on the roadway. End of story.

        • +4

          No it won't be. Other car was in reverse and entering the roadway - they are required to give way to all traffic. There's no way this would end in a 50/50 decision.

        • Hahahaha

        • Username checks out.

    • +4

      Hand in your drivers license. You shouldn’t be on the road.

  • +6

    You know it will never ends well, when the driver at fault says not to include the Insurance company.

  • +3

    The son is asking for a nice round 1K, sounds like the old man doesn't even have insurance.

    • Bingo!

    • -1

      The son still have decency enough to defend his dad I give you that, no matter how pathetic their fault is.

      • +1

        There is nothing decent about what the son is doing.
        The decent thing to do, is would be to assess if its time he spoke to his father about having a medical or handing in his driver's license so as to not cause him, his property or anyone else damage… and offer to drive him where he needs to go from time to time…
        ….guessing he really doesn't want to inconvenience himself with that level of decency.
        If anything is arrogant and self-serving and he's probably the one doing the talking as he's become controlling over the old man, who is probably embarrassed he is having a go after the old man had the 'decency' to admit fault, (but probably not the money to pay damages).

  • +2

    Make a claim with your insurance company. You will not be at fault and you won't have to deal with the son of a…

    The 4 people that voted OP is at fault. Please let me OZB community know where you live and we will be happy to dodge your street.

  • +4

    Why are you even paying for insurance if you get into an accident and decide not to use it?

  • +1

    Dan Andrews is to blame for this

    • Don't be childish

      Clearly the cyclist's fault

  • At the end of the day you're going to have to simply lodge a claim with your insurer. I can tell you with absolute certainty they aren't going to care who OzB thinks is at fault. Hopefully your insurer still accepts your claim to fix your vehicle given it's been over a week since the accident and you haven't reported it to them or (presumably) the police.

    • Some insurers allow you up to a year after the accident to make a claim

      • There is no time limit for lodging a claim

  • +1

    You definitely should have started off with lodging an insurance claim. Instead, do it now.

  • +3

    Just go through insurance.

    This is an easy one and the reversing driver is absolutely at fault.

    If you have his contact details, you won't even pay an excess and you'll be entitled to a hire car while your car is in for repairs.

    It's literally why you have insurance, why would you ever agree not to claim it?!

  • old man has been living there for 60 years before the roundabout, before the bitumen road so you need to give way :/

  • If he keeps pushing back OP check to see if any of his neighbours (ideally across the road) have security cameras.

    • Why?

      • Footage captured by motion cameras can be helpful as evidence.

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