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T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience:  8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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I have been involved in a car collision where the

Customer Question

I have been involved in a car collision where the circumstances are not straight forward. I was driving a Rav4 and crossing a main road at night, the conditions where clear and dry, and a car from my left hit the front left corner of my car at speed. The junction onto the main road had a stop sign and I was going very slowly if not stopped when we got to the junction because we were trying to follow directions as we had got lost. What is very strange is about this incident is that I did not see the other cars headlights before it hit us. This was confirmed by one of my passengers. One of the few benefits of driving a night is that you can see cars coming from a distance, when I looked at the other car after the incident only the side lights where on. The other drive came to see me today at the gite we have rented and filled in my side of the insurance form saying I failed to observe a stop sign. From what I understand the other drive cannot fill in my side of the insurance form so I refused to sign it. He was in hurry for me to sign and as there are other factors to this incident I thought it best seek legal assistance. Many thanks, Jeremy
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: French Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I should also add the air bags did not deploy in my car and I understand air bags do deploy under about 4mph, but I believe the airbags did deploy on the other car. Also the other car hit the front corner of my car so he must have been pretty close or going very fast when I started to cross the main road.
Expert:  T Perrin C replied 3 months ago.

You need make your own statement on the insurance form and sign it. If you don't this will become a matter for authorities to decide on. Since, from your statement above, and French traffic rules, it appears that the objective provable elements show that you did not make a complete stop at the stop sign, no matter how slow you were going, you face a hefty fine and your licence being revoked for driving in France (confiscated and sent back to Swansea licencing bureau if you are from the UK). Unfortunately the other elements you point out:

  1. the other car going faster: is irrelevant. It had right of way and was not required to slow down since YOU had to stop.
  2. the lights not showing on the other car: you cannot prove it and, anyway, you say you did not fully stop as you were concentrating on finding directions. In itself, not making a full stop is an offense, no matter how slow you were going as the fact that you airbags did not deploy indeed show...

Sorry to be the bearer of not too good news...