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Cautioned for careless driving
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 12:30 am 
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I was involved in an accident where the other driver rear ended me while I was making a left lane change. The collision was hard enough that both cars were a write-off. The officer at the scene had in his notes that he gave the other driver a "caution" for careless driving. I was told at the collision reporting center that they were giving the other driver a "break" because of the slushy weather conditions. The other driver is now taking the position of zero liability and saying I made an unsafe lane change in front of them which is total BS. How powerful is the evidence of the attending police officers notes that the other driver was cautioned for careless driving? What exactly does it mean?


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Re: Rear End - Careless driving.
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 11:56 am 
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Did the police officer witness the crash? If they did then their testimony will be very powerful.

If not, then it is basically your word against the other drivers word because the officer is only writing down what each of you told him. But the officers testimony will be helpful to you because they can testify as to what the scene was like when they got there, and they can give their opinion as to what happened and who was at fault.

What you are describing though, has nothing to do with charges being laid against either of you by police. You are describing the insurance companies assignment of fault. This is outside the police officers realm, and insurance the insruance companies have their rules for determining who was at fault. They will have to rely on both drivers statements and probably the officers notes to make this final determination.

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Re: Rear End - Careless driving.
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:07 pm 
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to add to that, last year I was side swiped on the 401,
when I reported it at the col. centre, I asked for the LEO's opinion, he said "I can't offer any officialy advice, but most of these cases go 50/50"

The guys on here said straight up other drivers fault,

my insurance........................ other drivers fault
I generally know where to place my bets now ;)



jsherk wrote:
What you are describing though, has nothing to do with charges being laid against either of you by police. You are describing the insurance companies assignment of fault. This is outside the police officers realm, and insurance the insruance companies have their rules for determining who was at fault. They will have to rely on both drivers statements and probably the officers notes to make this final determination.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:26 am 
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You pretty much got the best answer you're going to get.

Whatever the other driver was charged or wasn't charged with is irrelevant to you. Your insurance provider doesn't care whether they were charged with careless driving or cautioned. Either way, being charged doesn't prove or disprove anything.

Your provider uses the Fault Determination Rules set out in the Ontario Insurance Act to determine fault percentages.

The chances of any driver hitting the rear end of a vehicle and not being found 100% at fault are pretty slim to none.

You could probably relax a bit and let your insurance company take care of it.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:13 pm 
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I'm assuming, if a driver rolled or backed into you same thing, unless you had dashcam evidence

bend wrote:
The chances of any driver hitting the rear end of a vehicle and not being found 100% at fault are pretty slim to none.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 1:23 pm 
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I appreciate the advice but feel I need to add that I'm not concerned about my insurance or fault determination through my insurance company. I wasn't found at fault. I'm suing the person for injuries and the lawyer is taking a zero liability stance. Since it may go to court, I'm wondering how much weight the attending officer cautioning the other driver for careless will have. The officer did not see the accident but when I asked him at the scene, he said he would consider the other driver 100% at fault for rear ending me. Same at the Collision Reporting Center but neither officer laid a charge if careless because of the road conditions. I actually just found out the other day about the careless driving caution for the other driver. It was contained in the file at the local police station but not on the drivers abstract. Is a caution a written document or is it verbal? It's been over a year since the accident and the other driver never disclosed he was cautioned. I found it out when I went to the police station the other day to order the officers notes.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 1:38 pm 
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I have never sued or been sued for personal injuries so do not have any experience with this.

However my thoughts are:
(1) The insurance determination will help your case but you will probably need to get somebody from insurance company to come and testify why they determined that you were 0% at fault and the other person was 100% at fault.
(2) Any notes from the officers may also help your case, but you would need to get the officers to come to court to testify about them and give their opinion.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 1:56 pm 
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A caution will just be a verbal caution roadside.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:27 pm 
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argyll wrote:
A caution will just be a verbal caution roadside.

That's what I was wondering. Is it usual for the officer to put the verbal caution in his notes? Should the other driver have disclosed the verbal caution or could it be they figured there was no way of finding out since there was no formal record of it? In this game of "who did what" this caution for careless is the only evidence by a third party in my favour, so it's pretty important. I have never heard of it before and wondered how a caution worked and whether it was at the officers discretion.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:37 pm 
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I thought insurance companies paid out for any medical claims involving an accident. Make sure you talk to your agent before filing a law suit, before you find a judge that will say go through your insurance.

EDIT: (Source FSCO https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/broc ... laims.aspx)

Statutory Accident Benefits Coverages are provided by law under every auto insurance policy in Ontario. Because the regulations (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, or SABS) are provincially mandated, the coverage provided is standard among insurance companies.

Statutory Accident Benefits provide compensation, regardless of fault, if you, your passengers, or pedestrians suffer injury or death in an auto accident.

For example, if you are injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to the following accident benefits:


Income Replacement: This benefit compensates you for lost income.

Non-earner: This benefit provides compensation if you are completely unable to carry on a normal life and do not qualify for an Income Replacement or Caregiver benefit.

Caregiver: If you qualify for this benefit, it provides compensation for some expenses incurred when you cannot continue as the main caregiver for a member of your home who is in need of care.

Medical: This benefit pays for medical expenses incurred when you are injured.

Rehabilitation: This benefit pays for rehabilitation expenses incurred when you are injured.

Attendant Care: This benefit compensates you for some of the expense of an aide or attendant.

Compensation for Other Expenses: These benefits pay for some other expenses such as the cost of family visiting you during treatment or recovery. It may also pay for some housekeeping and home maintenance, the repair or replacement of some items lost or damaged in the accident, and some lost educational expenses.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 3:43 pm 
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Someone being cautioned by police can have different meanings. It doesn't necessarily correlate to being at fault.

There’s what’s known as a “formal” caution, where you’re served a document stating you could have been charged with an offence but are being given a warning instead. I’ve never heard of formal cautions being issued for traffic offences though. It’s typically reserved for minor criminal matters with young offenders. Its purpose is to create a record of the warning should they commit the same offence a second time.

Officers also “caution” people when they’re investigating a matter where charges could potentially be laid. This is where you’re advised that you could be charged depending on the evidence and you’re not required to provide a statement unless you wish to do so. This is very common in accident investigations, especially when an officer is still trying to determine what happened. Again though, it doesn't correlate to actual fault since it's typically a warning given prior to a full investigation being done.

At the end of the day civil court is its own little world, but I think your case will simply hinge on the accident report and driver’s statements. An officer cautioning someone won’t really add any evidence of guilt or fault beyond the primary evidence already available.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 5:17 pm 
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My insurance is paying for medical right now but my lawsuit is for general damages and future care costs as well as lost income. I have a lawyer but since there are no witnesses, it's become my word against theirs. Unfortunately the rear end damage to my car could fit both our scenarios but what really happened is I was slowed down to make a left lane change and I was rear-ended. They said I came from the left into there lane and I cut them off. The caution was given because of the slippery road conditions; the office told me he believed the other guy was at fault but we had to sort it out at the CRC. The CRC officer said the same thing; at fault but no formal charge. I'm not concerned about the insurance companies finding fault since that's been sorted out. My concern is the weight of evidence in court.


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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 8:59 pm 
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That is a tough one... i would think that if you have a good lawyer they would be the one telling you what you need to do to win.

When an officer starts investigating whether they are going to press chrages or not, then they have to give a "caution" saying that "anything you say can be used against you". I am thinking this is what the officers notes may mean. Just because they "cautioned" somebody, does not mean they are going to charge somebody. In fact it most likely means that they do not even have enough evidence to charge the person. So the officers notes mentioning a "caution" may not mean anything.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:41 am 
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Actually I think a caution in this regard is simply the officer saying that he's cutting the driver a break and not charging with careless (which likely wouldn't stand up in court anyway). It's like if I pulled someone over for speeding and gave them a caution, ie a warning.

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Re: Cautioned for careless driving
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:36 pm 
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OK. Thanks for your thoughts. My lawyer thinks it's quite significant since an officer would not note a caution for careless if he didn't think it was an issue.


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