For Drivers

DCPD Accident Examples

Below are accident examples based on the Direct Compensation for Property Damage Regulation (DCPD).

What is DPCD?

DCPD was introduced as part of the Automobile Insurance Reforms announced in October 2020. DCPD replaced the property damage portion of the third-party liability coverage on a driver’s auto insurance policy effective January 1, 2022.

The main intent of this change is to provide Alberta drivers with an efficient way to process vehicle damage claims.

If a driver is in an accident, they will work directly with their insurance company instead of the other party’s insurance company. This allows for a more efficient and customer-focused claims process. DCPD is part of the mandatory coverage for Alberta drivers.

DCPD changes who pays, not what is paid for.

The accident examples below explain who is at fault.

Vehicles travelling in same direction and same lane

These accidents occur when vehicle A is struck from the rear by vehicle B while both vehicles are travelling in the same direction and the same lane. There are three scenarios to consider:

1. If vehicle A stops or is moving forward, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100 percent at fault for the accident. 

2. If vehicle A turns right or left to enter a side road, private road, or driveway, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100 percent at fault for the accident. 

3. If vehicle A enters a parking place on the right or left side of a highway moving forward, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100 percent at fault for the accident.

Vehicles travelling in the same direction and adjacent lanes

These accidents occur when vehicles A and B collide while both travel on a highway in the same direction, beside each other, and neither vehicle overtakes or passes the other. There are three scenarios to consider:

1. If neither vehicles A nor B are changing lanes when the accident occurs, and both vehicles are on or over the centre line, then the driver of each vehicle is 50 percent at fault for the accident.

2. If the accident location cannot be determined, the driver of each vehicle is 50 percent at fault for the accident.

3. If vehicle B changes lanes when the accident occurs, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100 percent at fault for the accident.

Vehicle travelling in the same direction and adjacent lanes - overtaking or passing

In Alberta, the minimum requirement for insurance is $200,000 for third-party liability and accident benefits coverage. Over 98% of vehicles are insured for at least a $1,000,000 limit of third-party liability.

An accident occurs when vehicles A and B collide while travelling on a highway in adjacent lanes and vehicle A overtakes or passes vehicle B. There are three scenarios where this can occur:

1. If vehicle A is turning left at an intersection and vehicle B is overtaking or passing vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident. 

2. If vehicle A is turning left to enter a parking place or private road or a driveway and vehicle B is overtaking or passing vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is 75% at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 25% at fault for the accident.

3. If vehicle A is turning left to enter a parking place or private road or a driveway and vehicle B is overtaking or passing one or more vehicles stopped behind vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident. 

Vehicles travelling in opposite directions

An accident occurs when vehicles A and B collide while travelling in opposite directions and adjacent lanes. There are five scenarios to consider:

1. If neither vehicles A nor B are changing lanes when the accident occurs, and both vehicles are on or over the centre line when the accident occurs, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

2. If the location of where the accident occurred cannot be determined, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

3. If only vehicle B is over the centre line when the accident occurs, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

4. If vehicle B turns left into the path of vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

5. If vehicle B is entering the highway from a parking place or private road or driveway and vehicle A is overtaking or passing another vehicle, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

Vehicle entering highway from parking place or private road or driveway

An accident occurs where vehicles A and B collide while vehicle A is travelling on a highway and vehicle B is entering the highway from a parking place or private road or driveway. There are two scenarios to consider:

1. If vehicle B is entering the highway from a parking place and vehicle A is travelling past the parking place on the highway, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If vehicle B is entering the highway from a private road or a driveway, vehicle A is travelling past the private road or driveway on the highway, and there are no traffic signs at the intersection of the highway and the private road or driveway, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

Vehicle entering controlled highway

If vehicles A and B collide while vehicle A travels on a controlled highway and vehicle B enters the controlled highway from an entrance lane.

In this scenario, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

 

Chain reaction accidents

These accidents happen when one or more vehicles are stopped or slowing down, and one of the vehicles is struck from behind and then strikes the vehicle in front as a result.

The degree of fault for each accident between two vehicles involved in a chain reaction accident must be determined without reference to any other accidents in the chain reaction accident involving either of the vehicles.

There are two scenarios to consider:

1. If all vehicles involved in a chain reaction accident are travelling on a highway and in forward motion when the accident occurs:

(a) With respect to the accident between vehicles A and B, where vehicle A is the first vehicle and vehicle B is the second vehicle, neither driver is at fault, and

(b) With respect to the accident between vehicles B and C, where vehicle B is the second vehicle and vehicle C is the third vehicle, the driver of vehicle C is 100% at fault.

2. If all vehicles involved in a chain reaction accident, except vehicle C, are stopped when the accident occurs:

(a) With respect to the accident between vehicles A and B, where vehicle A is the first vehicle and vehicle B is the second vehicle, neither driver is at fault, and

(b) With respect to the accident between vehicles B and C, where vehicle B is the second vehicle and vehicle C is the third vehicle, the driver of vehicle B is not at fault and the driver of vehicle C is 100% at fault.

In this diagram, vehicles A and B are stopped or slowing down when vehicle B is rear-ended by vehicle C. Vehicle B is then pushed forward and rear-ends vehicle A. Drivers must be far enough behind another vehicle to be able to stop safely, even in an emergency. Therefore, the driver of vehicle C would be found 100% at fault.

Pile-ups

If there are multiple vehicles involved in a pile-up, for each accident between two vehicles involved in a pile-up. The driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault.

Intersections without traffic signs or traffic control signs

An accident at an uncontrolled intersection (one without traffic signs or traffic control signs) occurs when a vehicle is driving through the intersection and collides with an approaching vehicle who has failed to yield. There are three scenarios to consider:

1. If vehicle A enters the uncontrolled intersection before vehicle B the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If both vehicles A and B enter the intersection simultaneously, and vehicle A is on the right of vehicle B in the intersection, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

3. If it cannot be determined whether vehicle A or B entered the intersection first, the driver or each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

Intersections with traffic signs

Vehicles A and B collide in an accident at a controlled intersection (one with traffic signs or traffic control signs). There are six scenarios to consider:

1. If the driver of vehicle B fails to obey a traffic sign, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If the driver of vehicle A and B both fail to obey a stop sign, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

3. If it cannot be determined whether the driver of vehicles A or B, or both, failed to obey a stop sign when the accident occurred, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

4. If vehicle A stops first at an all-way stop intersection, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

5. If both vehicles A and B arrive at an intersection with an all-way stop sign at the same time. Vehicle A is stopped to the right of vehicle B at the intersection, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

6. If it cannot be determined whether vehicles A or B arrived at an intersection with an all-way stop sign first, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

Intersections with traffic control signals

An accident where vehicles A and B collide in an intersection with traffic control signals. There are three scenarios to consider:

1. If the driver of vehicle B fails to obey a traffic control signal, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident, and the driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If it cannot be determined whether the driver of vehicle A or B failed to obey a traffic control signal when the accident occurred, the driver of each vehicle is 50% at fault for the accident.

3. If the traffic control signals at an intersection are inoperative or malfunctioning, the degree to which each driver is at fault for the accident must be determined as if the intersection was an intersection with an all-way stop sign.

Parking lots

Fault for an accident occurring on a thoroughfare, like a parking lot, must be determined as if the thoroughfare were a highway. There are three scenarios to consider:

1. If the accident occurs when vehicle A is travelling on a thoroughfare, and vehicle B enters the thoroughfare from a feeder lane and fails to yield the right of way to vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If the accident occurs when vehicle A is travelling on a thoroughfare or feeder lane, and vehicle B is entering the thoroughfare or feeder lane from a parking space and fails to yield the right of way to vehicle A, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

3. If the accident occurs in an intersection in a parking lot with a traffic sign, the degree to which each driver is at fault must be determined following the section on intersections with traffic control signals. Without a traffic sign, the degree to which each driver is at fault must be determined following the section on intersections with traffic signs if it cannot be determined whether the roads are thoroughfares or feeder lanes.

Parked vehicles

1. If vehicle B collides with vehicle A while vehicle A is parked, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If vehicle A is illegally parked, stopped or standing when the accident occurs and the accident occurs outside of an urban area, the driver of vehicle A is 100% at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is not at fault for the accident.

Note: If the striking/moving vehicle is uninsured or unknown (hit and run), DCPD does not apply, and the parked vehicle can claim through their own all perils or comprehensive coverage if they have purchased the coverage.

Driver fails to obey sign or direction

If vehicles A and B collide when the driver of vehicle B fails to obey a direction given by a peace officer or a sign prohibiting entry, overtaking, passing or turning, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

Backing up or making U-Turns

If vehicles A and B collide while vehicle B is backing up or making a U-turn, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

Open doors

There are two scenarios to consider:

1. If vehicle A collides with vehicle B when the driver of or passenger in vehicle B opens the vehicle door or when the driver of or passenger in vehicle B leaves the vehicle door open, the driver of vehicle A is not at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is 100% at fault for the accident.

2. If vehicle A collides with vehicle B when the driver of or passenger in vehicle B opens the vehicle door or leaves the vehicle door open in a manner which is reasonably safe and does not constitute a hazard to moving traffic, the driver of vehicle A is 100% at fault for the accident. The driver of vehicle B is not at fault for the accident.