Liability in a Rear-End Accident: Who Is at Fault?

Law Blog

Though rear-end collisions may seem less tragic than other types of car accidents, they can still result in serious injuries and even death. If you were hit from behind and sustained injuries, there's a chance that the other driver may be liable for your medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Here's more information on the different parties that could be liable in a rear-end collision.

The Trailing Driver

Generally, drivers should maintain a safe distance between vehicles on the road and follow traffic laws such as stopping at red lights. When they ignore these rules and drive too close to another car in front of them, accidents can happen.

The rear-end driver has control of their vehicle and should take evasive action to avoid a collision. That's why the trailing driver in a rear-end collision is often held liable for the accident.

But there are instances when the trailing driver may not be liable for a rear-end accident. For example, if the driver in the lead car slammed on their brakes without cause, the trailing driver may not be at fault if a collision were to occur.

The Lead Car Driver

If you're in the lead car, you may not be at fault for a rear-end accident. But you may be held liable if there's evidence of negligence on your part that contributed to the collision. For instance, faulty brake lights or taillights could be reason enough to hold you accountable for damages incurred in an auto accident. Also, if you violated traffic laws and caused the accident, you could face a lawsuit.

Provided you have a valid auto insurance policy, your insurer will pay for damages. But your insurer may deny your claim for compensation if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving.

A competent car accident attorney can help determine what caused the collision and get you the compensation you deserve. Also, if you crashed into another car because you were hit from behind, you should consult a reputable car accident lawyer. They can defend you against claims for compensation from the other party.

Third Parties

In some cases, there may be other parties liable for your injuries. For example, if a truck driver slammed on their brakes due to traffic ahead and caused a chain collision, they could be held liable for damages.

Auto manufacturers may also be held responsible when the vehicles they sell cause accidents due to defective parts like malfunctioning brakes, airbags, seatbelts and tyres.

Due to all these variables, always consult an experienced auto accident attorney after a vehicular collision – even if it seems like a minor crash. They can guide you on how to file a claim against the liable parties. Also, your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your damages. Keep these tips in mind when looking for compensation lawyers near you.


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