Determining Fault in Rear-End Crashes

shared-fault-in-a-rear-end-collisionA vehicle accident can be anything from a minor scrape in a parking lot to a high-speed head-on collision on the highway. One of the most common accident types is the rear-end collision. While many people think that rear-end accidents are always the fault of the driver who rear-ended the vehicle in front, that isn’t necessarily true.

Determining Fault for Rear-End Accidents

A driver is considered negligent if he fails to behave in a manner consistent with what a reasonable person would have done under the same conditions. The driver of a vehicle that rear-ends another car will almost always be considered at least partly negligent, since every driver has a responsibility to follow at a safe distance. There is always the chance that a driver in front of you may need to stop unexpectedly, and you should allow enough distance to permit him to do so.

Circumstances Under Which There Is Shared Fault

The driver of the vehicle who is rear-ended may also be negligent, thereby sharing fault for the collision. If, for example, the driver in front stops suddenly for no good reason, making the collision unavoidable, there may be some shared fault for the accident. A third party may also bear some responsibility. Examples include defects caused by the vehicle manufacturer, or a lack of proper maintenance by the municipality responsible for maintenance of the road on which the collision occurred. Other examples of shared responsibility for the accident include:

  • The lead vehicle has faulty brake lights.
  • The driver of the lead vehicle continues to drive despite a defect, such as a flat tire.
  • The rear vehicle has defective brakes.
  • Road hazards, such as potholes, contributed to the accident.
  • The driver of the lead vehicle reverses suddenly.

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision, you deserve compensation for your injuries. To learn more about protecting your rights, contact the Cain Law Firm by using the form on this page.