Rear-end accidents are one of the most prevalent car accident types. If a driver’s vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle, the resulting accident is nearly always the striking driver’s fault. Regardless of who seems to be at fault, the vehicle that collided with the car in front of them will usually be held responsible.
Each state has its own set of laws drivers must carefully follow. Typically a rear-end accident happens at a traffic light, on the freeway, and at stop signs. The driver who crashes into a vehicle from behind will nearly always be the one at fault because it’s their responsibility to drive at a safe following distance. Based on the condition of the car, deciding who was negligent is very easy. In some cases it isn’t always apparent as there may be other variables factoring into the situation. The driver of the car that rear-ended you may have a claim against someone who caused you to stop or a third car that pushed his/her car into yours, but the driver that hit you is still responsible for your injuries and the damage to your car.
Was the Accident Avoidable?
You can only be so careful. Sometimes it’s the fault of the driver in front. However, that is quite uncommon. Even if the car ahead of you had to slam on the breaks to avoid an accident, an animal, or seemingly did it for no reason at all, it could still be deemed your fault for “following too close.” This would require proof from a third source. The other driver can assume partial fault for “stopping in a roadway.”
Another scenario when it is not your fault for hitting some from behind is when a car pulls out of a driveway into oncoming traffic making a right or left turn and pulls in front of you, causing you to collide into the rear of him. The other car is at fault for “merging unsafely or entering traffic from a street, private driveway or alleyway.”
It is your responsibility as a driver to be prepared for any sudden stops from the car ahead of you. Travel at a safe following distance at all times so you have little chance of being liable for any damages and injuries. The best offense is a good defense.