It’s a common belief that in a rear-end collision, the driver of the car in back is always at fault. However, this glosses over the endless variety of circumstances surrounding this type of car crash where sometimes the lead driver shares or is entirely at fault.
It is every driver’s responsibility to maintain their vehicle and drive in such a way so as to avoid running into the back-end of another car that stops or brakes suddenly. The driver must remain alert and adjust his following distance according to the road conditions and his speed. Because of this, the tailing driver almost always shares some of the faults.
If the lead driver has a fully functional car, obeys the traffic laws, and commits no acts of negligence, then the tailing car will be found entirely at fault. However, there is an exception: when the tailing car is pushed into the car in front by a third car hitting him from behind. In chain reaction accidents, the fault is found with the last car.
Sometimes the lead driver is found partially at fault such as when his rear brake lights don’t work or when he drives aggressively by slamming his brakes because the car behind is tailgating. If the lead driver has car trouble and fails to use his hazard lights or doesn’t move the car to the side of the road, especially in conditions of poor visibility, he has acted negligently and assumes some of the faults.
Is it possible for the lead driver to be 100% at fault? Yes. If he goes in reverse and hits the car behind him, particularly in a situation where the driver behind had no option available to avoid the collision. For example, both cars could be stopped at an intersection and waiting for the traffic light to turn green and the lead driver unknowingly may have his car in reverse. When the light turns green, he accelerates backward into the stopped car behind who has no escape options.
As should be clear by now, the rear end collision isn’t always an open and shut case where the driver behind always assumes 100% of the fault. If you are hit from behind because of negligent driving on your part, you are partially responsible.
If you were rear-ended by another vehicle, you have a right to fair compensation for the damages and the injuries that you have suffered. Contact us today for a free consultation.