Is Fault Automatic in Rear-End Collisions?

You have probably heard that, in rear-end collisions, the rear driver is automatically found at-fault regardless of the facts or circumstances. There is a kernel of truth to that, but it’s not that simple. In most rear-end collisions, the rear driver really is too blame, so there is a presumption of fault in this type of accident. But there are rare rear-end collisions in which the driver who was struck was to blame for the accident. In other cases, another vehicle may have done something to cause the collision even though that driver’s car was not impacted. Proving that the driver in front (or a third driver) was at-fault is difficult, in most cases, and requires a highly skilled auto accident attorney.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

Even if you were the one who was struck from behind, you may need to prove what happened and how in order to collect full and just compensation for your injuries. Common causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Following too closely
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions

When the Driver in Front was to Blame

Although rare, rear-end collisions caused by the driver in front do occur. Causes include:

  • Improper lane change – cutting off the rear driver and suddenly slowing or stopping
  • Brake lights or taillights not working
  • Driver makes a very sudden stop
  • Vehicle parked in lane of traffic without hazard lights or flares, typically due to car trouble

Other Causes

Rear-end collisions are not always caused by either driver. Other causes can include:

  • A third driver whose vehicle causes the collision but was not impacted by the accident
  • Defective vehicle, including defects causing spontaneous acceleration and faulty brakes
  • Malfunctioning street lights
  • Unmarked or improperly marked construction zones
  • Objects or debris in roadway

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, please talk to an experienced auto accident attorney today.

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