Who Is At Fault In a Rear-End Accident?

Who Is At Fault In a Rear-End Accident?

There are many different types of car accidents; there are T-bone crashes (side-impact collisions), head-on collisions, rollovers, and rear-end accidents. The possibilities are endless. One of the most common types of collisions is the rear-end crash.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard that the driver in the rear is automatically “at-fault” for the accident, but this is not true 100% all of the time. There are some exceptions and determining fault comes down to which driver was negligent.

Negligence is a key term in regards to car wrecks and it has to do with which driver was careless or reckless.

Essentially, a driver is considered to have been negligent if his or her conduct fell below what any reasonable person would have done if they were in the same situation.

A driver in a rear-end accident can be negligent in a number of ways, including:

  • Tailgating
  • Texting while driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including sedating prescription medications)
  • Driving while fatigued (falling asleep at the wheel)
  • Failing to pay attention to traffic
  • Distracted driving (e.g. talking to passengers, handling children in the backseat)

Is the driver in the rear at fault?

In the vast majority of rear-end collisions, the driver in the rear is at fault. If the driver is not entirely at fault, they will usually be found partially responsible for the accident.

Why? Because, each driver on the road is expected to provide a safe distance between their vehicles and the vehicle in the front.

Sometimes a car in the front has to stop suddenly and unexpectedly to avoid a pedestrian, road construction, traffic, a road hazard, or another vehicle that came to a sudden stop.

The driver who is following behind is supposed to leave enough of a following distance that they have room to brake suddenly if the vehicle in the front has to stop suddenly. Safe following distances are critical for preventing collisions.

Once in a while, the driver of the vehicle in the front is partially responsible for the rear-end accident. This can happen when the car in the front suddenly goes into reverse, when the vehicle’s brake lights are out, or when the car gets a flat tire and the driver fails to pull over or turn on the vehicle’s hazard lights.

In the above scenarios, the driver of the vehicle in the front can be found negligent. If you were involved in a rear-end accident, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to speak with a Plano personal injury attorney. We would be glad to make sense of what happened in your rear-end collision.