Rear-end crashes are a common way that people are injured and killed on America’s roadways
A common type of crash that occurs on the roadways is the rear-end crash, caused by one vehicle striking the rear of another vehicle when both vehicles are in the same traffic lane and are traveling in the same direction. These crashes form a significant proportion of all crashes. According to a study compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 30% of all crashes were rear-end crashes in 2001.
Is the rear driver always negligent?
There is a common presumption that rear-end car accidents are always the fault of the driver who rear ended the car in front, but this is not always the case. Negligence is the legal term used to describe when someone’s behavior falls below an established standard of care. A person is considered to be negligent if their actions fall short of what a reasonable person would or would not have done under the circumstances that led to the collision.
How is fault determined in a rear-end accident?
The driver of the car that rear-ends a leading vehicle will almost always be considered at least partially at fault, since every driver has a duty to follow other vehicles at a safe distance. However, it is possible for the driver of the car that gets rear-ended to be negligent as well. This could be the case if:
- the forward driver reverses suddenly;
- a driver’s brake lights are not working;
- a driver gets a flat tire in the travel lane, but does not pull to the shoulder of the road.
What should you do if you are involved in a rear-end car accident?
If you were rear-ended in a car crash and were injured, or if you rear-ended another driver who is partly at fault, it is important to protect your own rights. The best way to do that is to get advice from an experienced car accident attorney who understands the nature of a rear-end collision and can manage an insurance claim. Accidents and injuries are expensive and time-consuming to deal with, and since most personal injury attorneys charge no fees up front, there is no reason to avoid finding a good lawyer to help.