Did You Rear-End Another Car? Understand Who Is Responsible

One common belief about rear-end collisions is that the rear driver is the one who is responsible. While this is true in most situations, it is not always the case. If you rear-ended another driver, you may not be at fault.

Reasons Why You May Be Responsible

You will be liable in most situations where you rear-end another driver. It will be difficult to prove that you were not responsible for the accident because you can be blamed for:

  • following the other driver too closely.
  • not paying attention to the road.
  • driving in a negligent manner that caused the collision.

Any of these situations are avoidable, which is why the person that was driving the rear car is responsible for the damage caused to the front car.

Reasons Why The Other Driver May Be Responsible

There are situations where the drive of the front car can be responsible for a collision where they are rear-ended. For example, the front car may have:

  • stopped unexpectedly at a green light.
  • stopped to avoid hitting an object or animal in the road.
  • stopped to turn and did not execute the turn.
  • merged in front of you and did not give adequate room to stop safely.
  • been driving in reverse.
  • been driving with broken tail lights.
  • experienced a car malfunction that caused a sudden stop.

While these are some very specific example, they are evidence that the rear car is not always responsible in a collision.

Keep in mind that blame may not fall entirely on the other drive in these examples. Blame can be split between both drivers instead of having one driver be 100% responsible.

What Happens When Responsibility Cannot Be Determined

Unfortunately, responsibility will often come down to their word against your word. Your insurance company may decide to do an investigation to determine who is responsible for the accident.

There are a few things that you can do to ensure you have the proper evidence to support your claim, which include:

  • taking photos of damage of both cars immediately following the accident.
  • taking photos of skid marks on the ground (if applicable).
  • collecting contact information from an eyewitness to the accident.

Why Determining Responsibility Is So Important

Auto accident not only cause damage to the vehicles, but can also cause injuries that cost you in medical bills and lost wages. If you are responsible for causing the accident, there will be no way to recover from these losses.

For more information, contact Burgess & Perigard or a similar firm.