Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

May 7, 2022
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision? The motorist who hits another vehicle from behind is often liable for the damages caused by a rear-end accident. This is because they are responsible for hitting the vehicle in front of them. Typically, the rear driver has enough time to react to prevent a collision. However, the driver in front may also be accountable for damages if they failed to observe road safety rules and contributed to the incident. For this reason, determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision can be challenging. In this post, we'll discuss a variety of scenarios for a rear-end collision, how to determine liability, and how a car accident attorney can help you. Let's get started!

Who Can Be at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

The parties you can file a claim against after a rear-end accident will vary based on how the crash occurred. They can also differ depending on the factors leading to the collision. The driver who hit your car would likely be accountable for damages if the incident occurred due to reckless driving, such as speeding, on their behalf.  You can also hold them accountable if they were texting and did not notice you slowing down or stopping. Other issues that may cause the motorist to be at fault include:
  • Driving when intoxicated
  • Tailgating
  • Aggressive driving
Moreover, a rear-end car crash may occur due to bad weather conditions. For example, fog and mist may affect road visibility and make it challenging for other drivers to assess the distance between them and other vehicles. In this instance, the motorists may also fail to notice when you slow down or indicate a turn. Since road safety laws require all motorists to be attentive to the external environment, a rear-end driver may also be liable for an accident occurring in bad weather. Furthermore, commercial vehicles may lead to a crash if the driver has been working for an extended period. In this case, you may be able to file a claim against the motorist's employer when you sustain injuries. Some aspects that may qualify you for compensation from the parties include:
  • If the vehicle brakes were not working well
  • If the company failed to service their vehicle
  • If the driver did not have the needed skills to operate a commercial truck
However, you may be partly liable for a rear-end car collision in some cases. For example, if you brake suddenly without a reasonable cause, you may be partly at fault. Other actions leading to partial fault are reversing before checking your environment and merging in traffic without leaving enough space.

How do You Prove Fault for a Rear-End Accident?

Proving fault for a rear-end accident will involve presenting evidence to an insurance company. One item you may submit is a police report detailing how the crash occurred. The document may also mention the party the police concluded was liable based on evidence at the scene. More items you may use as proof include:
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures captured at the scene
  • Reports by an accident reconstructionist
  • Video surveillance footage

Common Injuries from a Rear-End Car Collision?

Rear-end car accidents can lead to various injuries based on the impact. Concussions and other head injuries are often common in such crashes. These occur when you hit your head hard against an object, such as the steering wheel. They may also result from falls if you were on a motorcycle or bicycle. Neck and back injuries are also prevalent in rear-end accidents. These often result from the sudden impact of the behind vehicle. Neck and back injuries can lead to excruciating pain and adverse health issues based on their severity. Some problems that may arise from such physical harm include:
  • Herniated discs
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sprains
  • Paralysis

What Damages Can You Claim in a Rear-End Accident?

You can pursue various damages once you establish liability for a rear-end accident. However, the damages you can claim often vary based on your state's laws and the details of your case.  One injury you may be able to claim is pain and suffering caused by emotional and physical harm. Some damages included in this category are mental health conditions, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Treating rear-end accident injuries and their secondary effects can be costly. When filing a claim, you should seek reimbursement for all medical costs associated with the injury. Further, claim an added amount for conditions with long-term adverse effects. If your vehicle sustained damages after a rear-end accident, you could recover the repair costs. The reimbursement you receive will depend on the extent of the destruction. It will also vary based on your percentage of fault. More damages recoverable after a rear-end accident include:

Contact a Lawyer to Help Determine Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision

At Dolman Law Group, we have a team of attorneys to help you gather evidence to determine who is at fault in a rear-end accident. Contact us today for a free case consultation.