Is the Tailing Driver Always Liable in Rear-End Car Accidents?

There are many different types of car accidents, but one of the most common ones is the rear-end collision. Many people assume that the driver who rear ends the car in front of him will always be at fault for this type of collision, but that’s not always the case. Here’s what you need to know about determining who is liable in rear-end car accidents:

When the Tailing Driver is Liable

Drivers should always leave space between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them to ensure they are able to avoid a collision when the leading vehicle suddenly applies his brakes. Unfortunately, many drivers do not leave enough space between the two vehicles so they are unable to brake in time to prevent a crash. In this case, the tailing driver would be responsible for the accident. The tailing driver would also be liable if he collided with the vehicle because he was distracted or intoxicated at the time of the accident.

When the Leading Driver is Liable

There are certain situations where the leading driver may be liable for a rear-end collision. For instance, if two cars are sitting at a red stoplight and the front car reverses and collides with the other vehicle, he would be liable. The leading driver is also liable if his brake lights were not working at the time of the accident. If the tailing driver cannot see when the leading driver is braking, he cannot be expected to know when to apply his own brakes.

When Both Drivers Are Liable

Sometimes, both drivers can be partially at fault for an accident. The laws on how to handle cases where both parties are at fault vary from state to state. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means even if you are partly at fault for the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation that you are entitled to will depend on how big of a role you played in the accident. For example, let’s say the court finds you are 30% to blame, while the driver who rear-ended you is 70% to blame. The court will reduce your total compensation by 30% and award you the remaining 70%.

If you have been injured in a rear-end accident, let James Rush at Rush Injury Law help you determine who is liable for your injuries. James Rush will thoroughly investigate the accident to gather the evidence he needs to prove the other party was to blame for the collision. Contact our law office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website to request a free consultation.

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