Determining fault in any motor vehicle accident is critical. After all, the party responsible for causing the accident can also be held responsible for the harm the accident caused to others involved. This means that the at-fault party, or, in most cases, their insurance company, will pay to compensate an accident victim for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses stemming from the accident. In some cases, establishing fault is easy enough. Other times, things get more complicated. This is true regardless of the accident type. It really is a fact-specific inquiry and will vary from accident to accident. Rear-end accidents, for instance, can be easy to identify fault. It is often the fault of the driver in the back, but this is not always the case. Let’s take a look at who would be at-fault in a rear-end accident.
Who’s At-Fault in a Rear-End Accident?
When a rear-end accident occurs, fingers pointing blame are usually first aimed at the rear driver. It is true, the rear driver can be found at fault for a rear-end accident under a wide variety of circumstances. For instance, the rear driver may have been distracting. If they had been texting, eating, or otherwise not fully paying attention to their surroundings, they could have easily prevented themselves from having enough time to react to the car in front of them slowing or coming to a stop, resulting in a collision.
A rear driver may also have been driving too aggressively. If they were speeding, then they would have needed more time and space to brake effectively to avoid colliding with the car in front of them. If they had been tailgating, they would have had minimal time and space to avoid collision if the car ahead of them had slowed or come to a stop.
These are all scenarios in which the rear driver would likely be found to be at-fault for causing the rear-end collision. The fact remains, however, that it is not always the case for the rear driver to be at-fault for a rear-end collision. A driver’s actions prior to and leading up to the collision will dictate who bears the fault of the accident. The front driver can also be held at fault for a rear-end collision.
If a driver backs into a car behind them, such as if they are backing out of a parking space, then that front driver will likely be held to be at-fault for the rear-end collision. Additionally, the aggressive driving behaviors of a front driver can also mean that they are at-fault for a rear-end collision. Consider, for instance, a front driver who cuts off another driver and that rear driver cannot avoid colliding with them. In this scenario, the front driver is likely to be found at-fault for the accident.
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