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Can I Be Held Liable After Being Rear-Ended?

man and woman looking at damage after a rear-end accident

Being rear-ended by a reckless driver is one of the most frustrating experiences. However, what may be even more frustrating is if the driver attempts to blame the accident on you. In many rear-end cases, the fault falls on the behind driver. Let’s discuss if there are any times when the rear-ended driver can be held liable for the crash.

Why The Behind Driver is Usually Liable

Drivers have the responsibility to maintain a safe distance from other cars on the road. In addition to this, they must pay constant attention to their surroundings. Most rear-end collisions happen because the behind driver was either following too closely or took their attention off the road ahead. When they realize what they’ve done, it is usually too late, and their car is already headed into the bumper of the car in front of them.

The lack of adequate space between vehicles and distracted driving is why the behind driver is almost always held responsible for a rear-end collision. However, there are some instances where the front driver could have prevented the crash.

Front Driver Liability

The driver in front may be held liable if their driving was unsafe or erratic, causing the behind driver to be unaware of their next moves.

Examples include:

  • If the front driver randomly stops on the road and remains stopped
  • If the driver slows as if they will be turning off the road, but they don’t complete the exit
  • If the driver pulls out in front of the other driver and does not give them enough time to slow down
  • Failure to use signals, hazards, etc.
  • Brake lights are not working, so behind driver does not know they are slowing or stopped

In these cases, the behind driver may be able to argue that the front driver’s behaviors were the actual cause of the accident and that they were doing everything right to avoid an accident.

Hiring an Attorney for a Rear-End Collision

While you may believe it’s clear who is at fault for the accident, the other party could report a different story. When you need help after a car collision, contact Schillinger & Associates. We can help you establish liability and fight for the compensation you deserve after an inconvenient accident.