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Who Is at Fault in A Rear-End Accident?

Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC June 8, 2020

It is indisputable that one of the most dangerous things Americans do on a daily basis is get behind the wheel of a car. Thus, ending up in an accident at some point is almost inevitable.

In terms of the most common accidents, rear-end collisions are at the top of the pile. However, in a rear-end accident it is always the other driver’s fault, right? According to Findlaw, while rear-end collisions are usually the other driver’s fault, this may not be the case 100% of the time.

Who is usually at fault in rear-end collisions?

The standard knowledge rings true here: it is most common for the driver of the second car (the one who does the rear-ending) to be at fault in a rear-end collision. This is due to one of the most basic rules of driving. That is, drivers are always supposed to leave room between cars when stopping in order to prevent rear-end collisions from occurring.

The majority of rear-end collisions are simple cases, owing to the fact that if one car has damage to the rear end and the other car has damage to the front end, there generally is not too much mystery about who hit who.

What are the exceptions?

If you are rear-ended by another driver, the other driver is unlikely to be able to sue you directly. But, if you had to stop due to a third-party in front of you, the party that rear-ended you may be able to mount a claim against the third-party.

There is a possibility that you will share fault if your negligence contributed to the accident. For instance, having malfunctioning brake lights or stopping randomly with no impetus may force you to bear comparative negligence.