Who is held responsible in rear-end collisions?

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Who is held responsible in rear-end collisions?

Posted by Timothy J. Ryan | Nov 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

Anyone who is capable of avoiding an accident is considered more liable in case of an auto accident. It is obvious that the driver following behind someone must keep a safe distance and must also observe the situation in front of them attentively. In most cases, he should have enough time to notice any unease ahead of him. All these reasons make a driver following behind another vehicle as the one who is more capable of preventing an accident.

There are a number of ways through which a conventional wisdom like this one can be confronted. Consider the example of a driver who decides to put his car into reverse all of a sudden and hits the vehicle in the back? Someone who happens to drive out far into the crossing and later realizes that he should back up in order evade cross-traffic. In the meantime, other vehicles get pulled behind him, which he fails to notice. As he reverses, he gets bumped into the vehicle right behind him. In such a case, should the driver in the back be held responsible or the one who decided to reverse abruptly? The driver in the back cannot be held responsible for this because he neither could have avoided the accident nor took a part in its happening. This is one of the cases in which the driver following another cannot be held liable for rear-ending the other vehicle.

There arise instances in which the accident may happen due to the negligence of both drivers and both of them can be held partially responsible for it. Consider an accident that happened as the driver in the front banged on the brakes, or made an unpredictable move, and the driver in the back did not maintain a safe distance due to which the collision resulted. In such a case, both drivers can be held partially responsible. Likewise, in cases where accidents happen as a result of thick clouds of smoke, fog or other conditions that decrease visibility, someone who is using appropriate caution may still be incapable of avoiding a rear-end collision. In these cases, the liability may be mitigated.

Nevertheless, the vehicle in the back is held responsible for the accident majority of the time. However, in case you get hurt in a rear-end accident, or cause an accident by rear-ending another vehicle, the help of an attorney is something you should seek immediately. Attorneys assist you in examining the facts that lead to the accident, determining the driver who is more at fault, and finding out whether there was partial responsibility. Sometimes, your insurance carrier gets you an attorney especially in cases where you are at fault, but if an attorney is not provided by the insurance carrier, you should get one yourself because it is a wise thing to do. There are several ways through which responsibility of an accident can be shifted to other parties who are more liable than you (for instance, if a defective part of your vehicle resulted in an accident, the manufacturer can also be held liable partially or entirely).

Whatever the case, it is advised to get in touch with an auto accident attorney if you are involved in an auto accident.

About the Author

Timothy J. Ryan

Personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan has helped California injury victims recover more than $1 Billion since 1981. Tim is on the board of governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California and received the 2020 award "10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys" for client satisfaction.


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