Young woman talks on the phone with the insurance company after a rear-end collision

Is the Driver Behind Automatically At Fault for a Rear-End Collision?

You may think that rear-end collisions are automatically the fault of the driver in the rear.

Think again.

While the driver in the rear does typically share some portion of the blame for a rear-end collision, not all accidents of this nature are solely the fault of the driver behind. Read on to learn more.

How Negligence Comes Into Play

No matter how a car accident occurs, the question of liability is almost always based on negligence. Essentially, the driver(s) found to be responsible for a crash are those who acted negligently in some way.

Negligence occurs when a person’s conduct does not meet an established standard of care. You act negligently if your behavior fails to adhere to the supposed actions of someone else who is reasonable. Similarly, you are negligent if a reasonable person would not have done the same thing in a similar situation that caused the accident.

A Driver’s Duty of Care

All people are expected to adhere to a standard of care while driving. If the proper care and attention are not taken, there may be a breach of the duty of care. This can happen in several ways, including:

  • Not paying attention to the road
  • Not stopping within an acceptable distance
  • Driving at an unacceptable speed
  • Not maintaining vehicular control
  • Not yielding to the right of way
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Not following at a safe distance

Rear-End Collision Liability

The reason why most drivers in the rear are assigned a portion of the blame for rear-end collisions is because they weren’t following at a safe distance. If they were, the accident wouldn’t have occurred, or wouldn’t have been as severe.

The driver ahead may share a portion of the blame for an accident for any of the following:

  • Reversing suddenly and without warning,
  • Suddenly stopping to turn and then not actually making the turn,
  • Malfunctioning brake lights on the car, or
  • Geting a flat tire and failing to pull over or turn on the car’s hazard signals.

If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision through no fault of your own, we may be able to help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss your case.

Contact Christie Farrell Lee & Bell today with the details of your case by calling (317) 245-3709 or filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help.