When Is a Rear-End Collision Not Your Fault?

speeding driver about to strike the back end of a vehicle

Rear-end collision fault is a topic of concern for anyone involved in a car accident. It’s crucial to understand the nuances and complexities surrounding this issue to know your legal rights. While it’s generally assumed that the driver at the back is at fault, the reality is not always that simple. Let’s delve into the circumstances when a rear-end collision may not be your fault.

What Causes Rear-End Collisions?

In 2022, the Connecticut Crash Data Repository reported a staggering total of 71,965 motor vehicle accidents. Out of these, following a vehicle too closely was the leading cause, contributing to 14.72% of accidents. Other factors that can lead to rear-end collisions include speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield, disregarding traffic signs and signals, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Mechanical failures can also play a role, as brakes, tires, and other components can fail when a vehicle is in motion.

When Is the Rear Driver at Fault?

As a general rule, drivers who follow too closely or engage in reckless behavior will be held liable for accidents caused by their actions. This holds true even if external factors contribute to the crash. For example, reduced visibility due to snowfall does not absolve a driver from maintaining awareness of other vehicles and adjusting speed accordingly. The same principle applies to accidents caused by mechanical failures. Drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicles and making necessary repairs. If a driver neglects these responsibilities and an accident occurs, they will likely be found at fault.

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To determine the cause of the accident and identify the responsible party, a prompt investigation is crucial. While the police focus on enforcing the law, a car accident attorney can assist in gathering evidence and preparing your claim.

Can You Be at Fault for Being Rear-Ended?

Although the driver at the rear is typically considered at fault in a rear-end collision, there are situations in which the lead driver may share or bear full responsibility. These situations include instances where the lead driver swerves unexpectedly, brake checks intentionally, makes improper turns, fails to signal, has non-functioning brake lights or turn signals, or causes a back-up accident.

Connecticut operates under comparative fault laws, meaning that damages can still be recovered if the injured party is found to be no more than 50% at fault. Therefore, both the front and rear drivers should avoid assuming complete blame or innocence. The evidence may reveal that both parties are entitled to compensation.

Determining Rear-End Collision Fault

Bringing a claim after a rear-end collision can be more complex than anticipated. Insurance companies may employ tactics to avoid paying the full amount you deserve for your injuries and damages. At The Flood Law Firm, we understand the intricacies involved in these cases. Our attorneys investigate promptly, collect evidence thoroughly, and fight for a fair settlement. If needed, we are prepared to take your case to trial.

If you require assistance with a rear-end collision case, contact The Flood Law Firm today for professional legal guidance.

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