Rear-end collisions are one of the most common accidents on U.S. roadways. News reports indicate that there are close to 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the United States each year. Although rear-end collisions happen more often than other types of car accidents, there are still misconceptions about who may be at fault for causing the accident.
At Breit Law, our legal team wants to help clear up the confusion surrounding who may be to blame for causing a rear-end collision. The more you understand about these accident cases, the better your chances of securing the compensation you deserve following a crash that wasn’t your fault.
Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault for Causing a Rear-End Accident?
The simple answer is no. The common misconception is that the rear driver is always responsible for causing a rear-end collision. While that may be true in many cases, not all rear drivers are 100 percent responsible for causing a rear-end crash. Unfortunately, this misconception can influence an insurance adjuster’s perception of who is responsible for causing a crash. It may even alter your perception of who is to blame for an accident and how much your case may be worth.
Who Is Responsible for Causing a Rear-End Collision?
Several circumstances can impact who may be liable for a rear-end collision. At Breit Law, we’ve examined common scenarios to help give you a better idea of who may be at fault for causing a rear-end accident.
Rear Driver – In most rear-end collision cases, the rear driver does bear the brunt of responsibility for causing a rear-end collision. Reasons that a rear driver may cause an accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence
- Following too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to yield
Lead Driver – Although not as common, lead drivers can be responsible for causing significant rear-end collisions. Factors that may contribute to a lead driver causing a crash include:
- Making a sudden stop
- Making a sudden turn without using their turn signals
- Aggressively braking or “brake checking”
- Faulty tail lights
Both Drivers – Rarely are cases black and white. Sometimes both drivers have a role to play in causing a serious rear-end collision. The rear driver could be distracted, while the lead driver failed to signal when making a sudden turn. In this scenario, each driver may be partially at fault for the rear-end collision.
A Third-Party – In certain situations, a third party may be responsible for causing a rear-end collision. By third-party, we mean a car or parts manufacturer or an entity responsible for maintaining the roadways. If a motorist is driving a car with defective brakes that prevent the vehicle from stopping properly, the manufacturer of the defective product may be responsible for the crash. If an unsafe condition on the road causes the crash, the municipality responsible for maintaining the roadway may be at fault.
What Do I Do If I’m Involved in a Rear-End Accident?
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, contact the authorities, and seek medical treatment. The signs of whiplash or concussion may not be immediate, and it’s best to see a medical professional so they can assess any injuries you may have. If possible, you also need to document the scene of the crash. Take photographs of the damage to both vehicles and of the surrounding areas. This information may be vital to your accident claim down the road.
Finally, you must contact an experienced Virginia car accident attorney. Your case is only as strong as the evidence showing who is at fault. Let a knowledgeable attorney investigate the cause of the accident and help you recover the money you are entitled to for your injuries.
Contact a Virginia Rear-End Car Accident Attorney Today
Have you been injured in a rear-end collision that wasn’t your fault? Let the team at Breit Law help you navigate the rear-end car accident claim process. Rear-end accidents are rarely open and shut cases. You need aggressive legal representation to ensure you are treated fairly.
Contact us online or call our office today at (757) 456-0333 for a free consultation.