Am I Always at Fault in a Rear-end Collision?

By Gabriel Levin on December 10th, 2014

Rear Auto AccidentA rear-end collision occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle.[1] The rule of thumb regarding fault in rear-end collisions is generally that the person driving the back vehicle is to blame. However, this is not the case in every scenario and many rear-end collisions are caused for other reasons. Therefore, if you were driving the rear car in a rear-end collision, you may still be able to recover for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you identify the true party at fault and whether you can hold them liable for the accident.

The front driver may be at fault

In many instances, a rear-end collision happens because the driver in front suddenly braked. Generally, the rear driver should be following at a safe enough distance to stop in time, however, at high speeds, suddenly slamming on your brakes can be negligent behavior. Additionally, if the front driver had burned-out brake lights, the rear driver would have no indication that the front driver was slowing down or stopping. In such situations, the front driver may be held liable.

Road hazards may have caused the accident

If you are driving and suddenly hit a large pothole or crack in the pavement, you can easily lose control and collide with the car in front of you. In this case, whatever party was responsible for the maintenance of that road—usually the local municipality—should be held liable for any resulting losses.

Your vehicle was defective

Some rear-end collisions are caused because your brakes suddenly failed or your tire suddenly blew out. If the brakes or tires were defective, the manufacturer of the vehicle should be held responsible for negligently producing a defective and potentially dangerous product.

You were both at fault

At times, both you and the driver in front of you may have contributed to the accident. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law allows you to recover even if you are partially responsible for the accident.[2] The court will determine your percentage of fault and will simply subtract that from your recovery. It may still be possible to recover a substantial portion of your losses.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-end_collision

[2] http://law.onecle.com/pennsylvania/judiciary-and-judicial-procedure/00.071.002.000.html

 

 

 

Latest News

December 18, 2018

How Pennsylvania Statutes Impact Personal Injury Claims

Most Pennsylvanians don’t give much thought to how laws on the books affect their rights to recover damages for a personal injury. Then again, why would they? Other than an occasional election-season nod to tort …

November 21, 2018

How to Get Your Life Back on Track After a Work-Related Injury

Work-related injuries and illnesses severely damage the lives of workers and their families. Despite regulations that require safety trainings, protective gear, and special certifications, 12,300 workers receive a job-related injury every single day. That’s one …

September 5, 2018

Navigating Wrongful Death Claims after a Fatal Car Accident

If someone you loved has been killed in a car accident, chances are, you're confused, struggling, and unsure of how to proceed from here. You've heard about wrongful death lawsuits, and you think that you …

view more

Free Case Consultation

Fill out the form below to schedule a free initial consultation

    In an effort to prevent spam please click “I agree” below to confirm you are a human being. (Required.)
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.