Rear-end collisions are fairly common types of accidents. Almost always the vehicle that strikes another one from behind is at fault. This is because it is expected a motorist traveling behind another will keep a safe distance to allow enough room to stop or slow down to avoid a collision.
Determining Fault in a Rear-End Crash
Once damage has been located, it is pretty easy to tell who struck whom. Yet these types of cases can sometimes become complicated; for instance, if there are multiple vehicles involved.
Let’s say that in a three-vehicle chain, the driver of the rear vehicle was on his/her cell phone and didn’t notice the middle vehicle had slowed or stopped. After striking it, that vehicle is then pushed into the back of the vehicle in front of it. In this case it would be hard to put the driver in the middle car at fault.
Another issue that could arise is the vehicle in front doesn’t have working brake lights. The driver behind that vehicle may not be warned in time that the driver in front is slowing or stopping. In this case, the driver in front could at least hold partial fault.
Or let’s say the rear driver’s brakes fail because of a manufacturer defect and it causes the motorist to hit the vehicle in front. In this case, the manufacturer of the brakes could be liable for damages suffered by each driver.
But there may be defenses to slowing down significantly below the speed limit, such as observing construction up ahead or a police car with its lights on. Move Over laws require someone to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when there are two or more lanes going the same direction.
When that’s not possible, then the driver should significantly slow down (usually 20 mph slower than the speed limit). Talk to a lawyer at The Miley Legal Group if you wish to pursue an injury claim against another driver, a manufacturer, or any other party liable for injuries and damages.