After a rear-end collision, the rear driver is usually assumed to be at fault. While that’s normally the case, there are exceptions where the front driver is liable. If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you’ll need to know who is at fault and responsible for the damages.
Don’t assume one way or the other without investigating your accident. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss the details. If you were not at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for the accident costs.
The Rear Driver Is Usually At Fault
A rear-end accident usually happens when the rear driver is negligent in some way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), common causes of rear-end collisions include:
- Following too closely, also known as tailgating
- Distracted driving
- Poor weather conditions
- Slow braking response times
Lead drivers must pay close attention to the vehicle ahead of them. If that doesn’t happen, the rear driver can cause a rear-end collision at any time. In fact, many rear-end crashes occur when the front vehicle isn’t moving at all, such as at a stoplight.
If a rear driver caused your accident, it’s typically easier to prove fault than if a front driver was responsible. But you’ll still need to gather evidence of the driver’s fault.
The Front Driver Is at Fault in Some Cases
The law is more likely to blame the rear driver for a rear-end collision. But the front driver can be at fault, too. In some cases, the front driver is responsible, and the rear driver holds no fault.
The front driver could be at fault if they:
- Hit their brakes suddenly
- Change lanes unexpectedly before stopping quickly
- Merges into traffic without leaving enough room for the rear vehicle
- Have burned out or dysfunctional tail lights
Rear-end collisions often happen before the front driver knows what’s happening. But a reckless front driver can sometimes cause this type of crash.
If the front driver in your accident was careless, you might have an injury case. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer about your accident. If you have a case, a lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove the other driver’s fault.
To discuss your accident and your rights, contact our rear-end collision lawyers. We’ll review your collision and who was at fault, then and talk about seeking compensation. Call us today at (404) 341-6555 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.
Other Causes of a Rear-End Collision
Sometimes, a rear-end collision involves more than a driver’s fault. An accident might happen because of:
- Inclement weather or poor road conditions
- Vehicle manufacturing defects
- Poor vehicle maintenance
You might need to investigate each potential cause of your accident. Rear-end collisions tend to be more straightforward than other crashes. But there are cases where fault isn’t apparent, and that’s where it’s crucial to investigate.
Partial Fault in a Rear-End Collision
Georgia is a “fault state,” which means the at fault party in an accident is responsible for the costs. But the state also has comparative negligence laws in case more than one driver is at fault.
Under Georgia Code §51-12-33, an injured party can recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault. If more than one driver is responsible for a rear-end collision, compensation would depend on each percentage of fault.
The other driver or their insurance company might use the partial fault laws against you. For example, say that another driver rear-ended you while driving:
- You file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company for compensation.
- The other driver or their insurance company tries to blame you for all or a portion of the accident, hoping to reduce their liability.
If the situation is reversed and you were the rear driver, the same thing can happen if the front driver tries to blame you.
An insurance company knows that they can pay less if you are partially at fault. That’s why it’s essential to support your legal rights after an accident. You shouldn’t have to pay for any part of a rear-end collision that you didn’t cause.
Proving Fault in a Rear-End Collision
When the fault is unclear in a rear-end accident, each driver might need to prove their side of the story. To prove that the other driver was at fault, you’ll need to gather evidence like:
- A copy of the police accident report
- Pictures from the accident scene
- Names and contact information from eyewitnesses
- Copies of your medical bills and other documentation of your damages
Get medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Also, save everything you can from the accident and your damages. You’ll need evidence to support what happened and who was at fault for your rear-end accident.
Determining fault in an accident can be complicated. Rear-end collisions are often simple from a fault standpoint, but there are times when fault isn’t so obvious. If you need help proving the other driver was at fault, consider contacting an experienced lawyer today.
Talk to a Rear-End Collision Lawyer for Free
Our car accident lawyers have been helping accident victims for over 20 years. We can help determine who was at fault after a rear-end collision. We also know how to build a strong injury claim and protect your rights. Our attorneys also don’t get paid unless we win you money.
Contact us to get started with a free, no-risk consultation. Call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online today.