Is the driver of the rear vehicle always at fault in a rear-end car accident case?

Who Is Liable in a Rear-End Crash?When a car and the vehicle in front of it collide, resulting in a rear-end accident, the prevailing wisdom is that the driver of the second vehicle is almost always at fault, as they had a duty to follow at a safe distance and—had they done so—could have presumably prevented the crash. While this is often the case, the presumption that the second driver is always to blame doesn't hold true for every rear-end accident.

In fact, there are a number of rear-end collisions scenarios where the blame—and, more importantly, liability—may not rest solely on the driver of the second vehicle, including instances in which:

  • The driver of the first vehicle reverses without warning
  • The first driver's brake lights are not working
  • The driver of the first vehicle stops suddenly to make a turn, but fails to actually execute the turn
  • The first driver experiences a vehicle maintenance issue—such as a flat tire—but fails to safely pull over or turn on the hazard lights

In the above examples, the driver of the first vehicle may be considered negligent and, thus, at least partially responsible for the accident and subsequent damages.

Do You Need an Experienced Car Accident Attorney?

If you were injured or sustained significant property damages in a rear-end accident that wasn't your fault, the knowledgeable attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you explore your options for compensation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation case consultation.