Who is Liable in a Rear-End Car Accident?
Wednesday, 09 September 2020

 Liability is a tricky element to prove as you're preparing to file a claim for an auto collision. The burden of proof can become especially heavy in rear-end accidents since some states automatically assign fault to the rear driver versus the one in front. 

 Regardless of the outcome of fault, first and foremost it is very important that both drivers are immediately treated for any serious injuries and be very aware of any signs of delayed injuries following the collision. How your claim unfolds in terms of who was at fault depends heavily on the location in which your rear-end car accident occurred. 

How Liability is Determined in a Rear-End Car Accident

Liability may be determined slightly differently depending on where your rear-end crash took place. For instance, in states like California, the fault is automatically assigned to the driver who crashed into the vehicle ahead of them. This is because they are assumed to have failed to maintain a safe driving distance from the forward car, and other such fundamental traffic safety precautions. However, there may be ways to prove the negligence of the driver in front instead. 

In either case, certain steps must be taken to demonstrate the negligent driver’s responsibility in causing the crash. These steps include the following:
  • Call the police. Police reports are an essential piece of documentation for your rear-end car accident claim. Most importantly, the officer will include their opinion concerning liability in your case, which could serve to strengthen your lawsuit. 
  • Document all details of the crash site. Record evidence from the collision scene immediately. Take photos and videos of all the damages to your car and any injuries you incurred. Remember to exchange personal information with the other driver and all other parties involved. Collecting the contact information of any witnesses in the area is beneficial, too.
  • If any challenges in proving liability arise in the litigation process, witness and police testimonies can help to shed light on evasive details.
  • Seek medical attention. You will be required to show that the driver's negligence was the direct cause of any injuries you sustained. Waiting too long for a medical evaluation may stir doubt as to whether your wounds were related to the accident or not. It's best to be treated immediately, not only for your safety but also for your case's integrity.
Once you have all this central documentation, your lawyer will help you hold the defendant accountable for your crash and secure your deserved compensation.

Further Details on Proving Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident

Rear-end auto collisions are unique in that one driver is at an advantage concerning assumed liability. The front vehicle driver is often thought to be innocent in the crash; yet, this may not have been the case for you. For instance, they may have stopped too suddenly, which resulted in you crashing into their car despite a safe driving distance.

Fortunately, such mishaps can be proven with the help of a rear-end car accident lawyer. Contact a lawyer today to secure expert guidance while developing your claim and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
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