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Is the Car That Rear-Ends Another Always at Fault?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Jan 24, 2022 in Auto Accidents

rear-end collisionWhen one vehicle crashes into the back of another, determining fault for the accident is usually straightforward, since the driver who was in the rear vehicle is usually found to have been speeding, distracted or tailgating. However, there are some scenarios when establishing fault may not be so simple due to several factors.

If you were injured in a rear-end accident and fault is complicated, you should strongly consider speaking to our car accident lawyers in Fort Worth to see how we may be able to help you file a claim and pursue the compensation you need.

The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

When is the Lead Driver in a Rear-End Collision at Fault?

There are multiple scenarios when the driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended may be at fault for the collision, including in cases of:  

  • Broken taillights – If the front vehicle has broken taillights, which the driver knew or should have known about, and visibility is low, this could lead to an accident.
  • Aggressive driving – When someone is driving in an aggressive manner, he or she may slam on the brakes to purposely cause the rear vehicle to crash into his or her car. This is also known as a brake-check collision.
  • Reckless driving – When a driver zigs in and out of traffic lanes or cuts in front of other vehicles without a thought as to whether it is safe to do so, he or she may end up getting rear-ended by a vehicle that may not have had enough time to brake.
  • Chain reaction accidents – If a vehicle rear-ends another with enough force to catapult it into a third vehicle, the driver of the middle vehicle would likely not be liable for damage to the third vehicle. The middle driver would not have crashed unless he or she was rear-ended in the first place.

There are some other scenarios that may be more rare, such as a front vehicle suddenly braking due to an obstruction on the road, like an animal or road debris. Each case is different, which is why it should be reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney to help determine what legal options may be available. 

What Evidence Can Be Used to Prove the Front Vehicle is at Fault?

Proving the driver in the lead vehicle is responsible for a rear-end collision may be difficult. This may be because looking at the final resting places of the vehicles may automatically place fault for the crash with the driver of the rear vehicle. Therefore, additional evidence may be necessary to help prove the front vehicle’s driver is responsible.

If any witnesses were in the area when the accident happened, you may be able to speak to them to see if they can corroborate your story about whether the front vehicle braked suddenly or even had broken taillights. Gathering witness statements at the scene is important, but do not forget to take down names and contact information so your attorney can interview them later.

Filing a police report may also help you in these cases, especially if the front driver admits fault at the scene. For example, in a case where the front vehicle backs into yours and the driver says he or she did not see your vehicle when backing up.

Sometimes there may be video evidence of the accident, as many traffic intersections nowadays have cameras. If the crash was captured on video, you may be able to use the footage as evidence of what happened. If you have a dashcam in your vehicle, the footage from that may also be helpful.

Need Help Filing a Claim?

Not every rear-end collision claim is as straightforward as many may think. That is why you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you gather the evidence to prove liability.

Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience and are prepared to help you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule a free consultation.