Being involved in a rear-end collision, whether you are acting as the rear driver or the driver of the vehicle in front, can be an unsettling experience.
And while most rear-end crashes don’t result in serious injuries, this is not always the case – sometimes, a rear-end collision can leave parties with severe, and even fatal, harm.
There is a common misconception that rear-end collision fault always falls on the shoulders of the rear driver. However, the fault may be shared, or may even be purely the fault of the driver of the car in front.
Here’s a look into who is at fault in a rear-end collision, and how fault is determined.
If You Rear-End Someone in Georgia Is It Always Your Fault?
In the vast majority of rear-end collision cases, fault is easy to determine, and the fault for the crash is blamed on the rear driver. This is because drivers are required to maintain a safe following distance between their vehicle and other vehicles on the road.
When a rear-end crash occurs, it is often because the rear-driver breached this duty, allowing for too little distance between vehicles. (In addition to too narrow of a following distance, other factors that lead to rear-driver caused collisions including speeding, intentionally tailgating, and driving while distracted.)
But if you rear-end someone, it’s not always your fault. There are situations where the driver in front may be to blame.
When the Rear-driver Isn’t Liable
Liability for a rear-end crash isn’t always clear, and there are some situations where the negligence of the driver in frontis primarily to blame. These situations include:
- Your vehicle was pushed from behind into the forward driver’s vehicle by a third vehicle
- The driver of the vehicle in front performed an illegal lane change or cut you off
- The forward driver stopped so suddenly and unexpectedly (and without good cause) that you did not have time to stop completely, even though you were adhering to a safe following distance
- The vehicle of the forward driver had a defect, such as defective brakes or broken brake lights
- The vehicle was stopped in the road at an area that you were unable to see from afar, such as around the turn of a bend
In some cases, fault can be shared amongst two or more drivers. When this is the case, Georgia rule of comparative negligence applies, which holds that damages recoverable will be reduced in proportion to a plaintiff’s degree of fault.
How Is Rear-end Collision Fault Determined?
If you don’t believe you were at fault for a rear-end collision, it’s important that you hire a skilled rear-end car accident lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible who can help you to prove the negligence of the other party.
Often times, insurance adjusters will just make an assumption about fault without thoroughly investigating the accident. If you believe a determination about fault was made in error, call our lawyers for assistance.
Our law firm will perform a rigorous and extensive investigation, considering all sources of evidence, including:
- Physical evidence, including vehicle positions, skid marks, and damages
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police reports
- Video footage
- Accident reconstruction experts’ opinions
You Don’t Have to Represent Yourself
There is nothing more frustrating than being involved in a car accident that is not your fault, suffering damages in the form of property damage expenses, injuries, or both, and then filing a claim only to have the insurance adjuster lowball your claim or, worse, tell you that you’re not eligible for compensation because you caused the accident.
Fortunately, you are not obligated to accept a settlement offer, nor do you have to accept an insurance adjuster’s claim that you’re to blame. Instead, you maintain the right to hire a car accident lawyer who can review the facts of your case, issue a demand letter to an insurance company, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Call the attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. Today
If you’re wondering who is at fault in a rear-end crash or have questions about how to disprove allegations of fault made against you, our lawyers Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C.can help.
We have been managing complex car accident claims for decades and have the experience and skill you’d expect from a seasoned law firm. For a free consultation with our injury lawyers, please call us today or fill out our case review form telling us more about your rear-end crash and how we can be of service.
We have offices in Atlanta, Athens, and Lake Oconee and take cases across the state of Georgia. We offer free consultations and there is no fee unless we win your case.