If You Get Rear-Ended, Who’s At Fault?
Rear-end car accidents are some of the most sudden, stressful accidents that there are, particularly if you feel like you were responsible for the accident. However, the mistake that many drivers make is to assume that the fault is automatically theirs, and this actually couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it is very common for the hit driver to be culpable in the wreck, providing you an opportunity to avoid paying onerous damages.
Before agreeing to a settlement in your case, it’s important you have all the facts at your disposal. Here are a few facts you should know after you’ve suffered a rear end car accident and advice for when you should retain an attorney for your case.
Negligence Leads to Car Accidents
The cause of almost every car accident is negligence by one or both drivers, and this sentiment holds particularly true in rear-end accidents. Rear-end wrecks can be caused by almost too many negligent actions to mention, but the most common issues include operating a vehicle at an unsafe speed, driving a car unsafely and distracted driving.
After being involved in a rear-end accident in which you were the colliding driver, it’s important that you understand how negligence can pay a factor in your case, as this may give you the avenue you need to construct an effective defense with the help of your attorney.
Different Negligence Rules for Different States
When an insurance company is assigning fault in a rear-end case, the way they determine damages and payments will be almost entirely dependent on the state your accident occurred in. Negligence rules vary from state to state, which means you need to be certain which regulations your state follows.
Generally speaking, the two most common types of negligence are comparative negligence and contributory negligence. A state that uses contributory negligence rules prohibits the struck driver from filing a claim if they contributed to the accident in any way.
Other states, like Tennessee, use a comparative negligence system, where a percentage of blame is assigned for each driver. If the struck driver’s percentage reaches a certain threshold, usually above 50 percent, they will not be able to file for damages.
Avoiding Fault After a Rear-End Car Accident
After gaining a further understanding of the basic rules of rear-end accidents, it’s time to look at a few ways that you can prove you weren’t at fault in your case.
First, and most commonly, if the driver that you rear-ended stopped short or was driving at an unreasonably slow speed, this will usually absolve you of any fault in your case. Secondly, if the other driver failed to signal while changing lanes, you will have a good shot at avoiding fault. Finally, if you can prove the other driver was under the influence and was driving erratically, you probably will not have to pay any damages.
Work with an Experienced Attorney
Following a major rear-end car accident, the most important step you can take to protect yourself is to retain legal representation from Mitch Grissim & Associates. We have the experience necessary to research the facts of your case and build you a strong defense so you can avoid paying expensive damages. Contact us right away to learn more about why you need our help to win your rear-end case.