Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

A man inspecting a Rear-End Collision. Relevant to determining fault in a rear-end collision.

While the driver of the rear vehicle is typically the at-fault party, many car accidents are not so simple.

One moment, you are waiting at a traffic light. The next, you have been struck from behind by another driver who has failed to stop. While this is unfortunate, you may also be concerned about liability, especially if you hit another driver after being rear-ended.

Determining the fault in your rear-end collision is vital, but you may have difficulties navigating your case. Fortunately, at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, we strive to help you determine fault as quickly as possible so that you can begin the process of navigating your case. We are here to help guide you through every step of your case.

Table of Contents

Who Can Be Liable for a Rear-End Collision?

Determining fault is one of the first steps in filing a claim for a rear-end collision. Until you know who is responsible for your accident, you cannot file a claim against that person. Below are a few common possibilities when determining the liable party that our car accident lawyers can help you navigate.

The Driver Who Rear-Ends the Other Driver

Typically, rear-end accidents happen because one driver was distracted, failed to see that the other was stopping, and rear-ended them. In these cases, the at-fault driver is the person who rear-ended the other driver. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed in a study of rear-end collisions that around 64% of rear-end crashes happen when the rear driver glances away from the road for more than 2 seconds, and 87% of rear-end collisions involve distracted drivers.

In these cases, the rear driver is expected to maintain a safe following distance, as outlined in California Vehicle Code 21703. Drivers should always follow other vehicles within a reasonable, prudent distance, which can vary depending on traffic conditions, speed limits, and more. However, if that driver is not following these rules or is distracted, it can lead to a car accident.

The Driver Who Was Rear-Ended

However, fault does not always lie on the rear driver. While it is less common for the lead driver to be responsible for a rear-end collision, they may have been negligent in some circumstances. While the rear driver is still responsible for driving in a safe and prudent manner, the following circumstances may transfer some or all of the fault to the lead driver:

  • Failure to use their hazard lights
  • Driving in reverse
  • Lack of working tail or brake lights
  • Stopping suddenly without reason and remaining stopped
  • Stopping or slowing to make a turn but failed to do so

While these situations may not result in fault being transferred fully to the front driver, they can reduce the amount of shared fault. In these situations, we can help you investigate your claim, prove the lead driver’s actions led to your accident, avoid accepting fault, or confirm the other party is actually liable. That can help you get the total compensation you are due.

You May Have Been Pushed Into Another Car

In a multi-car accident, your collision may have occurred when another person rear-ended you. However, because you were rear-ended, you were pushed into the car in front of you. In these cases, fault can be variable and may often be shared.

That is because the rules for following another vehicle still apply in these situations, so in theory, you should have left enough room between yourself and the other car. However, you may have been pushed so far in high-speed accidents that even a reasonable distance was not enough to prevent the accident. In these cases, we complete thorough, detailed investigations of your case so that we can determine who is specifically at fault for your accident.

Manufacturers Can Be Liable in Some Cases

Sometimes, you may have rear-ended another car simply because your brakes failed. In these cases, you may have been following at a safe distance, but because of a sudden mechanical failure, you cannot stop. Under California Civil Code 1714, the fault may lie with the manufacturer rather than any involved drivers.

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring any products they sell are as safe as possible. If they fail to do so, and their products cause an injury, they may be held financially liable for any losses or suffering caused by that accident. We are ready to investigate your case and determine whether the manufacturer may be at fault for your suffering.

Liability can be complex and difficult to determine, so do not panic if you are unsure who is responsible for your claim. We are prepared to guide you through determining fault using robust evidence for your claim.

Rear-End Collisions May Not Typically Be Dangerous, But Serious Injuries Are Possible

Often, rear-end accidents happen at relatively slow speeds, which may mean your injuries are not so serious. However, If you have been struck by a driver traveling at a high speed, you may have serious or even catastrophic injuries. We are ready to help a car accident victims who have suffered any of the following injuries, among others:

In some cases, a rear-end collision can become deadly. In these cases, if you have lost a loved one to these accidents, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Whether you are filing for yourself or for a deceased loved one, we are here to guide you through this process.

You May Be Due Compensation If You Have Been Rear-Ended

In the wake of a rear-end collision, you may have significant losses, expenses, and suffering that you may be unsure how to navigate. These expenses can be costly, and if you are unsure what they are worth, you may settle for less than you deserve. That can lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses for you as the injury victim.

Fortunately, we can help our clients navigate this issue and get their due compensation. If you are unsure what your claim is worth, you can always reach out for help identifying its value and pursuing compensation for your damages. Once we determine your claim’s value, we can represent you in court and help you secure that compensation.

Economic Damages

When you are rear-ended by another driver and you suffer injuries or property damage, you may have significant expenses to navigate and pay following your accident. However, paying for damages caused by another party may feel unfair. Fortunately, you may have grounds to pursue economic damages, which cover the financial losses you have suffered in an accident.

Your economic damages may cover any financial loss you have suffered, both current and future. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury and you will definitely need surgery in the future, you may need to estimate the value of these future costs. Fortunately, we have the tools to identify current costs and estimate future damages.

Pain and Suffering

Non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering damages, cover the intangible losses you may have suffered because of your accident. These damages include any emotional or mental suffering caused by your accident and injuries. Because these are intangible, however, you may need our guidance to identify their value.

These calculations are typically based on the severity and impact of the car accident, and they can very significantly from case to case. For example, if you model for a living and you suffer a disfiguring injury, the mental and emotional impact may be much more severe for you than it may be for others. Disabling injuries can also lead to further pain and suffering because you may see significant changes in your lifestyle.

Punitive Damages

In some situations, the at-fault party may have intentionally struck you, causing a serious accident. In other cases, they may have been driving dangerously over the speed limit or were even driving drunk. When these situations happen, you may be eligible for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages like your economic and non-economic damages.

Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the at-fault party engaged in grossly negligent or intentionally harmful behavior. In these situations, the judge may grant further compensation to deter future behavior like this. However, these damages can be difficult to secure, so talk to us if you believe you may have grounds for them.

Remember that punitive damages are rare, but we can still help pursue them. The judge will ultimately make the decision, however, based on California Civil Code 3294.

Our Attorneys Offer Specific, Important Benefits to Your Claim

As you navigate a lawsuit, you may be concerned about getting high-quality personal representation for your claim. A mistake during your rear-end collision lawsuit can be costly, and in some cases, it can even leave you stuck without the compensation you are due. Fortunately, we are here to help.

As you navigate a lawsuit, you may have many options in your local area to pursue compensation, so why choose us? We offer specific benefits to our clients as they pursue compensation. Below are some of the many specifics that make our team stand out.

Personalized Care

When you seek out Text Kevin Accident Attorneys, you get personalized care that helps you navigate your case in the courtroom and your recovery overall. Attorney Kevin Crockett offers specific guidance to help our clients feel like more than a case number. You can expect high-quality care and guidance throughout your case when you work with us.

That also means we are prepared to communicate and guide you through every step of your case. Your claim may start with negotiations with the insurance company, but it may take a lawsuit brought to court for you to get your compensation. We are dedicated to supporting our clients throughout the process as we help them navigate their lawsuits.

A Track Record of Success

When pursuing compensation for a rear-end collision, you want to know that you are in experienced, high-quality hands. That includes seeking help from personal injury attorneys who have experience handling claims like yours so that you can get the aid you need. Fortunately, our team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

That includes many car accident lawsuits, including one in which we secured $2.75 million for our client. We also have many testimonials from past clients if you are ready to see the results we are able to get for our clients. We are prepared to help you get a success story like our past clients.

If We Do Not Win, You Do Not Have to Pay

Many clients feel concerned about the possibility of a failed case, worrying that they may be stuck paying out of pocket for their injuries and legal services. When you pursue help with us, you can rest assured that we are here to help you avoid these costly situations.

That is because we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning our pay is based on the success of your case. Before we begin work on your claim, we will discuss a specific percentage that will be paid out of your compensation if we win your case. That means you will never pay more than the compensation you receive in your lawsuit.

It also means that we only get paid for successful cases. If your case is unsuccessful, and you are left paying out of pocket for your expenses, you will not have to pay for our legal services. It can help reduce the pressure and difficulties you may face following your accident if your claim is unsuccessful.

Pro Tip
If you are still unsure we are the right attorneys for you, remember that a free consultation is not an obligation. You can always accept multiple free consultations to determine whether we are the right team for your case.

Reach Out for Guidance from Our Diligent, Top-Tier Car Accident Lawyers After a Rear-End Collision

When a rear-end collision occurs, the party who struck the other driver typically bears the fault. However, car accidents are not always clear-cut, and you may have questions or concerns regarding the specifics of your case. Fortunately, Text Kevin Accident Attorneys offers the tools, resources, and guidance you need as you navigate your case.

This is especially important if the other party is trying to place the blame on you. We also offer free consultations to discuss your case, whether you have grounds for a lawsuit, and how we can help your case succeed. To learn more about our services and take action for a free consultation, reach out by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett is an award-winning personal injury lawyer who understands the impact an accident can have on someone’s life. That’s why he aggressively fights for each of his clients.

All Posts

More Legal Blogs

Vehicle parked in lot with question mark. Who has right of way in parking area?
Driving Laws

Who Has the Right of Way in a Parking Lot?

In parking lots, vehicles in driving lanes have the right of way over those in parking spaces. Always yield to oncoming traffic when exiting a spot. If unsure, it’s safest to let cars and pedestrians pass to avoid accidents.

Suggest a Correction