If You Get Rear-Ended In A Car Accident, Can It Be Your Fault?

It's commonly believed that when one car rear-ends another vehicle during a car accident, the vehicle that did the rear-ending is automatically at fault. Knowing the truth about how rear-end collisions work can help you sort out fault and determine who is able to collect damages in a rear-end collision.

If you get rear-ended in a car accident, can it be your fault?

Typically the person who does the rear-ending is considered responsible for the accident, because people on the road have a responsibility to drive far enough away from other drivers that they would not hit anyone if traffic comes to a sudden stop. However, there are circumstances under which a vehicle that was rear-ended would be at least partially at fault for the accident.

How can you tell if the vehicle that was rear-ended was at fault?

Drivers on the road have an obligation to perform in a specific manner and adhere to a specific standard of safety. Drivers who fail to meet those standards may be partially at fault if an accident results. For example: Driver X becomes distracted, misses a turn and subsequently slams on their brakes in attempt to accomplish the turn anyway. When this happens, Driver Y hits Driver X's rear bumper. Driver X could be considered to be at least partially at fault for the resulting collision. Driver X is considered only partially at fault for the resulting collision because Driver Y still had an obligation to drive far enough behind the Driver X that when Driver X slammed on the brakes, Driver Y would have been able to avoid an accident.

If you get rear-ended and you are partially at fault for the accident, can you collect damages?

The collection of damages for rear-end collisions like the one described above varies by state. In some states, if Driver X is responsible for even a small portion of the accident, then Driver X cannot collect damages against Driver Y. In other states, if it is determined that Driver X is partially responsible for the accident, it could impede Driver X's ability to collect full damages against Driver Y, but Driver X may still collect some amount of money.

To find out your state's specific laws about collecting damages for rear-end collisions and who may be at fault in an accident that you were recently involved in, contact a reputable personal injury attorney like http://www.danielgoodmanlaw.com in your area today. He or she will be able to help you determine what damages you can hope to collect.