Are You Always at Fault if You Rear End Another Driver?

driver sitting in traffic late afternoonWhen there is a rear-end collision, first responders and insurance companies may be biased against the tailing driver. In fact, most people - even the drivers involved - may immediately assume that the person driving the car in back caused the crash. However, liability for a rear-end car accident is not automatic. While often the tailing driver may be at least partially responsible, he or she may not be the only liable party. There are several situations that may result in the leading car being assessed with full or partial liability for a rear-end collision.

At Greg Coleman Law, we discuss more about rear-end collisions, including why you may not always be liable if you rear end another vehicle.

Were you involved in a rear-end collision? Contact our law firm for help in determining who may be at fault. If you have a case, our experienced car crash lawyers in Knoxville will work hard to limit your liability.

FREE Case Review. (865) 247-0080

How Rear-End Crashes Often Happen

Many rear-end crashes happen because of a driver error on the part of the tailing driver. The most common causes for a rear-end crash occur because the driver in back was:

  • Distracted by something else while driving, such as text messages or other passengers
  • Tailgating, or following the vehicle in front aggressively or too closely
  • Speeding too fast for the flow of traffic or exceeding posted speed limits
  • Driving without considering hazardous weather or road conditions
  • Impaired by drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants
  • Driving while drowsy due to lack of sleep or taking over-the-counter medications

When The Rear Driver May Not Be At-Fault

The tailing driver should not be assessed with fault without first fully investigating the incident. Liability for each collision must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Some common situations where the driver in front may have caused the crash through inaction, or reckless or negligent behavior include:

  • Merging or changing lanes without signaling or allowing sufficient distance
  • Accidentally reversing his or her car and backing into the tailing vehicle
  • Driving with broken brake lights and failing to get them repaired or replaced
  • Driving while drunk, high or drowsy and drifting into the tailing driver’s lane of traffic
  • Purposely trying to get hit by darting in front of a vehicle and slamming on the brakes

A knowledgeable attorney will ensure the accident is thoroughly investigated. This means reviewing vehicle damages, the crash scene, police report, witness statements and any other evidence that may help determine fault.

In many rear-end crash claims, both parties may be assessed with a percentage of fault for the crash. However, you may still be eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses. Under Tennessee law, accident victims may be eligible to recover damages if they are not more than 49 percent liable for the crash.

It is important to remember also that if you are found partially to blame, the percentage of your fault will be deducted from any settlement you are awarded. However, our attorneys are ready to work hard to ensure you are not assessed with more than your share of fault.

Common Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions

The degree of injury after a car crash is impacted by many factors. The speed of the vehicle is one big factor, but the point of impact can also contribute to how badly occupants may be injured. When a car is hit from behind, the injuries are unique, and in many cases, may cause long-term damage and excruciating pain.

Common injuries from rear-end collisions may include:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
  • Back injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Seatbelt injuries
  • Arm, shoulder or wrist injuries
  • Leg fractures
  • Neck and back injuries

After a rear-end collision – or any car crash – it is important that you seek medical care immediately. Some injury symptoms may be delayed for hours, days or weeks, and if you wait to be examined, you may suffer further damage or limit your ability to fully recover.

For example, if you suffered internal organ damage or are bleeding internally, it can be life-threatening if you do not get treated soon after the injury occurred.  

Getting treatment from a medical professional right after your accident also helps to link your injuries to the crash. This documentation can help to support your claim if you seek compensation for damages, such as medical costs, lost wages and more.

Need to Seek Damages After a Rear-End Crash? Call Our Law Firm for Legal Help

According to national statistics, rear-end collisions account for about 30 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. The injuries can be quite severe, requiring a lengthy recovery and extensive medical care. If you were injured in a rear-end collision and are attempting to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses, we may be able to help.

Unsure who was at fault for your rear-end crash? You can still call our law offices. Get answers to your legal questions at no cost or obligation to you. Our representatives can take your call anytime, day or night.

At Greg Coleman Law, we have decades of experience representing injured victims, recovering millions on their behalf. If we take your case, there is nothing to pay up front or throughout the legal process. We only receive payment for our services if we recover compensation for you.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. (865) 247-0080