What Factors Determine Liability in a Rear-End Accident?

When talking about car accidents, it’s hard to determine who’s at fault, but it’s important, especially if you want to get compensation from it. In general, liability is determined based on the conditions and factors that transpired during the accident. Wherein, in a rear-end end accident, the well-established rule is that, the one tailing the driver would be the liable party. Most of these questions could be answered best by a lawyer who specializes in auto collisions, such as The Levin Firm.  You could contact them and they would help you determine who is liable and if you are eligible for any type of compensation from your accident.

Aside from that, here are some of the factors that determine the liability in a rear-end collision.

1. Was the Four-Second Distant Rule Followed?

Typically, there should be a four-second distance between vehicles, and if the conditions are poor, the driver should increase it for up to 10 seconds to avoid accidents. Following this rule would allow the vehicle traveling from behind to safely slow down or stop if there’s an emergency, and failure to stop would make that driver liable.

2. Did Another Vehicle Cut in Front?

Another factor that should be considered in an event of a rear-end collision is that if another vehicle cuts in front and the driver had no choice but to slam his break, but still ended up hitting the vehicle from behind.

In this case, it would seem like the other driver didn’t have enough room to stop because there was another driver on the way.

3. A Pedestrian Unexpectedly Walking Out in Front

If a pedestrian unexpectedly walks out in front of a vehicle that suddenly hit the brake, there’s still a possibility that the two vehicles would hit each other, because the one in the back could slide into the car in front. In situations like this, the pedestrian may be held liable.

4. Injuries

The most common injuries related to a rear-end accident would be whiplash. This is used to evaluate different kinds of neck injuries. Also, during a rear-end car accident, the body would whip forward, while his head remains fixed in his original position.

This would cause a sudden neck movement like getting “whipped.” Aside from that, severe back pain and neck pain are usually caused by rear-end accidents as well.

5. Instances When the Trailing Car Won’t be Liable

Although the driver of the trailing car would usually be the one liable in a rear-end collision, there are situations that the lead driver would be responsible, and these instances include:

  • The driver reverses the vehicle without warning.
  • The vehicle’s rear brake lights are not working.
  • The driver made a sudden stop.
  • The vehicle is already experiencing some mechanical problem, but the driver still decided to use it.
  • A driver unexpectedly turned without signaling.

In situations like this, the victim is asked to demonstrate how the person responsible for the accident should be held liable. If proven, the victim would receive a certain amount of compensation, as long as he’s less than 50% at fault for the car accident.