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Who’s At Fault in a Rear-End Crash?

There is no question that rear-end crashes are some of the most common accidents on the road. According to the National Safety Council, rear-end collisions accounted for 17.1 percent of all fatal accidents in 2020. But who is really at fault when they happen? Is it always the driver in the back, or are there other factors to consider?

Let us take a closer look at rear-end crashes and see if we can determine who is at fault.

The Driver Who Rear-Ends

Drivers behind another vehicle are responsible for making sure there is enough space between their car and the other car in front of them to prevent a rear-end collision. However, often, the driver behind the other vehicle is usually the one at fault. Causes of these types of rear-end collisions include:

  • Tailgating - Tailgating is one of the leading causes of rear-end accidents. When you tailgate, you follow the car in front of you too closely. If that car has to brake suddenly, you are more likely to hit it.
  • Distracted Driving - While following a car too closely is a leading cause of rear-end collisions, distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents overall. Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly common cause of car accidents as more drivers become distracted by their phones.

When the Lead Driver Is At Fault

In a rear-end collision, there are some situations where the driver that was hit may be found at fault. Some situations can involve:

  • The car in front suddenly reverses into the car behind.
  • The car in front has broken or faulty brake lights.
  • The car in front "brake-checks" the car behind.
  • The car in front breaks down, but the driver does not entirely move it to the side of the road.

Comparative Negligence Laws

Washington and Arizona are among the states that have adopted a comparative negligence system for allocating damages in personal injury lawsuits. Comparative negligence allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they are partly responsible for the accident that caused their injuries.

Under comparative negligence, a plaintiff's damage award will be reduced by an amount equal to their percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds that a plaintiff is 20 percent at fault for an accident, any damage award they receive will be reduced by 20 percent.

Injured in a Rear-End Car Accident?

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, Cook Law Office, PLLC can help. We have experience representing clients who have been injured in rear-end crashes, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We will work with you to investigate the accident and determine who was at fault.

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today at (602) 560-4756 today!


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