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Rear End: Is it Always the Fault of One in Back?

Posted on: September 11, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

rear ended

When a car is rear ended, it is usually assumed that the car in back is at fault. While this is typically true, it is not always the case. There are a number of scenarios whereby the driver in the back holds little or no fault in causing the accident.

As a driver, you have a responsibility to keep your eyes on the road – and especially on the vehicles in front of you. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t instances where the blame lies elsewhere, however.

Duty of Care

One of the most important elements of establishing negligence is determining whether there was a breach of duty of care. When an accident is straightforward, negligence is easily determined by confirming whether the driver in back failed to pay attention or was too close to the vehicle in front.

The waters become murky when there is reason to believe that the driver in front actually contributed to or caused the accident. At this point, negligence may be attributed to both drivers, the driver in front, or another party altogether.

Common Exceptions

There are common exceptions to the accepted rule that the driver behind is at fault for a collision. If a driver reverses into your vehicle, there is a good cause to argue for the other driver acting negligently. Similarly, if a driver attempts a turn without indication that results in sudden deceleration, it is pretty difficult for a driver coming from behind to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Other examples include broken brake lights in the front vehicle, or the vehicle coming from behind being forced to swerve in order to avoid another hazard. Most concerning of all are what are known as “crash for cash” operations, which are deliberate crashes set up so that the injured parties can claim compensation.

Proving Negligence when Rear Ended

Proving negligence on the part of the other driver wherein their vehicle has been rear ended is difficult, to say the least. Police reports and eyewitness testimony will help support your case. However, a road traffic investigation is the best way to prove that your timeline of events reflects the reality of what happened.

When drivers make sudden stops or turns, for instance, they leave tell-tale signs on the road. Many modern vehicles also have tracking devices that can provide damning evidence in rear end accidents. Such evidence can be introduced in court and goes a long way towards definitely establishing negligence on the part of one or more parties involved.

A great lawyer will pursue every avenue of inquiry in order to prove that you were not negligent in a rear end accident. Ultimately the aim is to significantly reduce or completely eliminate your liability in causing the accident.

Have you been wrongfully accused in a rear end accident? Draft the experts from Edwards & Patterson to help fight your case. We have a long-established reputation of serving the residents of Tulsa, OK, and surrounding areas. Call for more information on how we can represent you in your rear end accident.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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