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Is the Trailing Driver Always at Fault in Rear-end Collisions?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2014 | Auto Accident Injuries

Out of all the different types of accidents, rear-end collisions can cause a person to feel the most helpless. There’s nothing like looking in your rearview mirror and seeing a car barreling up behind you with no sign of stopping. The good news is, there are a few ways to lower your chance of suffering from these common collisions.

The cause of most rear-end collisions is a tailing driver that isn’t paying attention. If you’re the leading driver, one way to avoid the crash is to get the other absent minded driver’s attention in time. It might feel unnatural to honk the horn to stop someone behind you, but it can work wonders. The noise will draw the attention of those around you, forcing them to look for the source of the sound. The driver behind you will most likely take similar notice. It would be ideal if they could stop in time, but even slowing down a few miles per hour could make a drastic difference.

Another major cause of rear-end collisions is sudden stops from the car in front. This often happens when the leading driver jams on the brakes at the last minute to make a turn they were about to miss. Try to make a mental note of areas where such behavior is common. Always keep a safe distance when following a car, but in these areas remember to be extra alert and leave a little more distance.

Sometimes you just can’t avoid a rear-end collision. Brake failure, for example, deprives the trailing car of any ability to stop. While good maintenance will reduce this risk, surprises can still happen. If you find yourself driving a car with no brakes, do your best to slow down by other means. Downshifting is a great way to ensure that you aren’t going at full speed if a collision happens.

Legal Status in Rear-end Collisions

Many people believe that in a rear-end collision, the trailing driver is always at fault. In reality, this isn’t always true. Florida law allows rebuttal of this presumption of fault under certain circumstances. When those circumstances exist, the trailing driver can indeed sue the leading driver. The Insurance Journal explains that presumption of fault is used when there is no evidence to show that the leading driver did anything wrong. If evidence does exist, then rear-end collisions should be adjudicated like other types of car accident cases.

If you have rear-ended another car from behind, don’t assume that you will have to pay. Under certain circumstances, you may end up getting compensation. To get proper advice for your situation and learn your legal standing, just contact DDB Law.