In a rear-end collision, most people automatically believe the driver in the rear is at fault. While this is often true, it’s not always the case.
If the lead driver changes lanes or enters a lane unsafely, drives under the influence or brakes suddenly for no reason, for example, they could be found at fault. If you’re not sure who is at fault in your rear-end collision, contact an injury attorney Newport Beach for help.
The driver at fault is liable for damages to the other driver or passengers involved. A car crash lawyer Newport Beach can explain your options if you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision.
Fault in Rear-End Collisions Isn’t Predetermined
As mentioned above, the rear driver is often at fault in a rear-end collision, but this is not a rule. Determining who is at fault in an accident is important because that decides who is liable for damages to other people involved.
Liability is shown by determining each driver’s negligence and what percentage of the accident was caused by that negligence. Your car wreck lawyer Newport Beach will help you prove your true liability, if any, in your accident.
Car accident negligence is shown through a person’s failure to drive with care or by their violation of a traffic rule or law, including:
- Distracting driving, such as texting behind the wheel,
- Tailgating, and
An injured person can receive compensation for their losses and suffering by filing a lawsuit with the help of a Newport Beach car accident lawyer. The damages they receive can include:
- Lost earnings,
- Medical costs,
- Car repair or replacement expenses,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Wrongful death.
When the Lead Driver Is at Fault
While many rear-end collisions are caused by the rear driver being too close, the lead driver is sometimes found at fault. This is usually due to their reckless or negligent behavior behind the wheel, including:
- Breaking with no warning,
- Pulling out in front of another vehicle,
- Backing into a car,
- Experiencing road rage,
- Driving under the influence, and
- Driving with a broken brake light.
If any of the conditions above apply to your accident, work with auto accident lawyers Newport Beach to help prove your case.
One common cause behind rear-end crashes is the lead driver braking quickly, causing the driver behind them to hit the vehicle. A rear driver could blame the lead driver for braking too fast; however, the rear driver can still be found at fault in this situation. Talk with a car wreck lawyer Newport Beach for help if this applies to your accident.
In California, state laws require drivers to leave each other enough space. The laws do not specify a distance. Instead, they call for drivers not to follow more closely than is “reasonable” when the driver considers the speeds and traffic on the road and the roadway’s condition.
Since the safe following distance depends on road features and conditions, a driver has to adjust according to their situation. Driving at night, on wet roads, in stop-and-go traffic, with soft brakes or on loose gravel, for instance, could all merit an increase in following distance.
Distracted Driving in Rear-End Crashes
Driving while distracted is on the rise all over the country. According to The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, 2,841 people died in distracted driving accidents in just 2018 alone.
Most people link driving while distracted to mobile phone use, but it can involve anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off of the road. Looking at a GPS, changing the radio station, grooming, eating and even adjusting a steering wheel while driving are all forms of distracted driving.
When the rear driver is distracted, they could be considered negligent. However, the lead driver might be found negligent if they were the ones driving distracted and had to brake suddenly, causing the rear vehicle to crash into them. This type of situation is tricky because each driver can claim the other is fault — the lead driver for being distracted and the rear driver for following too closely — so speak to a car crash lawyer Newport Beach for help if this applies to your accident.
Both Drivers May Share Fault
A standard known as “comparative fault” applies in California car crashes. Even if you were partly to blame in an accident, your Newport Beach car accident lawyer could still help you get damages.
Under comparative fault, each driver receives a percentage of the fault for the accident. This percentage is used to decide damage allocation.
For instance, Driver A and Driver B are in an accident, and their auto accident lawyers Newport Beach have to take the case to court. The jury decides that Driver B is 80 percent liable and Driver A is 20 percent liable. Driver A is then able to recover 80 percent of the damages involved from Driver B.
After a rear-end collision, you might believe you’re stuck handling your medical costs, lost work wages, car repair and the other losses you suffered all on your own. In reality, you can take steps to receive the compensation you’re entitled to by working with an experienced injury attorney Newport Beach.