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Rear End Collision Fault?

It is a common presumption that the driver of the following car is always at fault, but this is not always the case.

Unpredictable road conditions and distractions combine for frequent car accidents. Depending on the circumstances, reaction time to red brake lights can vary from less than one second to several seconds. The majority of rear-end collisions happen during daylight hours on dry, straight roads. It is a common presumption that the driver of the following car is always at fault, but this is not always the case. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision caused by a negligent driver, talk to a St. Louis car crash lawyer. We will examine the circumstances of your accident and determine who should be held liable.

The Driver Who Rear-Ends the Car in Front

The trailing driver is generally found to be negligent for a rear-end collision in the following situations:

  • Tailgating – Drivers are required to maintain a safe distance between their car and the car in front of them. A safe distance gives adequate time to stop or turn to avoid a crash. According to the Missouri Driver’s Manual, use the “three-second rule” to measure your distance from the car in front of you. Choose an object ahead and slowly count to three as the vehicle in front of you passes it. If your vehicle reaches the object before you finish counting, you are following too close.
  • Distracted driving – It is difficult for a distracted driver to maintain a safe following distance. Distraction can be caused by using a cell phone, eating, or other activities. A few seconds of distraction can lead to a rear-end collision.
  • Speeding – Speeding increases stopping distance. When a lead car needs to slow down, the tailing car may not have enough room to avoid a collision. The faster the tailing car is moving, the more serious the injuries.

The Driver Who Is Rear-Ended

Do not always assume that the driver who has rear-ended a vehicle is the one at fault. There are several situations when the lead driver can be found negligent.

  • The driver reverses and accelerates suddenly with no warning.
  • The driver turns without using a turn signal.
  • The driver is traveling with brake lights that do not work.
  • The driver stops in a lane because of a flat tire and does not use hazard lights.

Third-Party Liability

Rear-end collisions can also be caused by defective brakes or poor road conditions, such as potholes. A third driver hits another vehicle, pushing that vehicle into another one. These car accident scenarios can make it difficult to determine who is responsible for the accident. It is advisable to consult a St. Louis car crash lawyer to make sure you recover sufficient compensation for damages and personal injury.

Consult a St. Louis Car Crash Lawyer

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. represents car accident victims and their families. We understand how to build strong cases and you can be confident we will do everything possible to protect your legal rights. We work hard to recover the compensation that you need to rebuild your life. Call us at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Updated: April 8, 2023