A rear-end collision occurs when one car strikes collides into the back of another car. This often happens when one car is stopped at an intersection and the other car approaches too quickly. It can also happen when both cars are moving and the lead car stops suddenly (this can happen when the rear driver follows too close to the front car), which can then result in a chain reaction car accident with the cars following the secondary car crashing into the secondary car because they are also unable to stop in time.

Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

A rear-end automobile collision occurs when one vehicle strikes the other vehicle directly from behind. This typically occurs when one driver is following too closely to the other car and driving too fast. A sudden stop may result in the rear car striking the other car, oftentimes causing injury to the driver and passengers in the front car.

Rear-end collisions can be dangerous because they can result in injuries such as whiplash and other head/neck/spinal injuries. They can also cause multiple "pile-up" accidents where one car continues to hit the other car in front of it in a "domino" effect.

What Are Common Causes to Rear-End Collision?

Common causes rear-end automobile collisions include the following:

  1. Tailgating: The rear driver does not keep a prudent distance from the car in front of them and a sudden stop results in a rear-end collision
  2. Driver not paying attention: The rear driver is not paying attention to the road and when front driver stops, the rear end driver collides with front driver
  3. Road Defects: The road has defects which makes vehicles not able to stop correctly
  4. Faulty Brake Lights: The front driver’s brake lights are out and the rear driver is unable to determine when the front driver stops

How Is Fault Proven in a Rear End Accident?

While a majority of rear-end the rear driver causes accidents, this is not always the case. In some instances, the lead car may have been driving below the legal speed limit, or may have been stopped dangerously in a place where they should not be stopped. So, proving fault in a rear-end accident can involve:

  • Speed and Position of the Cars: Determining the speed and position of each car can determine fault
  • Traffic Violations: Concluding whether either driver had violated any road rules
  • Witness Statements: Obtaining witness statements regarding the accident
  • Physical Evidence: Obtaining evidence such as photographs, videos, and police reports. Physical evidence can often be useful in a rear-end accident claim. 

For instance, skid marks can often prove at what distance a car stopped, and whether or not they were traveling too fast.

What Are the Legal Remedies for Rear-End Collisions?

Legal remedies for rear-end collisions usually include some type of monetary damages award. These monetary damage costs may include:

  • Medical and hospital Expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Damage to your car or property
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost time at work
  • Lost earning capacity

How Do I File a Lawsuit in a Rear-End Collision?

Rear-end collisions lawsuits need to be filed in a timely manner after the accident occurs and before the statute of limitations has expired.  If a party waits too long in bringing a lawsuit, they may risk missing important filing deadlines, as the statute of limitations will run.

The people involved in the lawsuit should also compile important information related to the accident, including names, contact info of parties, descriptions of the event, and any testimony of witnesses. Providing pictures and/or video of the accident can also provide much needed evidence for the lawsuit.

In additions, there can be many different parties involved in the rear-end collisions especially when there are multiple cars that were damaged because of the collision. These can include insurance companies, other injured parties, automobile mechanics, and car manufacturers.

Are There Any Defenses to Rear-End Collisions?

There are times when rear-end collisions occur because there was another driver at fault which caused you to rear-end another car. In this situation, the driver would be released from liability if they can prove that they were not at fault. Some rear-end collision defenses may include:

  • Lack of proof: If one or more of the elements of negligence cannot be proven there is not enough evidence to prove liability.
  • Emergencies: Some cases result in a dropped or lowered sentence if the accident involved emergency conditions.
  • Contributory or Comparative Negligence: Some jurisdictions don’t allow a plaintiff to recover damages if they contributed to their own injury. In other areas, the damages are reduced proportionately.
  • Assumption of Risk: It can sometimes be a defense if it can be shown that the other driver knew of a certain risk and still acted in spite of the risk.
  • Last Clear Chance: In some states, if the other driver has a last clear chance to prevent the accident, but failed to take that chance, it may relieve the defendant from liability.
  • Faulty Brake Lights: Brake Lights Were not functioning properly
  • Front Driver’s Liability: The driver makes a sudden stop to make a turn
  • Front Driver Reverses: The front driver suddenly reverses which causes the rear end collision. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Rear-End Collision Lawsuit?

Rear end accidents can sometimes be difficult to sort out, especially if there are multiple drivers and passengers involved. You may wish to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you file your case and guide you through the process. Your attorney will be able to provide you with advice and legal arguments to help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy for your circumstances.