Determining Fault in Rear End Accidents

close up of a rear end car accident

Rear end accidents are some of the most common motor vehicle accidents. They can also be immensely destructive, causing property damage to multiple vehicles and/or bodily injury. You may be wondering how fault is determined in such an accident. Is it always the fault of the driver in the back, as insurance companies would have you believe? How can you be compensated if you accidentally rear ended someone and you feel they are partially at fault? 

Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault in Rear End Accidents?

Drivers are expected to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Driving distracted, tailgating, or other irresponsible behavior is often the cause of rear end collisions. Poor visibility due to inclement weather is also a culprit. 

If the person who caused the rear end collision was not driving safely, he or she will likely be 100 percent responsible for the accident. However, there are certain instances when the person in front may be found at least partially liable.

Again, all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. If the person driving in front made a choice that led directly to a rear end collision, they can be liable for damages. There are plenty of scenarios in which the motorist in front may have contributed to the circumstances leading to the crash. These include:

  • Sudden braking in high speed traffic for an imagined or non-apparent reason
  • Fatigued or drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Faulty or non-working brake lights
  • Backing into another vehicle
  • Swerving into another lane
  • Failure to signal

How is Fault Determined in Rear End Accidents?

Fault in a rear end accident will be based on evidence compiled by your insurance carrier and your car accident attorney.

If you are involved in a serious rear end collision and you were the driver in back, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. The next step should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney, especially if the driver in front caused the accident. In any case, avoid admitting fault to either the police or your insurance carrier. 

Even if you feel you were somewhat to blame, Colorado’s comparative negligence laws allow you to claim compensation in the event you are found less than 50 percent liable in an accident. This can be a crucial sum in paying for medical bills and damage to your vehicle. 

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Colorado

Again, the common consensus is that it is always the rear driver at fault in these types of accidents. But we know that car accidents can be far more complicated than that. Your car accident attorney will build a case on your behalf and negotiate with your insurance carrier to provide at least partial compensation for injuries and damages sustained in the accident. 

If you have been involved in a rear end accident in Colorado, contact Dave Roth with the Roth Group. As a highly experienced Colorado car accident attorney, Dave can help you file your claim and seek additional damages while you focus on recovery. Dave is committed to leveling the playing field between insurance companies and their clients, even if it means going to trial. Call or go online today to schedule your free consultation.