Can you ever be not at fault for a rear end car accident where you rear ended the other vehicle?


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Question:

I got into an accident last week where I rear ended a car that I think was completely the other drivers fault. The driver infront of me was at first behind me whizzing in and out of lanes and sped past me attempting to make another unsafe lane change, then went back into my line and proceeded to slam on the breaks. There was no way I could have prevented rear ending that car. The claim is still being evaluated by our insurance companies. Is there any hope for me?

Answer:

The first thing we need to determine is what State did the accident occur in. Car Accident Statutes and Laws can vary quite a bit among various states. However, the general jurisdiction in rear end car accidents is that its always the drivers fault who rear ended the other vehicle. The simple reasoning behind that is "you should always keep a safe distance between a car infront of you and thus if you rear ended it, you did not keep a safe distance."

As this law and general ruling of never blaming the car beind rear ended has sparked insurance scams (which eventually become audited and prosecuted), there has been increased speculation in recent years. Furthermore, I am sure you and I along with other drivers would definitely agree in certain cases, some of the blame should be put on the driver infront of you.

There can be differences in braking power differences of both vehicles and for certain circumstances such as yours where the driver whizzed into your lane last minute then slammed on the brakes. You should definitely consult with a Traffic Lawyer who will be able to analyze the details of this case and argue comparative negligence in the court of law. It could be possible that driver of the vehicle being rear ended may have an extensve traffic violation record serving as proof of negligent driving.This can possibly reduce the blame that is being put on you. In a few states there has already been a couple of cases where the rear end driver causing the accident had his fault reduced and the amount awarded to the lead vehicle became limited.

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