Rear End Accidents: Determining Fault

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If you’ve been in a Rear End Collision, you may have heard contradicting stories on whose fault it really is.  When the insurance companies get pulled into an automobile accident, they will make their payouts and decisions based on who they feel will be found ‘at fault’ in a trial.  Below, we’ll examine rear end accidents and how fault is determined.

Rear End Accidents: Who Hit Whom?

In most rear end accidents, the car behind the one that was hit is almost always at fault.  If you’re in the vehicle that was hit, you will probably not be found at fault – although there are circumstances in which you could be found at fault.  This is true because the law requires that all individuals follow at a distance that allows them to easily stop to avoid causing an accident.

No matter why you stopped, the car behind you should be driving safely enough and paying attention in order to be able to stop as well.  So, when you hear that most rear-end accidents are the fault of the person who rear-ended the front car, it usually is true.  This is known as the presumption of fault

While this is true, the car which actually rear-ended the front car may have a claim as well.  However, that claim will not typically be against the front car.  If something made the front car driver stop suddenly, such as a person on a bicycle or a driver who pulled out too closely to the oncoming front car.  While it’s confusing, there are a few things you can do to help you determine fault.

Documenting the Accident

Before anyone arrives – and right after you have checked everyone’s health and called the police, you should write down exactly what happened.  Be sure to document every single detail you can remember at the time and it’s important to do it directly after.  The reason is that this is when the accident and details are fresh in your mind and you may remember small details that are easily forgotten later.  Often, these tiny details can be the keys in determining fault.

While you’re at it, talk to the other driver who was involved in the accident and ask them their own version of what happened and whose fault they feel it was.  Document what they said, especially if they claim the fault at the time.  This will not only help you if the case goes to court, but it can help you easily prove that the fault was not yours.

Although rear-end accidents are sometimes hard to prove fault in, these very simple tips and strategies can help you.  Always give the car in front of you plenty of space incase they stop suddenly, and document everything as is.

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