Determining Fault in a Rear End While Backing Up Collision

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While it may seem easy to determine fault in a rear end collision, you may be surprised at the factors that are considered and the regularity with which courts and insurance companies find an injured party responsible. Identifying fault in a rear end collision is not as easy as looking at which car backed up into the other.

First Look: The Basic Facts

To determine fault in a rear end collision, courts and insurance companies first look to the bare facts of the incident. If a red car backed into a blue car, then the red car is responsible for the actual contact between the vehicles. However, analyzing the situation does not begin here.

Second Look: The Second Car

Next, the second car, or the car that was backed into, is analyzed for its participation in the accident. Factors considered whether the car had its lights on in the dark, the weather conditions at the time and the driver’s mental and physical health during the accident. This investigation occurs to determine whether any fault, even the smallest percentage is attributable to the second car. If so, in some states the second car may have the settlement reduced by the percentage of their responsibility for the accident or be denied compensation altogether.

Third Look: Tickets and Reports

After inspecting the actions and other aspects affecting the cars and automobile operators, the next step is to view the tickets issued and reports created after the accident. If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, in which neither party is identified as responsible for the accident, not ticket will have been issued by the police but the officer arriving at the scene of the accident will have created a report. This report will detail facts that may explain or shed light on the respective responsibility of the parties involved in the accident.

Fourth Look: Admissions

The reason why insurance companies and lawyers instruct clients to remain quiet when being interviewed or speaking about the accident is that even the smallest admission of guilt can lay blame for the entire accident on the speaker’s shoulders. Acknowledgement that the accident was “inevitable” or other similar words could prevent a party from recovering. Because of this, adjusters and attorneys look for admissions of guilt or fault by either party to assist their case.

Getting Legal Help

Because identifying fault in a rear end collision is not as simple as looking at who was backing up at the time, it is important that you speak with an attorney prior to filing or discussing the accident with anyone. An attorney will be able to analyze the facts, documents and other information of your suit and detail whether a judge or jury could reasonably find that the injured party was responsible for the accident.