Rear-End Collisions: Seven Important Legal Factors You Must Understand

If you are reading this, likely, you or a loved one has recently faced a rear-end collision while driving. From physical injuries to property damages, there is a lot of harm that can spring up from a careless, rear-end collision.

If you believe you deserve compensation for your losses and you are not at fault, you may consider seeking legal compensation. A professional car accident lawyer understands the basis of the relevant law can significantly help you on this path.

Before you head any further into the world of legalities, here are some of the most important legal factors to know about.

Be Aware of Presumption

Traffic laws can differ from one state to another. However, one thing that remains common in most states regarding rear-end collisions is that the driver of the rear vehicle is always considered to be the one at fault initially.

This presumption is based on the fact that rear drivers have the responsibility of maintaining a fair distance, a safe speed, and the ability to come to a halt when needed. However, remember that the final word is never based solely on this presumption.

Rear drivers can turn the case upside down by sharing the evidence that absolves them of any fault and pointing the blame at the driver in the front.

Learn About Comparative Negligence

The safety of a driver is not solely dependent on their actions when they are on the road. It also depends on the carefulness and skills of other drivers. Just as safety is a collaborative effort, sometimes, rear-end accidents may also be caused by mistakes by both parties involved.

For example, the car in the front may not have properly functioning brake lights, and the rear car may fail to maintain a safe distance. It means that the fault of the collision points to the negligence of both parties involved.

In such circumstances, both parties rely on the comparative negligence laws. This law allows the legal system to assign fault to both parties involved based on the extent of their negligence.

Know Your Duty of Care

Everyone knows the great feeling of driving their first car for the first time. This feeling can be unreal, and the rush of emotions can make you want to test every feature of this car. Many people forget to consider that owning a car is more than customizing it to reflect your personality. It is a big asset that comes with a bigger responsibility.

Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely and ensure their personal safety and that of the people around them. This includes maintaining a safe following distance, braking at the right time, and more. If you do not follow protocols, it can be termed as negligence on your end.

If you are proven to be a negligent driver, it is likely that you will end up paying for the losses for other parties involved in the rear-end accident.

Prove the Causation

As someone who wants to pursue their personal and property damages legally, you must remember that the law is based on evidence. You cannot build a case without the right evidence. In order to secure your compensation, you must be able to show proof that the damage to your car was caused by the rear driver’s negligence.

Whether you use the dashcam footage to prove the fault or ask witnesses of the event to share their observations, having proper causation by your side can play a crucial role in strengthening your case and maximizing your claim.

Record Your Damages

Whether you have considered taking legal action to make up for your medical bills or to cater to your property damage, you must record these damages in order to seek compensation for them. Otherwise, everything you say can become nothing more than hearsay.

Make sure that you record the damages in order to ask for compensation for them. For example, people trying to make up for property damages take pictures of their car after the initial impact, keep a record of repair bills, and ask an expert about the drop in a car’s actual value.

Documentation of every important aspect by yourself and with the help of expert resources provided by a car accident law firm can make a significant difference for someone seeking compensation for their losses.

Gather Witness Testimonies

Rear-end accidents can be very challenging, especially when it comes to making someone admit their fault. Both parties often throw blame to and forth. Among several factors, eyewitness accounts can provide critical evidence in determining fault.

Eyewitnesses can not only tell you who seemed to be at fault but also strengthen your claim by explaining the events in sequences along with several other important details, such as the weather circumstances, road conditions, and more.

Witness testimonies can be especially beneficial for the rear drivers trying to fight presumption. Their testimonies can establish liability.

Find a Copy of Police Report

When you face a rear-end accident, calling the police is a part of the protocol to report the accident and establish fault after initial assessment. Police officers are experts in traffic law, such as speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving. They weigh every factor before establishing fault.

From weighing traffic violations to determining negligence, police reports from the scene of the accident often include details such as a statement from drivers and witnesses, diagrams of the accident scene, and initial assessments of fault.

These reports are considered to be some of the most reliable sources of information by insurance companies and courts. Hence, it is always recommended that drivers who have been rear-ended ask the police for a copy of their detailed report.

Wrapping it Up

Understanding the legal factors in rear-end accidents is crucial for you to head on the legal path. From challenging fault presumption to proving causation, understanding the important factors of law related to rear-end accidents can help you learn more about your rights and strengthen your claim.

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