Is The Rear Driver Always At Fault In A Rear-End Collision?

A rear-end crash is among the most prevalent road accidents. A rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle hits another with force from behind. You may think that the rear-end driver in such accidents is always at fault, but that is not always the case. There are various cases where the front driver may be responsible for the collision. 

Various areas of the accident, along with evidence, must be investigated before producing a final statement. If you have been in a rear-end automobile accident and are being wrongfully accused, a Salem Oregon personal injury lawyer can analyze the details of your case carefully and produce the best strategy for your success.

What is a rear-end accident?

A rear-end collision is pretty self-explanatory. Accidents, where one vehicle crashes into another from its back, are known as rear-end accidents. The vehicle in the front may be standing on the road or going at a slower speed. Common reasons why such accidents occur are the driver’s distraction, tailgating, intoxication, panic stops, reduced traction due to bad weather, etc. 

Is the rear driver at fault in rear-end accidents?

It is true that in most rear-end accidents, the driver at the back is found to be at fault. This is because the driver at the back has more scope to stop the collision and should take steps to prevent it. However, the driver at the back may not always be at fault, and the driver at the front could be the cause of the accident. 

When is the front driver at fault?

Usually, a rear-end accident is caused because the driver at the back was speeding and did not keep a reasonable distance between the two vehicles. However, there are several scenarios when the front driver may be liable. They are as follows. 

  • They accelerated in reverse without warning.
  • They pressed the brakes all of a sudden.
  • They wanted to get hit intentionally. 
  • The front driver was drunk driving.
  • The vehicle at the front had a flat tire or other issues, but they did not turn on their hazard lights.

How is fault determined?

Determining fault in a rear-end accident is the same as in any other type of vehicle accident. Every driver has to provide a duty of care towards other drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians on the road. If they fail to provide that, they are termed as negligent. By proving negligence of the other driver, one can determine fault. The following are the elements for proving negligence. 

  1. They owed a duty of care.
  2. The defendant’s breach of duty of care caused the accident.
  3. The accident was the reason for your injuries.