Who is at Fault in a Rear End Collision?

When you get into a car accident, you’re probably going to think the other driver is at fault. Nobody likes to admit that they caused the crash. It’s not just about liability. It has to do with pride.

When your car is hit from behind, you may be right to think it’s the other driver’s fault. And, most of the time, the court will agree with you. The general rule is that the rear driver is always at fault.

The person in the rear has the last chance to avoid a collision. They should have plenty of time to stop and avoid hitting the car in front of them. Some of the reasons this doesn’t happen may include:

  • They’re driving too fast to stop in time
  • They aren’t paying attention to the road
  • They’re distracted driving
  • They’re drunk or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash
  • They thought the light was going to turn green much faster than it did

Just because the general rule is that the rear driver is always at fault doesn’t mean it’s always the case. Your Indianapolis car accident attorney is going to have to prove that the rear driver caused the accident.

Could the Front Driver Be Responsible for the Crash?

There is a chance that the front driver could be held liable for the accident. Just because the rear driver is usually considered the responsible party, it’s not always true. The other driver may be able to show that you were at fault.

There are cases where the front driver will be held liable for the injuries caused by the crash. Some of these situations include:

  • Your brake lights weren’t working
  • You stopped suddenly with no warning
  • You were speeding and slammed on your brakes
  • You stopped in the middle of an intersection or somewhere else that wasn’t necessary

Keep in mind- the defendant will still have to prove that you were at fault. Since the presumption is that the rear driver is the one at fault, it will be the defendant’s job to prove it wasn’t the case.

Your Indianapolis auto accident attorney is going to work hard to prove that the rear driver was at fault. He will rely on many things to help prove this.

What Evidence Can Your Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney Use?

Regardless of who was the rear driver, your lawyer still needs to prove fault. You can’t just say that you’re entitled to money because you were the front driver. You need to prove your case to either the insurance company or the jury.

The insurance company sees thousands of claims every year. Since rear end collisions are very common, they deal with a lot of cases just like yours. They can’t just assume that the rear driver was at fault.

The first thing your attorney will use to prove fault is the police report. It contains very valuable information. Some of this information is:

  • Name, license and insurance information for both drivers
  • Name and contact information for witnesses
  • Statements made by both drivers
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures of the scene, road conditions and the vehicles
  • Whether either driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
  • Information regarding any citations issued as a result of the accident

The other thing your Indianapolis auto accident attorney will use is your testimony. You can give your version of what happened. Keep in mind, the other driver has the option of giving a statement as well. Very rarely will the two statements paint the same picture of what happened.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis

If you or your family member are hurt in an Indianapolis car accident, you need a lawyer. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. He can also answer any questions you may have.

When you first meet with your lawyer, bring the following information with you. Your lawyer can use this information to prove that the other driver was at fault:

  • Pictures of the accident scene and damage to your car
  • Copies of your medical records
  • Correspondence received from the defendant, his lawyer or the insurance company
  • Any receipts from medical bills or car repairs
  • Video recordings of the accident or accident scene

Call and schedule your initial consultation with an Indianapolis car accident attorney today. The consultation at Rowe and Hamilton is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.

View these other frequently asked questions pages:

How Much Can You Really Expect to Get in Your Indiana Car Accident Lawsuit?

What Happens if You Refuse Treatment After Your Car Accident?

What Kind of Out of Pocket Expenses Will You Have in Your Car Accident Case?

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