If you're like most people, you may assume that in rear-end collisions, the tailing driver is always at fault. While this is often the case, there are actually some instances when it's not.
If you were injured in this type of accident, it's important to understand who could be found liable so you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
When the Driver Behind Is Presumed to Be Negligent
There are many causes of rear-end collisions. Speeding, intoxication, and distracted driving are a few reasons motorists cause these accidents.
In both Missouri and Kansas, individuals are required to maintain safe distance from vehicles in front of them so they can slow down or stop suddenly if necessary—this is usually two–to–three car lengths. So in most rear-end crashes, the driver who hits the backend of a vehicle will be found to have breached this duty and presumed to be at fault.
Because of this rule, an insurance company for the negligent driver is less likely to dispute liability in a rear-end collision. However, this doesn't mean it won't raise other disputes, such as that the victim’s injuries weren't severe, or were caused by another incident.
When the Front Driver Is Responsible for a Rear-End Collision
In limited circumstances, motorists hit are found to be entirely or partially at fault for the accident. These determinations occur because they:
- Stopped suddenly for no apparent reason.
- Drove erratically, which caused another motorist to strike their vehicle.
- Abruptly reversed because of pulling into an intersection, mistakenly took an off-ramp, or passed their destination.
- Made an unsafe lane change and cut directly in front of a driver.
- Didn't have working brake lights.
- Had a flat tire or another mechanical problem and failed to pull to the side of the road.
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