Liability in a Rear-End Car Accident

Rear EndIf you were involved in an accident where a car rear-ended you, you may assume that liability is a no-brainer. However, there are certain instances where the driver who gets rear-ended is to blame. Below, we discuss the factors of negligence and how Georgia law establishes fault in these common types of accidents.

If a rear-end accident has altered your life or caused injury to a loved one, you should contact an experienced Savannah car accident lawyer at Roden Law for assistance with your claim. During a free, no obligation consultation, we can examine your case and determine who may be at fault for the accident. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.

Factors of Negligence

Proving negligence often depends on how one driver displayed carelessness while operating a vehicle. In legal terms, this is usually known as establishing the driver’s “breach of duty of care.” Some examples of breach of duty of care include the following:

  • Failure to pay attention to traffic and remain cautious of hazards
  • Failure to stop within a reasonable time at stop signs or traffic lights
  • The failure to drive at a reasonable and appropriate speed based on road conditions
  • Not maintaining proper control of the car
  • Not yielding to the right-of-way of other vehicles
  • The lack of using a turn signal
  • The inability to follow others at safe distances

Establishing fault

Most accidents involving rear-end collisions result in finding that the driver who crashes into the car in front of him or her is the person at fault. This usually stems from the lack of stopping in time or negligent behavior that leads to the crash. However, there are times when the driver in front is at fault because of his or her own negligent driving practices.

When Rear Driver is at Fault

The driver who crashes into a car from behind is typically found at fault. However, there are certain times when liability clearly falls on the rear driver, such as when participating in the following driving practices:

  • Tailgating — When a driver fails to leave enough space between his or her vehicle and the vehicle in front, this could lead to a collision.
  • Distracted driving — Cellphones, eating food, listening to music too loudly and engaging in discussions with passengers can all lead to distracted driving which can cause a rear-end accident.
  • Driving under the influence — Drug and alcohol consumption alter a driver’s behavior that can lead to judgment and decision impairments that typically result in an accident.
  • Sudden acceleration — Any abrupt change in speeds can lead to a collision when the driver is not paying attention.

When the Driver Who Gets Rear-Ended is at Fault

If the following situations occur, the person in front rather than the one that collides from behind could be found at fault:

  • Slamming on the brakes when there is no reason
  • Suddenly driving the car in reverse
  • The driver continues on the road with a flat tire and does not pull over or use hazard lights to indicate the problem
  • The failure to repair brake lights

Comparative Negligence in Georgia

In Georgia, modified comparative negligence rules apply. Under these rules, if you are less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by your own percent of fault. Any level higher than this, and the injured party will not receive any compensation for the claim.

His or her level of damages is reduced by his or her own degree of fault. For example, if the insurance company or jury finds that the plaintiff was 20 percent at fault and the plaintiff sustained $100,000 in damages, his or her award would be reduced by $20,000.

Speak to a Skilled Lawyer for Help with Your Claim Today

After a rear-end collision harms you or a loved one, we at Roden Law can assist you with the claim. We can explain the factors involved in determining liability and can pursue compensation on your behalf. Our legal team will investigate your situation, gather evidence that supports your claim and pursue just compensation for the damages you endured. This requires a review of medical documentation, checking insurance coverage and contacting the insurance carrier.

Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay us unless we are successful with your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.