Responsibility is a tricky thing. When you get behind the wheel of a car, you are essentially steering a deadly weapon, and you take the lives of every other person on the road into your hands. When you’re in an accident, it’s a stomach-turning situation that can turn your whole life upside down. This is especially true if you rear-end another car. Learn why when you rear-end someone in a car accident you are usually at fault, the situations where this may not be the case, and how an attorney can help.
Rear-End Car Accident
When you’re in a rear-end car accident, the driver who strikes another from behind is usually deemed at fault under personal injury law. This is because injury law and civil lawsuits hinge upon the concept of negligence and what lawyers tend to call the standard of a reasonable person. This means that the responsible party was acting in a way contrary to the way a reasonable person would, and that action caused harm to another.
In terms of striking someone from behind, you are assumed to be under complete control of your car at all times. Part of this responsibility means giving yourself enough time and space to stop to avoid obstacles, including other vehicles. When you fail to do so and you hit another car from the rear, you are usually found to be negligent.
When Are You Not Negligent?
This does not mean, however, that you are always responsible for a rear-end accident. There are multiple circumstances where insurance companies and courts may hold the front driver responsible.
While these are usually highly individual cases, some circumstances in which the driver in front could be negligent include if they experience mechanical problems and fail to pull over to the side of the road and/or engage their hazard lights, don’t use their turn signals, suddenly shift into reverse, don’t have functioning brake lights, and other similar situations.
The trick when it comes to getting compensation in a case like this is proving that the driver in front was actually the one behaving in a negligent manner. Since the law generally assumes responsibility on the rear driver, this can be very tricky and requires a great deal of legal knowledge and experience to navigate.
You will need to demonstrate two things in this case. First, you must show that the driver in front did something that created a situation where an accident was unavoidable, and secondly, that their actions were irresponsible and violated their duty of care towards other cars on the road.
When you find yourself in a situation where you may be held liable for an accident that was indeed someone else’s fault, you need experienced and qualified representation. Only an auto accident attorney has the knowledge required to take on insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. If this has happened to you in the Oklahoma City area, call the auto accident lawyers at the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm for a free case consultation and more information today.