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Law Office of James M. Stanley Law Office of James M. Stanley
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Rear-End Collisions: Is the Driver in Back Always at Fault?


The impact of a rear-end collision can cause severe injury to each of the drivers involved. Often, this type of accident occurs because the person driving behind the other car is not paying attention, and doesn’t stop in time to avoid hitting the person in front of them. However, negligence on the behalf of the driver in front can contribute to a rear-end collision as well.

There is a perception among drivers that if they rear-end another driver, they will automatically be liable for the damages. Although this is often true, there are some circumstances in which the back driver can avoid liability, and the driver in front is found partially or fully responsible for a rear-end collision instead.

Unexpected Movements

All drivers have a responsibility to be aware of the other drivers around them. Sometimes, drivers do things unexpectedly that can take even the most aware driver off guard. Drivers also have a responsibility to provide other drivers with adequate warning of their own movements. A driver who causes a rear-end collision with their unexpected movements — such as reversing without warning, stopping abruptly, or failing to signal a turn — could be liable for the accident damages.

Maintenance Issues

Drivers are responsible for keeping their car in working order. In some cases, a vehicle malfunction can result in a rear-end collision. For example, a person who is driving behind someone with broken brake lights or turn signals could avoid liability for an accident because they could not have known the driver in front was turning or stopping. Or, a driver who is rear-ended could be liable if they are driving slowly or stopping frequently due to a maintenance issue, but do not turn on their hazard lights or move to the shoulder.

The Law Office of James M. Stanley is your go-to firm for all car accident cases. If you were injured in a collision, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Send us a message or call (817) 591-4222 to reach our legal team.
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