Rear-end car accidents are one of the most prevalent forms of two-car collisions and can cause serious injuries. Whiplash is the most common injury due to the nature of the accident, but concussions, spinal injuries and other head and neck injuries may also occur. It’s often assumed the driver of the car in the rear who hits the car ahead of them is to blame for rear-end car accidents, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re the rear driver, you could have serious legal repercussions. If you’re the driver in the lead, you may have to fight for compensation, and an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices can help you navigate the legal system.
Legal Repercussions Of Rear-End Accidents
In rear-end car accidents, the driver in the rear who hits the car in front of them is frequently found at fault for the collision. If you’re the rear driver, you may face legal repercussions, especially if it’s proved you were at fault and the other driver was injured. According to Pennsylvania law, you have a responsibility to maintain a safe and reasonable distance behind other drivers based on traffic, road and weather conditions. However, rear-end collisions occur due to numerous factors, including:
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Following too closely
If you were the driver in the rear, you can count on the other driver’s insurance company trying to blame you for one of these or similar reasons. However, there are exceptions to rear drivers being at fault, which may include:
- Multi-collision accidents
- Abrupt stopping by the front driver
- Faulty brake lights on the front vehicle
- Mechanical malfunction on your vehicle, such as faulty brakes
- Front driver merging in front of you suddenly from an adjacent lane or an on-ramp
Degree Of Fault In Pennsylvania
Even if it’s determined you’re at fault as the rear driver, if the driver in front did something to contribute to the accident, it may be determined they were partially at fault. Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence 51 percent bar rule, which means if either driver is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, they’re barred from recovering compensation for damages. The degree of fault assigned to you and the other driver determines how much you’re able to recover. For example, if you’re found to be 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can seek 70 percent in damages from the other driver.
Hire A Top Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision, hire an experienced car accident attorney from Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We’re experienced at negotiating with insurance company representatives to establish responsibility, and we aren’t afraid to take the case to court if it can’t be settled. Contact us at 610-867-2900 for a free consultation today.