Murrieta Rear-End Accident Lawyers
Rear-end collisions, where one car strikes the rear bumper of the car in front of it, are a common type of motor vehicle accident, accounting for nearly one third of all car accidents, and only sometimes do they result in injuries or extensive property damage. How serious the accident is depends on how fast the cars were going when they collided, among other factors. Rear-end collisions are also a leading cause of multi-vehicle pile-ups. Determining fault in a rear-end collision is usually more straightforward than in other kinds of collisions because it is obvious from the nature of the vehicle damage that one vehicle has struck another from behind. In some cases, though, you could still be entitled to recover damages for your accident-related losses if you were driving the car in the rear. Contact the car accident lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst in Murrieta, California if you have been injured in a rear-end collision or multi-vehicle pile-up.
Determining Fault in Rear-End Collisions
Basic traffic safety requires you to be aware of the car in front of you, and California law requires drivers to leave adequate braking distance and not to follow other drivers too closely; therefore, the default assumption is that a rear-end collision is the fault of the driver in the rear. Meanwhile, under certain circumstances, the insurance company might assign all or part of the fault for the accident to the driver in front, such as in the following situations:
- The driver in front shifted into reverse instead of drive because they were distracted or impaired
- The driver in front reversed after stopping too far forward at a red light and forgot to shift into drive when the light turned green
- The driver in front backed out of a driveway or parking space, failing to notice the oncoming car
- The driver in front did not use a turn signal when they intended to turn or change lanes, so the rear driver could not know that the front driver was going to slow down
- The front driver braked suddenly without good reason
- The brake lights on the car in front were not working, making it difficult for the rear driver to tell that the front driver had slowed
In accidents involving more than two cars, it is not your fault if another car rear-ended you and caused you to hit the car in front of you.
What to Do if the Rear-End Collision is Partially Your Fault
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if the accident is partially your fault, you can still recover damages in a car accident lawsuit. You can sue even if the accident was 99% your fault, but the share of fault you bear in the accident reduces the amount of money that a court can award you in a lawsuit.
The sooner you contact a car accident lawyer after an accident, the better; your lawyer may be able to help you get a good insurance settlement and avoid lawsuits. Contact the car accident lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst in Murrieta, California if you have been injured in a rear-end collision.