Rear-end accidents are some of the most common accidents in the state of Missouri and throughout the United States. If you’ve been involved in one of these accidents, you might find yourself wondering who’s at fault. Is the first driver at fault for stopping suddenly, or is the second driver at fault for hitting the vehicle in front of them?
How do you determine fault in a rear-end collision?
In most rear-end accidents, the person who hit the vehicle in front of them is liable for the accident. Even if the driver in front of them hit their brakes unexpectedly, the other driver could have theoretically avoided the accident by practicing defensive driving techniques. Ultimately, drivers have a responsibility to protect everyone else on the road.
However, that doesn’t mean that both drivers can’t be held liable for the accident. The first driver might be held liable if they did something unreasonable, like slamming on their brakes in the middle of the highway or not using their turn signals correctly. If your vehicle is hit by another driver and a judge determines that you were partially at fault, you might be limited in the amount of compensation that you can receive.
In comparative fault cases, your compensation might be reduced by a certain percentage. For example, if a judge determines that you were 30% at fault for the accident, you’ll only receive 70% of the compensation that you would have received otherwise. You might not be eligible for compensation at all if the judge determines that you were more at fault than the other driver.
How might you secure compensation after an accident?
It can be difficult to determine fault after an accident, especially if you were involved in a rear-end collision. Your personal injury attorney may help you determine fault and provide guidance about the next steps.
Once you’ve established that the other driver is at fault, you have two options: filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or taking the issue to court. You might have to file a lawsuit if the other driver wasn’t carrying car insurance.