Can I be Found Liable if My Car is Rear-Ended in a Crash?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding car accidents in which clients are rear-ended involves liability in the accident. Can you be held liable for an accident if your vehicle was rear-ended by another driver? It’s a fair question, and it’s one we hear frequently. However, there is no solid black or white answer to this question. The general rule of thumb is the driver who rear-ends you is typically responsible for the accident, no matter why you stopped your own vehicle. The reason for this is a basic driving law. Drivers are required to leave enough space between them and the vehicle in front of them so there is always enough room to stop safely. Even if you slammed on your brakes to avoid hitting something in the road, the drive behind you is required to have left enough space between your car and their car no accident occurs.

When another driver rear-ends you, it speaks to the fact they were not driving as they should. They might have left enough space in front of them to slow down even if you slammed on your brakes, and they simply weren’t paying attention to the road. They could have been following too closely and were unable to stop quickly when you were forced to slam on your brakes. They could have faulty brakes and were simply unable to stop despite their best intentions. The reasons someone might rear-end you are endless, but the result is usually always the same. The person liable for the accident is usually the person in the back.

There are always exceptions to every rule. When a car accident occurs and you’re the driver of the car that’s been rear-ended, you can clearly see who is at fault. Your vehicle is damaged in the back, and someone else’s is damaged in the front. It leaves no room for speculation, which is the black and white answer to this question. Of course, there is a gray area. The gray area here shows up when there is a third car involved in this accident. If you were rear-ended by someone else while stopped and your car was pushed into the car in front of you, the third driver is still at fault.

The gray area occurs when the accident happens while driving. If you’re driving and you’re hit from behind and pushed into the car in front of you, it speaks to the fact you were also following too closely. This is when the law becomes a little less clear and another driver might dispute the fact that both accidents were his or her fault. The good news is the last driver is almost always the one responsible for the accident no matter how it occurred.

Lawsuits and personal injury claims are often filed in incidents such as this. When someone else is responsible for destroying your car and causing you injury in the process, you are entitled to compensation. Chances are good the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to offer you a settlement right away. This settlement is almost always too low, and it usually never takes into account all that might be an issue.

The insurance company wants to settle with you before you have a chance to see the doctor and discover any major or ongoing injuries. They want to offer you a sum so you take it, and the case is closed. You want to make certain you’re not being shorted in terms of compensation in a case like this, but it’s not always easy to know it’s happening. Many drivers who are injured in an accident by another driver don’t know they have ongoing health issues right away. Some injuries take a while to show up, and some people suffer post-traumatic stress following an accident. This could cause ongoing medical bills you never saw coming, and you don’t want to be responsible for paying for those the rest of your life when someone else is responsible.

Our attorneys work with you to reach a larger settlement to help cover the cost of your medical bills, job loss, loss of income, and more when you are injured in an accident in which someone else rear-ended you. These accidents are almost always someone else’s fault, and you don’t have to spend the rest of your life suffering because someone else was negligent. Let us help you find the compensation you deserve.

Need legal help? Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys and Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are available to help whenever, and wherever, you need it.