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How Do You Determine Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Accident?

Tips to Keep in Mind to Prevent a West Virginia Car Accident

Posted on November 10, 2018

You were driving in traffic and, all of a sudden, somebody forcefully impacts your vehicle from behind. Being involved in any type of accident can be a life-changing experience. Many people think that being involved in a rear-end accident is just your simple fender-bender but this is not always the case. These accidents have the ability to be very serious in nature. Who is at fault when you have been involved in a rear-end accident and where do you start when it comes to determining liability?

Understanding the Concept of Negligence in Car Accident Cases 

Negligence occurs when somebody is not abiding by the standard duty of care when a car accident occurs. You as the plaintiff, who has been injured due to the accident and the actions of the other driver, will have to show that a duty existed to you on the roads and that this person breached their duty. An example of this includes the following examples:

  • The driver behind you keeps taking their eyes off the road to send text messages.
  • They are failing to drive at a reasonable speed.
  • They did not yield the right-of-way.
  • The person was not following you at a safe distance.

If you are able to show that the other driver breached their duty of care to you, in any accident, you will be able to prove that they were negligent in the event of your accident. This is even true for rear-end accidents, where many aspects seem cut-and-dry. In fact, many people are under the impression that the driver in the back in a rear-end accident is always at fault. In almost all of these cases, police will blame the accident on the driver who was following too closely behind another vehicle and caused one of these accidents. There are very few examples of times when a rear-end accident is the fault of the driver in front, though it does happen:

  • When a driver reverses very suddenly
  • When a driver suddenly stops and fails to execute a turn
  • When a driver’s brake lights don’t function
  • When a driver does not put on hazard lights even though they got a flat tire

How the Police Report Can Help 

How Do You Determine Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Accident? If the police arrived at the scene of your accident, they might have written what is known as the police report, which can be one of the most helpful aspects in your accident case when it comes to receiving the compensation you deserve. A police report is extremely helpful to your case because it will usually contain the officer’s opinion on who is at fault for the accident. In the case of rear-end accidents, they will almost always find that the party who struck you from behind is responsible for the accident. Any mention of this in the police report can help you.

Some other aspects that you want to show include aspects like witness statements, photographs of the damage your vehicle has obtained, knowledge of traffic in the area at the time, and many other factors that can show who is liable and how you came to that conclusion. The more evidence, the better off you will be showing why you should receive compensation you deserve. 

At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, we want you to know that our dedicated and experienced attorneys are on your side as you work toward receiving results that you deserve during this ultimately difficult and complicated time. Being involved in an accident is no walk in the park, which is why you need somebody to stand up for you and protect your rights when you know that negligence has caused your injuries. Call us for more information on how we can help you at 304-431-4050. We are waiting to hear from you.

Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC is located in Princeton and Charleston, WV and serves clients in and around such cities as well as southern West Virginia including but not limited to the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Monroe, Kanawha and Wyoming.

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