by Dallas Car Accident Injury Attorney, Tim O’Hare
Did you know rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the U.S.? According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29 percent of all auto accidents resulting in substantial injuries and fatalities each year are rear-end collisions.
It is a widely-held belief that if you hit another driver from behind, you are always at fault due to basic rules of the road, such as not following too closely, paying attention to the road and not driving recklessly. But is it ever possible that the driver in front in a rear-end collision is at fault?
Who is at fault in a rear-end accident isn’t always 100% clear, and you may be surprised that fault doesn’t always lie with the rear vehicle. A jury may find that the vehicle in front was at fault, or they may distribute fault between both the front and rear drivers. In some cases, a jury may decide it was a no-fault accident.
In cases where fault is distributed between the two drivers, even if you were injured, if you were “more” at fault (51 percent or more of the fault is on your shoulders), you are not able to recover any damages from the other driver.
If you rear-end someone in an accident, it can be difficult to prove that the other driver was at fault, but it is not impossible. In Texas, a “comparative negligence state,” you must be able to prove the other driver was negligent in order to win a claim against them. In other words, you must prove the other driver did something reckless or careless, such as pulling out in front of you and then slamming on their brakes.
This “rule of thumb” is also why, more often than not, the tailing vehicle is found to be at fault. It can be difficult to prove the rear driver was not following too closely, therefore not leaving enough room to stop if needed.
Here are some examples of rear-end collisions where the driver in front may be found to be at fault:
- A car pulls out into traffic, misjudging the distance between oncoming traffic and is hit from behind. Drivers pulling out of a parking lot or driveway must always yield right-of-way to drivers on the road.
- The front car suddenly slams on the brakes for no reason. These cases are rare and it can still be difficult to prove the driver in the rear was not following too closely.
- The car in front changes lanes and suddenly hits their brakes, causing a rear-end collision. Again, these arguments can be difficult to prove.
If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to recover damages from the other driver for your injuries and lost property. Even if you were the driver in the rear, if the other driver cut you off or pulled out in front of you, you could win your claim.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Dallas who is experienced at proving fault in rear-end accidents in Texas. Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas car accident attorney today.
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