Rear-end collisions are a common type of automobile accidents. It is common perception that a driver who collides with the car in front of him or her is the party at fault for the accident. It is accurate that maintaining control of your vehicle and remaining a safe distance from traffic ahead of you are key safety elements on the road. It is also accurate that it is a driver’s responsibility to be prepared to avoid a collision if the driver in front needs to come to an unexpected stop to avoid a hazard. Therefore, rear-end collisions in Bristol are widely attributed to the rear driver’s negligence.
Not all rear-end collisions are the rear driver's fault, however. It’s important to understand that the driver in the front can be found negligent, and therefore at fault.
I’ve been rear-ended. What should I do?
If you’ve been rear-ended in an accident in Bristol and feel you are not at fault, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in auto accidents to ensure you receive all compensation to which you are entitled. If you have any doubt about which party is responsible for the rear-end car accident, an attorney can assist you with obtaining police reports, contacting witnesses and researching important data to support your case.
There are several responsibilities that every driver has while operating a vehicle. Failure to meet any of those responsibilities can be identified as negligence. If a driver involved in a rear-end collision neglected any of the following duties, he or she may be found at fault and responsible for damages:
- Drivers must maintain a reasonable and legal speed at all times.
- Drivers must yield to other vehicles that have the legal right of way.
- Drivers must maintain control of their vehicles at all times.
- Drivers must signal turns within a safe amount of time.
- Drivers must be prepared and able to stop within a reasonable amount of time.
- Drivers must maintain a safe distance between their vehicles and other vehicles on the road.
I’ve rear-ended the car in front of me. Am I automatically at fault?
While there is a significant likelihood that you will be found at fault for the rear-end collision if you hit the vehicle in front of you, there are circumstances in which the driver of the front vehicle may have acted in a manner that contributed to the crash.
The following situations may determine fault for a rear-end collision:
- Did the front driver reverse suddenly on the road?
- Did the front driver experience a vehicular mechanical failure and neglect to use appropriate hazard lights or pull the vehicle off the road?
- Did the front driver have working brake lights?
- Did the front driver abruptly cut in front of you and slam on his or her brakes?
If you’ve been in a rear-end accident and you feel that any of these situations apply, contact an attorney and notify the appropriate authorities to ensure that you are not charged with 100 percent fault for the accident.
Can both drivers be responsible for the rear-end collision?
Pennsylvania observes comparative negligence rules. If both drivers are partially at fault for an accident, both drivers may recover damages minus their portion of fault. For example, if a person is 40 percent at fault for a rear-end collision, then he or she may recover only 60 percent of her damages. Drivers who are more than 50 percent at fault may not recover damages.
If You've Been Rear-Ended in an Accident, Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help
If you have been in a rear-end car accident, call an attorney at Cordisco & Saile LLC for legal representation. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.