Who Is At Fault For A Rear-End Car Accident?
Rear-end car accidents are some of the most common types of collisions on the road. However, that does not mean they are minor events. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 3,000 rear-end accidents caused fatalities in 2020. A rear-end accident occurs when one driver slams into the back of another vehicle. In most instances, the rear driver who struck another vehicle is found liable for these accidents. However, there are times when the driver who was struck is also found partly to blame. Below, our Knoxville auto accident attorney explains further.
When the Rear Driver is Liable
All drivers in Tennessee are expected to maintain a safe following distance from any driver in front of them, and to remain aware of the traffic situation. When a driver is not paying proper attention or they do not maintain a safe distance, it can easily result in a rear-end accident. The most common cause of rear-end accidents is tailgating, or when one driver does not leave enough room between them and the vehicle in front of them. When a driver tailgates, they do not have the time or distance necessary to safely slow down or stop.
Distracted driving is another common cause of rear-end accidents. When many people think of distracted driving, they first envision texting while driving. Although this is very dangerous driving behavior, any action that causes a driver to take their hands off of the wheel, their eyes off of their surroundings, or their focus from the road is a distraction. Eating, drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio and other in-vehicle systems are just a few of the most common types of distracted driving.
When the Front Driver is Liable
It is rarer for the front driver who was struck to be found liable for a rear-end accident, but there are times when it does occur. For example, a driver may notice that another motorist is following them too closely and tap on their brakes as a warning signal. If this resulted in the front driver being hit, they may be found partly liable for an accident.
Drivers often have to reverse out of certain spaces, such as parking spots, alleyways, and driveways. If a driver is reversing their vehicle and hits another car behind them, they would also likely be found partly liable for the accident. Lastly, all motorists are required to equip their vehicles with working brake lights and to maintain them. If a vehicle did not have proper working brake lights and that contributed to a rear-end accident, the driver could be found at least partly at fault.
Our Auto Accident Attorney in Tennessee Can Determine Liability
If you have been hurt in a rear-end accident, your case may not be as straightforward as it may seem at first. At Atkins Brezina, PLLC , our Tennessee auto accident attorney can review the facts of your case to determine who was liable, and hold them accountable for paying the full and fair damages you deserve. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.