When The Lead Driver Is Liable in a Rear-End Collision
Many myths about the law circulate through the public, but such misconceptions can lead to mistakes that result in an injury victim compromising their legal rights. The claim is that the driver in the rear car is always fully liable for slamming into the rear of another vehicle. Although the rear driver will be responsible most of the time, there are situations where another party, such as the lead driver, could be liable to some degree for the accident.
The myth that a motorist who rear-ends another driver is always liable is based on a general truth, but important exceptions exist. We have provided a couple of examples for illustrative purposes, but they are not the only exceptions that could shift liability in a rear-impact crash. For example, a motorist who backed up into another driver could be responsible for backing up when it was not safe to do so. If a car’s brake lights are out, the rear car’s insurance carrier also could attempt to shift some or part of the liability to the lead driver.
..."If you have been hit from behind while stopped for traffic or at a red light, you should speak to an experienced car accident lawyer to learn about your rights and the best way to preserve the value of your claim."
Although the lead driver will usually not be liable for a rear-end collision, these exceptions should influence your behavior when you are hit from behind. The last thing you should do is jump out of your car and say something like, “I am so sorry this happened.” This type of statement could be twisted by a creative insurance company representative to sound like an admission of guilt. Securing the identity and contact information of witnesses can also be important to fend off these types of defense strategies.
Sometimes people assume that liability is a “slam dunk” issue in rear-enders, so they are less cautious when communicating with the other party’s insurance company. Insurers often use such claims to shift a portion of the financial responsibility to the lead driver. While this will only reduce the amount of any compensation rather than result in a complete bar to any recovery, the impact of such a defense will depend on the facts and the jurisdiction’s comparative fault laws. In some jurisdictions, shifting a certain percentage of fault (49-51 percent depending on the state) can extinguish an injury victim’s right to compensation. In most cases, the injury victim’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.
If you have been hit from behind while stopped for traffic or at a red light, you should speak to an experienced car accident lawyer to learn about your rights and the best way to preserve the value of your claim. All insurance claims settlements and lawsuits based on car accident injuries must be pursued within certain strict time limits, so you should seek legal advice as early as practical.
Speak to Our Dedicated Rear-End Collision Lawyers and Receive Your Free Consultation Today
Fuentes Berrio Schutt represents injury and accidental death victims throughout Florida. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys are ready to answer your questions and meet with you anywhere in Palm Beach County and Broward County, and especially the cities of Deerfield Beach, Lake Worth, Pompano, Hillsboro, and Highland Beach. We are also ready to answer your balcony accident or wrongful death claim questions. Call us 24/7 at 954-752-1110 for your free case review and consultation. Nosotros hablamos español.
Fuentes Berrio Schutt
709 E Hillsboro Blvd
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Hours: Open 24 hours
Car Accident Lawsuit Attorneys in Deerfield, FL
8W94+F8 Deerfield Beach, Florida