The other driver cannot “find” you at fault no matter what the circumstances of the accident were, as the judgment of fault is not his or hers (or yours) to make. However, the other driver can allege that you were at fault, or that you at least shared in it. Even if his or her allegation is spurious, it can make it harder to recover damages for your property damage or bodily injuries.
For exactly that reason, you should speak with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, particularly if you believe the other driver was at fault in the crash. You can speak with the attorneys at the Law Offices at Anidjar & Levine for help with your rear-end collision accident today.
How Might the Driver who Rear-Ended Me Claim that I Was at Fault?
Common wisdom says the back driver is always at fault in a rear-end collision. Perhaps you learned this in a driver’s ed or traffic safety class when getting your license. And while the back driver is liable for a rear-end collision most of the time, as with most things in life, it is not absolute.
The driver who rear-ended you might claim several things to suggest that you shared in the fault for the accident, such as:
You Made a Sudden and Unnecessary Stop
If the front driver stops, and the back driver reacts too slowly and runs into the front car from behind, authorities usually cite the back driver for following too closely and assign him or her fault for the crash.
But there is some gray area. The back driver might claim that you stopped suddenly and unnecessarily, resulting in a rear-end collision despite him or her keeping a safe following distance and paying attention to the road.
So, what criteria determine a sudden and unnecessary stop? That is the problem. No definitive criteria exist; it is your word against the other driver’s.
You can work with a lawyer who can gather and present evidence that you were in the right and the other driver was in the wrong.
You Made an Improper Lane Change
Another common claim from the back driver in a rear-end collision is that the front driver was only in front of him or her because the front driver made a sudden lane change, cutting him or her off and then hitting the brakes.
If the back driver can convince the police or the insurance companies of this, you might end up shouldering as much as 100 percent of the blame for the crash. Your attorney can gather evidence to fight such a claim.
Your Vehicle had Defective Equipment
If the wreck occurred at night, and your vehicle featured defective tail lights or brake lights, the other driver could argue that it is unreasonable to expect him or her to have stopped in time. He or she could say the accident would not have happened if your lights had been in working order because he or she would have seen you slowing to a stop.
Your Car Accident Attorney Can Gather Evidence to Refute the Other Driver’s Statements
How can you stop the other driver from deflecting the liability to you in a rear-end collision? You can work with a car accident attorney to build a strong case backed by thorough and compelling evidence. This evidence includes:
If the police report lists the other driver as the at-fault party, it will be tough for him or her to claim that your actions caused or contributed to the crash. Police reports can be objective sources of documentation, containing important details about the accident, the parties involved, and more. Also, having a record of promptly calling for the police can be helpful when pursuing compensation from the other party.
If necessary, your lawyer might work with accident reconstruction experts to demonstrate how you were driving safely when the collision occurred and how the other driver’s carelessness was the cause of the accident. An accident reconstructionist makes observations about the accident scene that could get by someone with an untrained eye.
If there were witnesses to the crash, your attorney can contact them, interview them, and gather statements about what they saw. These witness statements may back up your assertion that the other driver rear-ended you. A timely account from witnesses is ideal because the accident is still fresh in their minds, so the details likely would be, too. You also have a better chance of reaching them afterward. Witnesses can forget details over time, and some may move away as time passes.
Photo and Video Evidence
Photo and video evidence can be especially powerful in a car accident case involving a rear-end collision. Perhaps a bystander was filming on his or her phone when the accident happened, or a surveillance camera from a nearby business captured the wreck. If such evidence exists, an attorney can find it and use it to prove your case. In the case of using a surveillance camera as evidence, we would need to prove that the footage is relevant to your accident.
Seeking a Car Accident Attorney? Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
If you would like a free consultation with a car accident attorney, please call the team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at (954) 525-0050. During your consultation, we can review the circumstances of your rear end accident, learn more details about what happened, and offer counsel on what we think is your next step.
We work on a contingency agreement, so there is no upfront cost for our services. If you don’t win, we don’t get paid. Our payment arrangement lowers the barrier many allow to deter them from seeking legal services that could help their case. We look forward to putting our resources to work for you.
We Can Help.