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, and 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 car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, particularly if you believe that the other driver was at fault in the crash. Call the attorneys at Anidjar & Levine for help with your rear-end collision accident today at 800-747-3733.
How Might the Driver Who Rear-Ended Me Claim That I Was at Fault?
Common wisdom says that 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 indeed liable for a rear-end collision most of the time, like most things in life, it is not an 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 unecessarily, 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.
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 that 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?
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.
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.
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 simply rear-ended you.
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 happened to be filming on his or her phone when the accident happened, or maybe a surveillance camera from a nearby business captured the wreck. If such evidence exists, an attorney can find it and use it to prove his or her case.
Seeking a Top Car Accident Attorney? Call The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine
For a free consultation with a car accident attorney, call the team at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733. We look forward to putting our resources to work for you.