How to Prove Fault in a Rear-End Car Crash
In a rear-end collision, the driver behind is almost always considered at fault. This is because a motorist has a duty to maintain a safe distance between vehicles so he or she can slow down or stop if the driver in front must do so suddenly. While occasionally neither driver can fully anticipate sudden changes, such as animals leaping into the road or a vehicle crashing into the lane from the opposite side, many motorists cause rear-end collisions due to distraction, tailgating, speeding, and other factors.
In a rear-end crash, even if you were in front, the other driver’s insurance company could claim that you were partially at fault for causing your accident. The claim could be legitimate if you reversed or merged suddenly or didn't have working brake lights. So you need to be prepared to strengthen your case by proving the other driver’s fault.
How to Prove Fault in a Rear-End Crash
It may not be one big piece of evidence but rather a number of factors that determine the driver who hit you is fully responsible. Some helpful information may include:
- Speed and position of the vehicles. The speed and position of the vehicles reveal how the accident occurred and who caused it. You may need an accident reconstruction expert to use this information and other evidence to create a reenactment of the crash.
- Citations. If the other driver was issued a citation, this will be powerful evidence of his fault in causing your accident that will be hard for him to refute.
- Witness statements. Your attorney may want to interview witnesses on the scene and obtain their statements. Third-party neutral witnesses can be extremely helpful in corroborating how you claim the collision occurred.
- Pictures and videos. Pictures and videos of the damage to the vehicles, the accident scene, your injuries, and more can help establish why the other driver was at fault.
- Physical evidence. Physical evidence, such as skid marks, show how fast a vehicle was going and where it stopped. If you contact your attorney right after your crash, he may have an investigator visit the scene to try to collect this type of information.
- Police report. A police report has contact information, witness statements, and the other driver’s statement. It should also contain the police officer’s observations and conclusions regarding the cause of the accident and whether any citations were issued.
Were you or a loved one injured in a rear-end collision? Call our office to schedule your free consultation.