Who is at fault for a rear-end collision in California?

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As the name suggests, rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of the vehicle driving in front of them. In most rear-end car accidents, people typically assume the tailing driver is at fault for the accident. However, under certain circumstances, the driver that gets rear-ended, otherwise known as the lead driver, may be partially or fully at fault for a collision. In these types of accidents, determining who is responsible isn’t always straightforward. Keep reading to discover who may be responsible for rear-end collisions and learn how our seasoned Santa Clara County Car Accident Attorneys can help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve. 

Who may be liable for a rear-end collision in California?

In most cases, the tailing driver will almost always be partially at fault for a rear-end collision as they are required to abide by the rules of the road which includes maintaining a safe distance while following other vehicles on the road. If the tailing driver fails to adhere to the rules of the road or drives in an unsafe manner, they will be liable for any damages the lead driver suffers as a result of their negligence. Even so, there are some cases where the lead driver is at fault for a rear-end collision.

It is entirely possible for the driver of the car that gets rear-ended to be negligent. This is often the case when the lead driver’s brake lights are broken, they suddenly reverse, or they have a disabled vehicle but neglect to fully move to the side of the road. However, the lead driver is most commonly at fault when they suddenly slam their brakes without valid reasoning. This is known as brake checking. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to prove that the lead driver deliberately brake-checked you.

Therefore, following a rear-end collision, if you rear-ended someone who you believe break-checked you, you must contact a talented Santa Clara County car accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you locate witnesses and obtain surveillance footage to prove the driver that got rear-ended did not have a valid reason for suddenly breaking, making them negligent. This is critical as fault allocation plays a vital role in your ability to recover monetary compensation for your damages.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rear-end collision, contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady for quality legal representation. Our firm is prepared to work tirelessly to help you satisfy the burden of proof. This will maximize your chances of recovering monetary compensation for your losses stemming from the accident. Our determined team members are committed to helping our clients fight to achieve a just outcome.