Rear-end collisions are the most common type of auto accident seen on California’s roads. In most cases, the second vehicle, or the vehicle that rear-ended the other, is to blame for the accident. The law assumes that motorists behind other vehicles should allow for enough space between them and the vehicle in front of them. As such, if the second vehicle does not provide that space, the law is likely to find that driver liable.
This is not always the case, though. In some instances rear-end collisions happen and the second motorists is not fully to blame. If you have been in a rear-end collision, even if you were driving the second vehicle, and believe you were not to blame, you need to speak to a California car accident lawyer right away.Negligence in a California Car Accident
When two motorists are in a car accident and one of the parties wishes to file a lawsuit, the courts will mainly consider which driver was negligent. Negligence is a legal concept that refers to when a person acts carelessly, or recklessly, with complete disregard for the safety of others on the road.
Determining negligence in a rear-end collision is often fairly easy. In fact, damage to the vehicles often tells the story on its own. One car has damage in the back of the car, indicating someone ran into it. The other car has damage in the front of the car, indicating that it ran into another vehicle. Looking at this evidence, it is easy to see how the second vehicle is to blame.
However, this is not always the case. There are times when the vehicle in front is at fault, and an experienced California rear-end collision accident lawyer will be able to determine when that is the case.Comparative Fault in Rear-End Collisions
In personal injury cases, the courts will determine fault. They will take into consideration all parties involved in the accident, and what part of the blame they share. Again, most people who are rear-ended or who rear-end someone else, assume that the second vehicle is to blame. This is not always the case, however.
For example, if the first vehicle had taillights that did not work, and the driver did nothing to correct the problem, the courts may consider this and determine that he or she shares part of the blame.
When this is the case, the courts will assign all parties who were to blame for the accident a percentage of fault. In California, this is known as comparative fault. If an injured party, such as the driver of the first vehicle, is awarded compensation but the court also finds that driver partly to blame for the accident, the courts will reduce that compensation by the same percentage of blame.
So, if the driver in the first vehicle is found to be 10% to blame for not fixing the broken taillights, any compensation he or she is awarded is reduced by 10%.Injured in a Rear-End Collision? Talk to a California Personal Injury Lawyer
It is natural for victims and negligent motorists alike to assume that when a driver rear-ends another, that driver automatically to blame. That is not always the case, though, and a California car accident lawyer can help determine who is really to blame.
If you were injured in a rear-end collision, regardless of whether you were the first or second driver, and you believe someone else was at fault, contact Willoughby Brod, LLP. We are the experienced California car accident attorneys who know how to hold the responsible party accountable. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation.