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Are You Always At Fault If You Rear-End Someone?

When it comes to car accidents, there’s an almost infinite number of situations and varieties that come into play. There are fender-benders, head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, flip and roll scenarios and hundreds more. One of the most common forms of accident on the roads is the rear-end collision.

Usually, when this happens there’s an automatic assumption that the driver in the rear is responsible for the accident, but is this always the case? Learn about rear-end accidents, why the rear driver is usually held at fault, the situations where this may not be the case, and how a car accident lawyer can help.


When two cars collide, negligence is the determining factor when seeking compensation. Negligence, put simply, is egregious irresponsibility. It means that whatever a person was doing or not doing, it runs counter to the actions of a reasonable person in the same situation.

In a car accident, people who drive too fast for road conditions, who don’t leave enough room to stop, who drive in such a way as to put others at risk are negligent. If this negligence results in an accident with damage and injury, the victim is entitled to compensation.


One of the primary assumptions when you’re behind the wheel of a car is that you are able to maintain control of your vehicle at all times. This includes giving yourself enough time to stop without striking the car in front of you. This is why, usually, when there’s a rear-end accident, the car in the rear is held responsible. The assumption is that the driver didn’t leave enough space or time to bring their car under control, and that’s why the accident resulted.


There are, however, certain specific situations when the front driver may be held negligent and responsible for the accident. It’s impossible to list a set of circumstances that apply across the board, as these kinds of situations are very individual, but a few examples include:

– A vehicle suddenly stops without warning or cause;

– The front vehicle’s brake lights are not functioning to signal a stop;

– A car experiences mechanical difficulties, a flat tire or the like and fails to use their hazard lights or pull over to the side of the road;

– A car signals as though they are going to turn, but then stops in the intersection and fails to complete the turn.

In these situations, it can be argued that it was in fact the lead driver who was acting irresponsibly and is negligent and as such, at fault for the accident. However, proving such negligence can be very tricky.


When you’re involved in a car accident, if you think the other driver was at fault or negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries. Getting compensated, however, requires experienced representation from a competent and qualified car accident lawyer. Only an attorney can prove negligence and make sure that you get both justice and the compensation to which you’re entitled under the law.