You were traveling down the road when without warning, the car in front of you stops suddenly and you rear-end them. In most cases, yes, you are at fault for the crash. You should be traveling at a safe speed and maintain enough distance between you and the other vehicle to prevent such an accident from happening.
Sometimes sudden stops are necessary because of road hazards or because of vehicles, pedestrians, or animals entering the roadway. Some sudden stops cannot be avoided and occur to prevent another crash.
Sharing Liability For The Crash
In some rare instances, the driver of the front vehicle might share liability for the rear-end collision. If the driver stopped suddenly to make a turn then fails to make the turn or changes his or her mind, if the vehicle’s brake lights do not work properly, or if a driver reverses suddenly, then the vehicle in front has some liability for damages.
Another example would be if a vehicle had a mechanical issue or a flat tire and the driver failed to turn on the hazard lights or move the car to the side of the road. The liability in these situations often fall on how your state addresses accidents where more than one driver would be to blame for what happened.
If you are in a state that uses comparative negligence for auto accidents, the driver of one vehicle cannot recover damages from the other driver if he was determined to be at any percentage of fault for the crash. For example, if the driver of the car in front was 5% at fault, and the driver of the back car was 95% to blame, the driver of the front car could not recover any damages because his or her actions contributed to the crash.
States that use comparative negligence allocates fault for the accident. There are two kinds of comparative negligence that might be used. If the state uses pure comparative negligence, liability is split according to each driver’s percentage of fault.
If modified comparative negligence is used, damages are split according to fault up to a specific pre-set level. Usually, that cut-off limit is 50%. So, if both drivers are 50% at fault, they can recover damages from one another. However, if a driver is 51% at fault, he or she cannot recover damages from the other driver.
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision where the car in front of you stopped suddenly, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. These kinds of accident injury claims can be complicated, so you need a lawyer aggressively pursuing your claim.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to have your details shared with an attorney in your area. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you have nothing to lose.