Who is at fault if you have been rear-ended?
If you have been rear-ended, you may have suffered serious injuries. Just as with any car crash, a rear-end collision can be a traumatic experience. More than 6 million crashes happen across the country ever year, and according to traffic reports about 40 percent of them are rear-end collisions.
The formulation of negligence is used to determine fault for the crash, but in most cases, the driver who is in the car in the back is at fault for the crash. There are four elements of negligence, and if you can prove all four elements of negligence apply to the situation, then you can show that the other driver was at fault for the rear-end collision and you can succeed with your personal injury claim.
When a rear-end collision occurs, the impact is at the back of the vehicle, but a ripple effect sends it throughout the entire vehicle. Therefore, the car can suffer mechanical damages, such as transmission damage, as well as body damages.
Fault for a rear-end collision
There are some very rare situations in which the car in front could be at fault for the rear-end collision. This could involve the driver of the front vehicle reversing suddenly, a driver stopping suddenly to execute a turn then fails to turn, the brake lights on the front vehicle aren’t working, and the driver has a mechanical problem or a flat tire, and fails to get the car out of the roadway and doesn’t turn on the hazard lights. At any other time, the driver of the car in the back is to blame.
The elements of negligence
The first element is to prove that the other driver had a duty or a responsibility. All drivers have a responsibility or a duty. In this case, all drivers must pay attention to another vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes on the roadway. This means that they have a duty to maintain a proper lookout. Drivers should pay close attention to speed, so they can stop in time and avoid a collision. The first element of negligence is easily proven. The driver has a duty or a responsibility to others.
The next element is to show that duty was breached. The driver didn’t maintain proper lookout and he was driving too fast to get stopped in time. Next, is to show the third element of negligence, which involves showing that the breach of duty caused an accident. In this case, the driver didn’t maintain proper lookout and that caused his vehicle to rear-end yours.
Then the last, or the fourth element of negligence, is to prove damages. You must prove that the damages that you suffered are a direct result of the crash that was caused by the driver’s breach of duty. If your car wasn’t rear-ended, it wouldn’t have suffered damages and you wouldn’t have been hurt. Documentation is essential to your claim’s success, so keep copies of the accident report, statements from witnesses, and copies of any written repair estimates, medical bills, and photos of the accident scene and of the damages.
Pursuing a personal injury claim
If you have been in a rear-end collision that left you with damages, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who handles auto accident injury cases. With the help of an attorney, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages. Schedule your free case evaluation with the team at Harlan Law Firm today. Harlan Law has provided accident injury representation since 2006. Call (360) 735-8200 today!