Rear End Auto Accident Stock Photo

How Liability is Determined in a Rear-End Collision in New Jersey

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Rear ended auto accident involving two cars on a city street

There are literally hundreds of ways you can get into a car accident. Fender benders, head-on collisions, T-bones, and yes, getting rear-ended. In fact, rear-end accidents are some of the most common forms of auto accident and their severity can range from no damage to deadly.

When people are in a rear-end accident they usually assume the driver from behind was directly responsible, but is this the case? Learn about the various circumstances that can result in a rear-end car accident, when the rear driver may not be responsible, and how a car accident lawyer can help.

Negligence and the Car Accident

Determining who is responsible for a car accident generally hinges upon the concept of negligence. Negligence means that someone involved in an incident behaved in a way that does not live up to the way a reasonable and responsible person would have, and that resulted in accident or injury.

While on the road, everyone has a duty of care to other drivers. This means you are responsible for behaving in a way that doesn’t put other people on the road in danger. Part of this responsibility includes maintaining control of your vehicle at all times, and that is why in general, a driver approaching another from the rear is often held responsible for an accident.

Vehicle Control

Part of maintaining control of your vehicle includes the ability to stop in time to avoid hazards on the road. This means giving yourself plenty of room between your vehicle and a vehicle in front of you, to react to sudden stops and to bring your vehicle to a halt before it strikes them. If you cannot do so, the law generally holds you responsible for not giving yourself the room and control you need.

When the Front Car is Negligent

Despite the fact that in general the law and courts in an auto injury case will hold the rear driver responsible, there are certainly times when the car in front can be held negligent and as such, at least partially responsible for the accident.

These situations are varied and individual, but can include such incidents as the car in front suddenly reversing; the front driver suddenly stopping for no clear reason; the front vehicle’s brake lights are not functioning; a vehicle stopping to address mechanical problems but failing to pull over or engage their flashers to alert other vehicles.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer

In incidents like these, the vehicle in the front will likely be held at least partially negligent for an accident. Whether it’s enough to shift responsibility for damages awarded is up to the courts. This is why if you’re involved in a case like this, you need the services of a qualified car accident lawyer.

A car accident attorney knows the ins and outs of injury law, and how to both research and present evidence showing that you may not have been responsible for the incident. When you are involved in a car accident and someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to significant compensation for the damages you suffer, but only if you have the right representation. If this has happened to you, contact the law offices of Peter N. Davis & Associates, LLC for a free consultation and more information today.