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Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision

Posted in Car Accidents on May 25, 2021

A rear-end collision is a common type of car accident in San Antonio. It describes the front of one vehicle striking the rear-end of another vehicle. A rear-end collision can be a low-speed crash, such as in congested traffic, or a high-speed crash, such as in a distracted or drowsy driving accident. Although most people assume the rear driver is to blame for a rear-end collision, fault is not automatic. It may take an in-depth investigation to determine fault.

Typical Rear-End Collision

A typical rear-end collision describes a crash involving only two vehicles: the rear driver (Driver B) and the front driver (Driver A). In this type of crash, Driver B is often – but not always – to blame. All drivers have a responsibility to keep a proper lookout and maintain a safe following distance. Following too closely (tailgating) or failing to pay attention to the road could lead to Driver B striking the rear of Driver A’s vehicle. In this scenario, Driver B will most likely be liable for the damage.

Brake Check Accident

There are situations in which Driver A, the front driver, could be responsible for a rear-end collision in Texas. If the front driver caused or contributed to the crash by brake checking, for example, he or she could be at fault. Brake checking means to slam abruptly on the brakes without reason. If brake checking causes a rear-end car accident, Driver A could be liable. Driver A could also bear liability for a rear-end collision if he or she had a brake light or taillight out and this contributed to the crash. Lack of proper vehicle maintenance could cause a crash by failing to warn Driver B that Driver A is stopping. Although it is still Driver B’s responsibility to keep a proper lookout and hit the brakes before impact, Driver A could absorb partial liability if a broken taillight contributed to the wreck. Finally, Driver A could be responsible for a rear-end car accident caused by a sudden or unsafe lane change. Lane-change accidents are some of the most common types of vehicle collisions in Texas. If Driver A abruptly cuts off Driver B with a dangerous lane change and Driver B could not stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision, Driver A could be liable.

Chain-Reaction Crash

A chain-reaction crash is a collision involving more than two cars. It describes a chain of multiple rear-end collisions: Driver C => Driver B => Driver A. It can be more difficult to determine fault for a chain-reaction accident, as there are more than two drivers involved. In general, the driver who initiated the chain-reaction accident with the first rear-end collision will be responsible for the crash. Without this driver’s mistake, the subsequent rear-end accidents would not have occurred. In the example above, the liable driver would most likely be Driver C, if Driver C struck Driver B, who was then pushed into Driver A. Other drivers may also bear liability, however, depending on the circumstances.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?

A car accident attorney will have experience handling many different types of rear-end collision cases in San Antonio. This will give the attorney knowledge and information about how and why these car accidents take place. An attorney will also have the resources to thoroughly investigate the crash and reconstruct it to determine fault. Finally, an attorney can help you prove another driver’s liability for a rear-end collision in San Antonio through evidence such as expert testimony and eyewitness statements. For more information about how a car accident lawyer can help you with a rear-end collision case, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert today.