Rear-end collisions, or “fender benders,” are some of the most common car accidents. These crashes range from minor damage to expensive car repairs and medical bills. No matter how careful you are, there is still the risk of another driver being careless and hitting your car from behind. Determining liability for a rear-end accident requires identifying the cause of the accident and all parties involved. People assume the driver in the rear car is at fault, and usually, they are. But, this isn’t always the case, and these collisions may take longer to investigate. Let’s go over how liability is determined in a rear-end accident.
When the Rear Driver is at Fault
No matter the type of accident, automatic liability is rarely assigned without an investigation. Although rear driver negligence is more likely, an analysis is always performed to determine who was indeed responsible. Some of the most common reasons why rear drivers are the negligent party in rear-end accidents are:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Failure to keep a safe distance
- Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone
- Failing to maintain their vehicle due to faulty tires or brakes
These are all reasons the rear driver may be at fault, but the front driver may still share some liability even if the rear driver was negligent.
When the Front Driver is at Fault
The front vehicle in a rear-end crash can be at least partially responsible. The main reason why a lead driver may be held liable is because of an unsafe lane change or negligent driving. If a driver changes lanes directly in front of an oncoming vehicle, that driver could be held legally responsible for the resulting rear-end accident. This type of accident is still considered a fender-bender, but the front driver created the safety hazard.
The state of Maryland also follows the contributory negligence law. Contributory negligence means if someone contributed to an accident, even slightly, they could not recover any damages from the other party. If both drivers were negligent, they are both at fault under Maryland law and must recover from their respective insurance companies. In many cases, however, one driver is solely responsible for a rear-end accident. In Maryland, drivers must always keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of them. A driver that tailgates the vehicle in front of them and rear-ends that car is liable for the accident if the other driver was following traffic laws and not driving negligently.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, or call us at 410-843-3476, for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.