Who is Liable for a Rear-End Collision?
Traffic crashes happen in a variety of ways, but rear-end collisions happen frequently. If you are injured in a rear-end accident because the other motorist was reckless or negligent, arrange immediately to discuss your legal options and rights with a Pasadena traffic accident attorney.
In any vehicle collision in this state, if a driver’s negligence causes another person’s injury, the injury victim is entitled by California law to compensation for his or her medical expenses, lost earnings, suffering, personal pain, and other damages or losses.
In rear-end collisions, it is usually assumed that the driver in the rear vehicle was the driver at fault, but in some cases, the other driver may have been fully or partially responsible for the collision. How is liability for a rear-end accident determined?
Can the Driver in Front Be Liable for a Rear-End Crash?
Every motorist in California must follow other vehicles at a safe distance and must be able to stop his or her vehicle. If you’ve done much driving, however, you know that a driver in front of you can abruptly slow down or stop for a number of reasons – or even for no apparent reason.
Thus, any California driver who rolls or slams into another vehicle’s rear end will usually be deemed liable for a rear-end collision. However, in some cases, the driver in the front vehicle may also be deemed at least partially liable. These include but are not limited to cases where:
– The front vehicle’s taillights or brake lights were not working.
– The front vehicle had a flat tire, but the driver did not pull over or use hazard lights.
– The front vehicle driver slowed or stopped as if making a turn but did not turn.
– The front vehicle driver was tapping the brakes because the rear driver was tailgating.
How Will an Accident Attorney Help You?
Nevertheless, if you were driving the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision, you may find it difficult to prove that the other driver had any fault for the accident. If you were injured in the accident, let a Pasadena traffic accident lawyer represent you and advise you regarding your rights.
To learn exactly what happened and who was responsible for a rear-end crash, your lawyer will scrutinize:
– any photographs or video recordings of the accident
– the written police accident report
– your medical records
– any eyewitness statements
When Should You Reach Out to an Accident Attorney?
Injuries suffered in a rear-end collision may not be obvious immediately, so after a rear-end crash – even if you feel perfectly healthy – you should have an immediate medical examination, within twenty-four hours if it’s possible.
If you suffer a latent or difficult-to-detect injury, and if you do not seek a medical exam as quickly as possible, you may not be able to link your injury directly to the rear-end accident. If you and your attorney cannot establish that link, you will not recover any compensation.
Hard-to-detect and latent injuries can quickly (and sometimes slowly) emerge as serious medical conditions, so a prompt medical exam protects you both medically and legally. If a doctor confirms that you’ve been injured, you should contact a Pasadena traffic accident lawyer at once.
What Should You Say to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
If you are injured in a rear-end accident in Southern California, until you have had an opportunity to discuss your case with a Pasadena traffic accident attorney:
– Do not admit to or confess any fault.
– Do not sign any automobile insurance documents.
– Don’t accept the first settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company.
In fact, if you have been injured in a rear-end collision, do not make any statement whatsoever to the other driver’s auto insurance company. Refer all such inquiries to your attorney’s office.
How Will Your Case Be Handled?
If you’ve been injured, let your lawyer do all of the negotiating and talking on your behalf. Especially if you were injured in a low-speed rear-end collision, the other driver’s insurance company may offer you an amount considerably below the actual value of your injury claim.
Do not take any offer for less than your claim is worth, and discuss any settlement offer with your lawyer before you accept it. Your lawyer will negotiate for a reasonable and fair settlement, but if it becomes necessary, your lawyer will fight in court to recover your compensation.
While most rear-end accident claims are settled out of court, if liability for the accident is in dispute, or if no acceptable settlement offer is forthcoming, your attorney will take your case to court, tell a jury how the accident happened, and explain to the jurors why you should be compensated.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The law in California establishes a two-year statute of limitations deadline for personal injury lawsuits arising from traffic accidents, but an injury victim should not wait two years and then try to file a lawsuit at the last minute.
Your attorney will need to review the evidence before it disappears or deteriorates and speak to any witnesses before their memories start to fade. You should reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately after you’ve been treated and examined for your injury or injuries.
However, if you have missed the two-year statute of limitations deadline, it’s possible that your case may qualify as an exception. A Southern California personal injury attorney can determine if your case qualifies as an exception to the two-year filing deadline.
Why Should You Choose Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell?
If you are injured by a negligent driver in a rear-end collision, the award-winning personal injury lawyers at Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell will represent you on a contingent fee basis. You will pay no lawyer’s fee upfront and no fee until we recover the compensation you need.
You may face some challenges if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, but Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell can help you move positively into the future. We have over four decades of experience representing and fighting successfully for the injured victims of negligent drivers.
You deserve to be compensated if you have been injured by a negligent driver in a rear-end collision. Recovering your compensation begins by calling Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell at our Pasadena law offices – at 626-208-9906 – and scheduling your free first legal consultation.