Traffic Accidents FAQ
Can I be found liable if my car is rear-ended in a crash?
3. Can I be found liable if my car is rear-ended in a crash?
If someone hits you from behind, the accident is virtually always that driver's fault, regardless of the reason you stopped. A basic rule of the road requires that a driver be able to stop safely if a vehicle stops ahead of the driver. If the driver cannot stop, he is not driving as safely as the person in front of him.
The other surefire part of rear-end accident claims is that the vehicle damage proves how the accident happened. If the other car's front end and your car's rear end are both damaged, there can be no doubt that you were struck from the rear.
In some situations, both you and the car behind you will be hit when a third car runs into the car behind you and pushes it into the rear of your car. In that case, it is the driver of the third car who is at fault and against whose liability insurance you would file a claim. For a step-by-step guide to protecting your legal rights after an accident, see How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Joseph Matthews (Nolo).