Are “follow” drivers always at fault for rear-end crashes?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Many different types of collisions occur with some regularity in Connecticut. One of the most common types is a rear-end collision. One car strikes another by overtaking it due to higher speeds or otherwise failing to stop in time.

Sometimes, people don’t give such crashes the respect they deserve. All too often, people assume that rear-end crashes don’t cause major injuries. People tend to associate them with soft tissue injuries, like whiplash. However, rear-end crashes do cause serious injuries, including cases of significant whiplash. People can miss weeks of work and require a lot of medical support to fully recover from a bad case of whiplash. Rear-end crashes could also cause spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and even death. Approximately 6% of rear-end crashes prove fatal for someone in one of the vehicles.

The driver in the rear vehicle may be at fault

There is a presumption that the driver in the following vehicle likely could have prevented a rear-end collision. Maintaining an inappropriate speed or failing to maintain a reasonable following distance could both be the reason that a rear-end crash occurs.

Police officers and insurance professionals often start with the assumption that the driver in the rear may have caused the crash, but it is possible to prove that the driver in front was the one to blame. Some rear-end crashes occur because one driver cuts someone else off. They merge into another lane of traffic or whip around a corner right ahead of another vehicle, making it impossible for a vehicle that was complying with all state traffic laws to stop before the crash occurs. A driver who was in control of the rear hoping to hold the driver in the front vehicle accountable may need to gather evidence that supports the other driver did something unsafe that caused the crash.

Establishing fault will determine what insurance policy applies and also whether a driver is at risk of a personal injury lawsuit following a Connecticut collision. Ultimately, seeking legal guidance and learning more about how the law addresses different types of collision cases may make it easier for someone to protect their interests after a major wreck.