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  • The Concept of Negligence and the Role of Fault in Determining Liability in Rear-End Accidents

    Negligence often plays a role in car accidents. You must prove someone else is negligent in causing a collision to recover compensation for an injury you sustained in the crash. However, the insurance company or defense attorney might call your actions into question. You might be partially responsible for the crash, preventing you from receiving the money you need to pay your medical bills and other expenses.

    Here, you will find information about the legal theory of negligence and how shared fault influences liability in rear-end accidents.

    What Is Negligence?

    Negligence refers to a person’s failure to exercise the reasonable degree of care expected in a given situation to avoid harming someone else. Every driver is responsible for the safety of others on the road. A person is negligent when they ignore that duty of care. Acting negligently can lead to a car accident, injuring the occupants of other vehicles.

    Proving negligence requires substantial evidence, such as video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, and medical records. You must show that someone else is at fault for the collision that caused your injury and losses to hold them liable and secure compensation.

    Determining Liability for a Rear-End Accident in Virginia

    A common misconception is that the driver traveling behind another car is always liable for a rear-end collision. However, that might not be the case in some circumstances. Although every motorist must maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, someone else could be at fault for a rear-end crash.

    The driver traveling ahead of another motorist might be liable if they engage in negligent actions, such as:

    • Suddenly reversing without warning
    • Slamming on the brakes for no reason
    • Failing to repair a broken taillight
    • Starting to turn but swerving at the last second to proceed forward instead
    • Failing to pull over despite having a flat tire or another maintenance issue
    • Using a turn signal to merge into another lane but suddenly merging back into the original lane

    How Shared Fault Affects Rear-End Accident Cases

    Sometimes, both drivers are at fault for a collision. When that happens, pure contributory negligence affects the accident victim’s right to compensation for their injury.

    If you are found to be partially responsible for an accident that causes your injury, a financial recovery is prohibited. That means you can’t hold the other driver liable and receive compensation even if you are only one percent at fault for the crash.

    You can only recover compensation if you prove the other party is 100 percent at fault in causing the accident.

    Establishing Negligence in a Multi-Car Accident

    Rear-end collisions can involve more than two vehicles. When that happens, determining who is at fault is challenging. The driver who initially causes the accident might be liable for each person’s injury.

    It’s possible that the person at the front of a line of cars is liable for a multi-vehicle rear-end accident. They might have slammed on their brakes or swerved into the lane, causing a chain reaction. It’s also possible that another of the drivers in the chain was responsible.

    The complex nature of a multi-vehicle collision requires an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to investigate. You should always hire an Attorney to represent you in your case. They can determine who is at fault and gather the evidence to prove you are entitled to compensation.

    Contact a Knowledgeable Rear-End Accident Lawyer Today

    A rear-end accident can cause severe injuries requiring ongoing treatment to heal. You might feel overwhelmed handling an insurance claim or lawsuit while treating your injury. The good news is you don’t have to go through this alone.

    Anchor Legal Group, PLLC can take over so you can focus on recovering. Our Car Accident Attorneys in Virginia Beach, VA, have experience fighting for our client’s rights. If you were injured in a rear-end accident due to someone else’s negligence, call us at 757-529-0000 for a consultation to learn more about how we can help.