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Who is at blame for a rear-end collision?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Car Wrecks

Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of automobile accidents. Determining who is at fault can be crucial for both insurance claims and legal actions. What should you know about fault in these common car accidents?

How much does fault matter after a Mississippi car accident?

Mississippi follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that in an accident, each person is liable for the percentage of fault that each contributed to the accident.

While everyone involved in a collision can recover damages, the amount that each driver contributed to the collision also directly impacts how much they can receive. For example, if the court determines that a driver was 20 percent at blame for the collision, they would only be able to recover 80 percent of the damages they suffered.

When might the following driver be at fault?

Often, people assume that a rear-end collision is the fault of the driver in the rear. A variety of driver behaviors can contribute to these accidents, including:

  • Tailgating – Driving too close to the vehicle ahead can leave drivers without enough time to react and stop if the vehicle in front slows down or stops suddenly.
  • Distracted driving – Engaging in activities that take attention away from the road, such as texting, eating, or using a phone, can cause a driver not to notice the car ahead of them.
  • Speeding – Driving over the speed limit or too fast for road conditions can make it difficult to slow or stop if the vehicle ahead responds to a hazard.
  • Not adjusting to road conditions – Not slowing down in poor weather conditions, heavy traffic, or road construction areas.
  • Mechanical failure – Neglecting vehicle maintenance can lead to brake failure or other mechanical issues that prevent stopping in time.

Any of these issues could cause a driver to strike the vehicle in front of them.

When might the leading driver be at fault?

While the rear driver often takes the blame for an accident, the leading driver might also bear some fault for a rear-end collision in Mississippi. Some driver behaviors that can cause issues include:

  • Sudden stops – If a driver stops suddenly and gets hit from behind, they may share some of the blame for the collision if they were not responding to a hazard.
  • Faulty brake lights – If the driver in front did not maintain their vehicle and had faulty brake lights, the trailing driver would have no warning that the vehicle was stopping.
  • Reversing the vehicle – If the front vehicle was reversing when the collision occurred, the fault might lie with the leading driver.
  • Erratic driving – If the leading vehicle made unpredictable moves without signaling, they might share some of the fault.

These issues can make it difficult for a following driver – even one following at a safe distance – to appropriately respond to the driver’s actions.

Proving fault in a rear-end collision often requires careful review and thorough evidence. Understanding the specifics of your situation and your legal rights in a crash can help you get the compensation you deserve after a crash.