Tailgating is a common cause of car accidents in California. Drivers traveling at high speeds and taking longer to come to a stop mean these accidents are widespread on highways. When you rear-end a vehicle, you might immediately assume you are at fault. However, there are instances where the lead driver might be liable.
If you were in a tailgating accident in California, you should contact a skilled car crash attorney. They can investigate your accident and determine who was liable. Your attorney will also conduct negotiations with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Determining Fault in a Rear-End Accident
Fault in car accidents is determined by negligence. You and your attorney must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care and they breached that responsibility. By doing so, they caused your injuries, which resulted in monetary damages. Proving liability on your own will be difficult, but car accident attorneys are experienced in litigating rear-end accidents and can help prove your case.
When Is the Rear Driver Liable for a Rear-End Collision?
The rear driver is almost always liable for the accident. In most cases, the driver could have had enough time to stop had they given enough space between vehicles. A good rule is to keep a car’s length between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you plenty of time to stop. If weather conditions are bad, you should leave even more space.
When Is the Lead Driver at Fault for Tailgating Collisions?
There are times when the lead driver is responsible for causing a car accident. If they did not use reasonable care, a judge may hold them liable for any damages. Some examples of this include:
- Pulling out in front of another driver
- Braking suddenly
- Reversing into a car
- Road rage
- Intentionally trying to get hit
- Drunk driving
- Texting and driving
- Driving with broken tail lights
Proving the lead driver was responsible could be challenging. At the scene of the accident, you should determine if any witnesses saw the driver being distracted or if there are security cameras your attorney can use as evidence.
Can I File a Claim Even If I Was Responsible for a Car Accident?
California is a comparative fault state, meaning you might be able to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. In court, a judge or jury will determine each driver’s percentage of fault for the accident.
For example, you may have been following too close behind the lead driver, but they were on their phone. In this instance, a jury might find you 40% liable for the accident, meaning you would be able to collect up to $60,000 of a $100,000 lawsuit.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive from a Rear-End Accident?
While every case is different, your attorney might be able to secure compensation for the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
One thing you should never do is put your full trust in your insurance company. While representatives might seem like they have your best interests in mind, they’ll use sneaky tactics to reduce or deny your claim. Your best chance of receiving financial compensation to cover your losses is to partner with an attorney.
Experienced Rear-End Accident Attorney in California
If you’re involved in a tailgating accident in California, reach out to the attorneys at Setareh Law. We have experience handling these crashes and will conduct a full investigation to determine who the at-fault party is. One of our auto accident attorneys will also handle all negotiations with insurance companies. They will also prepare and take your case to trial, if necessary.
Call (310) 659-1826 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.