Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

Rear End Collision Rear End Collision - SMT Legal

Pennsylvania has a no-fault program when it comes to car accident insurance coverage. This means you do not have to prove fault in order to be compensated through your own insurance company. However, this can limit the amount your insurance company will pay. If your medical bills and lost wages exceed the amount your insurance company will pay, you have the right to try to recover those costs from the person who caused the accident or their insurance company.

Recovering those costs will mean proving fault for the accident. Although Pennsylvania law usually dictates that the rear driver is at fault in rear-end collisions, that is not the case in all circumstances. It is possible that liability will fall to the front vehicle driver.Following too closely and excessive speed under the road conditions are two reasons that the rear-end driver is commonly found to be at fault.

Title 75 §3310 of the Pennsylvania Code says the following about following too closely:

“General rule – The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

Title 75 §3361 of the Pennsylvania Code says the following about driving vehicles at a safe speed.

“No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing, nor at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring his vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead. Consistent with the foregoing, every person shall drive at a safe and appropriate speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.”

Exceptions to Rear Drivers Being at Fault

Some exceptions to the rear driver being at fault include:

  • Faulty brake lights of the front vehicle
  • The front driver pulling out of a parking space or driveway suddenly or in a negligent manner
  • A multi-collision accident
  • The front driver abruptly stoppingPoor road conditions (ice, snow, rain, etc.)
  • Mechanical malfunctions (failed brakes)

When the police are called to the scene an investigation, their ensuing report will usually determine the fault of the accident. However, it is possible that either the police did not conduct a thorough investigation or any investigation at all. If this is the case, your attorney can work with experts and gather evidence to prove fault.

Car accidents can be extraordinarily stressful. Fighting with insurance companies and getting bills from hospitals and medical providers only add to the stress.

Our Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers will do everything possible to get you the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will aggressively fight the insurance company or responsible party. We will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, who is at fault, examine the police report, and speak to witnesses or medical professionals as necessary.

We offer free case evaluations and do not charge a fee unless we win your case. Our car accident attorneys are experienced, aggressive and compassionate.

Common Causes of Rear-End Car Crashes

Rear-end collisions can be caused by numerous factors including:

  • Distracted Drivers / Driving While Texting
  • Excessive Speed
  • Following too closely
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DUI)
  • Falling Asleep at the Wheel
  • Other accidents on the road (causing other vehicles to slow or stop too quickly)
  • Poor Weather Conditions
  • Mechanical Failure / Loss of Control of Vehicle
  • Unsafe / Illegal Passing
  • Bad Road Conditions
  • Confusing Construction Zones
  • Disobeying Traffic Signals or Stop Signs / Yield Signs
  • Swerving to Avoid an Animal, Object or Person

What To Do After a Rear-End Collision

Proving who is at fault is critical and the sooner witness statements, evidence, medical examinations and other important information can be collected and investigated, the greater the chance of having a winning case. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a rear-end crash that was not your fault, contact us. As experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyers, we will investigate every detail of the accident and explore all evidence to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. We have years of experience investigating car accidents and a roster of client testimonials to prove our success. Our goal is to get the maximum compensation you deserve.