Rear End Collision
If you are in a rear end collision, don’t make an assumption that you are solely responsible.
Although it may seem like it is always the fault of the driver who hits a car in front of them, this may not always be the case. There are times when the lead driver might be partially to blame for a rear end collision.
Missouri is a comparative negligence state, which means that it is possible for more than one driver to be responsible and at fault for a car accident. If you are hit someone from behind, there are occasions where the other driver may be partially to blame.
What Is Negligence?
Missouri law determines who is at fault and to what degree they are at fault according to the doctrine of negligence. Negligence is a term that means that someone either does something or acts in a specific way that causes an injury. It can also mean that someone didn’t take action and it was that failure to act that led directly to an accident happening. Therefore, any driver in an accident might be held accountable for paying for the damages involved in the car accident.
A driver who doesn’t stop suddenly enough and hits the rear end of a car is negligent because they were either following too closely, or they weren’t considering road conditions that would prevent them from being able to stop like rain or snow. If, however, the driver that they hit slammed on their brakes suddenly because they were going to miss a turn and didn’t give the rear car warning, it might be the case that the car who was hit was partially to blame for the accident.
How Is Contributory Negligence Determined?
Once an accident happens, who is at fault and to what extent they are at fault is determined. When someone is solely to blame, they are 100 percent responsible and liable for paying for any damages. When there are two or more drivers involved, each driver is ascribed a portion of negligence that led to the accident.
That portion is generally expressed as a percentage. In the above example, the rear driver might be 60 percent at fault while the lead driver is determined to be 40 percent at fault.
Are the Percentages Exact?
The biggest problem with contributory negligence is that it is not an exact science. There are times when the percentages are nothing more than arbitrarily decided upon figures by the insurance company that is handling the case. That is why if you are in an accident, it is a good idea to speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer to learn more about what your legal rights are.
If you are in a rear end collision, don’t make an assumption that the rear car is always to blame. There are times when both drivers can be at fault. The best way to know for sure is to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Call us 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.