Unfortunately, car accidents can have life-altering impacts, even when they seem minor or insignificant. Even something like a standard rear-end collision can change someone’s life forever. As such, understanding how liability is determined is vital to getting the compensation you’re entitled to. When injured in a rear-end collision, you may not know how to proceed. Luckily, this blog can help you learn who is liable and how an experienced Prince George’s County car accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
What Is a Rear-End Collision?
One of the most common kinds of accidents, rear-end crashes occur when a vehicle collides with the one in front of it. These typically only involve two cars but can sometimes cause a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles. The name refers to when the front end of one vehicle collides with the rear end of the one in front of it. It can also be called “being rear-ended.”
While these accidents tend to happen in lower-speed locations like parking lots or while approaching stop signs or traffic lights, they can also occur at higher speeds, like on highways or other roads. Unfortunately, injuries can occur at both speeds.
Who Is Generally Liable?
In most cases, the car at the rear of the accident is liable for any damages and injuries. This is because it is their responsibility to maintain a safe following distance and stay alert to the vehicles in front of them. For example, if they are not paying attention or are too close to the other car, the driver breaking for a hazard, pedestrian, or stoplight could lead to an accident.
However, this is not always the case. In some instances, the driver at the front of the accident can be liable. For example, if their brake lights are not working, they “brake-check” the vehicle behind them, or they back out of a parking spot too quickly without ensuring it’s safe to do so, they can cause an accident for which they would be responsible.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Following an accident, it’s vital to contact emergency services. Not only does this bring a police presence to the scene to conduct an investigation, but it can also ensure you receive treatment from emergency medical technicians.
If you are physically able to, you should also take photos and videos of the damage to your vehicle. Be sure to document any extenuating circumstances, like whether or not the other vehicle had working brake lights, as this can influence the outcome of your case.
Finally, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney from McCarthy, Winkelman, Mester & Offutt as soon as possible. Our dedicated legal team will examine the circumstances surrounding your case to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you.