Tailgaters drive me mad. Tailgaters are mad. If they drive you mad too you will be pleased to know that they can be held liable for running into the back of you. And that means you might not be at fault for a rear-end collision.
There is a well-known presumption that rear-end car accidents are typically the fault of the driver who hit the car in front.
But there are certain situations where that is not always the case.
Read on to discover why, and under what circumstances, a driver who rear-ends another car may not always be at fault.
The driver of the car that rear-ends a leading vehicle will almost always be considered at least partially negligent. This is often loosely referred to as presumed liability.
Every driver has a responsibility to follow the car in front at a safe distance. Tailgating is illegal after all.
This is because drivers sometimes have to suddenly, and unexpectedly, slow down or come to stop.
You are expected to have enough distance between you and the car in front of you to prevent a collision if such an unanticipated stop becomes necessary.
However, there are certain situations where you could have been the perfect driver and would have still found yourself involved in a rear-end collision.
If you rear-ended another driver – and you weren’t driving dangerously – you may not be at fault.
In some situations, the lead vehicle is actually responsible for the accident.
Examples of negligent driving for lead drivers include:
In each of these examples, the driver of the car that gets rear-ended would likely be considered negligent.
If you were involved in an accident that was:
...you may also be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage and other losses.
We can all agree that in rear-end collision the tailing driver is typically at fault.
Hence, it’s no surprise that insurers and police assume the same thing.
The insurer will pore over every minute detail of your rear-end collision to see if the accident was avoidable, making you responsible for the accident.
It therefore becomes increasingly important to provide definitive evidence that this was not the case.
To prove that the other driver was negligent, you must first prove that a duty of care existed.
Determining this is pretty simple, since all drivers owe one another a duty to exercise care when operating a car.
Second, you must prove the other driver breached their duty.
Drivers can breach their duty of reasonable care in a number of ways. For example, by:
These are the same scenarios discussed earlier.
Third, you must prove the other driver’s breach of duty was the cause of the accident.
One such way you can prove the accident was not your fault, and the lead driver breached their duty of care, is through video footage.
Videos, like photos, are difficult to contradict.
They are an unbiased and impartial piece of evidence. An insurer will find it very difficult to deny the evidence in a video.
Likewise, dash cam footage avoids the he-said, she-said spiral between people involved in an accident. It would be pretty hard for someone to deny they failed to indicate or their brake lights were broken when it's shown on camera.