Who Is Liable in a Rear End Accident in California?

October 10, 2022

Who Is Liable in a Rear End Accident in California? Post Image

It is no question that there are a lot of drivers on California roads each day. With many drivers comes several accidents. In fact, in 2019, Los Angeles County alone had almost 90,000 deaths or injuries from car accidents. Rear end accidents are one of the most common types of car accidents, but thankfully they are the least serious type of car accident in Los Angeles. Although they are typically not as serious as other car accidents, those that occur at high speeds are potentially severe, and could even be fatal.

The complexities from rear end accidents are typically not the extent of the injuries. But rather determining who is at fault for damages. California is an at-fault state. Because of this, determining fault in all types of crashes is important, regardless of how serious the injuries are.

Rear End Accident. Who’s to Blame?

The law states that if your car is struck from a driver behind you, it is not your fault. This is under what is called a “rebuttable presumption” law. This means, in a rear end accident, it is presumed it is the fault of the person that hits the car in front of them. The “rebuttable” part of this is that the driver that hits another can prove it wasn’t their fault. If they have proof that it wasn’t their fault, then the fault will be assigned to the driver of the car that was hit.

Examples of “rebuttable presumption”

Let’s talk about a couple examples of where you, the rear driver, can prove you are not at fault. In incidences like this is where a dash cam can be an asset. You can use your dash cam to prove that the car in front of you accidentally (or purposefully) had the car in reverse. This directly resulted in the car coming backwards and hitting you.

In another example, if the car in front of you had brake lights that were out. You are traveling on the road but don’t see their break lights to warn you that everyone is stopping. Therefore you rear-end the car in front of you. By proving their brake lights were not working, you can prove it was not your fault.

That being said, rear drivers are not automatically at fault for the collision. With evidence, they can rebut the general presumption that they caused the crash. For this reason, all auto accident claims must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The lead driver — and other parties — can be legally liable if the evidence indicates that they acted in a negligent manner.

Potential Damages From a Rear End Accident

Rear-end accidents are typically a straight forward accident. Generally there are damages and injuries that come from a rear end accident. In high speed rear end accidents it can often cause serious injuries or even be fatal. When involved in this type of accident here are some of the main injuries you will want to look out for.

  • Bruising from the seatbelt, steering wheel or air bag
  • Whiplash
  • Cracked Ribs
  • Headaches
  • Back pain

Aside from physical damages to the drivers, rear-end collisions can also result in various levels of damage to the vehicles involved. This can range from dented bumpers and broken lights to caved-in trunks and misaligned steering columns. The most severe accidents may even involve multi-car pileups and totaled vehicles.

Have You Been Involved in a Serious Rear End Accident?

If you were involved in a rear end accident that has caused damages, contacting a car accident attorney could be beneficial.

At B|B Law Group, our goal is simple: preserve and protect the legal rights of the people of Southern California. Our award winning team of attorneys are experienced in the fields of personal injuryemployment and habitability law, and it is our mission to provide our clients with the best legal representation.

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