You’ve had a long day, and you’re ready to go home. Anxious to get home, you sit in rush hour traffic along with hundreds of others at the end of the day. What you may not be prepared for is getting rear-ended right in the middle of rush hour, which unfortunately happens to people every day.
With so many vehicles all traveling in the same direction, it’s not unusual to see a rear-end collision right in the middle of rush-hour traffic. Bad weather with wet or slick roads is a common causing factor, making it difficult to stop quickly or to see clearly. Perhaps the person wasn’t paying attention to the traffic around them. Construction or animals and pedestrians in the crosswalk can cause someone to apply their brakes in a hurry to stop. If the car behind was following too close, they may be unable to stop before hitting them.
One of the biggest issues in rush-hour is a stalled vehicle along the side of the road. Everyone slows down and tries to move over, causing heavy congestion. If a driver is trying to move out of the slow traffic, they may switch lanes back and forth and end up hitting the car in front of them.
In most of these cases, the person who hits and damages the vehicle is liable in the accident. The thought behind this rule is that they should have been following at a safe enough distance to allow them to stop even if it is an emergency situation.
This means the driver would be responsible for paying for any medical bills and other damages done to the car that they hit. If more than one other vehicle is involved, the driver in the rear may have to pay for all damages.
However, there may be some cases where the person in front is at least partially responsible for the accident. If they failed to use their emergency lights after a breakdown or they had faulty brake lights, they may be deemed to be partially liable. This reduces the amount the other driver should pay in damages.
While a rear-end collision is seldom fatal, it can cause serious injuries such as serious head or neck trauma, broken bones, and fractures. The person responsible in the accident may have to pay medical costs as well as lost wages and other damages. It’s important to pay attention to other cars and to maintain a safe distance so you can avoid these types of accidents as well as legal action.