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Is the Driver Behind Always At Fault for an Accident?

a grey car with smashed hood crashing into the back of a black car

Understanding Accident Liability in California

Every driver has likely experienced being in bumper-to-bumper traffic or having to suddenly slam on the brakes. In these instances, there is always a slight moment of panic in wondering whether the driver behind you is going to stop in time or cause an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 29% of accidents are rear-end collisions. While the liability of these accidents may vary from state to state, in California, the driver who hit you is almost always at fault.

Liability in Rear-End Collisions

Holding a driver accountable for causing a collision often requires negligence to be proven. Under California Vehicle Code 21703 VC, following too closely behind a vehicle and not allowing sufficient stopping space is considered a negligent action.

Are They Ever Not At Fault?

There are very few instances in which the driver who rear-ended another vehicle may not be at fault. One of the most apparent is if the front driver's brake lights were out. In this circumstance, the front driver is technically breaking the law and is negligent in not remedying it.

Some could argue that the rear-ending driver should have acknowledged that vehicles in front of the one directly in front of them were slowing down and braking; however, this does not negate the negligence of the driver who was hit.

Questions? Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley Has Answers.

Determining who is at fault in an accident is one of the most crucial aspects of a personal injury case. When in a collision, it's important to understand the roles of each driver involved and how they may have contributed negligence to the situation.

If you or a loved one was injured in a rear-end collision and are looking for legal representation, trust the team at Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley to handle your case. We provide free initial consultations to prospective clients and will work with you to obtain the most desired result. Call (530) 413-0245 to speak with a member of our team.