A rear-end collision occurs when one car hits the back of another vehicle. Most of these car accidents are caused by drivers following too closely or not paying attention to the road. However, determining who is at fault is not so cut and dry in some cases. Contact a car accident attorney if you were injured in a rear-end accident and need help determining who the at-fault driver is.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our Greenville car accident lawyers have years of experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about who is at fault in a rear-end crash, contact us today for a free consultation.
How Common Are Rear-End Collisions in Greenville, N.C.
Rear-end accidents are unfortunately common – over 2.5 million are reported every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that rear-end collisions account for around 29% of car accidents involving severe injuries or fatalities.
While there is no specific data for rear-end collisions in Greenville, according to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, over 3,000 car accidents occurred in 2019.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Most car accidents occur due to driver negligence. However, various other factors contribute to a collision. Some of the most common causes include the following:
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in general, and rear-end collisions are no exception. Distracted driving can include talking on the phone to eating and drinking while behind the wheel.
- Speeding – When drivers are going over the speed limit, they have less time to react to the car in front of them if they need to stop suddenly.
- Tailgating – Tailgating, or following too closely behind another car, is also a major cause of rear-end collisions. When the driver in front of you has to brake suddenly, and you’re tailgating them, you won’t have enough time to stop yourself in time.
- Poor Road Conditions – Such as potholes can also cause rear-end collisions. For example, if a driver hits a pothole and has to brake suddenly, the car behind them may not have enough time to stop in time and could end up rear-ending them.
- Mechanical Issues – If either car involved in the accident has mechanical issues, such as brake problems, it can lead to a rear-end collision.
What to Do After a Rear-End Car Accident in Greenville
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, there are a few steps you should take to protect your rights.
- Seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained.
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos of the damage and witness contact information.
- Contact your insurance company and file an accident report.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Who Is At Fault?
Determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision can be complex. Contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your car accident case if you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision.
The Lead Driver
If the lead driver makes a sudden stop for no reason, the rear driver may not be at fault. Additionally, if the lead driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident, they may be considered at fault.
The Rear Driver
In most cases, the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is at fault for the accident. This is because the law requires drivers to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of them. If you cannot stop in time and hit the car in front of you, you are considered to be at fault for the accident.
A Third Party
A third party may be responsible for a rear-end collision in some cases. For example, if the accident occurs because of a mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the defective part may be held liable. Additionally, if the road was poorly designed or maintained, the government entity responsible for the road may be held liable.
Contributory Neglienceigence in Greenville Rear-End Car Accidents
North Carolina follows a doctrine known as contributory negligence. This doctrine bars plaintiffs from recovering damages if they are even partially at fault for an accident.
For instance, if the lead driver was stopped at a red light and the rear driver didn’t see the light change, the rear driver would be considered contributorily negligent because they weren’t following the rules of the road. The rear driver would then not recover compensation for their damages.
How to File an Auto Accident Claim in North Carolina
An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether or not it’s worth filing a claim and help you get the compensation you deserve. You can file a claim with:
Your Auto Insurance Company
If you have collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for the damage to your car, regardless of who is at fault.
A Government Institution or Contractor
if the accident was caused by a defective road or faulty traffic signal, you may be able to file a claim against the government institution responsible.
The Driver’s Employer
If the other driver was driving for work at the time of the accident, their employer may be liable.
A Vehicle Manufacturer or Dealer
If a defective part caused the accident, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
How a Greenville Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer will help you through the entire legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
How to Prove Fault in Rear-End Car Accidents
To prove fault in your case, your lawyer will likely need to gather evidence from the scene of the accident. This evidence can include pictures of the damage to your car, pictures of the road conditions, and witness statements. Your lawyer may also need to review police reports and medical records.
Damages You Can Recover in a Rear-End Accident Claim
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you may be able to recover a variety of damages. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.
Statute of Limitations for Rear-End Car Accidents in Greenville, North Carolina
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, it’s important to act quickly. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you don’t file a claim within this time period, you will be barred from recovery.
Contact a Greenville Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, contact an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our auto accident attorneys have experience with all personal injury claims, including car accidents. We value the attorney-client relationship and will work tirelessly to protect your rights.
Contact us today for your free initial consultation and learn more about what we can do to help you. We will answer your questions and explain all of your legal options.