Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accidents in the United States. A large percentage of people who get injured in rear-end collisions think that they do not need to seek legal help from a lawyer because the rear driver is always at fault for causing the crash.
If you are one of those who believe in this theory, we might have to disappoint you right there. Liability is not always easily determined in rear-end crashes. In fact, regardless of whether you were the one who rear-ended another vehicle or was rear-ended, speaking to a Ventura County rear-end accident attorney is highly recommended to protect your rights.
Do not forget that you will have to deal with insurance companies when seeking compensation for your injury after a rear-end accident. And many insurers in California are known for their inability to ensure a fair and unbiased investigation, which would be focused on helping the victim to get the maximum compensation, rather than paying the victim as little as possible.
Establishing fault in a rear-end accident
The driver of the vehicle in the back is not always at fault for causing a rear-end collision, no matter how absurd it may sound. Our skilled rear-end accident lawyer in Ventura County from The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman explains that you always have to prove that the other party was negligent, reckless, or careless regardless of how obvious the other party’s fault is.
For example, you may be able to establish that the driver in the back who rear-ended you is at fault for causing the rear-end collision if you can prove that he or she was distracted by his or her cell phone and failed to notice you slowing down. Another common cause of rear-end accidents is when the rear driver follows the vehicle in front too closely and fails to maintain a safe distance.
Both of these behaviors are considered illegal because they violate California’s traffic law.
How your compensation can be reduced
Also, do not forget that California follows the system of pure comparative negligence, which means multiple parties can be held liable for causing a rear-end accident. Meaning: your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your own fault. That, of course, if your negligence, carelessness, or recklessness contributed to causing the rear-end collision.
For example, an intoxicated motorist may be able to reduce the value of your compensation by arguing that you merged into his lane when the maneuver was not safe to execute. As a result, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence.
In other words, liability for a rear-end accident can be established depending on whether the driver in the back could have been reasonably expected to react to the front vehicle’s maneuver to prevent the crash.
How a Ventura County rear-end collision lawyer can help
More often than not, to establish fault in a rear-end collision, an experienced lawyer will look into the following factors:
- The speed at which both vehicles were traveling
- The distance between the two vehicles
- Whether the rear-end accident involved distracted driving
- Whether the front vehicle used brake lights or turn signals if it was necessary and
- Whether the road or weather conditions contributed to the rear-end collision
Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with a skilled car accident lawyer from The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman to determine liability in your particular rear-end accident. Schedule a free consultation with our rear-end collision lawyers by calling at 805-983-2344.