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Stressed Female Driver Sitting At Roadside After Traffic Accident holding her head
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

Rear-end accidents are the most frequently-occurring accidents in the United States. News reports suggest that roughly 1.7 million rear-end accidents take place nationwide every single year. Even though this type of collision takes place far more often than any other kind of motor vehicle crash, there are still a lot of misconceptions about who is at fault in a Virginia rear-end accident. 

Who is liable for my Virginia rear-end crash?

The more you know about rear-end car accidents, the better your odds will be of obtaining the financial compensation you are entitled to after being injured in a car accident that was not your fault.

Call the Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule your free consultation and find out what damages you may be entitled to. 

Isn’t the Rear Driver Always to Blame for a Rear-End Collision?

The short answer to this question is no. It is a widespread misconception that the rear vehicle must always be liable for a rear-end crash. Although this might be true in a lot of cases, not every rear vehicle is 100% at-fault for causing a rear-end accident. Sadly, this misunderstanding could easily influence an insurance adjuster’s understanding of who was responsible for causing the accident. It could even influence your own idea of who was responsible and how much your claim could be worth.

Which Driver is Liable For a Rear-End Accident?

There are several factors that will impact liability for a rear-end accident. Here, we go over some common rear-end collision scenarios to give you a better understanding of who might be liable for your damages. 

The Rear Vehicle: In the majority of rear-end accident cases, the rear vehicle does take the bulk of liability for causing the crash. Some ways in which the driver of the rear vehicle might cause an accident are:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Dangerous driving maneuvers
  • Failing to yield the right of way

The Front Vehicle: While it doesn’t happen as often, lead drivers can be held accountable for causing serious rear-end accidents. Some factors that commonly contribute to a lead vehicle causing a rear-end accident include:

  • Stopping suddenly
  • Making an unexpected turn with no turn indicator  
  • Aggressive braking (brake checking)
  • Non-working brake lights

The Rear and Front Vehicles: Rear-end accident cases are almost never black and white. It is not unheard of for both drivers to play a role in causing a severe rear-end crash. For example, the driver of the rear vehicle could be on their phone, while the driver of the front vehicle made a sudden turn without signaling. In this situation, both drivers could share the blame for the rear-end accident.

A Third Party: In some scenarios, a third party, such as the entity responsible for a road’s upkeep, or a parts or vehicle manufacturer, could be responsible for a rear-end collision. If a driver is operating a vehicle with faulty brakes that keep it from stopping correctly, the manufacturer of the faulty brakes could be held responsible for the incident. If a dangerous roadway condition led to the crash, the city responsible for the roadway’s maintenance could be to blame.

What Should I Do After a Rear-End Car Accident?

If you are injured in a Virginia rear-end accident, notify local law enforcement, and seek immediate medical attention. The signs of potentially serious injuries such as concussion and whiplash are not always immediate. Seeing a medical professional is the only way of knowing for certain if you have sustained any injuries. Just because you feel okay does not mean you were not hurt. If you are able, you need to document the scene. Take pictures of any vehicle damage as well as pictures of the surrounding area. This information could be essential to your injury claim later on. 

Next, you need to reach out to an experienced Virginia rear-end car accident lawyer. A personal injury case is only as strong as its evidence, so hiring an experienced lawyer to investigate the cause of your crash will help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.

Speak With a Virginia Rear-End Accident Lawyer

Were you injured in a rear-end accident that wasn’t your fault? Let the legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp help you navigate the claims process. Rear-end accidents are notoriously complex. You will need knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation to make sure that you are being treated fairly. Schedule a free consultation with the Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774 or through the contact form on our website. 

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