Have you been injured in a rear-end accident? Did the severity of the accident meet New York’s severe injury threshold?
If so, the driver who hit you from behind is likely at fault, which should be pretty easy to prove. Here’s what you need to know.
Rear-End Collisions With Stopped or Stopping Vehicles
A rear-end collision with a stopped or stopping vehicle establishes a prima facie case of negligence on the part of the rear vehicle. That is, the assumption of fault is created and is accepted as correct until proven otherwise.
If the defendant wants to claim they are not at fault, they must provide a non-negligent explanation for the collision.
Rear-End Collisions in Traffic
Sometimes a collision occurs during stop-and-go traffic. In fact, that kind of traffic is quite a common sight for people in New York City.
Even in stop-and-go traffic, the rear driver is usually presumed responsible. Drivers are required to maintain a reasonably safe distance and rate of speed between cars. They’re also required to foresee stops under prevailing traffic conditions, even if those stops are sudden and frequent.
Even an assertion that a lead vehicle came to a sudden stop, sanding alone, is insufficient to rebut the presumption of negligence.
Is the lead driver ever at-fault?
There could be cases where the lead driver would be at-fault for a rear-end accident. For example, the lead driver could suddenly put their care into reverse. Few courts would see that as a “foreseeable” move as sudden shifts into reverse aren’t common or even supported by normal traffic law.
Courts always take the facts of an individual case into account, of course, and if you are the defendant in an unusual rear-end collision case, it should still be possible to prove that you did not commit an act of negligence or at least that comparative fault exists.
Your Rear-End Accident Case
You might expect insurance companies to do the right thing and offer a fair settlement after a rear-end accident. Unfortunately, they’re still likely to lowball you with a settlement that won’t meet all of your expenses. They don’t tend to get serious until a qualified personal injury attorney is on the job.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, get the help you need by contacting RLF today.
Submit this form to have your case reviewed by our attorney.
Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.