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How is fault determined in rear-end collisions?

One of the most common types of accidents is rear-end collisions, which occur when the car behind you fails to stop in time and hits the back of your car. These are also possible if the car behind you didn't leave enough room and gets pushed into your car when someone hits it. Whether the accident is due to stopping too closely, texting and driving or another type of distraction, these accidents have very real consequences for victims.

In general, it is the driver of the car who hit the back of your vehicle who is at fault for the accident. This is because the driver has either failed to notice that you were stopped or did not maintain an assured clear distance ahead to ensure there was adequate stopping time.

Where these accidents can sometimes be complicated is if they are part of a chain-reaction crash, if there was another driver involved that caused a sudden stop in traffic or if the at-fault driver was underinsured — or not insured at all. Even in these cases, however, it is still likely that the driver who hit you will be held liable for the damages and injuries.

Even though it's common for these types of accidents to happen at slow speeds or even when your car is completely stopped, that doesn't mean that the risk for injury is low. The sudden jolt can cause whiplash or head injuries, and if you are pushed into the car in front of you, there may be additional issues. If you have suffered injuries due to a rear-end collision, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand how you may be able to get compensated for your financial losses through the courts.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Accident Liability: Proving Fault in a Car Crash," accessed June 22, 2015

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