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Why Do Rear-End Collisions Happen and Who’s To Blame?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Car Accidents

Rear-end collisions are terrifying accidents that you often don’t see coming. Even if you do see a vehicle coming toward you in your rearview mirror, you may not be able to avoid the collision. These accidents can leave you with serious, life-changing injuries that impact you and your family.

Rear-End Accident Statistics

Rear-end accidents are an unfortunately common and dangerous occurrence. These typically occur while your car is stopped and a vehicle behind you is moving at a high speed. It is difficult to maneuver to safety or even brace for impact in these types of accidents.

Rear-end crashes are the most frequently occurring type of accident. These accidents account for approximately 29% of all crashes. Rear-end collisions are responsible for 6.8% of total fatal crashes.

Rear-end collisions are often the result of a driver’s negligence. Typically, but not always, these accidents are the fault of the driver who rear-ended the other car.

Determining Fault in Rear-End Accidents

Drivers owe everyone on the road a duty of care to safely operate their car as a reasonable driver would. When drivers fail to follow traffic laws and drive at safe speeds, rear-end accidents can occur.

The following are common rear-end accident scenarios:

  • A driver is speeding on the highway and slams into a car that is slowing down
  • A driver fails to notice that a car’s turn signal is on and crashes into the car as it is trying to turn
  • A driver fails to slow down at a yellow light and crashes into a car that is preparing to stop
  • A driver is not paying attention to the speed at which the car in front of them is moving and accelerates too quickly

In the above situations, the driver from behind will likely be found responsible for the rear-end collisions. There are also scenarios where both drivers may be at fault for the accident.

The following are rear-end accident scenarios where both drivers share some blame:

  • The leading driver slams on their brakes suddenly for no apparent reason
  • The leading driver shifts into reverse while in a traffic lane
  • The leading driver’s brake lights do not work properly
  • The leading driver does not use a turn signal when slowing down to make a turn

It is possible for both the leading driver and the rear-ending driver to be at fault for a collision. If both drivers share responsibility for the accident, then it will affect any subsequent personal injury case.

Comparative Fault in Illinois Rear-End Accidents

Some rear-end accidents are solely the fault of the rear-ending driver. If this is the case, you can file a personal injury claim against the other driver and pursue compensation. However, some rear-end accidents are the fault of both drivers. If both parties share responsibility, you might still be able to file a personal injury claim, depending on the case.

Illinois is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you will be barred from recovering damages if you are more than 50% at fault for the car accident. If you are able to recover damages, they will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

What happens if a car slams into you from behind as you are braking at an intersection with traffic slowing down? What if your brake lights failed to work as your car came to a stop?

Let’s say that you are found to be 40% at fault for the rear-end collision and the other driver was found to be 60% at fault. Your damages were $100,000 in medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. You will only be awarded damages in the amount of $60,000.

An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve recently been involved in a rear-end car accident and wonder about your legal options, reach out to an experienced attorney. Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you can get some initial legal advice without paying a cent.

Contact the Naperville Car Accident Law Firm Of the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for Help Today

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please call the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.