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Finding Fault in a Rear-End Crash

two people arguing after car accident

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 3,000 rear-end collisions resulted in fatalities in 2020. When most people think of a car accident, they envision a rear-end collision. In these cases, while it is generally assumed that the driver who hit the car in front is at fault, there are actually two potential liable parties:

  • The driver who hit the lead car.
  • The driver of the lead car.

The Driver Who Rear-Ended

In almost all rear-end crashes, liability will be placed on the driver who hit the car in front. This is because it is typically the driver's responsibility to maintain a safe following distance and to be aware of the traffic situation ahead. If a driver rear-ends another vehicle, it usually indicates that they were not paying attention or were following too closely.


Tailgating, or following another vehicle too closely, is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. When a driver tailgates, they are not allowing enough space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, increasing the chance of colliding with that vehicle if it slows down or stops suddenly.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the task of driving. This can include:

  • Talking or texting on a phone,
  • Eating,
  • Talking to passengers,
  • Focusing on the radio, or
  • Anything else that takes the driver's focus off of the road.

When drivers take their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, it can be enough time for an accident to occur.

The Driver Who Got Rear-Ended

While drivers who rear-end the vehicle in front of them are usually at fault, there are instances where the driver of the rear-ended vehicle is responsible. Certain instances include:

  • When a driver suddenly slams on their brakes.
  • When a driver reverses into another car, usually at an intersection or parking lot.
  • When a car does not have working brake lights.
  • When a car is not sufficiently moved over to the side of the road.

Common Injuries in a Rear-End Accident

A rear-end collision is one of the most common types of accidents, often resulting in serious injuries. The force of the impact can cause:

  • Whiplash,
  • Neck injuries, and
  • Back injuries.

In some cases, the rear-ended vehicle occupants may even be ejected from their seats. These types of accidents can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists and bicyclists, who are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed. If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible and to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

Seeking Compensation for a Car Collision in Nashville?

At Witherington Injury Law we have extensive experience handling rear-end accident claims and know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve. We'll thoroughly investigate the accident to identify all liable parties, and we'll work tirelessly to build a strong case on your behalf.

If you were involved in a rear-end car accident resulting in injury, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online today for a free consultation!

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