The driver in the rear vehicle is often assumed to be responsible for the rear-end accident. However, there are several exceptions in South Carolina that come to light in the circumstances like:
- The front vehicle had mechanical problems, but the owner didn’t move it off the road
- A chain reaction on the road caused several cars to hit each other on the rear end
- The front driver’s brake lights failed to work, which could be the primary cause of the accident
That means you can still qualify to receive compensation, irrespective of whether you were the front or rear driver during the accident. The best part is that experienced car accident attorneys, like those in David Aylor Law Offices, can help you create a strong case for maximum damage compensation. After all, skilled attorneys have mastered the law and have what it takes to fight for your rights in settlements and trials. Read on to understand your rights as the victim in a rear-end car accident.
When Is the Rear Driver At Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident?
The driver in the rear vehicle is fully or partially at fault if any of the following apply:
- The driver was following the front car too closely, leaving an unreasonable distance between the vehicles
- The driver was under the influence of drugs during the accident
- The driver was violating traffic laws like overspeeding
- The driver was distracted and failed to notice the lead car coming to a halt
However, the tailgating driver is not always responsible for the rear-end accident. The following reveal instances when the driver in the lead car is liable for a rear-end car crash.
When Is the Front Driver At Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident?
The front driver is responsible for the crash in one of the following circumstances:
- The front driver’s brake lights were broken, failing to alert the vehicles behind when stopping
- Reckless overtaking that denies the rear driver enough time to slow down or stop
- The front driver was operating the car under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants
- The front driver switched lanes recklessly, resulting in an unsafe distance between the lead and rear vehicle
- The front vehicle malfunctioned, but the owner didn’t use the hazard lights to alert other drivers
Can Both the Rear and Front Drivers Be Responsible for a Rear-End Car Accident?
Suppose a driver in a lead car over speeds and suddenly holds emergency brakes in the middle of the road. Then, a tailgating vehicle hits the lead car on the rear end, causing damages. In this case, the drivers will share the fault because both have played a part in the accident.
The law in South Carolina follows the “modified comparative negligence” system to determine how much you can recover from shared negligence in a rear-end crash. This system assigns a percentage of fault to each driver involved in the accident. After that, the damage amount you’ll recover is reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Let’s say you sustain damage worth $ 200,000 in a rear-end accident. If you’re 25% at fault in the collision, this percentage is subtracted from the total damage you sustained in the accident. In this example, the compensation you could get in your claim would be $150,000.
However, you won’t recover anything if your fault in the accident exceeds the other driver’s fault. In other words, your percentage contribution to the accident must be 50% or less.
The rules determining the percentage of fault in a rear-end car accident might be complex to handle yourself. A law firm that wins accident cases, like David Aylor Law Offices, can walk you through the whole process to relieve you of the pressure regarding rear-end collisions. Even better, a reliable lawyer ensures you get the right compensation amount that you truly deserve.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Rear-End Car Accident?
When you get involved in a rear-end crash, you’ll need to be strategic to recover the damages entirely. Additionally, you’ll need a defense plan to prove your innocence (or shared negligence) if you present your case in court.
For this reason, you should partner with a reliable attorney to help you do the following:
- Thoroughly review video camera footage related to the accident, ensuring no piece of evidence is left out
- Analyze eyewitness statements to identify ways to defend yourself
- Analyze photos from the scene to evaluate your case from all perspectives
- Check mobile phone records to prove that the other driver was distracted
In short, hiring a lawyer ensures you leave no table unturned when dealing with a rear-end accident case. As a result, you get fair compensation for the damages you got in the accident, as the lead or the rear driver.
Hire a Reliable Car Accident Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC
Recovering from a rear-end car crash can be difficult, especially with dozens of legal procedures on your plate. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side to walk through all the legal processes seamlessly.
With over ten years of existence in the industry, David Aylor Law Offices has skilled car accident lawyers to help you out. Our attorneys have mastered the law to ensure you get the compensation you truly deserve. Call us at (843) 548-1573 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation that will help you understand your legal choices.
What Compensation Will I Get for the Damages Involved in the Rear-End Car Accident?
As a car accident victim in South Carolina, you’ll get both non-economic and economic compensation. Economic compensation includes car damages, lost wages, and medical bills, while non-economic covers mental anguish and emotional suffering.
What Should I Do If an Insurer Refuses to Offer a Fair Settlement?
You’ll have to present your case in court if an insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement. In such a case, make sure you hire one of the best lawyers to present your case well in court and increase the winning chances.
Must I Hire an Attorney When Filing a Compensation Claim?
No. However, an attorney will ensure you get the total compensation you truly deserve. After all, the primary goal of an insurer is to pay out the lowest amount possible.