A rear-end collision is one of the of the most common types of auto accidents. The good news is it is also one of the least serious types of accidents, in most cases. Most people assume a rear-end accident is also a simple legal matter, but they are wrong. California is an at-fault state for vehicle accidents, which means it is very important to establish fault for the wreck. This is true whether there is a high or low amount of damages involved.

So, Who’s Fault Was It?

California law has a presumption that if your car is struck from behind, the fault lies with the person who struck you, However, this is a “rebuttable presumption,” which means that it is merely an assumption that can be proven wrong. For example, the rebuttable presumption that the rear-driver was at fault might be overcome if the front-driver slams on the breaks for no reason at all, causing the rear-driver to crash into them.

In the above example, the inverse is also true. The presumption would be supported if the front-driver slammed on the breaks to avoid a stopped truck on the roadway ahead. The rear-driver has the duty to leave a safe distance between their vehicle and yours.

Laws to Consider

The first thing to consider in an auto accident is negligence, which means proving who failed to act with a reasonable amount of care that is required given the circumstances. If the court determines there was negligence per se, it would significantly impact liability in the rear-end collision case. A few examples of when the court may determine negligence per se are when a driver was:

  • Speeding, which means they were traveling at a speed that is faster than what is reasonable or prudent
  • Changing lanes in a negligent manner
  • Operating a vehicle with faulty brakes
  • Operating a vehicle with faulty brake lights, or
  • Failed to stop at a stop sign or red stop light

How Do You Prove Negligence?

In most car accidents, both drivers claim it was the other driver’s fault that the wreck occurred. Your attorney can interview witnesses and gather testimony to establish fault. If there were no witnesses, your attorney can work with an accident reconstruction expert to reconstruct the wreck and establish the cause (and who was at fault) in the accident.

Contact Our Attorneys Today

The experienced rear end collision team at Law Offices of Alex Cha & Associates can review the facts of your case and help you understand the applicable California laws. Let us gather the evidence you need to establish the other driver was at fault and should be liable for your damages. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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