You might have heard that it is always the other person’s fault if you are hit from the rear. But is that true? At Gould Injury Law, we believe in separating truth from myth.
Giving fast, accurate answers to important questions are only one aspect of our law firm’s mission. Our team of experienced lawyers is dedicated to providing high-quality, aggressive representation for Connecticut residents and visitors.
Were you in a rear-end collision locally? Schedule your free consultation at (888) WIN-FAST to get the help you need fast.
Driver Errors Lead to Rear-End Accidents
Some states, such as Illinois and Missouri, have built-in presumptions about rear-end accidents written in their laws. In general, the driver who hits another car from behind is likely at fault for the accident.
Convincing anyone otherwise would be difficult in these jurisdictions. Why? First, consider the definition.
In a rear-end accident, the front of one car strikes the back of another. Perceptive lawyers can often trace contributing factors to a mistake or misdeed of the rear-ender.
In 2021, there were more than 5,400 distracted driving accidents in Connecticut. Unfortunately, injuries and death resulted from some of these preventable collisions.
Where should a responsible driver’s attention be? Though the answer might seem obvious, many motorists lose focus when they are engaged with:
- Cellphones and other handheld electronic devices
- Dials and buttons (e.g. radio, climate control)
- Food or drink
- Conversations with other passengers
- Makeup, clothing, or other grooming tasks
- Roadside distractions
Connecticut law includes measures to protect other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. For instance, drivers 17 years or younger cannot use any mobile device while driving, even in hands-free mode. Texting while driving could earn you fines and points against your license.
Following too closely
Vehicles must remain a reasonable distance apart to operate safely. Generally, traffic laws do not specify a length since variables like the following would define what is appropriate and prudent:
- Type of vehicle driven: Heavy vehicles like semi-trucks and buses could need more time and distance to come to a complete halt
- Type of vehicle followed: Drivers might want to exercise extra caution when following automobiles that stop frequently or at railroad crossings (e.g. school and public transit buses)
- Street conditions: Traffic, rough terrain, and other road conditions could require additional space between vehicles
- Weather: Rain, ice, snow, and mud can make roads slippery and reduce visibility
- Speed: Braking distance relates to speed as faster vehicles require more space to stop
Some drivers follow a 3-second rule: You should have at least 3 seconds (or so, depending on the speed at which you are traveling) of distance between you and the car in front of you. That way, you have time to brake if it stops fast.
You should also pay attention as you make a potentially dangerous maneuver, even if a legal one. For example, as you merge onto a highway, you must pay attention to the speed of the cars already on the road.
Connecticut tailgating laws contain some exceptions where a motorist might follow closer than usual:
- Funeral processions
- Motor vehicles under official escort
- Cars traveling on a special permit
Sometimes, tailgating is unintentional. In other instances, aggressive drivers get close to pressure the motorists in front of them to speed up or move out of the way. This reckless practice is sometimes accompanied by honking, flashing lights, and threatening gestures.
According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), a good driver possesses the following:
- Common sense
- A courteous attitude
- Concern for others
- A steady hand
- A clear head
- An observant eye
However, someone operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs (DUI) cannot display safe driving characteristics. Between 2020 and 2022, there have been more than 7,500 DUI-related crashes involving 16,125 people total in Connecticut.
In Connecticut and other states, DUI is against the law. Drivers who commit this criminal act have been known to cause preventable accidents since:
- Alcohol affects judgment, coordination, and reaction time
- Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines cause drowsiness
- Drug side effects can impair motor and mental skills
A new law states that any driver under 21 with a blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher will face license suspension. An elevated BAC is defined as 0.04 percent or higher for commercial drivers, while the legal BAC of motorists driving passenger cars is 0.08 percent.
Calling the police is wise if you are rear-ended by someone you suspect is intoxicated. Traffic authorities can administer alcohol and drug testing on the scene.
When a Rear-End Collision Is Not Your Fault
Following closely is not synonymous with unreasonableness. In some scenarios, factors other than driver error could contribute to a rear-end collision.
Braking is possible because of several different auto parts which work together. If one of these components fails, the driver cannot slow or stop the vehicle on command. In the case of anti-lock braking systems (ABS), defects could prevent the system from doing its job – letting you to steer away from an obstacle without skidding.
Another common issue occurs with tires. They can blow out or explode, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Sometimes, this problem is due to manufacturing defects, but in other instances, potholes and puncture damage from poorly maintained roads are to blame.
Why not allow one of our fast-acting accident attorneys to investigate your rear-end accident? Our legal professionals can determine if faulty auto parts or dangerous roads contributed to the collision.
Suppose the car ahead of you starts to back up fast. The rear of that vehicle could hit yours, and it might not be your fault. A driver might reverse unexpectedly for a number of reasons:
- Shifting to the wrong gear by mistake
- Releasing the brake on a hill, allowing the car to roll backward
- Failing to notice that another car is behind the car
- Avoiding an approaching vehicle or obstacle
Did you know that even reversing cars must follow the rules of right-of-way? Our competent team can help you fast if someone backs into your vehicle.
In multiple-vehicle accidents called pileups, vehicle crashes occur one after another. Some of the involved vehicles might not even have been moving when struck. Driver errors, such as fatigue or distraction, could lead to a pileup.
Inclement weather is another common component. Sleet, snow, and black ice can catch drivers unaware. Their vehicles could slide into others, starting a chain reaction that pushes the first victim’s car into the next.
Pileup accidents are complex since multiple drivers are involved, but our fast and competent lawyers can evaluate the cause of the initial crash to determine who is liable. You can be confident with Gould Injury Law working for you.
Some sudden stops happen for valid reasons. Perhaps a driver brakes to avoid hitting a jaywalking pedestrian or another car in congested traffic. In such cases, courts might rule that other drivers should have anticipated a fast stop.
Our lawyers look beyond first appearances. We could discover evidence that an untrained eye might miss by investigating cases thoroughly. For instance, were the brake lights of the rear-ended car working correctly before the accident?
Whether you were hit or rear-ended by another car, you might agree that you must figure out your next step quickly. The attorneys of “The Fast Firm” are ready to help you learn your legal options and take action to protect and defend your rights.
Rear-end Collision Cases – Distinguishing Fact from Fiction
Connecticut is not necessarily like other states that assume liability for the person who rear-ended another car. You must avoid the devastating mistakes described below to successfully resolve your car accident claim.
Assuming who is at fault
If you rear-end someone, the other person might try to put all the blame on you. Connecticut follows a principle called modified comparative fault. These regulations allow you to recover financial compensation even if your actions contributed to the accident.
The right to compensation is set at 51 percent. In other words, if a court deems you to be 40 percent at fault, the person found 60 percent at fault would need to cover that percentage of your losses.
This principle also means that you cannot assume you will get compensated fairly even if someone rear-ends you. The motorist (or his or her insurance company) could claim that you were 51 percent at fault. If that party succeeds, you will not be able to recover any funds for your accident-related expenses.
Therefore, making sound legal decisions fast is essential. Click “Start Chat” on your screen anytime to begin a conversation.
Hesitating to build your case
You have limited time to take legal action in Connecticut. Once the statute of limitations expires, you forfeit your right to the financial relief you deserve.
Contacting our lawyers immediately after a crash is most effective, but you can also call us at (888) WIN-FAST if your accident happened a while ago. We are “The Fast Firm” because we work hard to win compensation as quickly as possible.
Fast Representation Matters in Rear-End Accidents
For over 20 years, Robert Gould and his associates have aggressively pursued fast solutions for Connecticut car accident victims. Do you want to learn how to maximize your rear-end accident claim while still getting things done fast?
There are many fast ways to get in touch with us:
- Visit one of our WIN FAST locations in New Haven or Hartford
- Send us a message
- Call us toll-free at (888) WIN-FAST
With no cost or obligation, there’s no reason to wait. Get in touch, tell us your story today, and we can help you determine who is liable and what that means for your future.