It is a sad but true statistic for anyone who drives an automobile. If you have not already been rear-ended in a car accident chances are you will in your lifetime. It is one of the most common type of car accidents involving more than one vehicle. Most believe that the person who hits the car in front of them is the one who is at fault. This is simply not true. The best advice for any driver is to have insurance coverage to help you if you are in one of these accidents. Here are a few things to consider if you are rear-ended.
Documentation – To help prove who is liable it is in your best interest to document the accident thoroughly. Contact the police and emergency services as needed. The police will write an accident report stating their findings and conclusions. Someone might even be ticketed. Be sure there are photos of the accident; they could be necessary if you must attend court. If possible see if there are any witnesses who can corroborate what happened.
Burden of proof – If you are the one who hit the vehicle in front of you many will assume you are guilty. If there are mitigating circumstances that caused you to hit the car in front of you be sure to make them known. Much like a lawyer has to prove a person’s guilt it might be necessary for you to prove you were not at fault. A few of the reasons that might show that are: the car in front of you has faulty brake lights, the driver in front of you made an unsafe or illegal lane change or show that the driver in front of you being distracted drove dangerously causing the accident.
Multiple car accidents – When there are more than two cars involved in a rear-ended accident, liability is even harder to determine because there are so many parties involved. Again begin with as much documentation as possible. The more parties involved you will get conflicting stories about how the accident happened. The first car could start a chain reaction where following traffic has no way of avoiding the rear-end collision. Or it could be simply the car in the middle hit the car in front and made it impossible for the third and following cars to stop before getting involved. In other instances the third or more car could be driving negligently and runs into the cars in front of them; essentially pushing them all together. As you can expect the more cars involved in a rear-end accident the harder it can be to accurately determine the initial cause.
This is where as a responsible driver needs to realize the importance of having full and comprehensive coverage with a reputable insurance agent. So if you find yourself involved in this type of accident; no matter where the fault lies; you can rest easy knowing you and your car are well represented.