Determining liability when rear-ended in a car or truck accident isn’t always straightforward. Often it is wrongly assumed that the person in the rear is to blame. Sometimes the driver who was rear-ended may be at fault. Other times, a third car may have caused the rear end car crash. Here’s what you need to know about determining liability in a rear-end car accident.
Was anyone acting negligently?
The first thing to think about is whether or not either party was acting negligently at the time of the collision.
Examples of negligent behavior include the following actions listed below.
• Breaking traffic laws
• Drunk driving
• Driving aggressively
• Anything else that would be considered dangerous by a reasonable person
If one party was apparently acting negligently at the time of the collision, and if this negligence contributed in part or in full to the rear-end collision, then that party may be to blame.
How do I prove negligence?
To prove negligence, you’ll need to gather evidence. Examples of evidence that may help to substantiate your claim and establish that another other driver was, in fact, at fault for the accident include this list.
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Breathalyzer/drug tests
- Cell phone records (to indicate whether or not the person was talking on a cell phone/texting while driving)
- Individual testimony
- Physical damage
- Photo damage
Iowa Shared Fault Laws
Sometimes, both drivers may be partially to blame for a rear-end collision. For example, maybe the rear driver was following too closely, but the front driver was driving without working brake lights. If this is the case, the Iowa’s comparative fault laws will be applied.
Under comparative fault laws, a claimant’s damages will be diminished in proportion to his/her percentage of the blame. In other words, if you rear-ended someone but were only 10 percent at fault, then your recoverable damages amount would be reduced by 10 percent.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You
Determining and proving liability in a rear-end collision can be a headache. It’s likely that the at-fault party will try to put the blame on you, complicating matters even more so.
To help you establish liability, file a claim in time, and negotiate a settlement amount, you’ll need an attorney. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we hope that you’ll choose our legal services. Our attorneys are passionate about servicing you, and making sure you get the compensation you deserve!