So You Got Rear Ended. Now What? Legal Reasons #12

texting2 image (1)Last week, I had a new employee who was on her way to fill out their paperwork and begin training, and unfortunately ended up getting rear ended. This has become a common occurrence as the use of cell phones while driving has increased exponentially.

If you are involved in an automobile accident in which your vehicle is rear-ended, most of the time, the driver that hit your car from behind will be determined to be at fault, no matter why you stopped. Fault is not codified into the State of California vehicle code. Therefore, the police determine fault when they issue their accident report. This determination is based upon the damage to the vehicles as well as the basic “rule of the road” that requires a driver to be able to stop safely if traffic stops suddenly ahead of him or her. If he or she cannot stop safely, the driver is traveling too fast, too closely, or both, and therefore in violation of the vehicle code.

In a typical rear-end car wreck, the driver in front is either stopped or slowing when the driver in back hits the car from behind. While it is the policy of most insurance companies to accept that the driver in the back car is at fault in a rear-end collision, that is not the law. Therefore, insurance companies offer to settle claims based on their estimate of what would probably happen if the case came to trial–who would be found at fault, and how much they would be liable for. Generally, people who get rear-ended are not determined to be negligent, while those who rear-end them are.

No matter what, always get checked out by a doctor. Your health is always the biggest priority. And if you feel you are getting the run around from the party and/or their insurance, it might be time for you to call in your own big guns. 🙂


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