Car accident liability in Tennessee rear-end collisions

When dealing with insurance companies after a car accident, the issue of who is liable for the crash often comes into play. Whether another driver's negligence caused a crash can be tricky to prove. In one type of Tennessee car accident, fault nearly always apportioned to the driver of the back car.

Rear-end accidents are almost never the fault of the front driver. Drivers are supposed to keep enough distance between their car and the car in front of them so that they can stop, even quickly, without hitting the front car. In the eyes of insurance companies, it is easier to hold the back driver liable for the crash, which is why it usually ends up that way.

Causation not always apparent

Generally, the damage in an rear-end collision leaves little doubt over what occurred during the accident. One car has a damaged back bumper and the other has a damaged front bumper.

In these cases, the following vehicle's driver would probably not be able to claim that the car in front caused the damage, however, the driver could argue that a third car caused a chain reaction by forcing the front car to stop suddenly. The back driver may have also been rear-ended itself and pushed into the front car. In this case, the driver sandwiched in the middle could have a claim against the car that hit his or her vehicle.

What about the driver of the front car in this situation - does he or she get off scotch free? No, likely the front car is partially at fault if the driver contributed to the accident. For example, if the driver's vehicle had broken brake lights. Or, if the car had mechanical problems, such as a flat tire, and the driver did not try to move the car out of the flow of traffic. In these situations, the driver could be partially to blame for being rear-ended. If the front car driver was negligent, that driver's monetary award could be reduced.

You can prevent a rear-end accident by avoiding sudden stops unless it is an emergency. Flash your break lights if you see a traffic jam or other road issue ahead that will cause you to slow down or stop quickly.

If you or a loved one is injured in a rear-end collision and liability is in question, an attorney can help protect your rights. You should not be held liable for an accident that was not caused by any negligence on your part.

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