Who is At Fault in a Rear End Accident in North Carolina?

October 7, 2020 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Who is At Fault in a Rear End Accident in North Carolina?

Who is Liable in a Rear-End Collision?

Rear-end collisions are common in North Carolina and elsewhere. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) rear-end collisions are the most frequent auto accidents on our highways and roads every year. In the most recent data published by the NHTSA (December 2021), 29% of all accidents are rear-end collisions. These wrecks result in a substantial number of injuries and even fatalities, especially the rear-end collisions caused by a tractor-trailer or truck.

What happens if another driver rear-ends your vehicle? Who is liable under North Carolina law? In some cases, rear-end collisions can be less dangerous than other crashes, but even moderate impact from behind can cause serious injury. Who is at fault in a rear-end collision, and will you be able to recover damages for your injuries?

The experienced car accident attorneys at Riddle & Brantley want to help.

In this article, we’ll examine the question, “Who is at fault in a rear-end accident in North Carolina?” We’ll also provide some helpful tips on how you can recover compensation if you’ve been injured.

IMPORTANT: If you’ve been injured in a rear-end accident, call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced NC car accident lawyer. There are never any attorney fees unless we get compensation for you.

Determining Who Is At Fault in a Rear-End Collision

In most rear-end accidents in North Carolina, the driver in back is liable, but there are exceptions.

In rear-end collisions, it is usually the driver of the vehicle who rear-ended the other car who is at fault.

However, this is not always the case.

In some cases, the driver in the front may be responsible for the accident. For example, if the front driver made a sudden negligent maneuver in front of the back driver. Determining who is at fault can be tricky and there are many factors that must be considered when determining liability in a rear-end collision. In some cases, the insurance companies may attempt to blame both drivers for fault. This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer like one at Riddle and Brantley to help you as soon as possible after the wreck.

One of the most important factors to consider in determining fault in a rear-end collision is the principle of contributory negligence.

What is Contributory Negligence?

North Carolina is an “at-fault” state. This means that the person at fault for the auto accident will pay all damages for property and personal injury to the person he or she hit.

However, North Carolina is also one of the few states that has a “pure” contributory negligence rule. Pure contributory negligence prohibits a plaintiff from recovering any damages from the defendant in an accident if the plaintiff’s negligence is found to have contributed to the accident — even if only 1%.

Under this rule, you will not receive any compensation even if the driver who hit you is 99% at fault and you are only 1% at fault. The victim must be 100% free of fault to be awarded compensation. The following jurisdictions are the only ones to recognize contributory negligence as a rule of law:

  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Alabama
  • Washington DC

In these five jurisdictions, you must prove the other driver’s negligence to receive compensation for your damages after an accident. Determining who is at fault in a rear-end accident can be especially difficult because of contributory negligence.

It’s important that you hire a knowledgeable attorney that will have the resources to help you prove fault after a rear-end accident.

“How Can I Prove Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident?”

An experienced rear-end car accident lawyer can help collect evidence and prove fault in an auto wreck. Evidence useful in proving fault after a rear-end accident may include:

  • Visual evidence (debris, skid marks, property damage, etc.)
  • Witness testimony
  • Accident reconstruction reports by experts on both sides
  • Offical accident reports from law enforcement
  • Dash cam footage
  • Video footage of the accident from nearby business cameras
  • “Black box” data in truck accidents
  • Weather data

The legal team of personal injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley has extensive experience handling even the most complex rear-end accident cases.

The consultation is always free, and we are happy to determine if you have a case we can win.

For a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer handling rear-end accident claims, please call 1-800-525-7111.

There is no obligation, and we only get paid if we recover compensation for you.

Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your rear-end accident claim. If you’re wondering how to prove fault in a rear-end accident, we can help.

Rear-End Collisions in North Carolina

Typically, a rear-end collision occurs because one vehicle does not stop in time to avoid smashing into the vehicle in front of them.

Some common causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Distracted driving (playing with radio)
  • Alcohol or drug use (Driving while impaired)
  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Tailgating or following too closely
  • Driver fatigue
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Vehicle malfunction (e.g., brake problems or bad tires)
  • Reckless driving
  • Making unsafe movements

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of rear-end collisions. Driver distraction creates slower reaction times, which means motorists may not notice cars ahead slowing or stopping. Driver negligence at stop signs or lights can also cause a driver to remove pressure from the brake. This allows the vehicle to roll forward into another car.

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“I’ve Been Injured in a Rear-End Car Accident. What Do I Do Now?”

$600+ million recovered since 2000 alone.

If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision, our experienced car accident lawyers can help. We will review your claim, advise you on your best legal options, and if you decide to hire us, we will work to prove fault in your rear end collision and fight for the justice you deserve.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation regarding your potential rear-end car accident claim, please call 1-800-525-7111. There are no upfront costs, and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case.

Our car accident lawyers handle cases across North Carolina, including rear-end accidents occurring in:

Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim.

Justice Counts for those injured in rear-end accidents due to others’ negligence and we would love to help you.