A rear-end collision usually occurs when the front end of a vehicle strikes the rear end of another vehicle. Although there may be an automatic assumption that the driver of the rear vehicle may be at fault, there are situations in which the driver of the front vehicle is responsible, at least in part, for the accident.
Malfunctioning brake lights
It is the responsibility of every driver to ensure that the vehicle he or she is operating has fully functioning safety lights. If the front car of a rear-end crash has brake lights that do not work, the driver of the car behind it may not have enough time to come to a stop. The driver of the leading car may be found at fault for the accident.
Hazard lights are not turned on
In Louisiana, hazard lights can only be used when a vehicle is stationary. This includes:
- Parking in a designated loading or unloading zone
- Having a broken down vehicle that cannot immediately be moved out of traffic
- Experiencing an medical emergency while driving, such as a heart attack or labor pains
In a situation in which a stationary vehicle does not have on its hazard lights, the driver of the vehicle behind it may be unaware that the car is not moving until it is too late. Since having the hazard lights turned on may have prevented the accident from occurring, the driver of the front vehicle may be liable for the accident.
Drivers should always follow other vehicles at a safe distance in order to be able to stop in time. However, in scenarios in which two vehicles are traveling at high speeds and the driver of the front car suddenly brakes, the driver of the rear vehicle may not be able to respond in time. Sudden stops like this may be considered negligent driving behavior, and the driver of the front vehicle may be held accountable for the rear-end collision.
If you were operating the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision, it is important that you seek the services of an attorney who can investigate the factors surrounding the crash and determine which party in the accident was negligent. You may be able to obtain compensation for losses, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.