Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents. Victims of a rear-end collision may experience severe injuries, especially if the colliding vehicle is traveling at high speeds when the accident occurs.

Rear-end collisions are often the fault of the driver who crashes into a vehicle that is stopped or slowing down. However, it’s possible for multiple parties to be at fault for these accidents, which can affect an injured party’s ability to recover compensation by settlement or a personal injury lawsuit.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions

Driver negligence is often the cause of a rear-end collision. There are several reasons that drivers make errors that cause these potentially life-threatening accidents

Speeding

Driving over the speed limit is both dangerous and illegal. It increases the risk of a rear-end collision if there is a sudden need to stop due to traffic, a stop sign, or an obstruction in the road.

The faster a car is driving when a rear-end collision occurs, the higher the risk of serious injuries for the occupants of both vehicles.

Tailgating

Driving too close to the vehicle in front isn’t just annoying. It’s also a common cause of rear-end collisions because it gives very little time to react if the car in front needs to slow down.

Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers cause many types of car accidents. When they take their eyes off the road for a split-second to put on makeup or send a text, they may fail to see the car in front of them hitting the brakes.

Reacting a second too late is enough to cause a rear-end collision that results in damage to both vehicles, along with physical injuries to the drivers and passengers of each vehicle.

Failure to Adjust to Inclement Weather Conditions

Drivers must take extra precautions when there is heavy rain, sleet, or fog. If a driver rear-ends another vehicle due to slippery roads or reduced visibility, he or she will likely be found at fault for the accident for failing to give extra space to stop during inclement weather.

Which Driver is At Fault for a Rear-End Collision?

The driver who rear-ends another vehicle is generally negligent for failing to stop or slow down in time. In some situations, the driver who is rear-ended could also share responsibility for the accident. For example, a driver who purposely slams on their brakes for no reason–known as brake-checking–may be at-fault if another vehicle rear-ends them. 

Dysfunctional brake lights or a failure to use a turn signal can also contribute to rear-end collisions. In this case, both parties may share some of the fault for the accident.

Texas law requires drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage that may cover some of your costs. However, these policies often have low limits that won’t cover all of your damages if you were seriously injured in an accident.

How Fault is Split Among Multiple Parties

Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. An injured party may seek a financial recovery even if he is partially at fault for the accident. His financial recovery will be reduced by his fault percentage.

If the injured party is more than 50% at fault for the accident, he is barred from seeking any financial recovery under Texas law. This can sometimes involve multiple parties as rear-end collisions can cause a chain reaction of several collisions.

For example, Driver A slows down to turn but fails to use a turn signal. Driver B is directly behind and slows down, but his brake lights aren’t working. Driver C rear-ends Driver B, whose vehicle then hits Driver A.

All parties may be partially at fault in this case. As long as Driver A’s fault percentage is 50% or less, he can seek a financial recovery from Drivers B and C. Driver A’s financial recovery will be reduced based on his percentage of fault. With $100,000 in damages and a fault percentage of 30%, Driver A would still be able to seek a recovery of $70,000.

Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your injuries from a rear-end collision and discover whether you may be able to seek financial compensation.