When people read in the news about a rear-end collision, they automatically assume the crash was the fault of the driver in the car that was following the other one involved in the accident. Since all states require drivers to follow at a safe distance, this means rear drivers must be prepared to stop if the driver in front of them stops suddenly to avoid an accident or a pedestrian or even debris in the road.

Although the rear driver is presumed to have caused the accident, the presumption can be overcome based on the circumstances surrounding the sudden stop, witness statements and evidence found at the scene. Under North Carolina law, it is vital to any personal injury case arising from an auto accident to determine which driver was negligent and at fault.

In determining fault, courts will consider all relevant evidence, including, but not limited to:

  • Witness statements including statements of drivers, passengers and bystanders.
  • Police reports.rear-end collision
  • Whether either driver received a traffic citation.
  • Evidence at the scene including any debris or potholes in the road that may have caused the front driver to slam on the brakes or skid marks documenting the rear car’s attempt to stop.

Evidence Supporting Rear Driver Negligence

  • The front driver was stopped a red light or stop sign when the rear driver plowed into the back of the car.
  • The rear driver received a citation for a traffic violation related to the accident. For example, he or she was cited for speeding, following too closely, distracted driving or other similar violation.
  • Skid marks on the road showing the brakes were applied but the car was traveling too fast to stop in time.

Evidence Rebutting Rear Driver Negligence

It is a difficult thing to do, but occasionally there are circumstances that may rebut the presumption of rear driver negligence. Some examples include:

  • The front car suddenly changed lanes for no apparent reason and without signaling.
  • The front car stopped suddenly and unexpectedly at a green light.
  • The front car slowed down and stopped to make a turn, but then did not turn.

There may be circumstances where both drivers were negligent. This is unfortunate for those injured in a North Carolina rear-end collision. State law prevents drivers who had any fault at all in an accident from collecting damages no matter how minuscule their fault may have been.

If you were involved or injured in a rear-end collision, whether you were the driver of the front or rear car, you need the services of a Charlotte personal injury lawyer. Contact us at Campbell and Associates for a free consultation. We will review the circumstances of your accident and advise you on the best way to proceed.