A very common question that car accident victims ask me, is whether or not the rear driver in a rear-end accident is always at fault. This question arises so often, because insurance companies that represent the rear driver in an accident like this will sometimes dispute fault. They will say that the front driver caused the accident and that their insured is actually the victim. This article is meant to explain why this is, and what can be done to combat this technique used so often by insurance companies.
Insurance companies are well aware of this, and use it to their advantage all the time. The rules switch from state to state, but in Washington, there is no such thing as automatic determination of fault. Every case must be determined on an individual basis, using the unique facts at hand. Statistically, almost every rear end accident is found to be the fault of the rear driver, but there is no guarantee that a jury or judge will always see it that way. Your lawyer cannot know whether or not your case is similar to a situation I outlined in this article if they do not know the full details, so be sure to take advantage of a free consultation and discuss the facts involved in your case. The common belief about rear-end accidents is that they are always the rear driver’s fault, however, this is not the case legally here in Washington. They do this for a number of reasons. Here are the top 3:
1) To try and intimidate the accident victim into taking a very low settlement. The insurance companies try to overwhelm people filing claims against them, and one way they do this is by giving the impression that they will fight fault. This gets into people’s heads when they do not know how to handle accident claims, and can convince them to take a settlement that is outrageously low for the damages they sustained.
2) The insurance company may use this tactic to delay the accident victim from filing a claim. If they dispute fault long enough and act as a nuisance that prevents the accident victim from actually pursuing their claim, they could get the statute of limitations to run out. If they succeed in this attempt, they won’t have to pay a dime. This is a common tactic that is oftentimes used against accident victims who do not have a lawyer to fight their claim on their behalf.
3) Insurance companies will use these same tactics in cases where the victim is represented by an attorney they know is afraid of taking a case to court. If they know the attorney is not willing to fight your case all the way through, the insurance companies will be able to get them to settle for much less than they should. If your lawyer does not have court experience or any desire to get some, the insurance company you are fighting will likely dispute fault even if the evidence is overwhelmingly in your favor.
In order to defend yourself against these sneaky insurance tactics, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It is impossible for a lawyer to know whether this situation applies to your case without knowing the full details, so make sure you take advantage of a free consultation and discuss the merit of your case. Make sure to ask the attorney you meet with a lot of questions about their experience and whether or not they ever go to court so you will know if they are the right person to handle your case.
We have many more Auto Insurance Help Articles Now Available.