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Shared Fault for a Rear-End Accident in Phoenix

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Sep 17, 2019 in Auto Accidents

red car with accident damage to rearIf one car crashes into the back of another, the driver of that car is most likely going to be found at fault for the crash. However, there may be situations when the lead driver is partially to blame for the crash.

As fault can be a complex issue in a rear-end accident, it is a good idea to discuss the situation with a qualified attorney. The licensed Phoenix car accident lawyers at our firm understand the confusion experienced by victims of rear-end accidents. We are here to answer your questions and determine if you may be eligible for compensation.

Fault in the Majority of Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of car accidents in Arizona. Some of the main reasons for these crashes are heavy traffic and distracted driving.

In most rear-end accident cases, the driver of the striking vehicle is held liable for the damages. This is usually what happens if a driver gets hit while stopped at a red light, in a line of traffic, or at a stop sign. The lead driver did nothing wrong to cause the accident. He or she was following the rules of the road.

When your vehicle is hit from behind, there is not much the striking driver can argue about, especially if his or her vehicle has front-end damage and yours has rear-end damage. The rear driver could also be held liable if bad weather contributed to the crash. For example, if there was a thick layer of smoke or fog in the area that limited visibility, the driver may have needed to slow down to help prevent crashing into another car.

How the Lead Driver Could be at Fault

There are times where the lead driver, the one who was struck from behind, can be held partly responsible for the rear-end accident.

For example, the accident victim could potentially be held partially responsible if he or she did any of the following:

  • Suddenly put the car in reverse
  • Failed to use hazard lights when his or her car was broken down
  • Stopped for no reason
  • Drove erratically
  • Stopped to make a turn and did not turn

The lead driver could also be partially at fault if his or her brake lights do not work or one of the tires goes flat and the driver stops in the middle of traffic to fix it.

The bottom line here is that if some portion of blame can be assigned to you in a rear-end accident as the lead driver, the court will need to determine how much fault you will be assigned. If your claim is for $5,000 and you were deemed to be 30 percent responsible, you would only receive 70 percent of the $5,000 claim, or $3,500. 

This is an example of how Arizona’s comparative negligence law may be applied to a personal injury claim. However, if a claimant intentionally, willfully or wantonly caused or contributed to an injury, he or she cannot pursue compensation.

Our Lawyers Are Here to Help

Have you been injured in a rear-end collision in Arizona? If so, it is important that you discuss the case with our experienced lawyers.

Call Phillips Law Group today at 1-800-706-3000 to schedule a consultation.

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