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Which driver is at fault for a rear-end collision in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Car Accidents

There are many different types of collisions that occur in Maryland, each of which comes with a different degree of risk. Head-on or frontal collisions are often among the most severe, although vehicles now have safety systems designed to reduce the danger of such crashes. Side collisions or T-bone crashes remain relatively dangerous, as side-impact airbags are not standard safety systems.

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common crashes that occur. Rear-end crashes can cause a host of injuries. The people in the front vehicle are at risk of serious soft tissue injuries or brain injuries if they strike their heads during the crash. Those in the rear vehicle could also suffer traumatic injuries ranging from blunt force trauma to the head to broken bones.

Who is typically to blame for rear-end collisions in Maryland?

Every crash is a unique situation. Many people operate under the assumption that the driver in the rear vehicle is always to blame for a rear-end crash. Quite a few rear-end crashes occur because the driver in the rear vehicle does something irresponsible or unsafe.

They may engage in tailgating because they feel frustrated about the speed of another vehicle in traffic. Even someone not engaged in unnecessary aggressive driving could fail to maintain an appropriate following distance behind another vehicle. In cases where excess speed or insufficient space between vehicles is the primary cause of a rear-end crash, the driver in the rear vehicle is usually the party to blame for the wreck.

However, there are scenarios in which the driver in the rear vehicle may not be the proximate cause of the accident. Perhaps the driver in the front vehicle failed to use their turn signals or did not break appropriately to indicate their intention to stop or decelerate. Maybe improper vehicle maintenance means that the brake lights or turn signals did not illuminate, leading to a sudden stop by the front vehicle and the crash.

The driver in the front vehicle could also have caused a dangerous situation by cutting someone else off in traffic. Merging or turning too close in front of another vehicle deprives the other driver of an opportunity to respond safely to changing traffic circumstances. In scenarios where a rear-end collision is part of a chain reaction or multi-vehicle crash, there may be more factors to consider when determining who is at fault.

Understanding what influences fault for a rear-end collision can help people evaluate their options for compensation. People in the front or rear vehicle may have grounds to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the other driver if they are to blame for the incident in question.

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