Everyone has heard a variation of the following statement before: “Don’t you know if you are hit from behind it is always the other person’s fault?” Have you ever wondered how true that is under Rhode Island law? A quick answer is that in most cases, it is true, but there are some exceptions.
What Is Rhode Island Law on Rear-End Collisions?
When there is a car accident and someone sues the other driver, the main legal theory being sued upon is negligence. It is negligence, because all drivers have a duty in Rhode Island to drive safely on the road, so when that duty is breached, there may be a case for negligence. In Rhode Island, almost all negligence car accident cases involving rear-end collisions point to the rear driver as the person at fault.
The underlying policy for this law is that usually the rear driver should be at fault, because they were either driving distracted or were following too close behind to the car in front of them. Some of the most common distractions linked to rear-end collisions include: texting, eating, talking on the phone, looking at passengers, or even having a pet in the vehicle.
In the court system, there is rarely only one answer when it comes to who should be at fault for an accident. That is why there are some exceptions to this rule that could get the rear driver off the hook for liability. First, it is a presumption that the rear driver is the one at fault, but if it can be proven through evidence that the driver was driving reasonably under the circumstances, it could alleviate liability. In addition, another exception to this law is for emergencies. If you have an emergency arise in the course of driving and are reasonably careful while driving, then the Rhode Island courts will likely provide leniency in rare circumstances.
Why Is It Important To Know Who Is At Fault In An Accident?
When it comes to car accidents, most people who are trying to recover money for medical expenses and lost wages deal with the insurance companies to try and settle. Insurance companies are less likely to settle if it appears their client was not 100% at fault. This is why knowing the laws behind car accidents can be helpful in proving to the insurance companies that you deserve a settlement, because their client was at-fault for the accident.
Contact An Experienced Providence, RI Car Accident Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our Providence Car Accident Lawyers have over 20 years of experience and know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the settlement or award that you deserve. Just call us today toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.