man getting out of car hit from behind in rear-end crashIn most cases, the driver of the car that is hit from behind in Virginia will not be held liable in a crash. This is because Virginia law requires drivers to be attentive and to drive with a safe following distance, so rear-end accidents are usually the fault of the driver who violates this law and hits the car in front of them.

However, if you were operating your car in an unsafe or illegal manner, and your actions caused the driver behind you to hit your car, then you could be found liable. A Front Royal car accident attorney can help determine liability.

Determining Liability in Rear-End Collisions

Most rear-end car crashes are caused by an inattentive driver hitting the car in front of them. Virginia places responsibility on the following driver to maintain a safe distance and to be alert to changes in speed, sudden stops, traffic back-ups, and other events that require them to slow down or stop. If a car is slammed from behind when stopped at a red light or stop sign, a car accident attorney will have an easy time proving that the rear driver was at fault.

However, a driver cannot be held responsible for hitting you when your actions made it impossible for them to avoid an accident. The following are some instances when the driver of the car that was hit may be at fault for causing the accident:

  • Backing into the front of another vehicle
  • Making an improper U-turn
  • Failure to yield to traffic
  • Failure to display warning lights, such as a turn signal
  • Failure to replace malfunctioning brake lights that were known to the driver
  • Engaging in illegal activity (such as drinking or taking illegal drugs) that contributed to the accident

Whether you were the car in front that was hit, or the car behind that hit another car, you should talk to a car accident lawyer about liability if you were seriously injured and do not believe it was your fault. A skilled attorney can help you prove that the other driver was at fault and get you the compensation you need to pay medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.

Contact a Virginia Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a rear-end car accident, the attorneys at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas LLP can help you sort out the accident scene to determine who is really at fault and who deserves to be compensated for the damages.

Contact us through our online contact form or at 540-636-7100.

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
I'm grateful for all your work . . . Roger V. (Remington, VA)