Tailgating accidents occur more frequently than you might think, and they often cause serious injuries with significant medical bills. One challenge in the aftermath of a tailgating accident is determining the appropriate liability for the incident.
There are a few things that you should know about determining fault in the event of a tailgating accident.
Many people assume that the driver of the tailgating car is automatically liable for the accident. While this might make a reasonable assumption given the nature of the impact, that isn’t always the case. Determining fault requires a thorough assessment of the circumstances. While the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is frequently at fault, the other driver could be liable if they negligently changed lanes or slammed on the brakes to “brake check” the driver behind them.
Determining contributory negligence
Pennsylvania allows for contributory negligence in some personal injury cases. That means you can still seek a settlement for your injuries even if your actions contributed to the accident. The court reduces your settlement by the percentage of fault assigned to you in the case.
Considering technology’s role
Another important consideration in these cases is the role of technology. Many cars include collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking. This technology can help to determine fault since it records speed, distance and the reactions of both vehicles. Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that forward collision warning systems and emergency braking tools could prevent 50% of rear-end collisions.
Tailgating is a dangerous behavior on the road and it increases the risk of traffic accidents. Understanding how to assess liability if it happens to you is the first step toward seeking the compensation you deserve.