When the front of one car strikes the back of another, that is known as a rear-end collision. In some cases, a rear-end accident can cause a chain reaction with multiple vehicles in a lane striking each other from behind. Rear-end accidents in Johnstown are often misconceived as minor, but they can actually result in serious physical injuries.
If you were rear-ended and required medical attention, you may have grounds for a civil claim. A Johnstown vehicle wreck attorney could review your case and determine if you are eligible for financial recourse.
Common Causes of Rear-Ending
One of the most common locations where drivers are rear-ended is at intersections where there are either traffic lights or stop signs. When one vehicle is stopped, if the driver behind him or her is speeding, intoxicated, or distracted, he or she may be unable to stop in time and will strike the stopped car.
Another common location for rear-end collisions are construction zones. Since traffic is slower and congested in these areas, a speeding motorist may not expect the change in traffic pattern and strike a slower moving vehicle.
Drivers in Johnstown may also run the risk of being rear-ended if they stop suddenly. For instance, if a pedestrian or animal suddenly darts in front of a vehicle requiring the driver to come to a sudden stop. If the driver behind was tailgating, then he or she may not stop the vehicle before striking the car in front.
How is Fault Assigned in Rear-End Collisions?
Pennsylvania has an Assured Clear Distance Ahead Rule that states that every driver in the area has to maintain an assured clear distance ahead of his or her vehicle to prevent a collision. In other words, motorists are required to maintain a safe distance between themselves and others on in front of them to ensure they have space to stop if they need to. It is not a defense that the front vehicle stopped or slowed suddenly, for the trailing vehicle is required to maintain a following distance that would allow him or her sufficient space to stop safely.
This impacts the assignment of fault because no matter how fast a driver is going or how suddenly the motorist in front stops, it is the duty of the driver behind to keep a safe distance. Rear-ending another driver is evidence that this duty was violated and could leave the motorist financially liable for any resulting injuries.
Notably, there are some exceptions, though they are rare. For instance, if the front vehicle’s brake lights or turn signal were defective or out, then the motorist behind him or her would not know the vehicle was slowing down. These rear-end accident cases can be more complicated and often require guidance from a local attorney.
Discuss Rear-End Accidents with a Skilled Johnstown Attorney
If you or a loved one were rear-ended by a negligent driver, you could be eligible for financial recovery. With help from a lawyer experienced with rear-end accidents in Johnstown, you could hold the at-fault driver accountable for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.