Car accidents can happen in many ways, from fender benders to t-bones or broadside collisions. One of the most common types of car accident is a rear end collision. In Toledo, Ohio, there is a well-known presumption that in the case of a rear end collision, that the driver of the rear car is automatically at fault. However, as any car accident attorney in Toledo, Ohio will tell you, this is not always true. Our car accident attorneys are going to discuss some of the nuances of rear end collisions and explain why, and under which set of circumstances, the driver of the rear vehicle may not be found at fault in a rear end collision in Toledo.
Negligence in Toledo, Ohio Rear End Collisions
The legal term used to describe fault in an accident is usually negligence. This term refers to someone whose conduct willfully fails to achieve a standard of care. Basically, this means that if your actions put others in danger and you were aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of that fact, you can be found to be negligent. In terms of car accidents, in order to prove negligence, it is often necessary for you and your car accident lawyer in Toledo, Ohio to prove that some action on the part of the driver placed others at risk. Some common acts of negligence include:
- Failure to pay attention to the road and hazards on it
- Failure to stop when required
- Failure to drive a reasonable speed – based upon not only speed limits, but road conditions
- Failure to maintain control of a moving vehicle
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
If you and your car accident lawyer can prove one of these situations was true at the time of your accident, and that the action in question is what caused it, then you can prove the negligence of the other driver for your car accident case in Toledo, Ohio. In rear end collisions, one of these situations is often the case for the rear driver, perhaps leading to the perception that the rear driver is always at fault.
Establishing Fault for a Rear End Collision in Toledo, Ohio
In a rear end collision in Toledo, the driver of the rear vehicle will nearly always be considered to be negligent. The duty of every driver to maintain a safe speed and a safe following distance is generally sufficient to show negligence in these sort of accidents. Drivers must leave adequate space between their vehicle and a vehicle in front of them on the road, because, should the front vehicle need to suddenly or unexpectedly slow or stop in order to avoid road hazards or because of traffic congestion, the rear vehicle should have sufficient distance to stop without a collision occurring.
However, there are certain situations in which the driver in front of a rear end collision in Toledo, Ohio can be found to be negligent. Here are some common scenarios:
- The driver in front suddenly reverses
- The driver in front suddenly stops to make a turn but does not execute the turn
- The driver in front has non-functional brake lights
- The driver in front has a flat tire but refuses to pull over or engage hazard lights
In each of these situations, the driver of the car in front, the one that gets rear-ended, would most likely be considered to be negligent in the Toledo, OH rear end collision. The true determination of negligence will depend upon the unique facts of your case, and your Toledo car accident attorney will be able to assess your situation in particular.
Comparative and Contributory Negligence in Toledo, Ohio Car Accidents
In the case that more than one driver is at fault for an accident, the outcome will change from state to state because of comparative and contributory negligence laws in those states. Here in the state of Ohio, we have had a comparative negligence law since 1980. Unlike some states which have harsher contributory negligence laws, comparative negligence considers each drivers’ contribution to the accident and allows anyone that is suffering from injuries to recover damages reduced by their percentage of fault of the accident. In this state, if one party is more than 50% at fault, then no recovery or compensation is possible.
Consult with an Ohio Car Accident Attorney About Your Rear End Collision
As you can see, the law regarding rear end collisions in Toledo, Ohio is not quite so clear. If you have been rear-ended through no fault of your own, contact the law offices of the Chester Law Group serving Toledo, Ohio today to find out the best solution for you.