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Who Is at Fault in a Rear End Car Accident?


It is commonly believed that the tailing driver is always at fault because she/he has failed to keep a safe distance and was not able to stop in time. There are, however, accidents, in which the driver at the front shares some of the responsibility. In such cases, the blame is shared between both drivers. But the reality is that the rear ender is at fault most of the time. In fact, I’d say about 95% of the time.

Establishing Fault in a Rear End Car Accident
All drivers must adhere to a certain conduct and failure to do so is considered to be negligence. If a driver fails in her/his duty of care, she/he will be at fault. Because it is the tailing driver’s responsibility to keep a safe distance to enable her/him to stop if necessary, some fault will almost always rest with him/her. In most rear end car accidents, all of the blame falls onto the tailing driver’s lap.

Nevertheless, the driver at the front must also use the road with due care. If the driver at the front can be proven to have been negligent, some of the fault will be attributed to her/him.

In the course of an accident investigation, each party’s involvement is carefully examined in order to apportion fault and determine liability.

The Tailing Driver Is Almost Always at Fault, except When…
There are some instances in which the driver who gets rear-ended is partially to blame. In such cases, the fault is attributed to both cases.

Drivers who get rear-ended are partially to blame if they:

  • Reverse suddenly and unexpectedly
  • Stop without warning to take a turn but then fail to take the turn
  • Drive a car without properly functioning brake lights or indicators
  • Suffer a flat tyre but fail to turn on her/his hazard lights and fails to pull over

It is always up to the accident investigation team to determine how to share the fault and apportion liability. Each state has its own way of attributing fault in an accident.

Negligence in Car Accidents
To attribute blame in a car accident, the driver in question must be proven to have failed in her/his duty as a driver. A driver is considered to have been negligent if her/his use of the road failed to comply with safe and reasonable driving conduct standards. The following driver behavior is deemed to be negligent:

  • Failure to drive carefully
  • Speeding
  • Failure to maintain control of a vehicle
  • Failure to stop
  • Failure to yield
  • Failure to signal adequately

If a driver is proven to have failed in his duty of care and an accident occurs, she/he will be at fault.

If you have any physical or mental pain as a result of the accident, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation: 818-272-8882

No fee, no risk promise: we don’t get paid until you win.


Schedule a free case evaluation: (818) 272-8882


Michael A. Rabban

Attorney at Law


Michael A. Rabban has been regarded as one of the best Personal Injury lawyers in Los Angeles.

In 2009, he founded a very successful law practice that quickly garnered the respect of clients and peers alike.

He has handled cases involving work related accidents, car accidents, and many premises liability cases such as Slip and fall accidents, dog bite, and negligent security cases. To Michael, it had always been a life time dream to establish a practice who's mission was to treat each and every one of his clients with care, dignity and respect. He strives to afford every one of his cases, no matter how big or small, the time, effort and attention he or she deserves. He lives and breathes by the mantra that no person is without rights.

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I know many attorneys and was having a hard time deciding who to use. I was fortunate enough to make a great choice and pick Mr. Rabban to represent me. He is professional, knowledgeable, personable, and took the time to answer all questions. He would follow-up with me regularly and pay close attention to the details of my personal case. The outcome of his hard-work paid off and I thank him for that. I strongly suggest him to everyone seeking counsel.


David M.

Los Angeles

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Schedule a free case evaluation: (818) 272-8882