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Who is responsible for a rear-end collision in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

A car accident can impact your life in a variety of ways. One of the most common types of accidents in Pennsylvanian roads is a rear-end collision. Basically, these accidents happen when a car rams into another car from behind.

Rear-end collisions account for approximately 23 percent of all car crashes in Pennsylvania. If you believe the rear-end crash that resulted in your injuries was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. But first, you must prove that the accident was someone else’s fault.

So, what does the law say about rear-end collisions?

Like other states, Pennsylvania motorists have a duty to maintain a safe and reasonable distance between their vehicles. As far as the state’s modified comparative negligence laws are concerned, however, fault is distributed based on each party’s contribution to the crash. Thus, if it is established that you were more than 50 percent responsible for the crash, then you may not recover damages.

Here are some of the factors the court may look at when establishing fault:

  • The mechanical condition of both vehicles – if the car that rear-ended you had brake issues that the owner knew or should have been aware of, then they may bear a greater liability. Likewise, if your vehicle had signal problems and, thus, failed to warn other road users, then your contribution to the crash may come under scrutiny.
  • Each driver’s situational awareness – drunk driving and distractions are a major problem. If either motorist lacked situational awareness (due to intoxication or their phone), they may be found at fault.

A rear-end collision can result in serious personal injuries and property damage. Understanding your legal options can help hold the liable party to account and pursue the damages you are entitled to following the crash.