When is a rear-end accident not the following driver’s fault?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had an interesting Question posed to Washington State Patrol officer, Keith Trowbridge, who writes a blog for the P-I. The question posed was basically, In a rear-end collision, is it always the following driver’s fault?

According to Officer Trowbridge, the State Patrol will use their discretion at determining fault by looking at “the totality of the circumstances.” He did caution that most people who rear-end other vehicles are usually at fault and usually cited. That said, here are some examples of where the following driver wouldn’t be cited:

  • Unsafe lane change — if someone changes lanes in front of you and brakes at the same time.
  • When your are stopped in traffic and someone rear-ends you, causing you to rear-end the vehicle in front of you.
  • When the driver you rear-end is a scam artist. Sometimes a scam artist will drive an “old beater” car and cause people to rear end them to collect insurance money.

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Negligence in any car accident usually is based upon a violation of the “rules of the road,” which are the Washington State motor vehicle codes that regulate driving. The “rules of the road” are in Chapter 46.61 of the Revised Code of the State of Washington. Click here to read the Duties of the Following Driver.

This information was brought to you by Seattle Car Accident Attorney, a service of The Farber Law Group. Car accident specialists, we have represented car accident victims for more than 30 years.

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