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Who is at fault for a rear-end crash in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | car accidents

Vehicles traveling in close proximity to each other in traffic can sometimes collide. Frontal or head-on collisions are often among the worst crashes possible, They may involve high speeds and extensive vehicle damage.

Rear-end crashes may not seem quite as severe to some people, but they have the potential to cause catastrophic property damage and expensive injuries. Someone involved in a rear-end crash could develop a traumatic brain injury, a painful case of whiplash or broken bones because of the collision. The crash could also disable their vehicle or result in the insurance company declaring it totaled and unsafe to drive in the future.

Someone involved in a rear-end collision may need financial compensation but may be uncertain about their eligibility to file an insurance claim. Who is usually held accountable for a rear-end wreck in Kentucky?

The driver in back is often at fault

Kentucky imposes numerous restrictions on the conduct of motorists. They should not exceed the speed limit, turn without using a signal or run a red light when they approach an intersection. The state also requires that those in traffic leave adequate following distance between their vehicle and others in traffic. Typically, a three to four-second gap between a front vehicle and a back vehicle is adequate. Those in larger vehicles or driving during times of inclement weather may need to leave even more space. If a rear-end collision occurs because of tailgating or the failure to leave adequate space between vehicles, then the driver in the rear is likely to blame.

However, there are a few scenarios in which the driver in the front vehicle might technically be at fault. The failure to maintain the vehicle might mean that brake lights or turn signals do not illuminate even when the driver uses them the way they should. The failure to use turn signals before merging or slowing down could also put some of the fault for a rear-end collision on the driver in the front vehicle.

Finally, inappropriate merging and turning, including cases where one driver cuts someone else off and doesn’t leave enough space for them to slow down, could make a rear-end crash the fault of the driver in the front vehicle. While people often rush to make assumptions about fault and accountability after a traffic collision, the truth is that people need to analyze collisions on a case-by-case basis. For example, the driver in the front or rear vehicle may potentially be able to seek compensation if they can convince police officers, insurance professionals or the courts that the other driver caused the crash through unsafe conduct or regulatory violations.

Establishing fault is crucial for those who need compensation after a motor vehicle collision. Knowledge of the traffic rules that may apply after a wreck can help people effectively allocate fault for a crash.