If you were involved in a rear-end car accident in Oklahoma, you might assume that the driver in the back will automatically be held responsible for the damage, regardless of the circumstances. However, this common belief is not completely accurate. Here is some information on the factors that may be considered when determining liability for a rear-end car accident in Oklahoma.
Initial Presumption Of Fault On Rear Driver
Most often, rear-end accidents are caused when someone is following the car in front of them too closely or going too quickly to slow or stop in time if the car in front of them brakes. Under Oklahoma law, drivers must travel at a slow enough speed and leave enough space between them and the car ahead to be able to slow or stop if the car ahead suddenly brakes. Because of this law, there is a presumption following rear-end collisions that the driver in the back was not following this rule and was responsible for the accident. However, this does not mean that the rear driver is always liable.
Factors That May Shift Blame
If you rear-ended another vehicle but feel that it was not your fault, you may avoid liability if you can show that you were unable to avoid hitting the driver in front of you due to some extenuating circumstances. Those circumstances might include:
If the car in front of you did not have functioning brake lights, it may have been difficult to realize quickly enough that the car was slowing down or stopping, even if you were paying complete attention and traveling at a safe distance and speed.
Distracted Or Reckless Driving
If the driver of the car ahead of you was distracted or driving erratically, a court might determine that you were not at fault for the accident for rear-ending them. For example, if they were texting while driving and had to suddenly slam on their brakes because they had not been paying attention, you may be able to shift blame to them, since the accident would not have occurred but for their recklessness.
If a car cuts right in front of you, it may be impossible to be at a safe enough distance and speed to be able to stop suddenly. You might not be liable for rear-ending a car if it was impossible for you to have enough notice to stop.
If the collision involved multiple vehicles, often only the car in the rear would be at fault. If you were to rear-end someone after another car hit you from behind, you might not be liable for the damage to the car in front of you.
With rear injury accidents, Oklahoma applies the doctrine of comparative negligence to determine liability. A court will determine what percentage of fault you have versus the others involved in the accident. As long as you were not more to blame than each of the other drivers, you may be able to recover for your damages. If you were most at fault, though, you may be precluded from getting compensation.
Rear-End Car Accidents in Tulsa Are Common
In Oklahoma its rather surprising how many rear-end accidents occur each year. Also, this kind of accident cause serious back and whiplash injuries to those involved in this kind of wreck. The reality is that if you’re involved in this kind of accident and you were injured you probably have a good case. Like in all car accidents its important that you remain on the scene and allow the Police to come and issue traffic citations. This citation is the best evidence that you can have proving that the person that rear-ended you was at fault. Its also important to exchange all insurance information and to make sure you have all the information regarding who ran into you.
Rear-End Car Accident Attorneys
If you suffered injuries from a rear-end car accident in Oklahoma, you should consult with a injury accident lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Kania Law Office are well-versed on car accident cases. We will do everything we can to help you get compensation and relief for your damages, injuries and losses. For more information about your rights and legal options following an Oklahoma car accident, touch base with the car accident attorneys at Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.