Is it your fault if you've driven into the back of someone?

In many cases, if you hit another car from behind, you would be held responsible. But there are occasions when this is not the case. Find out what to do if you hit another car from behind.

05 June 2015

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For 99% of the time, if you drive into the back of someone on the road it is your fault. However, sometimes it seems unfair to be blamed for something that was unavoidable.

For example, you're driving at the speed limit, leaving a good space between you and the car in front, when another car cuts in front of you and slams on their brakes. In this instance you don’t have enough space between you and the car in front for an adequate stopping distance and you go into the back of them. So, if this happens, is it your fault?

The answer is, it depends on the facts. There are many factors that come in to play when defending a rear end collision. Could you have predicted this movement? Could you have reacted more quickly to the movements of the other driver? In the event an accident occurred and a prosecution is being considered a driving offence, a driving defence lawyer would go over the incident in detail to see if your accident was avoidable.

One of the ways you can help yourself is by installing a dashboard camera. Cameras have seen a boost in sales as insurance companies often ask for unequivocal proof of blame before paying out. Many lorries already have on-board cameras but it's becoming more and more common for domestic drivers to have them installed, just in case of an accident.

Another type of rear end accident is where a driver in front of you purposefully brakes hard, forcing you to crash into the back of them. The driver will accept that the crash was their fault and give you their details, but a few weeks later you will receive a letter stating that the accident caused substantial damage to the vehicle, amongst other wildly exaggerated claims.

There are a few things you could do if this happens, though at the time you may be too shaken up to remember them. Don’t admit liability or responsibility for the accident. Try and stay calm and remember as many details as you can and if the police want to interview you, always have a solicitor present.

Some fraudsters will try and claim for passengers that weren’t actually in the vehicle so if you can try and take some photos with your phone it will help when you dispute the claim against you. Also take pictures of any damage and the general scene.

Above all, don’t panic. If you receive something in the post with exaggerated claims after an accident, get in touch with a professional driving defence lawyer who can help you prove that the accident was staged and wasn’t your fault.

For more information, please call our driving defence experts on freephone 0330 107 6483 or contact us online for expert advice.

All the above information was correct at the time of publication.

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