If you are in an automobile accident where you have been rear-ended by another vehicle it is likely that you believe it is the other driver’s fault. When I worked as a police officer and responded to an accident that involved a rear-end collision the car who was rear-ended seemed to always automatically know it was not going to be their fault. It is true in most cases that if you are rear-ended the driver of the vehicle is at fault because the majority of the time these collisions occur as a result of following the vehicle too closely or not paying attention to changing traffic conditions. However there are some exceptions to this rule and if you happen to rear-end someone you may not be at fault.
If the driver who was rear-ended was driving recklessly or intended to cause an accident that driver may be found at fault. For example, I remember working an accident in which someone rear-ended another vehicle and the driver of the vehicle stated that he knew the other driver who was following him was too close so he slammed on his brakes with the intent that the driver would rear-end him. He stated this most matter of factly because he just knew that if he was rear-ended it would not be his fault. This is not the case. The driver who was rear-ended in this case was cited for reckless driving and could now be on the hook for damages to the driver who rear-ended him.
Another exception to this rule is a multi-vehicle collision. If more than two cars are involved in an accident in which a single vehicle rear-ended one vehicle and it resulted in a line of vehicles rear-ending each other than the driver who initially hit is likely to be liable. For example, if there are two cars stopped a red light and a third vehicle does not brake in time and hits the second vehicle which in turn causes the second vehicle to hit the first, then the third vehicle will be liable to both drivers he hit.
If you are in an accident in which you are rear-ended or if you rear-ended someone else you need to learn what your options are. You may not be at fault and need to contact an attorney who has experience dealing with automobile accidents and will work hard on your case to get you what you deserve.