Under Maryland law, there are certain rules that help determine who is at fault in a rear-end collision – whether it involves two cars or twenty. The clearest is this: As a general rule, if one car is lawfully stopped (at a red light, at a stop sign, or due to traffic, etc.) and the rear car hits the stopped car, the rear car is at fault.
What if both cars are moving? Generally, the rear driver is still at fault, because it is ordinarily the responsibility of the rear driver to maintain a safe distance between the two vehicles. That includes accounting for the weather conditions, like a wet or snowy road.
What if there are three cars, and more than one crashes from behind? In that case, both of the rear cars can be at fault – the second car for not maintaining enough distance behind the first car, and the third car for not maintaining enough distance behind the second car. After all, a driver has to be prepared for the possibility that the car ahead will come to a stop.
That said, a sudden stop is usually the most potent defense that a rear driver can present after a rear-end collision. If the car ahead came to a sudden stop, the rear driver may claim that the stop was too unexpected and sudden, so that it was impossible to avoid the accident.
If you have any questions about who is at fault in a rear-end car accdient, you should contact the Maryland personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.