Personal Injury Blog

Whose Responsibility is it to Avoid a Rear-End Collision in Maryland?

By: Matthew Tievsky

One of the most common types of auto accidents that we see are rear-end collisions, in which one car (the following vehicle) hits the back of another car (the leading vehicle). When this happens, who is at fault – the leading driver or the following driver? It could be the fault of either driver. Or it could be the fault of both drivers.Rear-End Accident

Maryland law imposes a duty on the following driver not to drive too quickly, or too close to the leading driver. So usually, the duty of avoiding a rear-end collision lies with the following driver. But at the same time, it's understood that the leading driver is not supposed to brake his/her vehicle too suddenly and unexpectedly. (However, if the leading vehicle is already stopped when the collision happens, then there is not much question that the fault lies with the following driver.)

So if you are the leading driver, then generally the following driver will be found at fault, and you are entitled to compensation in the event of a rear-end collision. However, beware the accusation by the following driver that you braked too suddenly – because if a jury finds both of you at fault, then you cannot win a lawsuit. (To win your lawsuit, the jury must find that only the defendant was at fault, not both of you.)

If you have any questions about whether you are entitled to compensation after a rear-end collision, you should contact the auto accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.