One of the most common vehicle crashes that police deal with on a daily basis are those involving rear end collisions. In this type of collision, the front of the trailing vehicle strikes the rear of the lead vehicle, most often causing visible damage to the rear bumper, breaking the taillights, damaging the frame, or worse.
The following Pennsylvania law on the subject is similar to that of other states and supports the generally-accepted presumption that the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault for the crash:
The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards existing, nor at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring his vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
However, not every rear end collision is a cut and dry scenario. If the driver of the trailing vehicle denies fault for the collision, the basis will normally fall into one of the following categories: environmental conditions (ice, snow, wet roadway or a greasy oil slick), mechanical (brake malfunction), lead driver at fault (pulled in front and stopped quickly), or other driver at fault (as in a chain reaction where another vehicle pushed the trailing vehicle into the lead vehicle). The responding police officer will usually conduct an investigation by interviewing the drivers, passengers and witnesses, observing the physical evidence, taking measurements and photographs and will then create a report which will include a determination of fault. In more complex crashes, Michael J. O’Connor & Associates will retain an experienced accident reconstruction expert to conduct an investigation using state-of-the-art technology that assists the expert in allocating fault.
If you have been the victim of a rear end collision, you need the assistance of an attorney to step into the situation on your behalf and deal with the complexity of issues created by the collision. The attorneys of Michael J. O’Connor & Associates have experience handling these difficult situations. We will deal with the insurance companies to make certain your claim is set up properly, that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to and that you are fully compensated for all the harms and losses you suffered. We do so with a focus on customer service to give you the peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
Let us fight for your rights.