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Assigning Fault for a Rear-End Collision

In any Oklahoma car accident claims case, the goal is to figure out who is at fault, or who was careless. In some cases, fault is not so obvious, and it takes a thorough investigation and a lot of back and forth to determine liability. In other cases, however, fault is obvious. One such case is a rear-end collision. If you were involved in a rear-end collision in Oklahoma, contact the car accident lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to discuss possible recovery options today.

Rear-End Collisions and No-Doubt Liability

No-doubt liability is a theory that insurance companies apply when certain types of car accidents occur. In cases involving rear-end collisions, this theory applies. In rear-end collision accidents, there is a 99% probability that the rear driver is the negligent driver, which is why most insurance companies will hardly be bothered to argue claims of this nature.

There are a couple reasons why insurance companies rarely bother to argue rear-end collision claims. For one, if someone hits you from behind, it is rarely ever your fault. One of the first rules one learns as a new driver is to keep several car lengths between his or her vehicle and the vehicle ahead. The goal is to ensure that a driver has enough time to safely stop if traffic ahead is stopped. If a person fails to keep a safe distance between his or her vehicle and the vehicle ahead, and if he or she runs into a stopped car, the law assumes that he or she was not driving as safely as the person in front.

The other reason liability is almost clear cut in rear-end collision claims is because damages that result in rear-end collisions prove how the accident happened. For instance, when a car's rear end is damaged and another car's front is damaged, there is not much question about who struck whom.

Contributory Negligence in Rear-End Collisions

That said, there are a few circumstances in which the rear-ended driver's own carelessness may have contributed to the accident. In these cases, Oklahoma's contributory negligence laws kick in, which state that a plaintiff may not be barred from recovery unless the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for the accident.

A driver of a rear-ended vehicle may share fault if he or she was driving without brake lights, especially at night. Another instance in which the driver of the front vehicle may share the blame is if his or her vehicle broke down in the middle of the road and he or she failed to do everything to both move the vehicle and warn other drivers of the situation.

If the driver who rear-ended you can prove that you share any degree of fault for the accident , the insurance company will reduce your payout by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

Retain the Help of an Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a rear end collision in Oklahoma, chances are that it was not your fault. However, do not assume the at-fault party's insurance company will be willing to play fair. Increase your odds of obtaining a fair recovery and retain the help of an Oklahoma car accident attorney. Contact Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to schedule your free consultation today.

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