Rear End Accidents
There is seldom a good excuse for rear ending someone. A driver has a duty
to use reasonable care in the following of another vehicle. When following
a vehicle, a driver must be far enough back to be able to bring his vehicle
to a stop in the event that the driver he is required to slam on the brakes.
A driver that follows too closely is guilty of negligence. If a driver
is paying attention and following at a safe distance, they should nearly
always be able to avoid rear-ending someone. But the world is full of
people looking to escape liability and make bogus defenses.
The negligence law in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia rear end accidents makes
what can seem like simple cases not so simple. The defenses below in a
very limited set of cases can be legitimate. Most of the time, however,
they are used by defendants looking to lie and escape responsibility.
Simeone & Miller, LLP has often encountered and defeated these usually
Rear End Accident Liability
Liability isn’t always easy to determine, but rear end accident liability
is simpler than most other types of
car accident cases. In short, the driver who rear ended you is likely responsible for the
accident. With some exceptions, liability will fall on the other driver.
However, the responsible driver could try to avoid this liability by making
any number of claims about the accident, such as brake failure –
or claiming that you stopped too suddenly. Regardless of the excuse, your
attorney can help you make sure you get the compensation you need and
deserve after a rear-end accident.
Sudden stop is by far the most common phony defense that we see in rear
end accident cases involving any sort of
personal injury. The defense is that our client, the lead vehicle, stopped suddenly for
no reason. Note that this is different from a normal stop because the
car in front of you is braking or a kid runs out into the road. The claim
here is that the lead driver slammed on his brakes with no reason for doing so.
If you have a credible defendant, this defense can sometimes be difficult
to defeat. For this reason, it is always important when you are injured
in a rear end accident in DC, Maryland, or Virginia to obtain the names
and identifying information of any witnesses. Even if at the scene the
rear-ending driver admits fault, things have a way of changing once they
talk to their insurance company or lawyer.
Another way to defeat this defense is to have good pictures of the scene.
While frequently clients take pictures of the vehicles involved in the
accident, they are not always so good about taking pictures of the road.
Pictures of the road can show things such as skid marks or a lack thereof.
If the above are not available, through taking a skillful deposition we
are often able to demonstrate that the following driver is lying about
our client suddenly stopping. This is not the easiest thing to prove through
a deposition. That is why it is important that you have skillful lawyers
like Simeone & Miller, LLP on your side.
The Sun Was in My Eyes
The sun was in my eyes is a creative defense that we have had to defeat
on numerous occasions. As many times as this has been claimed in personal
injury cases that we have handled, it has also been defeated an equal
amount of times. The key here is in the deposition questions that a smart
attorney asks. Weather reports can also be of some assistance. However,
nothing is more important than a good deposition that looks at the actions
of the driver before and after the accident. Many a lesser lawyer has
been defeated by this made up defense. A lawyer that knows what they are
doing should be able to avoid this pitfall.
Sudden Medical Emergency
Sudden medical emergency is another defense that we have seen numerous
times while acting as attorneys in personal injury cases in D.C., Maryland,
and Virginia. The key to defeating this defense is to examine the medical
records of the following driver from before and after the accident. Seek
information from anyone at the scene regarding statements that the driver
made and their condition immediately following the accident. Finally,
be familiar with the signs and symptoms of the alleged condition.
Brake failure is the final common defense that we see from people in D.C.,
Maryland, and Virginia personal injury accident lawyers and their clients.
Once again the key is in evaluating the behavior of the following vehicle,
obtaining records, in this case mechanic records, and asking the right
questions at the deposition. This combination usually results in this
defense falling apart.
Even when you may think that liability is clear and you don’t need
a personal injury lawyer for your D.C, Maryland, or Virginia accident,
as the saying goes, “A man who has himself as a lawyer has a fool
for a client.”