There is seldom a good excuse for rear-ending someone. A driver has a duty to use reasonable care when following 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 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. That said, our firm is on your side. If you were hurt due to a careless driver, contact a Washington, D.C. rear-end accident lawyer from our firm today.
The negligence law in Washington, 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 phony defenses. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer today!
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.
A 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.
This defense can sometimes be difficult to defeat if you have a credible defendant. For this reason, it is always important when you are injured in a rear-end accident in Washington, D.C., 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 is 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” 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 driver’s actions before and after the accident. This has defeated many a lesser lawyer made-up defense. A lawyer that knows what they are doing should be able to avoid this pitfall.
A sudden medical emergency is another defense that we have seen numerous times while acting as attorneys in personal injury cases in Washington, 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 rear-end 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 rear-end car accident 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.” Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you are in the right place. A rear-end accident lawyer from our legal team is prepared to fight for you and your right to compensation, every step of the way. Contact us today.