Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Indiana?

Driver feeling neck pain from rear-end collision.

Were you injured in a rear-end car accident caused by another motorist in Indiana? If so, you may have a right to file a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance to recoup your medical expenses and other accident-related losses.

Indiana is an at-fault state regarding car accident claims.  Indiana requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage. The auto liability insurance of the at-fault driver typically pays for the costs of other people’s injuries and property damage.

To seek compensation from another driver’s insurance policy after a rear-end collision in Indiana, you must be able to prove that the other driver is at fault. In rear-end motor vehicle crash cases, people commonly assume that the rear driver is to blame. That is not always the case. That is why it’s helpful to have experienced car accident lawyers review the accident.

At Truitt Law Offices, our Indiana personal injury lawyers have more than 40 years of experience serving local accident victims. If you have been injured in a rear-end crash, we can help you hold the negligent driver accountable and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.

Is It Always My Fault If I Rear-End Someone?

The driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front is usually at fault in a rear-end collision. Under § 9-21-8-14 of the Indiana Traffic Code, motorists are prohibited from following other vehicles too closely. Drivers should allow enough distance between cars to stop safely if the driver in front brakes unexpectedly. It’s unsafe and illegal to tailgate another vehicle.

Any of the following parties may be partially or entirely at fault for a rear-end collision:

  • The leading driver – The driver in front could be at fault if they stop suddenly in an active traffic lane or cut too closely in front of another vehicle
  • A driver backing up—A driver who is moving in reverse may cause a rear-end collision by backing into another car.
  • Another road user – A third motorist could be at fault if they hit the rear driver and pushed them into another vehicle. A negligent pedestrian or cyclist could also be at fault if they illegally darted into traffic and prompted a motorist to slam on their brakes, leading to a rear-end collision.
  • A manufacturer – A manufacturer could be at fault if a defective vehicle component failed and contributed to a rear-end accident.
  • A government agency – A local government agency could be held liable if inadequate road maintenance or missing signs contributed to the wreck.

How Common Are Rear-End Collisions?

Traffic statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle crash:

  • In a single recent year, rear-end collisions accounted for nearly one in three traffic crashes and 45 percent of all two-vehicle crashes nationwide.
  • More than 2,194,000 rear-end collisions occurred throughout the country.
  • Among the 2,194,000 rear-end accidents, 595,000 accidents resulted in reported injuries, and 2,346 resulted in fatalities.
  • The 595,000 rear-end injury crashes represented 31.1 percent of all injury crashes to occur that year. The 2,346 fatal rear-end crashes represented 7.1 percent of all fatal crashes that year.

How Do You Prove Fault in a Rear-End Accident Case?

What happens when both drivers claim the other party was at fault in a rear-end accident? The insurance adjusters will review the police report and other available evidence and make a determination of fault. If you have an experienced attorney representing you, your attorney can seek evidence such as surveillance camera footage to support your injury claim. Other types of evidence include:

  • Police crash reports
  • Photos of vehicle damage, visible bodily injuries, and the accident scene
  • Video footage from dash cams, and other recording devices
  • Statements from third-party witnesses who saw the crash occur
  • Testimony from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists

Drivers involved in a rear end collision

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Rear-End Collision Claim?

If the rear-end collision was a relatively minor fender-bender that didn’t result in any significant injuries, you might be able to settle the claim on your own. However, it’s a smart move to consult an Indiana personal injury attorney if any of the following apply:

  • You suffered significant physical or emotional injuries as a result of the collision
  • Your crash injuries were severe enough to cause you to miss time at work
  • It’s unclear who was at fault
  • There were multiple vehicles involved in the accident
  • The collision occurred in a school, work, or construction zone
  • The other driver was uninsured or underinsured
  • You have trouble obtaining or preserving supporting evidence for your claim
  • The other driver’s insurance company is trying to deny your injury claim
  • The insurance companies ask you to provide a recorded statement
  • You have concerns about your legal rights or ability to negotiate a settlement

Contact a Rear-End Accident Attorney in Indiana Today

Proving fault in a rear-end accident claim can be a challenge. The trusted legal team at Truitt Law Offices can guide you every step of the way as you seek compensation for your injuries Contact our firm today to discuss the details of your case with us in a free initial strategy session.

Visit Our Car Accident Injury Law Offices

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About the Author

As an attorney who has practiced law in Northeast Indiana for nearly four decades, Richard Truitt has seen many changes in the way personal injury and wrongful death cases are handled. However, at least one aspect of his work has remained the same. “You always have to listen to your clients, and you have…