Liability In Houston Rear-End Accidents

by Stewart J. Guss on Apr. 09, 2015

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident 

Summary: Of all of the different types of auto accidents, rear-end accidents are some of the most dangerous. Read more...

Of all of the different types of auto accidents, rear-end accidents1 are some of the most dangerous. In many instances, these impacts occur with little or no warning to the occupants of the front vehicle, resulting in a situation in which the driver is unable to take any evasive action and vehicle occupants cannot brace themselves before the impact takes place.  As a result, the injuries that people sustain in rear-end accidents are often extremely severe and result in significant medical expenses and lost income. As a result, it is important that people who are involved in rear-end accidents discuss their options with an attorney as soon as is feasible after an accident occurs. 

Fault is not automatic 

There is a common misconception among non-lawyers that liability in rear-end collisions is automatic and that the rear-driver is always deemed to be legally at fault. While it is true that the rear driver will be at fault in most rear-end accidents, liability is far from automatic and rear-end accidents in Houston can often become contested, particularly when an insurance company would like to avoid paying out on a claim. The Texas law that most often is applicable to rear-end accidents is Section 545.0622 of the Texas Transportation Code, which requires that drivers who are behind another vehicle maintain a safe distance that allows them to safely stop without hitting the front vehicle or veering into another vehicle or object. Generally, if a driver is found to be in violation of this law, he or she will be held civilly liable for any injuries caused by that violation. There are some instances, however, in which the driver of the front vehicle in a rear-end collision could be deemed at fault. These include the following: 

  • If the driver suddenly stops without warning
  • If the driver did not have functional tail lights alerting the rear vehicle to the fact that he or she was slowing down
  • Sudden lane changes
  • The vehicle in front was not lawfully in the roadway

Contact a Houston auto accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation 

While victims of rear-end accidents can often recover significant compensation, liability is far from automatic and the assistance of an experienced Houston car accident lawyer can often have a significant impact in the outcome of a case. In many cases, people who are represented by an attorney recover substantially higher settlements or awards than individuals who choose to represent themselves. To schedule a free consultation with attorney Stewart J. Guss, call our office today at (713) 766-5883. 

References: 

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-end_collision
2 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm

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