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Who is liable after a rear-end collision?

After any car accident, it is always important to determine who is liable, whether the accident resulted in serious injuries or only minimal property damage. If you recently experienced a rear-end collision, the first thing you should do is get medically evaluated to identify any injuries that you may have suffered in the accident. Then, you can address the legal issues involved.

Many people misunderstand Massachusetts laws regarding rear-end accidents. As a result, some may miss out on important opportunities to receive compensation for damages and injuries. They might needlessly accept some of the liability for an accident they had no role in causing. Make sure that you fully understand your own roll in your accident to preserve your rights and protect your priorities.

Lead drivers are rarely at fault

In the vast majority of rear-end accidents, the driver in front, or the lead driver, does not end up holding liability. Some drivers assume that they may share some of the liability for braking too sharply, but the law generally sees each driver as responsible for keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

It is possible that some external factor may make it implausible for a rear driver to avoid a collision, but that still rarely transfers liability to the lead driver, except in very specific circumstances.

Begin building your legal strategy promptly

After a rear-end accident, you should collect evidence immediately, as soon as you know that you are safe. If you don't feel injured and you can move with ease, take pictures of the accident scene and gather any witness testimonies that you can. Be mindful, however, to say as little as possible to the other parties in the accident. There is no need to act rudely, but it is wise to simply exchange your insurance information avoid much further communication, including apologizing for the accident.

Apologizing may imply to the other driver that you accept liability for the wreck, which can greatly complicate the matter. In some instances, if a person accepts liability for an accident, they may bear some or all legal responsibility for the resulting damages. Even if you believe that you are at fault in an accident, it is never wise to state it. Until you carefully review all the elements that contributed to the accident, it is wise to avoid commenting on the circumstances.

A strong legal strategy can resolve the matter favorably for you and ensure that your rights remain secure while you focus on other concerns, e.g., healing from your injuries. Make sure that you use the resources you have available to protect yourself while you recover.

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