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Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision?

Suing for rear-end collision damages

Yes, you can file a lawsuit if you were involved in a rear-end accident if the other driver was at fault and you were injured or suffered damages as a result. In a rear-end accident, the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front is often assumed to be at fault. However, in some cases, the driver in the front can be held responsible. If you were involved in a rear-end accident and suffered damages, or liability is unclear, working with a car accident lawyer can help you recover the damages you're entitled to, for an accident that was not your fault.

How Do I Pursue Compensation After a Rear-End Accident?

In most rear-end accidents, liability is clear, and the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is considered at fault. However, if the driver in the front stops suddenly for no apparent reason, they may be held liable for the collision.


To pursue compensation for a rear-end collision, you must have suffered damages as a result of the accident. Damages can include vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Filing An Insurance Claim

Before filing a lawsuit, if the other driver has auto insurance, you will pursue compensation by filing a claim with their insurance provider. The at-fault driver's insurance may cover your damages up to their policy limits. If your damages exceeded the policy's limits, you may consider filing a lawsuit for the remaining damages.

Filing a Lawsuit

Most rear-end accident cases are resolved through negotiations between the involved parties and their insurance companies. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

What if I Was Partially At Fault for the Auto Accident?

Even if you were 99% at fault for the collision, you may still be entitled to compensation. However, your settlement or award will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.

What if the At-Fault Driver Didn't Have Auto Insurance?

If the other driver was not insured, you can pursue compensation through your own insurance company, if you have uninsured motorist coverage. You can then file a suit against the other driver for the remaining damages, if your damages exceed your uninsured limits. Additionally, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver if you don't have uninsured motorist coverage. However, if the other driver did not have auto insurance due to financial hardship, you may be unable to recover any compensation from them, even if you win your lawsuit.

Is the Rear Driver Always Liable for a Rear-End Accident?

In most cases, the driver in the rear is presumed to be at fault in a rear-end collision. This is due to the driver being expected to maintain a safe and reasonable following distance, giving them plenty of time to brake, even if the driver in the front stops suddenly. Because of this, if the driver in the rear hits the driver in the front, it's assumed the rear driver was not paying attention to the road and braked late.

However, there are certain situations in which the driver in the front can be held liable for this type of auto accident:

Sudden and Unexplained Stops

If the driver in the front stops suddenly or unexpectedly without a valid reason, giving the driver in the rear inadequate time to stop, the driver in the front can be held liable for the accident.


If the driver in the front backs up and strikes the driver in the rear, they can be held liable.

Faulty Brake Lights

If the driver in the front has faulty brake lights, making it difficult for the driver in the rear to anticipate a stop, the front driver may share liability.

Road Conditions

Road conditions such as snow, ice, or debris can contribute to a rear-end motor vehicle collision.

Chain Reaction Accidents

In a chain reaction accident that involves multiple vehicles, fault may be assigned to multiple drivers.

Aggressive Driving

If the driver in the front is driving aggressively or displaying dangerous behavior, such as road rage, these actions can cause or contribute to a rear-end accident.

Can An Attorney Help Me Recover Compensation for a Rear-End Collision?

Yes. A car accident lawyer can investigate the accident to determine liability and prove your demand for damages. Whether you were the driver in the front or rear, an attorney will investigate the circumstances of the crash and consult with experts to uncover the truth. While some rear-end collisions are minor and can be handled without the help of a car accident attorney, you should seek legal representation immediately if:

  • Liability is unclear
  • Multiple parties were involved
  • You sustained severe injuries or property damage
  • The insurance company denied your claim
  • The insurance company is refusing to offer you a fair settlement

Some rear-end accidents can be very complex and require the assistance of an experienced attorney. When you hire legal representation, your attorney can:

  • Investigate the accident
  • Gather and analyze evidence
  • Consult with experts
  • File paperwork
  • Handle all interaction with the insurance company
  • Negotiate a fair settlement
  • File a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that is reasonable
  • Represent you in court

Fortunately, most auto accident claims are settled out of court. While we prepare your case for trial, we will continue to negotiate with the insurance company. Most insurance companies are more willing to offer a fair settlement after a lawsuit is filed, to avoid spending time and money on a long and time-consuming trial.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by negligence, contact MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced car accident lawyers are ready to listen to your story, assess your case, and provide expert legal guidance tailored to your unique situation. We understand the challenges you face after an accident, and we are committed to fighting for the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you seek justice and the compensation you deserve.


brett sachs2
Brett Sachs

Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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