Say that you’re driving toward a green light when you see that light turn yellow. You don’t think you can make it through before it turns red, so you hit the brakes.
Unfortunately, the driver behind you doesn’t realize that you’re going to stop. They try to speed up in order to make it through the yellow, and they end up rear-ending your car as you slow down.
You believe it’s their fault because you didn’t make any mistakes. However, they get out of their car and tell you that it’s your fault because they believe you suddenly hit the brakes and caused the crash. Who’s responsible?
Typically, the rear driver is at fault
Generally speaking, the rear driver is usually considered to be at fault in this type of accident. One of the most basic responsibilities that all drivers have is to leave enough space between their vehicles that they can stop in time. The driver behind you failed to do so, so they caused the crash.
There are rare cases in which the front driver may be responsible or may bear part of the responsibility, but you would have needed to act in a clearly negligent way. For instance, brake checking a tailgater can sometimes mean that you are responsible because you aggressively hit the brakes in order to cause the accident. But a situation at a light, as described above, will not usually be your fault.
If you’ve been injured in the crash, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and more. You have every right to expect compensation injuries caused by another driver’s mistakes.