Determining Fault After a Rear-End Collision in Modesto

Photo of a Rear-End Collision

There are currently over 200,000 people living in Modesto, California. A large portion of the population has a driver’s license and access to a motor vehicle. It should surprise no one that car accidents occur on a regular basis in Modesto, particularly on Highway 99 and State Route 132. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), a rear-end collision is responsible for more than one-third of severe injury crashes.

An experienced Modesto auto accident attorney knows how to litigate an injury claim involving a rear-end collision. In most cases, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is found to be at fault for the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule. A driver who is rear-ended may be partially at fault in the following situations:

  • When the plaintiff has a broken taillight or brake light.
  • When the plaintiff makes a dangerous lane change.
  • When a vehicle is broken down and the plaintiff fails to drive it off of the road.
  • When the plaintiff attempts to make a turn but fails to execute that turn.

What Are the California Laws That Impact Rear-End Collision Claims?

When litigating an injury claim involving a rear-end collision in California, it is important to discuss comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is a rule of law where damages are determined based on the percentage of fault of each individual party involved in an accident. A jury can decide that the plaintiff is partially responsible for a rear-end collision, resulting in a reduced amount of awarded damages. A Modesto auto accident lawyer will investigate the accident scene and develop a strategy to limit your accident liability.

There are also specific state laws that apply directly to rear-end collision cases:

  • California Vehicle Code 22350. This statute is commonly referred to as the “Basic Speed Law.” It essentially says that a driver must drive at a speed that is reasonable given the current conditions.
  • California Vehicle Code 21703. This statute is commonly referred to as the “Following Too Closely Law.” It essentially says that a driver cannot follow another motorist too closely if he or she is closer than what is “reasonable or prudent.”

These two laws demand that a driver in Modesto always stay aware of his or her surroundings. If a driver violates either one of these laws and rear-ends another vehicle, then he or she will almost always be at fault for the accident.

When investigating the circumstances surrounding a rear-end collision, a Modesto auto accident attorney will begin by examining the Traffic Incident Report. This report is filed by the police officers who respond to the accident scene. It will be used as evidence during the investigation phase and in settlement negotiations.

Involved in a Rear-End Collision? Contact Our Modesto Auto Accident Law Firm Today

With many people commuting long distances for work, traffic is consistently bad during rush hour in Modesto. The highways are particularly rough, and rear-end collisions are extremely common during periods with high traffic.

At Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger, our attorneys will fight to protect the legal interests of rear-end collision victims. We believe in holding the negligent driver responsible for his or her carelessness on the road. Contact our Modesto auto accident law firm today at (209) 522-2211 and schedule a consultation. You can also contact us online and provide us with details about your rear-end collision. We promise to carefully review the details of your case to provide the best advice and representation possible.