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Who is at fault for a rear-end wreck in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are many different kinds of collisions that occur on the Louisiana roads. Sometimes, commercial drivers lose control of their semi-trucks and cause a jackknife incident. Such crashes are rare, but others are daily occurrences. For example, rear-end collisions are some of the most common wrecks that take place. One driver stops or slows down, and the person behind them doesn’t notice or can’t adjust their speed in time. Such crashes are common at intersections but can occur anywhere, as animals or even debris could force someone to slow or stop with little warning.

Rear-end collisions might lead to spinal cord injuries and brain injuries, along with a host of other serious medical conditions. They can also leave the vehicles involved severely damaged and unsafe to drive if the crash occurs at higher speeds. The issue of fault is particularly straightforward in most rear-end crashes that occur in Louisiana specifically due to a specific legal standard that applies to this kind of collision.

Louisiana has a rear-end statute

Some types of crashes require that a police officer look carefully at the situation and make a decision about fault based on their own observations. Yet rear-end collisions actually have a statutory rule that applies when officers seek to allocate responsibility for the wreck. Specifically, there is a presumption that the rear driver is the one at fault for the crash.

In most cases, a rear-end collision is completely preventable if someone maintains a reasonable speed while operating their vehicle and stays an appropriate distance back from the vehicle in front of them. Too many drivers fail to leave an appropriate stopping distance when following others in traffic, which will ultimately be what leaves them at fault for a crash. But, in certain scenarios, such as when one motorist completely cuts someone else off when turning or merging into another lane of traffic, it may be possible for the driver in the rear to provide testimony or other evidence that counters the presumption that they are at fault.

Determining who is actually to blame for a crash is an effort of the utmost importance for someone hoping to pursue compensation or avoid a claim that could significantly increase their insurance premiums in the wake of a rear-end wreck. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to gain that clarity.