The Myth

Have you heard that when you rear-end another vehicle, it’s automatically your fault?  Many people believe this to be true. In fact, many of our trucking clients think there is nothing that can be done if they rear-end another vehicle.  However, truckers should know there’s more to the matter.

The Facts

In many cases, the rear most vehicle is to blame in a pile up. However, the lead driver’s action before the collision may be the actual cause of the accident. It’s important to know how the accident happened.

Did the bad driver pull in front of you suddenly? When driving a tractor trailer, the weight of the vehicle makes it impossible to stop quickly.

Sometimes, comparative negligence may come into play.  Comparative negligence refers to the fault of each driver.  If the driver of the vehicle that you rear-ended did something that contributed to the accident, your liability may be reduced.  In other words, you or your insurance company may not have to pay as much.  Was it dark, and they had no tail lights?  Did their vehicle break down on the road, and they failed to make an effort to remove it from the roadway?  In these cases, you may have a valid argument in your defense. In fact, if you can show it was their fault, you may be able to recover all of your out of pocket expenses and your lost income while down.

Example

A year or so ago, we had a client who rear-ended an ambulance on the interstate.  The ambulance had entered the highway and immediately moved into the far lane, dangerously close to our client.  Our client could not stop his loaded tractor-trailer in time to avoid the ambulance’s sudden lane changes.  The ambulance’s insurance carrier accepted liability. We were able to collect our client’s lost income via a downtime claim.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should call an attorney for a free consultation. Here at Eckert & Associates, PA we handle downtime claims on a nationwide basis. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis.  If we don’t collect for you, you don’t owe us any attorney fees. Call 904-278-7688 to get started.

For more information about our frequently asked questions, check out this page.