Who Is At Fault in a Rear-End Collision in New York?

Written by: Injured 914

Understanding Your Rights If You Are Injured in a Rear-End Collision

If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you may assume that the person in the rear car is to blame. However, not all rear-end collisions are the fault of the trailing vehicle. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to determine who can be held liable for the accident.

At Injured 914, we provide experienced representation for individuals injured in rear-end collisions. Our legal team is well-versed in handling complex cases where liability is unclear. If you were injured in a rear-end collision, contact our office at +19143687168 to schedule a free consultation. 

Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision

It is important to remember that it is not your responsibility to determine fault after an accident. Since New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, liability generally doesn’t matter unless someone was seriously injured. However, you should still contact an attorney immediately after your accident to determine all of your legal options. 

How Does No-Fault Insurance Work?

Unlike fault-based systems, where an injured party sues the person or entity that caused their harm, no-fault systems require that each party seek compensation from their own insurance company. New York’s no-fault system allows injured parties to make a claim for up to $50,000 to cover their medical bills.

In some cases, however, your medical bills may far exceed $50,000. These cases are usually where there was serious or catastrophic injury. In this instance, an injured party would meet the no-fault threshold and may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

What Is Considered a Serious Injury?

New York statutorily defines serious injury under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d)

Serious injuries are generally classified as personal injuries causing:

  • Death
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Fractures
  • Permanent loss of use of an organ, body function, or system
  • Loss of a fetus
  • A significant limitation of a part of the body
  • A substantial impairment lasting for 90 out of 180 days

Due to the severe nature of these injuries, individuals generally meet the state’s no-fault threshold enabling them to sue the party that caused them harm. Again, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney any time you are injured in an accident. 

What Can Help Prove Liability in a Rear-End Collision Case?

Several pieces of evidence may help prove legal responsibility in a rear-end collision case. For instance, surveillance cameras from surrounding buildings or eyewitness testimony may help prove who was at fault for the accident. An attorney may recommend hiring an accident reconstructionist who will recreate the crash to help determine liability. 

The lead driver may be liable for the crash if they were driving under the influence, driving erratically, or reversing their vehicle. Fault, though, will only come into play if there are serious injuries. While many cases fall below the no-fault threshold, it is still recommended that you contact an attorney to make a first-party claim. 

Injured in a Rear-End Collision? Contact Our Office. 

Were you or a loved one injured in a rear-end collision? Contact our office at +19143687168 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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Compensation They Deserve

When you’re injured in an accident, it can be hard to know where to turn. You need someone who doesn’t just know the law. You need a lawyer who will fight for you to recover the compensation that you need and deserve. For over 35 years, we have represented accident victims and their families to help them maximize their recoveries.

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