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Is the other driver always at fault if you are rear-ended?

Car accidents are frightening and expensive. When the collision comes from behind, you may not even see the crash coming. All at once, you must deal with damage and injuries that may leave you unable to work.

In most cases, a rear end collision means that the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is at fault. There are, however, some cases where there is shared fault for a rear end collision.

This is what you should know if you were involved in a rear end accident.

Who is at fault?

In most cases, the driver with front-end damage is at fault. The presumption is that the driver should have left enough space between their vehicle and the car in front of them to stop safely, regardless of how quickly the circumstances changed.

There are a couple of rare instances when both drivers share the blame for a rear-end collision, such as:

  • Vehicle pushed into another car
  • Defective brake lights in the rear-ended vehicle

Even in these limited scenarios where the rear-ended driver shares some of the fault, the other driver is likely still responsible for most of the damage and injuries.

What is the "no fault" rule in Minnesota, and does it apply to a rear end collision?

Minnesota requires drivers to carry "personal injury protection" (PIP) coverage on their vehicles. Having PIP coverage means that drivers generally must look to their insurer to cover medical bills and lost wages.

Even with the no-fault rule, you can still make a claim against a negligent driver. Making a negligence claim against another driver means showing that they did not use reasonable care and that carelessness is the reason for the damage.

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