When you hear the word “rear-end collision” you probably immediately assume that the driver in the back is at fault — but that may not always be the case.

Generally, drivers are expected to maintain an assured clear distance between the front end of their vehicles and the rear end of the car ahead of them. When they violate the laws of physics, accidents happen and the guy in the back is definitely at fault. But consider these scenarios:

  • You’re on a congested city street during rush hour. A driver in another lane suddenly moves into your lane without warning (or benefit of turn signals) because they realized they were in the wrong place. You had an assured clear distance between your vehicle and the car you saw ahead — but not between you and the interloper.
  • You’re moving down the road at a decent clip. Suddenly, you see an accident ahead and you stop with plenty of time (and space) to spare. The driver behind you doesn’t. Your vehicle gets pushed — hard — by the impact into the vehicles ahead of you.
  • There’s an accident in the opposite lane but your lane is clear. The driver in front of you, however, is rubbernecking and seems to forget that they’re supposed to have their eyes on the road and their foot on the gas. They make a sudden, unwarranted stop that you couldn’t predict, giving you no notice.

In any of those situations, you may end up injured — and you may not be at fault. Mississippi is a comparative fault state, which means that each party in an accident can bear some partial fault for the consequences.

Never assume that you can’t recover damages for your injuries and losses if you hit another vehicle from behind. Speak to an experienced legal advocate about your case because each situation is unique.