If I get rear-ended, is it their fault even if I have to slam on my breaks?

The other insurance company is saying they are not going to fix my car due to conflicting stories and no witnesses. The guy who hit me is stating that I slammed on my breaks. So his insurance company is saying that if it is true that I would be at fault. Truthfully, I did slow down faster than normal due to the cars in front of me, but I didn’t slam on my breaks. When I did slow down I noticed he was speeding through a yellow light. However, when I learned how to drive, I always thought that they said to keep at least a cars length away (from the car in front of you) so you don’t hit anyone.

Asked on July 29, 2012 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if you rear-end another vehicle it is your fault, whether or not the other vehicle slammed on their brakes or slowed down faster than usual.  You are supposed to be in control of your vehicle at all times and you are always supposed to drive so there is a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, whether or not the car in front of you stops fast.  In most states, a rear-end collision is negligence per se for the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle.  


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