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


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.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.