Who is at fault when the front car is rear-ended while backing up at gas station?

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Who is at fault when the front car is rear-ended while backing up at gas station?

Rear car is saying she was sitting still but damage was too great.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Accident Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no general or universal answer--it depends on who is at fault, or who was a careless (negligent) driver. Generally, in rear-end accidents, there is a presumption that the rear driver was at fault; the assumption is that he or she had more control over the situation and a better chance to avoid the accident. However, that is only a presumption, and it can  be overturned by a showing that the front driver did something wrong--such as, for example, suddenly back up at too high a speed, without looking, or when it would be expect that someone would back up. So the answer is, it depends on the circumstances, though the rear driver starts out with a presumption against him or her to overcome. Note that it's also possible for both drivers to be at fault, which will affect how much one or both could recover in an accident.


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