How to Prove Negligence in a Rear-End Crash

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
September 12, 2023

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, rear-end collisions make up about 22 percent of all crashes in the state. While many rear-end crashes are minor “fender benders,” they can still cause significant injuries with the potential to cause long-lasting implications on an accident victim’s future.

If you were injured in a rear-end collision that you did not cause, you should not have to cover the expenses of medical bills, property damage, or time off work. In many cases, your insurance company will provide a certain amount of coverage. Still, it’s often not enough to pay for the entirety of lost wages, long-term medical care, and disability. The Southeastern Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. can help ensure that you are  fairly compensated.

Understanding Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Laws

Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that all parties are entitled to have their medical expenses paid by their own insurance company regardless of who’s responsible for the car crash. Your insurance company will pay medical expenses up to the extent of the coverage you purchased. Suppose your injuries are severe and exceed what your insurance company will pay. In that case, you can potentially secure reimbursement through a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the collision or their insurance company.

Who Is at Fault for a Rear-End Crash in Pennsylvania?

Whether a personal injury lawsuit or insurance case, Pennsylvania typically rules that the rear driver is at fault in a rear-end collision. Following the crash, there’s the assumption that the rear driver broke traffic laws designed to keep everyone safe. As a result, it’s accepted that most rear-end collisions are caused by the rear driver who was either driving while distracted, speeding, or following the vehicle in front of them too closely.

Exclusions to Rear Drivers Being at Fault in a Rear-End Crash

There are cases when the rear driver is not at fault for causing a rear-end collision. Some exceptions that would remove blame from the rear driver include:

  • A multi-collision accident
  • The front driver abruptly stopping to turn without turning
  • The front driver suddenly slamming on their brakes for no reason
  • The front driver having faulty brake lights, so others cannot detect their breaking
  • The front driver getting a flat tire but failing to use hazard lights or pull over
  • Poor road conditions (rain, ice, snow)
  • Mechanical failures
  • The front driver negligently reversing out of a driveway or parking space

Police officers who arrive at the accident scene will file a report, which usually determines which party is responsible for causing the crash. It’s entirely possible, though, that either the investigating officer did not carry out a comprehensive investigation or any investigation at all. Your car accident attorney can partner with an accident reconstructionist to collect evidence and prove fault in such an event.

How Can a Lawyer Help after a Rear-End Car Accident?

Following a rear-end car crash, a car accident lawyer can help you in many ways. Any car accident is going to be stressful. Nobody wants to fight with their insurance companies to get their hospital and medical treatment bills paid. When you retain a car accident lawyer, they manage the insurance companies for you so you can focus on your recovery.

Conducting a Fair Investigation

A car accident lawyer can also ensure that law enforcement conducted a fair and comprehensive investigation of the scene after your accident. The police report should include:

  • Physical evidence
  • Photographs
  • Measurements
  • Interviews with drivers, passengers, and witnesses

If needed, your attorney can hire their experts to guarantee that all evidence implicated is acceptable to prove fault.

Proving Negligence

Negligence describes when a person’s behavior falls below an established duty of reasonable care. You are essentially thought to be negligent in a car accident if you fail to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances that led to the crash. A seasoned lawyer may establish the four elements of negligence:

  • Duty of reasonable care
  • Breach of duty
  • The breach of duty caused the accident
  • The accident caused damages or harm

These elements are necessary to prove negligence in a rear-end crash.

Southeast Pennsylvania’s Skilled Rear-End Collision Attorneys Can Help

If you’ve been injured in a rear-end crash in Montgomery County or anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania, contact Pennsylvania’s rear-end collision accident lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, & Gifford P.C. at your first opportunity to get trusted legal counsel. Our car accident lawyers will do everything possible to secure the full and just compensation you deserve for your injuries. For over 65 years, we have delivered nationally recognized legal services for clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.

To speak with an accomplished car accident lawyer over a free consultation, complete a contact form or call today at (215) 822-7575.


Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
September 12, 2023
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.