Is a Truck Driver at Fault in an Accident if they Rear End You?

It is a misconception that the person who rear-ends another is automatically to blame for an accident. In the state of Texas, liability can be apportioned based on the percentage of fault shared by each driver. This means that after a review of all evidence from the accident, all, a portion, or none of the liability can be assigned to either driver.

When a rear-end accident occurs, the driver in the rear vehicle is usually considered to be at least partly at fault, if not wholly to blame for the accident. The rear driver is often presumed liable because drivers are expected to maintain a safe following distance. If a safe distance was maintained between the rear and lead vehicle, the rear driver should have had time to react and thus shouldn’t have hit the front car.

There are situations, however, where drivers in rear vehicles do everything correctly and leave a safe distance and crashes still happen. This can occur, for example, if a lead vehicle reverses into the front of the car behind it. This can also occur if a driver in a lead vehicle suddenly pulls in front of another car, cutting it off. Because trucks have such long stopping distances due to their large size and significant momentum, cars cutting off trucks frequently cause crashes because trucks are not able to stop in time to avoid a collision even when the driver tries.

Because fault can be shared and a truck driver can sometimes rear-end a passenger vehicle and be assigned only a portion of the blame, it is imperative a detailed investigation is conducted after a rear-end crash.  Fault for the accident can be divided between those involved, as determined by the evidence presented as part of the accident investigation.