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Are drivers always at fault for hitting people from behind?
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Are drivers always at fault for hitting people from behind?

A guy hit me after I stopped once I entered his lane. There was heavy traffic, and everyone was moving around 1mile/hr...He took off, I got his liscense plate, and went to his insurance through mine, however they are refusing responsibilty saying I made an unsafe lane change....at 1 mile/hr, is this possible? I signaled and everything. His insurance refuses to look at pictures of damage, I don't know what to do, they also wanted witnesses, which I couldn't get since I was too busy trying to get his liscense information...my insurance seems like they could care less one way or another. What options do i have, and does he really have a case??
Additional Details
So I didn't cut him off, I was completely in lane and stopped when he hit me, he took off by that I mean in bumper to bumper traffic he moved over a lane and refused to give me his insurance info. i filed a police report, however most minor hit and runs cops will not chase from what I was told. Also its not a scratch, I do need a new bumper. I guess I am wondering why the insurance company won't look at pictures, also won't consider looking at traffic cameras where accident occured which i suggested..if I have to take this to small claims, do i take the guy or Farmers insurance?


call police and report a hit and run IF there was damage to your car. I mean, if he just touched your bumper, get over it.

He left the scene--so it becomes his problem, he rear ended you, you have the case, not him.
if you had heavy damage, go after him.
of couse his insurance company doesn't want to pay.
no insurance company ever wants to pay.
ask the insurance company where are their witnesses that you made an unsafe lane change?
get a lawyer...

In most cases a rear-ending is the fault of the car in the rear, however, it is possible for the other driver to be at fault if they fail to properly signal a turn or lane change, or if that change is in an unauthorized location. While it is probable that they were at fault, if he did a hit and run, regardless of the damage or who caused it, he should be to blame. The only other possibility would be for both parties to accept a no-fault statement.

yes, someone that rear ends you is always at fualt for failure to control thier vehicle, even tho you might have done an unsafe lane change. As soon as you got his plate you should have got the police involved to obtain a report. Then when his insurance doesn't want to pay you can sue thier a$$es, then i would dump the $hithole company you got, and maybe even sue them.....

the law requires u to stay a safe distance from the vehicle in fron t

well with him taking off he basically admitted fault......c'mon....your insurance company should know this already....btw.....how could he take off if it were bumper to bumper traffic?

yes unless you are reversing and hit behind you

No not always. If you do something to cause the accident you are at fault, even if you are hit from behind. Since you called the police, get a copy of their report, it should show who was at fault. As far as his insurance is concerned, they are looking out for their best interest. If you decide to take him to court, be sure and get a copy of the tape from the traffic cameras, of course you might want to watch them first......

Yogi Master
sounds like you cut him off, you might have to bite the bullet on this one man. maybe switch insurance companies and get full coverage, but if you swear you are in the right, then you can sue him in the civil courts. the person that rear ends somebody is not always at fault, just depends on the situation, I rear ended somebody because the guy in front made an unsafe stop at high speeds, did'nt have to pay a dime.

At 1 MPH, there would not have been any damage. Making such a claim hurts your case.

If he did in fact leave the scene, file a hit-and-run complaint with the police.

At any rate, you should NOT be dealing with his insurance company. You should ALWAYS deal with your own insurance company. They have a legal obligation to defend you and act on your behalf. They will work out fault with the other driver's insurance company

cm f
Check with your insurance company. Put a claim on your policy. Have them fix your car and let them go after the other guy. That is why you pay the big bucks for insurance. I have several questions to ask of you. Did you signal your lane change, how far was he behind you when you started your change. The lane that you changed into was it divided by a solid line? In several states when there is a hit and run driver the burden of fault is placed on him. Did he realize that he hit your car to cause any damage?

Usually when someone hits you from behind its because they didn't use the correct following distance, which makes it almost impossible for them to react to dangerous situations on time, making them the guilty party. Do you have insurance? Call them and ask them what to do. In South Africa you would claim from your own insurance, giving them the other party's details and their legal department sorts it out.

The reason your insurance doesn't seem to care is because your deductible covers your own damage. So ther eis no reason to file a claim for something so minor as "they don't want to listen to me". Now if you were is a big accident.... different reaction/story

No, you are not always at fault when you hit someone from behind. There are situations just like what you described where the traffic is heavy, there is not enough space between vehicles and a car moves over into your lane and with those conditions this car has now shortened the distance from almost none to none at all, you have to try to stop, you can't, and you hit it.

It's not enough to get into the lane. You have a duty as well to other motorists to move into the lane giving enough clearance for vehicles to react. So I can understand how you were found at least partially negligent in this situation. By your own admission you moved over and stopped your car.

Warren D
Most generally insurance companies will hold the driver who strikes another from behind as chargeable in the accident.

One possible exception might be when a driver cuts in front of another.

Dr Dee
It was your fault in this case. You might end up paying for his damages if you push it.

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