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Car hit in the rear, who is at fault? and how to prove it?
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Car hit in the rear, who is at fault? and how to prove it?

I was travelling in my car at 8:00 PM in November on a 30mph street with clear weather. I stopped my car behind another car in the front at traffic lights. The traffic lights were red. After 1 or 2 seconds a car from behind hit in the rear of my car. The damage was right at the middle (center) of the rear bumper.

My car moved forward after the impact but did not hit the car in the front of me. The front car left as soon as the traffic light turned green. The driver of rear car immediately apologised to me. I tried to call the police at the scene but police did not come since no one was injured. There are no witnesses.

After a series of discussions, the driver finally agreed to get repaired my car from his own pocket without informing each others insurance company. I then sent the quote for repairs received from my mechanic the next day. The driver then tried to avoid me and did not answer the telephone calls for few days. Finally after two weeks he refused to repair the car from his pocket since the expenses were very high and instead advised me to report it to the insurance company.

After exchanging the insurance details, I informed my insurance company after 10 days.

The driver and his insurance company are now arguing the claim saying that since I have changed the lanes which reduced the braking distance of this driver that resulted in an accident, therefore his insurance company has offered to share the liability 50-50.

Can you please give your opinion based on your experience whether or not the theory presented by this driver is acceptable especially when he hit my car in the centre of the rear after I completely stopped at traffic light. How do I prove my case? Technically is it possible that if I was changing the lane and the car can hit at the centre portion of the rear when the speed is very low due to red traffic lights?


The Insurance company will have you at fault. That is their position on that situation even if you were already stopped and the car from behind you hit you and caused you to hit the car in front of you Insurance companies will still have you at fault. the best thing to do is to leave more space to protect you from a situation like this. You should always have the cops come even if no one is hurt and file a police report.

They are at fault. In any state if someone hits you from behind they are at fault.

Let your insurance co. fight it out. The person who did the hitting is at fault.

If you're rear-ended then it's the other driver's fault, like the other answer said, 99% of the time. Of course the other insurance company will argue. Don't give in to 50%. Also, get more than one quote for the repairs! This is important. Get at least 3 quotes. You are very likely to find someone who will repair the car for whatever the insurance ends up agreeing to pay.

Atticus Finch
99% of the time cars that hit cars in the rear are at fault. Generally it is a driver control issue. Not much you can do but make sure your insurance company does not weenie out and settle at 50/50.

what ever the case may be, you just stick to your story. It's always the fault of the person who hit from the behind and I am telling you that because I am a lawyer and have argued such cases.
Just get a FIR lodged against the other car and its driver as soon as possible.

Kudos to you for keeping a safe distance behind the car ahead of you. I agree the 99% comment completely. The law is clear. If you hit the vehicle in front of you, you are at fault! Even if it was caused by someone rear ending you. The changing lane excuse & 50-50 insurance offer is a standard 'last ditch' effort to intimidate you into settling for less. Even if you did change lanes, he still hit you from behind - he's still at fault. He has to prove his case - he hit you!
Who told you they're arguing the claim? If it was your carrier, they should have answered these questions. Read and understand what YOUR responsibility is if involved in an accident. It is clearly outlined on your policy (a contract you signed) and is on most insurance ID cards. Know what you signed before talking to your carrier again and you'll get the service you're paying for. Laws very depending on the State you're in, but general rules are; Exchange insurance & all ID contact info, notify your insurance agent within time limit shown, take photos at scene if possible (most suggest keeping a disposible camera in glove box), look for possible witnesses & ask for contact #'s, write down every detail and describe how it happened (as you did here) have a list of all conversations including who with, dates & time regarding the accident like a written journal. Don't worry if you didn't do what you agreed to. Go back and get photos of location where accident happened from different view points and get photos of your car from all sides with close shots of damage in the back. The more photos the better your odds. If you provide your agent with the photos, repair estimates, documented conversations & your written description of event, they will do there job.

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