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Rear-End Accidents

The Following Car Doctrine has been established by a long line of cases in Washington , including Ryan v.Westgard, 12 Wn. App. 500.  

The doctrine states “when two cars are traveling in the same direction, the primary duty of avoiding a collision rests with the following driver.  In the absence of an emergency or unusual condition, he is negligent if he runs into the car ahead.” 

The reasoning is simple: the following car is in the best position to avoid the accident.  If you are a following driver, you should have your eyes positioned ahead where you see the car in front of you.   You must give yourself enough room to stop if necessary.  Obviously, the faster you are driving, the more room you should give yourself between you and the vehicle ahead. 

An emergency situation or unusual condition is an exception to the general rule, but very difficult to show.  For example, driving in the snow and poor visibility conditions did not constitute sufficient facts to be considered an emergency situation where the snow and poor visibility had existed for some time.

For practical purposes, rear-end collisions are usually not contested and the following driver’s insurance company typically accepts liability for the accident.  

Categories: Personal Injury

Posted By Park Chenaur on July 20, 2010 12:08 pm | Permalink 
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