Our accident lawyers see more rear-end car crashes than any type of car accident in our law practice. Statistics bear this out. In Maryland, rear-end accidents are the most common type of automobile accident reported. In fact, incredibly, for every 100 miles traveled within the state of Maryland there are approximately 27 rear-end accidents reported. Most are harmless and do not cause any injury. But it is still an incredible statistic.
People, fortunately, even sometimes insurance adjusters, generally presume that in a rear-end car crash, the person that strikes another from behind is automatically deemed negligent and at fault for the accident. Though a rear-end accident does not produce a high amount of injury in comparison to front-end collisions, the human and property damage and losses cost residents in the state of Maryland millions of dollars in medical expenses, loss of production, time and insurance claims. Nationally, the Department of Transportation estimates that over $5 billion dollars are spent each year on recovering from rear-end accidents – another mind numbing statistic.
As stated earlier, when it comes to who is at-fault for a rear-end accident, it is typically assumed that the vehicle that strikes from the rear is automatically at fault. This is usually attributed to the fact that the rear vehicle is following the lead vehicle too closely. Therefore when sudden braking or other actions are required, the driver operating the closely following rear vehicle is unable to correct their actions and avoid the accident. Maryland law echoes that populist sentiment in Andrade v. Housein, in which the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that in rear-end collisions, the rebuttable presumption is that the rear ending driver is at fault for the accident. This presumption can be rebutted but the rear-ended car has a leg up in the battle for evidence.