Determining Fault After a Rear-end Accident

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

If you have been injured in rear-end collision in Texas and have suffered serious injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, your ability to recover and the amount that you could recover will largely hinge on who was at fault for the accident: the driver in the front, the driver in the rear, or both parties.

Rear-end collisions usually involve two drivers: one in the front and one in the back. These accidents often take place after the vehicle in the front stops moving forward. Common places for this include stop signs and traffic lights. This type of accident occurs because the driver in the back fails to swerve or stop in time and hits the back of the vehicle in front of it. 

Causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Lack of working brake lights
  • Sudden stops for no reason
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Cutting cars off
  • Poor visibility
  • Road hazards

It’s important to understand that rear-end accidents are not always the fault of the rear driver. They may be the fault of the driver in front or both drivers may be partially to blame. Under Texas’ modified comparative fault rule, when drivers share fault the 51 percent rule applies. This rule says that in order for someone to recover for their injuries, they must not be more than 50% at fault. If they are 51% or more liable for the crash, they will be barred from recovering anything. But if they are 50% or less responsible, their damages will be reduced in proportion to their liability. 

For instance, if Joe is 49% liable for the crash, and incurred $100,000 in damages, they will only be entitled to 51,000. But if Joe is 53% liable for the crash, he can’t recover any damages. 

The Statute of Limitations

In Texas, there is a statute of limitations for bringing a claim for a rear-end accident. A statute of limitations means that there is a time period during which you must bring your claim. If you fail to bring a claim during that period of time, you will likely be barred from bringing it all together. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas after a car accident is two years from the date of the accident. However, if your loved one died in the accident and you’re bringing a claim for wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of their death. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Injured in a Rear-end Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another, it’s vital that you understand to what you are entitled under the law. With this information under your belt, you can make the important decisions regarding how you want to move forward. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the impact that an accident can have on many parts of your life and the importance of properly dealing with such negligence or recklessness. That’s why we will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.