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How is fault apportioned after a Kentucky rear-end crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When a motorist stops at a red light and you (distracted by a cellphone) hit them from behind, it isn’t a no-brainer to assume that you are to blame for the crash. But not all rear-end collisions are this straightforward.

If you are involved in a rear-end collision, one of the questions you will seek an answer to is who is to blame for the crash. This is the basis upon which liability is determined.

Is the driver who rear-ends the other automatically liable?

Not always. There is an erroneous belief that the driver who rear-ends the other is automatically at fault for an accident. However, this is far from the truth. There are any number of factors that could lead another party to be deemed at fault for a rear-end crash.

How does Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence statute come into play?

Kentucky is not an “all-or-nothing” state. In a litigated matter, a jury will rely on what is known as the state’s pure comparative negligence statute to apportion fault. Per Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence statute, your damages will be reduced based on your degree of fault. This means that you can claim damages even if you were 99 percent responsible for the rear-end crash. In other words, both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s contribution to the rear-end crash are taken into account when awarding damages.

Strong evidence can strengthen a case

Car accident claims, like any other legal matter, tend to fail or succeed on account of evidence. Thus, the stronger your evidence is, the more likely you will achieve a favorable outcome. Here are some of the kinds of evidence that can work in your favor:

  • A police report
  • Photographs of the accident scene that indicate the extent of damage, road conditions and any visible traffic signs
  • Eyewitness statements
  • A doctor’s report

Protecting your rights

A rear-end crash can result in property damage as well as debilitating injuries. If you are involved in a rear-end crash, it helps to know that there is help out there. Learning more about Kentucky car accident laws with the assistance of a legal professional can help you protect your rights and interests while pursuing damages following a rear-end collision.