If a Car Cuts Me Off and I Hit Them, Am I Liable?

If a Car Cuts Me Off and I Hit Them, Am I Liable?As the trailing driver in a rear-end vehicle collision, proving your innocence can be tricky. If you are cut off and the leading driver’s recklessness causes a crash, you will need to prove your innocence with strong evidence. This evidence is paramount, especially in our local Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, region that sees heavy commuter traffic and congested roads.

Can I be held partially at fault if I rear-end a car that cut me off?

In Pennsylvania, the determination of liability in car accidents is governed by the principle of comparative fault. This legal concept recognizes that fault in an accident may be shared among multiple parties, and it aims to apportion damages accordingly.

Under the modified comparative fault rule in Pennsylvania, injured parties can still recover damages even if they are partially at fault for the accident. However, if the injured party is found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, they are barred from recovering any damages. This means that if you are determined to be equally or more at fault than the driver that cut you off, you may not be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

On the other hand, if you are less than 51% at fault for the accident, your recovery will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident and the other driver is 80% at fault, you would only be able to recover 80% of the total damages.

This comparative fault system adds a layer of complexity to car accident cases, as determining each party’s degree of fault requires careful analysis of the circumstances surrounding the accident. With many factors in play, you will need an experienced team of Pittsburgh car accident injury attorneys on your side to maximize your compensation, by demonstrating all verifiable aspects of your innocence.

What evidence can demonstrate the trailing driver’s innocence in a rear-end collision?

If a driver cuts you off, immediately leading to an accident, the damage to your car as the trailing driver can serve as evidence of your innocence. For instance, if the other car was coming from the left, damage to your left bumper rather than your right could help indicate that you were cut off and vice-versa. Skid marks can show your attempt to brake in quick anticipation of the crash, but skid marks will only support necessary witness statements, traffic cam footage or dash cam footage of the incident.

How can my injuries demonstrate my innocence in a rear-end collision?

In a similar way to side bumper damage, helping to demonstrate your innocence as the trailing driver, some injuries can be consistent with similar impact, thus further demonstrating your innocence in a rear-end collision. For these injuries, consider the leading car cutting off the trailing car from the left side, causing front-left impact on the trailing car.

  • Neck injuries: Strains, sprains, or severe trauma to neck muscles, ligaments, or vertebrae can occur due to side-to-side and forward movement caused by a front-left impact.
  • Head injuries: Concussions, contusions, or lacerations may result from the trailing driver’s head impacting the vehicle’s interior during a collision with a front-left impact.
  • Facial injuries: Contact with steering wheel, dashboard, or other interior components during a collision can cause minor cuts, bruises, or more severe facial fractures and soft tissue injuries.
  • Whiplash: Rapid back-and-forth movement of the head and neck can cause neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. In a collision with a front-left impact, the force may propel the head forcefully to the right.

These injuries result from the abrupt stopping or jerking motion caused by the rear-end collision, as the front driver is not given sufficient time or space to react. The point of impact can demonstrate the reckless and negligent driving of the leading driver, and injuries can demonstrate forms of impact.

Injuries must be documented for them to be reliable evidence in an injury case, so after any accident always be sure to immediately call an ambulance so that you can receive official documentation of your injuries sustained in the accident. Your injuries will dictate your compensation and, as we outlined in this section, can also help demonstrate the fault of the leading driver in your cut-off car accident.

What should I do if I’m involved in a rear-end collision after being cut off?

Effectively navigating the complexities of a rear-end accident where you are the victim requires an experienced team of Pittsburgh car accident injury attorneys like those at Carmody and Ging Injury and Accident Lawyers.

Pittsburgh’s Carmody and Ging Injury and Accident Lawyers have focused on car accident injury cases like yours for more than 30 years. Check out our testimonials to see how we have supported our clients throughout Western Pennsylvania through challenging times. We will diligently build a compelling case against the negligent driver in your rear-end collision.

Let us fight to earn you compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress that came as a direct result of your accident. Call or contact our Pittsburgh car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.