How is it determined who is at fault for read end accident?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

The matter of who is at fault in rear end accident depends on each individual case but it is generally assumed by the law and insurance companies that unless proven otherwise, the rear-ending driver is responsible. However, this tenet does not consider the many scenarios in which the front car may be fully or partially to blame, for example, if the front car’s brake lights were not functioning properly.

Rear end car accidents are recognised as the leading reason for personal injury claims in Ireland and although the rear-ending driver is usually considered to be the individual at fault in a rear end accident, insurance companies are more frequently investigating the circumstances of rear end accident claims made against their client’s and have become less willing to accept their policyholder’s liability.

Even if liability was admitted by the negligent driver at the scene of the accident, who is at fault in rear end accident cannot be categorically determined at that stage. Therefore, the Gardaí should always be called and an ambulance summoned if you or another member of your party sustained an injury from the accident. If the Gardaí did not consider the accident adequately serious and declined to attend the scene, a report of the accident should still be made at a Garda station at the first opportunity possible.

Making a report of the accident does not prove who is as fault in a rear end accident, but the logged record of your call to the Gardaí and your accident report can be used as evidence that your accident did indeed happen should the driver responsible for the accident and any subsequent injuries dispute a claim for compensation.

Despite the volume of compensation claims for rear end road accident, each case is unique and it would be in your best interest to discuss the circumstances of your accident with a professional solicitor who is experienced in handling rear end accident compensation claims.