Who’s Responsible in a Rear End Car Accident?

rear ended car accidents can be severeTwo Missouri residents from Columbia sustained minor injuries in a rear-end collision that occurred in Boone County, Missouri. The collision occurred on June 24, 2012 at 11:35am.

Kathleen L. Moyer-Johnson of Columbia, Missouri was driving in a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina on northbound Nance Drive in Boone County. Marleene N. Archibeque of Columbia, Missouri was also traveling on northbound Nance Drive in a 1992 Ford. Archibeque was traveling behind Moyer-Johnson. The gas in Moyer-Johnson’s vehicle ran out while she was driving, which caused Moyer-Johnson’s Chevrolet Lumina to begin to slow down. Archibeque failed to notice that Moyer-Johnson’s vehicle was slowing down and collided into the rear of Moyer-Johnson’s vehicle. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage due to the collision.

The accident parties were subsequently assisted by Missouri State Highway Patrol. Medical responders determined that both Moyer-Johnson and Archibeque sustained minor injuries in the Missouri rear-end collision. Moyer-Johnson refused medical treatment while Archibeque was transported to University Hospital by ambulance.

There can be scenarios where it seems that both drivers are partially responsible for a car accident (or defense attorneys may try to raise this argument in court). In most negligence lawsuit scenarios, damages and liability costs can be computed in different ways. However, the amount of damages can have some very big differences depending on what state the accident took place in. For instance, states either have a “Contributory Negligence” or a “Comparative Negligence” theory when concerning how to compute damages. In a Contributory Negligence state, the party responsible for the accident must be entirely, 100% at fault. If the car accident victim was even 1% at fault in the accident, the victim would not be able to recover no matter how severe the accident and any injuries might have been. Contributory Negligence is essentially a complete defense to liability.

On the other hand, Comparative Negligence is a mere arithmetic formula for computing damages. If a car accident victim was 40% at fault for the accident while the responsible driver was 60% at fault, then the driver would only have to pay for 60% of the total damages in the case. Unlike Contributory Negligence, the Comparative Negligence is not a complete defense against liability.

While Missouri may be a Comparative Negligence state, it is important to note that different states have different formulations and treatment for Comparative Negligence situations (for instance, like requiring that the victim be not more than 50% at fault). In these kinds of situations, it would be best to consult with a Missouri car accident attorney for detailed information and representation.

June 26th, 2012 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

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