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Who is at fault in a rear-end collision in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Car Accidents

Rear-end collisions are a common occurrence on the road, often leaving drivers confused and frustrated. This is especially so when it comes to determining fault. Rear-end collision occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another.

In Kentucky, determining fault in these accidents is a process rooted in the state’s negligence laws. According to the state’s negligence laws, a driver who fails to exercise reasonable care and causes an accident is considered negligent and at fault.

Presumption of fault

In rear-end collisions, there is often a presumption that the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of them is at fault. This presumption arises from the expectation that a driver should tailgate the vehicle ahead of them to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.

However, this presumption can be proven with evidence that the lead driver’s actions contributed to the accident. Moreover, there are certain situations where the presumption of fault may not apply:

  • Sudden stop: If the lead driver makes a sudden and unexpected stop, the rear driver may not have sufficient reaction time to avoid a collision. In such cases, the lead driver may be found partially or fully at fault.
  • Reckless driving:If the lead driver engages in reckless behavior, like dangerously cutting off the rear driver, they could be held primarily responsible.
  • Mechanical issues: If the lead vehicle experiences a malfunction, such as a brake failure, that directly contributes to the collision, they could share some of the blame.

Furthermore, the state follows the rule of pure comparative fault, which means that an accident victim can recover damages only if they are not 100% responsible for the accident. Therefore, if the rear driver is only partially responsible for a rear-end collision, the lead driver’s damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the court finds the rear driver 80% at fault, the lead driver’s damages will be reduced by 20%.

Determining fault in a rear-end collision in the Bluegrass State is based on negligence laws. While there is generally a presumption that the rear driver is at fault, this presumption should be backed with evidence. It is important for drivers involved in rear-end collisions to understand the legal framework and seek legal support when determining who is at fault for a collision, as a presumption is not a foregone conclusion.