You had a bad feeling about this. The rearview mirror displayed it all: a dreaded tailgater following way too closely to your car. Before you could make any evasive maneuver, the vehicle struck yours from behind. Just like that.
The ensuing collision left you with serious injuries, pain and suffering, the temporary inability to work and steep medical expenses. Now, you wonder whether you and your family can get compensation for this avoidable crash caused by a negligent and reckless tailgater.
The dangers of tailgating
Why do drivers tailgate? It may be for many reasons, including an inexperienced driver is behind the wheel, a driver is in a hurry and wishes to pass or it is an aggressive and reckless driver susceptible to road rage.
Tailgating is dangerous, and proving liability is not that easy. However, as a victim whose injuries were the result of a tailgater’s actions, you may receive compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Who is liable?
Liability for such an accident may be attributed to either driver, depending on the circumstances of the collision.
If the driver in front abruptly brakes at the unexpected sight of a pedestrian carelessly entering the road, animals such as a deer or pet, or even speedbumps, the tailgater is more than likely blamed for the crash.
However, if the driver in front decides to suddenly brake out of exasperation when another driver follows too closely, that person could be liable. A tailgater does not have enough time to stop his or her vehicle if the car in front suddenly brakes or stops.
Guidelines to follow
Here are some things to do if confronted by a tailgater on the road:
- Avoid slowing down and hitting the brakes. This only provokes the driver. The likely result: The tailgater doubles down on that reckless behavior and continues to follow too closely.
- Change lanes, thus allowing the driver to pass you.
The best way to avoid getting into such a situation is to get out of the path of a tailgater. Do not antagonize this person as problems may only escalate.
Securing compensation possible
An injury caused by a tailgating driver can disrupt your life. Depending on certain details of the collision, you may possibly obtain compensation for your injuries.