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Derek Legal Blog

Have You "Rear Ended" Anyone in a Motor Vehicle Accident Recently?

The prevailing view is that if you run into the back of another vehicle you are responsible for the damage caused.

Not necessarily!

The Supreme Court of Queensland recently had the opportunity to look at this matter. An accident occurred involving a utility and a truck travelling in the same direction on the highway, when the utility slowed the truck attempted to overtake it, and at that the utility did a right-hand turn and a collision occurred. The driver of the truck said the, driver of the utility failed to indicate.

The Supreme Court stated the following principles

 – The driver of the following vehicle is in a better position that the leader to observe certain matters. However, one must not over-emphasise the responsibility of the following driver or the importance of that driver’s opportunity to avoid the risk created by the carelessness of another. The driver of a following car is not inevitably liable should his or her vehicle collide with the vehicle in front. Liability and comparative culpability must be determined by reference to the particular facts of the case.

The Trial Judge Justice Applegarth found that both drivers were equally to blame for the accident. This was so because if the driver of the utility had indicated or kept a proper lookout, then the driver of the truck would not have attempted to overtake him on the right hand side, and if the driver of the truck had slowed when he saw the utility and travelled behind the utility, the utility would have made the turn and the collision would have been avoided.

So…. If you have rear ended somebody you may not be liable for the damages caused.

Posted in: Derek Legal Blog at 13 December 17

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