You can prove a car was following too closely in a car accident with witness accounts, video footage, expert reconstructions, a police report, and other evidence. However, even if you cannot explicitly prove that the car was following too closely, there is one obvious way to tell that the motorist was dangerously close: They hit you.
A car accident lawyer can help prove your case. For example, they will gather evidence showing a motorist was tailgating or driving closer than they should have been.
How an Attorney Works to Prove a Motorist Followed Too Close
Your rear-end collision has happened. The goal is to prove who caused the accident and what actions led to the crash. Your auto accident attorney can prove these points with the following:
- Witness accounts: One or more witnesses could testify that the liable parties were driving too closely behind you, traveling at a dangerous rate of speed, or engaged in another action that led to your collision.
- Video footage: Footage from mounted cameras, traffic cameras, cellphones, dash cameras, or other sources can help your case. The footage could show how closely a motorist was traveling behind you at the time of the collision.
- Reconstructions of the accident: Our firm can hire experts to reconstruct your accident. Those experts might use digital animations, physical exhibits, and other tools to show how the rear-end accident happened.
- Documentation of the accident scene: Evidence of the accident could exist at the scene. For example, an attorney from our team could photograph skid marks leading up to a collision site where two damaged vehicles rest. This might indicate that the rear-ending motorist had to slam on their brakes but was still unable to avoid the accident.
- The words of the rear-ending motorist: The motorist who caused your accident could have admitted their negligent behavior. Whether the at-fault motorist admitted their tailgating to you, a law enforcement officer, an insurance company representative, or some other party, we will document such statements.
The evidence available to our lawyers varies between cases. We use whatever witness statements, video footage, or other types of evidence we have access to. The more evidence we can find showing the liable party’s fault for your accident, the better.
What does It Mean to Follow “Too Closely”?
A motorist must be able to stop and avoid a collision. If a driver cannot stop in time to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front of them, they are following too closely. For most motorists, a safe distance is multiple car lengths.
Certain conditions require a motorist to increase the gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front. A driver should increase this gap when:
- They are traveling fast, as it takes longer to stop at a high rate of speed
- They encounter rain, snow, hail, or other dangerous weather conditions
- There are workers or pedestrians present
- They see taillights ahead, as this could indicate a slowing or stopping of traffic
Motorists must adjust their driving style to road conditions. For example, if there is any question about whether a motorist can stop in time to avoid an accident, they should lengthen the distance from the vehicle in front of them.
Not Every Rear-End Collision Results from Tailgating
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines “following too closely” as “situations in which one vehicle is following another vehicle so closely that even if the following driver is attentive to the actions of the vehicle ahead, he/she could not avoid a collision in the circumstance when the driver in front brakes suddenly.”
But what if a motorist is not attentive? Even if a motorist maintains a safe distance behind other vehicles, they could cause an accident because:
- They are texting while driving
- They are distracted by a phone call
- They are tired
- They are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- They are driving an unsafe vehicle
Someone is liable in each of these scenarios. A car accident lawyer will identify every liable party and seek the compensation you deserve.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Handle My Car Accident Case?
You might choose to hire an attorney after a car accident because:
- You do not have the time to handle your insurance claim or lawsuit
- You would rather have an experienced lawyer handle your case
- You want to protect your rights and believe that a lawyer will look out for your best interests
- You value the case results that our firm has achieved
Our law firm has won more than $1 billion for our clients. We will fight for the financial recovery you deserve.
Call Our Law Firm Today to Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer About Your Claim
We will handle every step of the legal process, from the investigation to settlement negotiations. If your case requires a trial, we will take your case to court.
Call the Morris Bart law firm today to complete your free consultation.
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