Tailgating isn't just rude — it's dangerous. So if you've been injured by a tailgating driver, you probably want to pay for your accident. In most cases, you will succeed, but you need to know what to do.
Do You Need to Prove Tailgating?
In most rear-end collisions, the driver in the back is automatically at fault. That means in many cases, you don't actually have to prove that the other driver was tailgating. It doesn't make much of a difference to your claim if the reason they ran into you was that they were following too closely or if they had plenty of time to stop if they weren't looking at their phone.
However, not all tailgating accidents are a result of a direct rear-end collision. The impact might come at an angle or on the side as one of the cars tries to avoid the crash. Another driver could also get caught up in the crash depending on how it happened. In those less clear situations, tailgating can be a sign of negligent or reckless driving that helps to establish fault and avoid a situation where the tailgater comes up with a different story about what happened.
When You Need to Prove Tailgating
A common example of when you need to prove tailgating is if you changed lanes at the same time as the tailgater. For example, you may have been passing a truck and tried to move back to the right lane, and the impatient tailgater tried to pass on your right. In this situation, proving tailgating is the difference between the accident being your fault for an unsafe lane change and the other driver's fault for driving aggressively.
Since tailgating doesn't always lead directly to a read-end collision it can be difficult to prove. The best evidence is if you have a front and rear dashcam on your car. If the tailgating driver had a dashcam, you may be able to get a subpoena for their video with your attorney's help.
With no video, you'll need to try to get witness statements from other drivers. If there are no witnesses, tell the police at the accident what happened. They may be able to take measurements of the crash that can help show it wouldn't have happened if the other driver wasn't tailgating.
To learn more about how to prove a tailgating accident, contact a local auto accident lawyer today.