Car accidents can occur under a variety of circumstances. When a car accident happens due to tailgating, it is likely because a driver was acting aggressively or erratically while driving. Fortunately, you can pursue a claim against the negligent party that caused your car accident. If you or a family member was a victim of a serious car crash due to tailgating, contact an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer today.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice recognize how a serious vehicle collision could alter a victim’s life, and we are here to provide car accident victims with the legal representation they deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You can also contact the firm online.
How Tailgating Can Cause an Accident
Tailgating occurs when a vehicle follows too closely to another, typically at a high rate of speed. This activity is extremely dangerous because there is a chance that a tailgater could fail to stop their vehicle on time if the lead vehicle has to make a sudden stop.
There are a number of reasons that a motorist may tailgate another driver. For example, tailgating is often a method used by some drivers to coerce another to drive above the speed limit or to force a driver to exit a specific lane. Here are some other reasons why a driver may tailgate.
Discouraging Lane Changes
When commuting to and from work, it is common for many motorists to become stuck in an excessive amount of traffic. When this occurs, some motorists may begin tailgating in order to preserve their spot on a road with heavy traffic. This can be especially dangerous if a tailgater refuses to allow other vehicles to merge into a lane. An innocent driver could be struck despite taking all the necessary steps to merge into traffic properly.
If you observe a motorist aggressively following behind you or consistently honking their horn for insignificant reasons, it may be possible the motorist is having an episode of road rage. When operating a vehicle under road rage, a driver could act in an unpredictable manner that could endanger many motorists in their vicinity. If you believe a driver with road rage is tailgating your vehicle, it would be wise to let them pass to avoid any unnecessary confrontations or accidents.
Any experienced driver will be able to gauge the proper distance for tailing a vehicle. It is important to understand the limitations of your vehicle and how difficult it might be to make a sudden stop. Unfortunately, some motorists may believe they can tailgate a car while being able to immediately stop their vehicle without causing an accident. This often results in a scenario where a motorist misjudges their driving abilities or vehicle and causing a serious accident.
There are other causes of tailgating accidents that are not listed above. To learn more about who is liable for a tailgating accident, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer.
Determining Fault After a Tailgating Accident in Baltimore
Liability for a tailgating accident will depend on a number of circumstances. Typically, a motorist that strikes the rear of another vehicle will be held liable for their actions. However, there are some circumstances where fault may not completely lie with the tailgater.
Determining fault after a tailgating accident is important as Baltimore operates on a pure contributory negligence system under Maryland law. This means that if a plaintiff is even one percent responsible for an accident, they will not be able to recover damages for their injuries.
Maryland’s pure contributory negligence law can make it difficult for victims of tailgating that responded instinctively to an aggressive driver’s actions. For example, if a victim decided to brake check a tailgater, they could be held partially liable for their injuries. A brake check is when a motorist decides to suddenly pump their brakes to force a tailgater to provide them with some distance. Other issues that could lead to a plaintiff being held liable for an accident include:
- Failure to have functioning brake lights to avoid a rear-end collision
- Braking suddenly to make a turn without using a signal
- Purposely driving well below the speed limit
When to File a Lawsuit in Baltimore for a Car Accident Caused by Tailgating
If you were injured in a car accident in Baltimore due to tailgating, you should pursue legal action against the negligent driver that caused the accident. If you elect to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you should be aware that your claim is subject to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a claimant possesses before the filing deadline on their lawsuit expires. For example, if the statute of limitations is one year for a breach of contract lawsuit, the claimant must file their lawsuit within one year of the breach.
In Baltimore, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. When a plaintiff fails to file their claim before the deadline, the opposing party can request the court to dismiss the case. Unless the plaintiff satisfies some exception to the filing deadline, they will be unable to pursue their claim in court. An experienced attorney could help you determine whether your case qualifies for an exception from the statute of limitations.
Contact Our Experienced Baltimore Attorney for Accidents Caused by Tailgating
If you need assistance pursuing an injury claim against a negligent driver, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore car accident attorney today. With extensive experience litigating a variety of personal injury lawsuits, car accident lawyer Randolph Rice is prepared to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291.