Tailgating Car Accidents

West Chester car accident lawyers advocate for tailgating victims.Tailgating is a common driving practice that commonly causes accidents. Like speeding, tailgating is a hasty and ill-considered driving habit that most people decline to admit to, but that consistently appears in car accident statistics.

Tailgating occurs when a driver follows too closely behind the car in front of it, risking a crash if the leading car should decelerate or stop suddenly. Crashing into the back of the car in front of you almost always results in a determination that you, the driver of the impacting vehicle, are responsible for the accident. Any driver has the responsibility to be in control of their vehicle. If a driver feels that they are not in control, they have the duty to readjust their speed, following distance, or other factors to ensure that they are not going to cause an accident.

Establishing Liability

Liability in car accidents comes down to four essential components:

Establishment of duty: In the case of tailgating, the duty would be that every driver is obligated to drive safely and follow traffic laws, namely the law that requires drivers to follow at a safe distance.

Breach of duty: The fact that the tailgating driver could not stop in time is proof that they were in violation of the safe distance rule.

Breach caused the accident: In crashing into the car in front, the driver of the tailgating car proved that they were traveling too close to allow adequate stopping time, thereby causing the crash.

Evidence that you suffered damages as a result: If you were injured in a rear-end car accident, you will need to prove that your injuries were sustained as a result of the crash. That can be tricky. Make sure to get your injuries evaluated right away and document all medical visits and treatments.


In the case of a tailgating accident, the breach of the rule to keep a safe distance is often enough to assign liability to the tailgating driver. However, laws differ by state on how damages can be collected by an injured party and if that party bears some liability for the accident. There are two major types of negligence that can affect your ability to collect damages:

Contributory negligence: If your negligence contributed to the accident to any degree, you are barred from recovering anything at all in a lawsuit.

Comparative negligence: The amount of liability is contingent upon the amount of fault you bear, therefore the amount of damages you can collect is reduced by your percentage of liability. For example, if you suffered damages of $10,000, but you were found 30 percent liable for the accident, you would only collect $7,000. In many states, if you are liable for more than 50 percent of the accident, you are unable to collect any damages.

West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Advocate for Car Accident Victims

If you were hurt in a tailgating car crash, the West Chester car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help you collect damages for your accident. Contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940 for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.