In general, the law presumes the rear-ending motorist is at fault when there is a rear-end collision. The Louisiana rule of law appears in Louisiana Revised Statute 32:81(A). The rule is based on the idea that the rear-ending motorist has failed to maintain a sharp lookout and/or was following too closely to avoid the accident. A rear-ending motorist can rebut the presumption of fault in situations where the proceeding driver negligently created the hazard that the following vehicle could not avoid. For example, if a car makes an inopportune lane change and is struck in the rear, the striking vehicle may be able to overcome the presumption of fault and escape liability.
If you are a victim of a rear-end collision and make a claim for personal injuries with the insurance company for the other driver, beware! Many insurance companies will argue and try and convince you that because the vehicles sustained little or no visible damage, then the vehicle's occupants could not have been injured. This is not necessarily true. While cars are designed to handle the low speed impact forces, the human body is not.
Insurance adjusters are very astute at reducing the insurance company's exposure. Serious injuries can result from what may appear to be a minor impact. Rear-end collisions may not be so clear cut and legal representation may be needed to ensure you are treated fairly during the settlement process.
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