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Posted On April 22, 2014 Personal Injury

Foul Play: Motorist Runs Stop Sign and Causes Rear-End Collision – Must Be the Other Driver’s Fault

Let’s face it: sometimes, we’re just unlucky. We’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, and something bad happens that we simply can’t control. Bad luck affects everyone from time to time, but it sure does seem to happen more often to some people than to others. When it does, is it fair that a person with such bad luck to have a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time gets punished for someone else’s careless behavior?

We don’t think so. But your insurance company might.

A Rear-End Accident

Now, it’s true that every driver has a responsibility to be alert to his or her surroundings, but sometimes there’s only so much that one driver can do. Imagine that you have the right of way and are traveling through an intersection when another driver blows right through a stop sign without ever stopping, hits you from behind at a high rate of speed, and then tries to leave the scene. You manage to get the other driver’s insurance information and file a police report, but that doesn’t fix the damage to your car or heal the injuries to your spine.

Good thing the other driver has insurance, right?

Foul Play Motorist Runs Stop Sign And Causes Rear End Collision

Stop signs aren’t optional. When drivers fail to obey them, other people get hurt. Photo Credit: Pixabay (free-to-use Pixabay License).

Judging the Victim

Unfortunately for this client, the at-fault driver’s insurance company in this case took “blaming the victim” to a whole new level. The adjuster called our office and actually tried to talk the paralegal working on the case out of representing the client at all. Why? Because he has “priors,” or a history of prior accidents.

No reasonable person could possibly pin the fault for this particular collision on the victim. What should he have done? Assumed that the driver approaching the stop sign was going to defy the law and barrel into the intersection without even slowing down? Should our client have violated the law himself and sped through the intersection to make sure that if the other driver did run the stop sign, his car would be out of the way?

It’s absurd to even suggest that a person injured in a rear-end collision as he proceeded through the intersection with the right of way should have known that the other motorist was reckless. To say so effectively removes all personal responsibility from the person who actually broke the law and caused the accident. As a representative of an auto insurance company, the adjuster knew that. Yet while speaking to our paralegal, this adjuster recommended that our firm stop pursuing the claim because our client’s past accidents meant that this was “not a worthwhile case” and even went so far as to imply that our client was committing fraud.

Last time we checked, it wasn’t against the law to be unlucky.

Fortunately for the victim, we weren’t about to let the insurance company get away with blaming him for an accident that he could do nothing to prevent. “No matter what, you always have your client’s back,” our paralegal said, and continued fighting to get the victim the compensation he deserved.