Missouri & Kansas Traffic Laws in Rear-End Car Accidents

Rear-end car accidents are unfortunately very common in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and elsewhere in Kansas and Missouri.  In the most cases, you will not be found liable if your car was rear-ended by another vehicle following behind you in a Kansas City car accident.  In both Kansas and Missouri, traffic laws generally place the blame on the driver who crashed into the rear of the front car.  

The reason is these laws require all drivers to maintain a safe distance, and this is especially true when cars in front are coming to a stop. As a result, the driver following behind has a duty to keep enough distance from the front car to prevent a rear-end crash from occurring.

who is at fault in rear end car accident Kansas City

In addition, if your car is rear-ended and you are able to prove that this collision forced your car into the rear of another vehicle, you may not be held liable for that subsequent collision. Instead, the fault for that crash would also be with the driver who crashed into the rear of your car and caused you to rear-end the other vehicle.

These rules apply to a rear-end accident, regardless of whether they occur on a residential road, at an intersection with traffic signals or stop signs, when merging into traffic on another roadway, on a state or federal highway.

Exceptions to the General Rule on Rear-End Liability

While the above summarizes the general rule on who is liable in a rear-end crash in Kansas or Missouri, it is worth noting that there are a few exceptions this this rule.  In the following situations, the driver of the front car in a rear-end collision may share in the fault for the crash: 

  • If you swerve your car violently or abruptly in front of another car for no reason;
  • If you change gears into reverse and back into the front of another car;
  • If you abruptly stop with no reason on a highway;
  • If you knowingly fail to maintain your brake lights and drive without them functioning; and/or
  • If you are driving while impaired or intoxicated, or are engaged in other illegal behavior, such as "road rage" or racing, and this contributed to causing the accident.

Why You Must Document the Crash

After a Kansas City car accident, it is critical that you document and gather all evidence about the collision. Later, it may be difficult later to prove what caused the crash. Evidence, such as photographs, detailed documents and witness statements will help establish what happened and who is at fault for the car accident.

To properly document a car crash in Kansas City, you should: 

  • Call 9-1-1 and ask the police to make a full crash report;
  • Write down detailed information about all parties involved, including their name, address, license plate numbers and insurance information;
  • Identify and interview any witnesses to the accident and have them sign statements; 
  • Use your smartphone to photograph and/or video the crash scene, your injuries and the damage to your vehicle; and 
  • Get prompt medical attention for any injuries and follow the advice of your doctors.

You should also inform your own car insurance company about your car accident. Lastly, if you were injured, you should also consult with an experienced Kansas City car accident lawyer.  Our Kansas City car accident law firm offers free, no obligation consultations.  We can answer your questions and guide you on what steps you should consider next.

Selecting a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer

Unfortunately, injuries in car accidents are all too common on the roads and highways in the Kansas City metro area and throughout Missouri and Kansas. If you want more information about car accident claims in Kansas City or elsewhere in Missouri and Kansas, please download a free copy of our book, Crash Course: 9 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim, right now.

If you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you should seek a free legal consultation with a car accident attorney to make sure you protect your legal rights and are treated fairly by the insurance company.  Our Kansas City car accident lawyer is happy to give you free information on how to find the best car accident attorney for your case and to provide a free consultation.  Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out the form below.  

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus – Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney

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