I Hit Someone Who Was Driving Too Slow. Who’s at Fault in Texas?

Texas traffic can be a nightmare. Between aggressive drivers, rush hour congestion, and unexpected road hazards, it’s easy to get frustrated. But what if you find yourself behind a driver moving significantly slower than the posted speed limit, leading to a rear-end collision? Who bears the responsibility in such a scenario?

Is the slow driver automatically at fault in a Texas rear-end accident?

At the Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, we understand the stress and confusion that frequently accompany car accidents. Our team of experienced Carrollton car accident attorneys specializes in handling such cases throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex and beyond. In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricate legal landscape surrounding rear-end collisions involving excessively slow drivers in Texas, providing insights to navigate liability and potential damages effectively.

Texas Rear-End Collision Presumption: Not Always Clear-Cut

Texas follows a “rear-end collision presumption” as outlined in Texas Transportation Code §545.001. This means the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is presumed negligent (at fault). The presumption is based on the idea that the following driver has a duty to maintain a safe distance and react accordingly to the vehicle in front.

However, the presumption of fault is not absolute. The slow driver can share some or all of the blame depending on the circumstances of the accident.

When a Slow Driver Might Be Liable in a Texas Rear-End Collision

Here are some situations where a slow driver might be found partially at fault for a rear-end collision in Texas:

  • Driving Extremely Slow on a Highway: While there’s no minimum speed limit on most Texas highways, driving unreasonably slow can impede the flow of traffic and create a dangerous situation. In fact, data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that slow drivers are a contributing factor in a significant percentage of highway accidents each year.
  • Sudden Braking Without Cause: If the slow driver slams on their brakes unexpectedly, for no valid reason, it can catch the following driver off guard and lead to a collision.
  • Driving Erratically: Swerving, changing lanes without proper signaling, or having broken taillights can all contribute to an accident, even if the slow driver is technically under the speed limit.
  • Braking on a Green Light: Coming to a complete stop on a green light, without a valid reason, can disrupt traffic flow and create a risk of a rear-end collision.

Evidence to Strengthen Your Case After a Texas Rear-End Collision with a Slow Driver

While it is hard to overcome the presumption of fault in a rear-end collision, if you are involved in a rear-end collision with a slow driver in Texas, here’s what can help overcome the presumption and strengthen your case:

  • Police Report: The police report will document the scene, witness statements (if any), and the responding officer’s initial assessment of fault.
  • Dashcam Footage: If you have a dashcam, the footage can provide valuable evidence of the accident, including the speed of both vehicles and the slow driver’s actions.
  • Witness Testimony: Witness statements can corroborate your version of events and shed light on the slow driver’s behavior.
  • Traffic Light Data: Traffic light data can be helpful if the accident occurred at an intersection and the slow driver stopped unexpectedly on a green light.

Important Note:
In Texas, fault for accidents is shared proportionally among all parties involved under comparative negligence laws (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.013). Even if a slow driver contributes to a collision, you could still be partially at fault if you were following too closely or speeding. This can impact your compensation, reducing it according to your percentage of fault. It’s advisable to consult with an experienced Texas auto accident attorney for guidance.

Steps to Take After a Texas Rear-End Collision with a Slow Driver

If you ever experience the unfortunate shock and confusion of a rear-end collision, especially when the driver in front was going much slower than the posted speed limit, it’s important to stay calm and take the following steps to protect your rights and well-being:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Even if you don’t feel immediate pain, get checked by a doctor to rule out any injuries.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the surrounding area, and any injuries you may have sustained.
  • Exchange Information with the Other Driver: Get the slow driver’s name, contact information, and insurance details.
  • Consult with a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer: An experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in Texas car accidents can review the details of your case, determine the extent of your damages, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
I Hit Someone Who Was Driving Too Slow. Who’s at Fault in Texas?

The Law Offices of Tim O'Hare: Your Texas Rear-End Collision Legal Team

Being involved in a rear-end collision can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure who’s to blame. At the Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, our dedicated team of Carrollton car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling car accident cases in Texas, including those involving slow drivers.

We understand Texas traffic laws and know how to investigate accidents to build a strong case on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Free Consultation: Explore Your Options and Get the Answers You Deserve

Let us review your case for free and answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation to hire us, but we’re confident we can be a strong legal partner guiding you through the recovery process.

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