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What if someone rear-ends you at a yellow light?

by | Jun 3, 2021 | Accident Injury

If you’re sitting at a red light and someone rear-ends your car, you know it’s their fault. That much is very clear. You couldn’t avoid the crash, nor should you have been made to do so. 

But what if the light is yellow? Say it turns yellow and you hit your brakes hard so that you can stop in time before it turns red. The driver behind you, however, assumes that you’re going to speed up to make the yellow, and they don’t hit their own brakes soon enough. They rear-end your car and then blame you for stopping when it wasn’t red yet. 

Are they right? Is this your fault because you stopped at the yellow light?

Following distances still apply no matter what the color of the traffic light

The short answer is no. You are not at fault. All drivers must leave enough of a following distance that they can stop unexpectedly. This holds just as true at a yellow light as it does anywhere else on the road. If you chose to stop and that driver was too close and/or driving too fast, the fault lies with them for rear-ending your car. 

Moreover, the yellow light never means someone should speed up to make it through. If the other driver assumed that you would, rather than slowing down and stopping, they made a clear mistake and caused the crash. 

What should you do if you were injured in a rear-end wreck?

Now that you know it’s their fault, even if they insist it was not, you need to know how to seek financial compensation. You may need it to help pay your medical bills, make up for lost wages and cover the other costs you have from the accident.