Is the lead car ever at fault in a rear-end collision?

  • Generally the following car is 100% at fault in a rear-end collision.
  • In rare cases the leading car may be partly at fault.

Yacub v. Chipman is one of the rare cases where the lead car in a rear-end collision was found to be 75% at fault.  Ms. Yacub testified that she stopped hard for a yellow light and was rear-ended.  Mr. Chipman and his passenger testified that Ms. Yacub stopped for no reason in the middle of the intersection and was hit.  Both also testified that Ms. Yacub said she had stopped because she thought a car was going to turn left in front of her.  Neither of them had seen any movement from the left turning car.

The judge rejected Ms. Yacub’s evidence, and accepted that she had stopped in the middle of the intersection.  The location of the skid marks and debris from the cars supported this.  There was no evidence that supported any concern Ms. Yacub might have about a left turning car, so there was no excuse for her having stopped in mid-intersection.  She was in breach of the Motor Vehicle Act for having done so, and for driving without due care and attention and without reasonable consideration for the car behind her.  Mr. Chipman was following too closely, and was 25% at fault.  She was more to blame than he was because he would have no reason to think she would stop in the middle of the intersection, but she had to know that this would be unexpected for traffic following her.

If you do not agree with ICBC’s assessment of liability in your collision, contact us.  We can help.

Read the case:  Yacub v. Chipman