Am I liable for an accident just because I consumed alcohol? How? 20 Answers as of June 23, 2015

After having only one drink, I got into an accident. The other car rear-ended me. Even though the accident is not my fault and I think my BAC was below the legal limit, could I be liable for the accident?

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Utah Injury Lawyer
Utah Injury Lawyer | Will Rodgers
Yes, most likely you are liable (at fault) for the car accident, or, partially liable (at fault). Inform your car insurance company of the accident and they have lawyers that handle the defense side of the case. However, if you are found to be less than 50% (one half) liable for the case, you may have an injury case that my injury law firm can help you with. For your own benefit, immediately contact an injury lawyer to evaluate your case and if taken, represent you in the case without any money coming from you. The reality is car insurance companies jerk people around who are not injury lawyers. As injury lawyers, we represent our clients and help them get their healthcare bills paid and get the best financial compensation they can get on their case.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/23/2015
Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
Liability is based on fault. If you did something to cause or contribute to the crash, you can have liability. If you did nothing that caused or contributed to the crash, you should have no fault/liability.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/23/2015
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Unless you made a sudden unsafe stop, if you were rear-ended, you should not at fault for the accident.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2015
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You may not be liable for the accident, because it is a rear-ender, but you may still be charged with DUI, unrelated to the incident.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/23/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Unless you contributed to the accident somehow that you have not described, the other driver is presumed to be at fault and your alcohol consumption is irrelevant. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/23/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    On these facts, and assuming there are no contrary facts, you can not be held criminally liable. After all, what did you do? You were stopped let's hope lawfully, like at a stop sign or red light and another car hit you. Alcohol would have had nothing to do with causation of the offense. If you are underage, and subject to the no-alcohol rule, you could be found guilty of that offense. If your judgment was impaired by even one drink (e.g. by stopping in the middle of the road without a good reason), you could be held at least partly liable. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Since you were rear-ended, YOU would probably be the one to make the claim for personal injuries, rather than the person that hit you. They COULD claim that you made a "sudden and unscheduled stop." Theoretically, you could be determined by the jury to be the cause of the accident, but I seriously doubt that would happen. In the criminal/traffic court case, I also doubt that your consumption of alcohol could be determined as a cause of the accident. In the criminal/traffic court case based on your "being on the roadways with an unlawful blood alcohol level," it would strictly depend on the BAL. It would either be under or over the limit, based on the blood test. If it was ONLY one drink, you probably would be way under the limit, unless you gulped down the drink and immediately drove. I think that you are worrying too much, BUT you should use the experience as a learning tool, so you avoid problems in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    No. If you were driving legally and exercised appropriate judgment.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
    Florida is a "comparative negligence" state. Means a jury is told all the facts and they have to make a decision. They could say you have some responsibility for this crash. You need to see an attorney ASAP; and not an attorney protecting your insurance companies interests over yours.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Whether or not you had anything to drink does not matter unless it effected you so you were negligent [such as stopping too quickly]. But an insurance adjuster might, out of bias, offer you less of a settlement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    If you were not the cause of the accident you would not be responsible . But, even if the other party was at fault, you could be convicted of a DUI, depending on the evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    No, they rear ended you. Did you get a ticket saying you were at fault?
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Civilly, no but if BAC over limit, then still DUI I hope you chose a blood test rather than a refusal.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    No. Your B.A.L. does not evidence negligence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    The accident should be deemed the other person's fault because they rear ended you, but they may still try to cite you for other things like possibly a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Morrin Law Office
    Morrin Law Office | Robert A. Morrin
    If you were under the legal limit then 99% of the time another car rear ends you they are at fault. Let me know if I can help further and I'll be glad to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    No, you were not responsible for the accident. The fact that you had a drink had nothing to do with causing the accident. The automobile insurance company for the driver who struck your car will be responsible for paying for your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    If you are convicted of DUI it could be used civilly. You would also be responsible for punitive damages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    The person behind is usually responsible but why did they rear end your car? Did you call the police? Did police determine liability? Liability can be shared depending on the circumstances. If you weren't legally drunk but impaired then they can argue that your partly responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    How could a rear-ender be your fault?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2015
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