When a vehicle operator is rear-ended by another vehicle and injury results to the innocent operator, a claim for damages against the tortfeasor will exist. West Virginia law follows the same principles of personal injury claims that are in place throughout the country. These principles are based on the law of negligence.
In virtually every instance, the operator who crashes into a vehicle ahead on the road is deemed to be careless under the circumstances. That is because the rules of the road require a driver to be vigilant in seeing the roadway and the vehicles that lie ahead. The driver must drive carefully and slowly enough to bring the vehicle under control within an assured clear distance of any vehicles ahead.
These principles will be applied to an accident that occurred in Wheeling on National Road in 2015. A female operator was slowed for traffic and hit from behind by a Safety-Kleen vehicle. She sued the driver and Safety-Kleen. Under agency principles that apply in all states, the company is liable for the negligence of its driver who is operating the vehicle in the authorized scope of his or her duties.
The plaintiff claims that the impact sent her crashing into a vehicle ahead of her. The plaintiff thus alleges that she suffered both the initial impact and then another collision that she could not avoid under the circumstances. She alleges that she suffered personal injury damages that were caused by the carelessness of the Safety-Kleen driver.
She claims pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life's activities, and other physical injuries. The case was filed in West Virginia but removed to federal court under federal civil procedural rules. In any event, the general principles of negligence outlined above will apply to the resolution of the plaintiff's personal injury claims.
Source: wvrecord.com, "Woman sues Safety-Kleen Systems for car accident", Kyla Asbury, June 21, 2017