Visitor Question

Liability when hit from behind by driver who fell asleep?

Submitted By: Frazel (Stockton, California)

I was driving and was stopped at red light. There was a car in front of me. We were stopped at the light for about 5 seconds when a lady came going like 45 miles an hour and rear ended us, pushing my vehicle into the car in front of us. The lady got out and said she was sorry but she fell asleep.

My daughter got hurt with a sprained neck. She is 5 years old. I just wanted to know who is at fault? And also since I only have liability insurance will I get her injuries covered? I also have a current driver licence. Thanks for the information.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Frazel ,

Based on the facts, the driver who struck your car from behind appears to have been at fault. As a result, the driver should be responsible for your daughter’s injuries and resulting medical bills. However, the driver you struck from behind may pursue you for any injuries the driver or passengers may have sustained.

Both actions may be based on Section 21703 of California’s Vehicle Code, otherwise known as the “Following too Closely” law, which reads as follows:

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.”

The issues of liability will likely be decided by the insurance companies of all parties involved. Be sure you make clear to your insurance company the driver struck you from behind while you were stopped. The information may be helpful in determining liability.

Learn more here: Falling Asleep While Driving Accidents

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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