This question came up twice last week. I decided to make it the Nevada Law Blog “Question of the Week”. “Can the driver of a car that was rear-ended be a legal or proximate cause of the accident because of an abrupt or unexpected stop?” The Nevada case of Nehls v. Leonard, 97 Nev. 325, 630 P.2d 258 (1981) answers that question “Yes”.
The facts of the Nehls case are pretty simple. Ms. Nehls is a passenger in the car behind. She sues the driver of the car ahead. She claims that the driver ahead made a sudden and unexpected stop, thus contributing her injuries. The trial court found in favor of the driver of car ahead saying that there was no evidence that that driver was negligent. The trial court granted summary judgment against Ms. Nehls and in favor of the lead car’s driver. [Continue reading]