Rear End Accident Lawyers

Have you been injured in a rear-end car or road accident due to the fault of someone else? If you were hit from behind on the road then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. We understand how daunting it can be to navigate the labyrinth of legal rights related to injury compensation. But don’t worry, we’re here to help with this straightforward guide.

Understanding Rear-End Accidents and What Causes Them

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the United States account for around 29% of all car accidents.  Rear-end accidents are a type of road mishap where one vehicle hits the one in front of it. This type of accident is widely prevalent and can cause significant damage to both people and property. It’s crucial to understand the common causes of these incidents to prevent them effectively.

Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents 

  • Distracted Driving: This is the leading cause of rear-end collisions. Distractions can range from texting or talking on the phone, eating, or even adjusting the radio. Sadly, an average of 9 people each die at killed due to driver distraction on US roads.
  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle doesn’t allow sufficient time to react if the front vehicle suddenly stops.
  • Speeding: Driving too fast reduces the driver’s time to react and increases the distance needed to stop, hence increasing the likelihood of a rear-end collision.
  • Alcohol or drug impairment: These substances reduce concentration, impair judgment, and slow reaction time, leading to accidents.
  • Poor weather conditions: Rain, fog, snow, or even wet roads can reduce visibility and vehicle traction, making it hard to stop in time.

Understanding these causes can help drivers make safer choices on the road and potentially prevent a rear-end collision.

Most Common Injuries from Rear-End Car and Road Accidents

A rear-end car accident can result in a variety of injuries. The impact and severity of such injuries can differ vastly, depending on factors like speed, location, and the type of vehicles involved. However, some injuries are more common than others in these types of collisions.

  • Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common injury sustained in rear-end collisions. The rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, similar to the cracking of a whip, causes whiplash. It can lead to chronic neck pain and long-term complications if not properly treated. In some cases, it may take weeks or even months for whiplash symptoms to appear after a rear-end collision.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: The sudden jolt from a rear-end collision can cause the head to jerk forward and back swiftly, potentially leading to concussions or traumatic brain injuries. These injuries may result in long-term cognitive issues.
  • Back Injuries: The impact of a rear-end collision can cause serious damage to your spine and back. Herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and lumbar sprains are all common back injuries suffered in these accidents.
  • Chest Injuries: In a rear-end crash, your chest may forcefully hit the steering wheel, causing injuries like broken ribs or internal damage. These injuries can be extremely severe and require immediate medical attention.
  • Broken Bones: The force of a rear-end collision may cause you to break a bone, particularly in your hands, arms, legs, or feet. These injuries can take a long time to heal and may require surgery.

It’s crucial to remember that even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, some injuries might not manifest symptoms until later. Therefore, seeking immediate medical attention after a rear-end collision is imperative.

How to Determine Fault in a Rear-End Accident

Determining fault in a rear-end accident can sometimes be straightforward, but not always. Usually, the driver in the rear is deemed at fault, but there are exceptions. Rear-end collisions are more likely to occur in heavy traffic or at intersections. Here’s how fault is typically determined: 

  1. Assessing the Damage: The damage to the vehicles often tells a clear story of what happened. The vehicle with front-end damage is typically the one that hit the other from behind.
  2. Witness Statements: Witnesses to the accident can provide important information about how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
  3. Police Reports: Law enforcement officers typically arrive on the scene of an accident to make a report. This report often includes an opinion on who was at fault.
  4. Admission of Fault: Sometimes, the at-fault driver admits to being responsible for the accident, either at the scene or later.

However, the driver at the rear is not always at fault. Examples include when the front driver reverses suddenly or stops unexpectedly without a valid reason. Always consult with your lawyer for a thorough analysis of your situation.

Rear-End Compensation Claims Process

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the process of claiming compensation following a rear-end accident involves several steps. This process is designed to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries and damages incurred.

Immediate Actions Post-Accident 

Immediately after the accident, your priority should be your safety and well-being. Here are some crucial steps: 

  • Check for injuries and call for medical help if needed.
  • If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location.
  • Call the police and provide an accurate account of the accident.
  • Collect evidence such as photos of the accident scene and your vehicle’s damage.
  • Exchange information with the other driver involved.

Seek Medical Attention 

Regardless of how minor your injuries may appear, it’s essential to see a doctor. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not show symptoms immediately. Additionally, having a medical record linking your injuries to the accident can strengthen your claim. 

Consult a Lawyer 

Consulting with a rear-end accident attorney is vital. They can guide you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure you receive fair compensation. 

Filing a Claim 

You can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This is known as a third-party claim. Your lawyer can assist you in this process, which typically involves: 

  1. Informing the insurance company about the accident.
  2. Providing evidence of the other driver’s fault and your damages.
  3. Negotiating for a fair settlement amount.

Negotiating Settlement 

Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation. It’s critical not to accept the first offer as it’s typically lower than what you deserve. 

Note: There are state-specific time limits, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a claim. In most states, it’s two years from the date of the accident, but it varies. Check with your attorney to ensure you file your claim within this period.

Calculating Damages in a Rear-End Accident Case

For a rear-end accident, numerous variables can affect the final payout. Understanding these factors will give you a clearer picture of what to expect from your claim.

Medical Bills 

Your medical expenses are a key factor in the valuation of your claim. This includes emergency room visits, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any other medical services you needed as a direct result of the accident. 

Lost Earnings 

If the accident caused you to miss work or reduced your capacity to earn, you can claim compensation for these losses. Both past and future lost earnings can be considered. 

Vehicle Damage 

Costs associated with repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle are part of your claim. Remember to include any rental car costs if applicable. 

Pain and Suffering 

Physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident are harder to quantify, but they can significantly increase the value of your claim. These are typically calculated using a “multiplier” based on the severity of your injuries. 

Contributory Negligence 

How much you were at fault for the accident can also impact your compensation. In some states, if you’re found partially to blame, your compensation may be reduced proportionately. 

Understanding the factors that impact the value of a rear-end accident injury claim will enhance your chances of receiving a fair settlement. Always consult with a knowledgeable accident attorney to ensure your rights are adequately protected.

Time Limits for Filing a Claim After a Rear-End Collision

The clock starts ticking the moment a rear-end accident occurs. In most cases, victims have a specific period within which they must file a claim to seek compensation for injuries and damages. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after a rear-end collision varies by state but is 2 years in California.

Statute of Limitations by State 

StateStatute of Limitations
California2 years
New York3 years
Florida4 years
Texas2 years

If you fail to file a claim within the indicated time frame, you’ll lose your right to compensation. Therefore, it’s essential to act promptly and get in touch with a lawyer soon after the rear-end collision.

Always remember, the sooner you start the process, the more time you have to gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and build a strong case.

Updated on August 18, 2023

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