Rear-end accidents can be devastating and often leave victims in debilitating pain. Although liability may seem cut and dry when a car hits you from behind, it doesn’t mean the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay fair compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury in a rear-end accident, contact CaseyGerry. We offer free consultations; call (619) 238-1811 or send us a message online today.
An auto insurer’s primary objective is to save the company as much money as possible by avoiding liability. Although the trailing driver is usually at fault in a rear-end accident, it doesn’t mean the insurance company will not try to shift at least some of the blame onto you. As a result, representing yourself in the claims process can lead to accepting a settlement offer that is far less than the amount you are entitled to.
A rear-end accident attorney will gather the evidence you need, including police reports, eyewitness statements, photos or videos of the scene, medical records, and more, to ensure you have a solid case. In addition, a San Diego accident attorney will handle all communication and negotiations with the insurer to shield you from any insurance adjuster tactics that may be used to reduce your compensation. Your attorney will also prepare your claim for trial in case it is necessary to go to court to obtain fair compensation. However, most accident claims can be resolved before a lawsuit is filed.
Injuries from rear-end collisions can range in severity, often depending on the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. Common rear-end accident injuries include:
Neck and Back Injuries
Any type of collision can cause a sudden jolt of the neck, resulting in whiplash. However, whiplash is extremely common in rear-end accidents. Milder cases can cause pain and stiffness that may disappear within a few days or weeks, whereas serious cases can take months and may even result in a cervical spine fracture. Other common neck or back injuries include spinal cord injuries, such as herniated or bulging discs and paralysis.
Brain and Head Injuries
Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), resulting in permanent cognitive impairment. They are often caused by the head being thrown into another object, such as the steering wheel or window.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
Seatbelts, steering wheels, or airbags often cause chest or abdominal injuries—for example, a broken sternum or ribs, internal organ damage, or severe contusions.
Leg and Knee Injuries
If the legs and knees hit the dashboard or are crushed, they may suffer bruises, scrapes, sprains, or severe bone fractures.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Severe lacerations can be caused by broken glass, pieces of the vehicle, or if the body is thrown into an object or the pavement. Scarring and disfigurement can potentially be life-changing, with both physical and psychological repercussions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions after a severe rear-end crash are common.
No matter how minor a rear-end accident may seem, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical documentation linking injuries and potential injuries is vital when pursuing an injury claim. Keep in mind that existing injuries can worsen with time, and some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms.
There are a number of reasons why rear-end collisions commonly occur, such as:
When an individual is distracted by various activities while driving, such as sending a text or talking on the phone, eating, drinking, listening to the radio, daydreaming, reaching to find something in the backseat, etc., they may not see a vehicle braking in front of them.
Following Too Closely
When a driver is tailgating another vehicle, they have little time to react to sudden braking.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
Exceeding the posted speed limits, weaving through traffic, making abrupt lane changes and other forms of driving that exhibit little regard for the safety of others increases the risk of a rear-end accident occurring.
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s decision-making skills and coordination. As a result, they will not be able to act quickly to avoid an accident.
Damaged or Defective Auto Parts
Rear-end accidents can be caused by a defective vehicle or its parts.
Heavy rain or fog can lower visibility, making it harder for a driver to judge the speed and distance of vehicles in front of them. In addition, rain, ice, or snow can make roads slippery and more difficult for cars to stop.
It is rare, but a trailing vehicle may not be responsible for a rear-end accident in the following scenarios where the car in front:
In some cases, a third party may be liable. For example, if a mechanical defect caused the accident, such as brake failure or a hazardous and preventable road condition. In those cases, liability may rest with the faulty part’s manufacturer or the government agency responsible for the design or maintenance of a road.
A rear-end accident can cause severe and financially debilitating injuries. When another party is responsible, you have the right to pursue damages, which refers to the types of compensation you can be awarded for your financial and personal losses. The types of compensation possibly available include but are not limited to:
The court may also award punitive damages if the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) behavior was extremely reckless.
If you have been injured in a rear-end car accident, get in touch with CaseyGerry by calling (619) 238-1811 or filling out the contact form on our website. We will evaluate your case for free.