If you have experienced a rear-end collision, you understand the fear, stress, and expenses that result from such accidents. But what are the causes of these collisions, who is responsible for the damages, and how can you safeguard yourself if you encounter one in the future?
The Leading Causes Of Rear-End Collisions
It is important to be aware of what causes rear-end collisions as they can occur suddenly and have long-lasting impacts. By understanding these causes, you can take precautionary measures against these types of accidents.
The most common reasons for rear-end collisions are distracted driving, following other vehicles too closely, speeding, and being tired while driving. Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts your focus from the road, like using your phone or other electronics, eating or drinking while driving, or chatting with passengers.
One of the main reasons for rear-end collisions is driving too closely behind another vehicle. If a driver does not maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, they may not have sufficient time to respond to sudden stops, which can lead to an accident.
Driving at a higher speed increases the risk of getting involved in a rear-end collision as the driver takes longer to slow down and stop safely. Also, driver fatigue can make someone easily distracted or forgetful while driving, affecting their focus on the road.
Common Personal Injuries Due To A Rear-End Collision
When one vehicle strikes another from behind, it can cause significant harm due to the abrupt and forceful impact. Rear-end collisions can result in a variety of injuries, including minor cuts and bruises, as well as more severe and potentially deadly conditions.
The severity of the injury is influenced by different factors such as the size of the vehicle that caused the crash from behind, the speed of the collision, and whether the passengers were using their seatbelts or not. Some of the most common injuries in rear-end collisions include:
- Whiplash – Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when your head moves forward and back violently. It often does not arise until days after a crash.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused when your brain is injured due to an impact or a sudden jolt to your head or body. Symptoms can range from mild concussions to more severe damage.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft tissue injuries affect the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They occur when these tissues are stretched beyond their normal range of motion resulting in tears or sprains, which can cause severe pain, swelling, or bruising.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – When a car is rear-ended at speed, it has been known to cause spinal cord injuries such as paralysis or loss of feeling below the point of impact due to nerve damage.
It is essential to seek medical treatment immediately and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have suffered any of the listed conditions due to a rear-end collision.
Understanding Shared Fault In Rear-End Car Accidents
In a rear-end collision, both drivers can sometimes share the fault, meaning that they are each held partially responsible. This can create challenges when trying to determine the degree of fault for each driver, which can ultimately impact any potential compensation if a claim is filed.
The level of liability for each party involved in an incident can vary depending on the specific circumstances. Some common factors that contribute to rear-end collisions include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or other electronic device
- Failing to obey traffic signs or signals
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog
- Vehicle issues such as faulty brakes, tires, headlights, and taillights
- Driver fatigue resulting from drowsy driving
What Is Comparative Negligence?
To determine liability for a rear-end collision, it may be helpful to understand the concept of comparative negligence. This system is used in certain states and assigns responsibility for the collision based on the percentage of fault attributed to each driver.
To determine liability and fault, the state will examine evidence from the accident scene including police reports and witness statements. From there, several factors will be taken into account:
- Vehicle speed
- Stopping distance
- Weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Road conditions
- Vehicle maintenance and age
- The following distance
- Traffic signals
The state will use certain factors to determine the percentage of fault for each driver based on their level of negligence or recklessness on the road before the accident. This means that even if one driver is found to be more responsible for the accident (for example, 90% responsible versus 10% responsible), they can still both receive compensation based on the proportion of blame assigned to them.
Which Driver Is Liable For A Rear-End Collision?
It’s important to note that in some situations, both parties can be deemed negligent, and it’s not always the person in the back who is at fault. Your lawyer can assist you in comprehending your legal rights.
In most situations, the driver of the vehicle behind is usually held responsible for any liability:
- The driver in the back was not paying enough attention to stop in time or left too little braking room between the two vehicles.
- The leading driver made sudden stops or slammed on their brakes unexpectedly.
- The leading vehicle started moving from a stopped position, and someone followed too closely behind them.
- The leading driver went through a red light, and someone rear-ended them while they were in motion.
- The leading driver made an improper lane change too quickly, and someone behind them had to swerve or stop abruptly to avoid an accident.
- Someone failed to use turn signals when necessary or did so too late, and someone else could not react quickly enough to avoid hitting them from behind.
- Poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow, fog, or ice may blank out that liability onto whoever rear-ended their car first (unless they can prove they had no control over their situation).
If there is a car accident, the responsible party for the damages will depend on who is found liable in court. Therefore, it is crucial to get legal advice after an incident to understand your rights.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer Serving Sarasota And Surrounding Areas
If you have been in a rear-end collision, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to safeguard yourself. Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer serving Sarasota and the surrounding areas immediately is one of the most important things to do. Christine Law will guide you through your rights and assist you in obtaining proper compensation for any injuries or losses resulting from your collision.
Christine Law can investigate your rear-end collision and determine who was at fault. We understand the impact these types of accidents can have on your life and are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. Hire an experienced attorney and have peace of mind that all legal aspects are under control. Maximize your claim today by calling Christine Lawat (941) 548-9555 or completing our online consultation form, we’re ready to help you each and every step of the way.