Rear-Ended By Another Car?

Rear-Ended By Another Car?

Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents, but that doesn't make them any less serious. The injuries you sustain can lead to extensive losses, and you might be left wondering what to do. The best way to protect your health and your rights is to seek medical attention and then contact a rear-end accident attorney who can help.

A car accident lawyer can help you recover—physically and financially. Read on to learn how you can protect your legal rights and receive compensation after a rear-end accident, as well as discover why they happen and what injuries they can cause.

To get specific answers about your rear-end car crash, contact our national personal injury law firm. We have helped injured car accident victims just like you collect the compensation they needed and deserved. We can do the same for you! CALL OUR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS TOLL-FREE AT 866-980-3955 TO SET UP A FREE CASE EVALUATION NOW. WE ALSO OFFER VIDEO CONSULTATIONS.

Car Accident Guide

What to Do After a Rear-end Accident Injury

If you've been involved in a rear-end collision and sustained injuries, it's crucial to take appropriate steps to protect your well-being and your legal rights. Here's a guide on what to do after a rear-end collision injury:

  • Take photos of the damage, even if you think it's minor. Right now, you may think you only have a scraped bumper or cracked taillight, but you could later discover you have a car with alignment issues, frame damage, or axle problems that could cost thousands of dollars to fix. Property damage should be part of your insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. Get their name, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number.
  • Call the Police: Report the accident to the police. Provide accurate information about the incident, and request a copy of the police report.
  • Get checked out by a medical professional nowYou should go directly to a doctor if you've been involved in a rear-end car accident, even if you don't feel injured. This is critical. Even if you were in a minor fender-bender, seek medical attention. Some of the injuries discussed below may show symptoms immediately, but many (like soft tissue damage and brain trauma) do not. Do not risk your life by trying to power through a headache or a pain that could be a warning sign of a far more serious injury.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company promptly. Provide accurate details about the incident, but avoid admitting fault. Follow the instructions provided by your insurance company.
  • Document Pain and Suffering: Keep a journal documenting your pain, discomfort, and the impact of the injuries on your daily life. This information may be useful in establishing pain and suffering damages in a legal claim.
  • Avoid Talking About the Accident: Refrain from discussing the accident or your injuries on social media. Insurance companies and opposing parties may use such information against you.
  • Preserve Evidence: Retain evidence related to the accident, such as vehicle damage, medical records, and correspondence with insurance companies. This evidence can support your injury claim.
  • As soon as you're able, talk to an experienced car accident injury attorney about your right to seek compensation for your injuries. In our experience, we've seen many people hesitate to seek legal advice for rear-end accident injuries. This mistake ends up diminishing their settlement or having the case dismissed entirely!

How a Rear-End Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you got lucky and your auto accident did not cause major damage to your car or inflict a life-threatening personal injury, that doesn’t mean your legal rights are any less important or your compensation claim is any less valid.

You don’t deserve any of the pain and difficulty someone else’s negligent driving caused, point-blank.

A rear-end accident lawyer can also help you determine liability. In most rear-end collisions, but not all, the driver of the trailing car bears most of the blame. Assuming that the driver carries insurance and/or can compensate you for your injury, then that’s what should happen. An experienced rear-end collision lawyer can help evaluate the extent of your injury, what it has already cost you, and what it will likely cost you going forward.

If you were rear-ended, take the available help. A rear-end crash attorney is ready to help and knows how to enforce your right to payment for your out-of-pocket costs, as well as for your physical and emotional suffering.

Understanding the Dangers of Rear-End Accidents

To understand why rear-end collisions cause so much pain and discomfort, we must first understand the physics of a car crash. It helps to visualize what exactly happens to two cars when the front of one runs into the back of the other. Our rear-end accident lawyers are very familiar with this type of crash and how it injures our clients.

Let’s start with the basics. Imagine there are two cars: the leading car and the trailing car. The trailing car is traveling faster than the leading car. The leading car may even be at rest at a stop sign or red light or parked in a parking space.

Upon impact, the trailing car transfers some of its force to the leading car, and they both push forward as one new “linked” unit. How far they go depends on how fast the two cars were traveling at the moment of impact. Sometimes the transfer of force in a collision is strong enough to push a car into another car, into a different lane, or into oncoming traffic! A seemingly small accident can turn into a huge pile-up.

Generally, the speed at which the two linked vehicles travel will be slower than the speed the trailing car was traveling when they collided, and it will be faster than the pre-accident speed of the leading car. Here’s a video explanation, complete with equations.

In other words, in a rear-end collision, the leading vehicle experiences an abrupt, unexpected acceleration, while the trailing vehicle experiences a deceleration. Injuries can happen to occupants of both vehicles, but the risk of injury is far higher for those in the lead vehicle. That’s because while all cars have standard safety features protecting against a sudden deceleration if you have to slam on the brakes for whatever reason, safety features for sudden acceleration are far less common and far less effective.

Given the physics of it, there should be no surprise that even slow-moving rear-end crashes can cause serious injuries. After an injury and other losses, our car accident attorneys can assist you and protect your rights.

What Are Some Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents?

Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents, and they can occur for various reasons. Some common reasons why rear-end accidents happen:

  • Tailgating: Following another vehicle too closely does not provide enough time to react if the vehicle in front suddenly slows down or stops.
  • Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with passengers can divert a driver's attention from the road, leading to a rear-end collision.
  • Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds reduces the driver's ability to stop quickly, increasing the risk of rear-ending another vehicle.
  • Sudden Stops: Vehicles that stop suddenly, either due to traffic conditions, obstructions, or emergencies, can be rear-ended by drivers following too closely or not paying attention.
  • Driver Fatigue: Fatigued or drowsy driving can impair a driver's reaction time and decision-making ability, increasing the likelihood of rear-end collisions.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, contributing to rear-end accidents.
  • Poor Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow, or ice can reduce visibility and traction, making it more challenging to stop or maneuver quickly.
  • Tail Light Malfunctions: Malfunctioning or broken tail lights can prevent following drivers from recognizing when the vehicle in front is slowing down or stopping, increasing the risk of a rear-end collision.
  • Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced drivers may struggle to judge distances, maintain a safe following distance, or react appropriately to changing road conditions, leading to rear-end accidents.
  • Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors such as speeding, weaving through traffic, or disregarding traffic signals can increase the risk of rear-end collisions.
  • Road Hazards: Obstacles, debris, potholes, or other road hazards can cause a driver to stop suddenly, increasing the risk of being rear-ended by following vehicles.
  • Brake Failures: Malfunctioning brakes or inadequate maintenance can prevent a vehicle from stopping in time to avoid a collision.

To reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, drivers should maintain a safe following distance, pay attention to the road and traffic conditions, avoid distractions, obey speed limits, and ensure their vehicle is properly maintained. Additionally, implementing technologies such as automatic emergency braking systems can help prevent or mitigate the severity of rear-end accidents.

Most Common Rear-end Accident Injuries

Rear-end collisions can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the use of seat belts, and the presence of airbags. Even a minor rear-end collision can inflict widespread damage to your body. A seemingly minor injury at first can develop into a serious condition if you do not receive the proper treatment. Some of the most common injuries associated with rear-end collisions include:

  • Whiplash and neck injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward, causing strain on the neck. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and shoulder pain.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, can be damaged in a rear-end collision. These injuries may result in sprains, strains, and contusions.
  • Back Injuries: The impact of a rear-end collision can cause back injuries, including herniated discs, compression fractures, and other spinal cord injuries. These injuries can lead to chronic pain and mobility issues.
  • Head Injuries: Head injuries can occur if the head strikes an object within the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or headrest. Also, the back and forth motion of the head can cause a traumatic brain injury. 
  • Broken Bones: While broken bones are less common in rear-end collisions compared to other types of injuries, they can still occur, especially in high-impact collisions. The force of the rear-end crash can propel the occupants forward, causing them to strike the steering wheel or dashboard. This impact can result in fractures to the hands, wrists, arms, or other upper body bones. Also, rear-end accidents can cause victims to be crushed inside the car, which can result in bone fractures.
  • Facial Injuries: Facial injuries can occur when airbags deploy or if the face makes contact with the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surfaces. Fractures, lacerations, and contusions are common facial injuries.
  • Chest Injuries: Chest injuries may result from the impact of the seat belt or steering wheel. These injuries can include rib fractures, bruising, and damage to internal organs.
  • Knee and Leg Injuries: The impact of a rear-end collision can cause the legs and knees to hit the dashboard or other surfaces. Injuries may include fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue damage.
  • Psychological Injuries: The emotional impact of a rear-end collision can result in psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

It's important to note that the severity of injuries can vary widely, and some individuals may experience delayed onset of symptoms. Regardless of the apparent severity of the collision, seeking prompt medical attention after an accident is crucial to identify and address any injuries. You should also consult an experienced attorney for help understanding your rights and options for seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Secondary Rear-End Accident Injuries

Often, rear-end collisions are the start of a chain reaction of tragedy. The disruption in traffic flow can cause a pile-up of trucks and cars to happen fast, and they can slide into sidewalks, other lanes, or intersections, or get pushed into ditches or off embankments.

Think of your typical pile-up accident on the interstate: it usually starts with an unexpected incident or road condition that brings traffic to a halt. Drivers, not expecting to encounter a sudden traffic jam, run into each other again and again and again.

Whatever the scenario is, the injuries and fatalities resulting from so-called “secondary” accidents can be just as serious as the injuries sustained in the initial rear-end collision. Anyone who suffers injuries in any vehicle involved, whether in the primary or secondary collision, deserves the right legal help.

Can I Sue After a Rear-End Accident?

If you suffered injuries in a rear-end accident and decide to pursue a personal injury claim, the compensation you may be eligible to receive can vary depending on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and the circumstances of the accident. Common types of compensation in a rear-end accident injury claim include:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the treatment of your injuries. This can include hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time away from work during your recovery. This can include both past and future lost earnings if your ability to work is impacted.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages intended to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: Damages awarded to a spouse for the loss of companionship, affection, and intimacy due to the injured party's injuries.
  • Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: Compensation for long-term or permanent disabilities resulting from the accident, including disfigurement or scarring.
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs: Compensation for expenses related to rehabilitation, physical therapy, or other forms of therapy needed for your recovery.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Reimbursement for miscellaneous expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as transportation costs for medical appointments or home modifications for accessibility.
  • Wrongful Death Damages (if applicable): In cases where the rear-end accident resulted in a fatality, certain family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional impact of the loss.
  • Legal Expenses: Compensation for attorney's fees and court costs incurred in pursuing the personal injury claim.

It's important to note that every case is unique, and the specific damages you may be entitled to will depend on the details of your situation. Insurance policies and state laws also play a role in determining the compensation available. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney from Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers to assess the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Each state has its own statute of limitations on how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In Texas, for instance, you have two years from the date of the accident to file. If you don't have an attorney file a lawsuit on your behalf within that time, you may lose your rights to pursue compensation. Also, claims against government entities typically have much shorter deadlines for filing an injury claim, so you must contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Rear End Accident Lawyer?

Most personal injury attorneys, like those at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis. This means we won't charge you anything upfront to represent you, and we will only accept a fee if we obtain compensation for you through an insurance settlement or court award. 

Under this arrangement, you can get the quality, experienced legal representation you need without worrying about how to pay for it. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Contact a Rear-End Accident Attorney Today

Contacting an experienced rear-end collision accident lawyer can help you recover after a negligent driver caused a rear-end crash that injured you. 

At Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we can help you recover the money you need to get back on your feet after a serious rear-end accident.

You deserve complete compensation for the full cost of your injuries, no matter how severe your injuries are or how complicated the circumstances of your accident were. We're here to help. Contact us for a free consultation.  We can review all your legal options with you, so you can choose the one that is best for you and your family.