Accidents happen in an instant. One minute you are sitting in your vehicle, possibly at a stoplight, when suddenly a vehicle plows into the back of your car. Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of accidents, with more than 2 million reported in the United States each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 30% of all accidents are rear-ended collisions. Also, about 6% of traffic-related fatalities are due to a rear-end accident. These types of crashes can cause severe damages and injuries.
About Rear-End Collisions
A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle hits the back of another. The most commonplace of occurrence for this type of accident is at an intersection, although being stuck in the back can happen almost anywhere. Many times, the driver who hits the end of another is not paying attention to the road or traffic. Distracted driving happens for many reasons, but often it is due to cell phone use, particularly texting. Texting requires you to take your eyes off the road, which is dangerous, even for a few seconds. When the driver is traveling fast, it can be impossible to stop before hitting the vehicle ahead.
Some rear-end accidents involve multiple vehicles. When a car stops suddenly, a vehicle that is traveling too near will not be able to stop. A sudden rear-end wreck can cause a chain-reaction between several or more cars. Drivers must maintain a proper distance between their vehicle and the one in front so they can stop when necessary. The faster a car is traveling when it hits the back of another car, the more serious the injuries are likely to be. However, even a low-speed crash can cause severe injuries.
Who is Responsible for a Rear-End Collision?
In most cases, the driver who hits the back of another vehicle is responsible for the accident. There are few instances where the other driver might be at fault, or partly at fault. As with any accident, an investigation will show how the accident occurred and who was negligent. A portion of the fault will be assigned to each driver involved in the crash, and your ability to collect damages will depend on your negligence.
Multiple vehicle accidents can be particularly complex, and several drivers may be negligent. The insurance company will work with drivers and victims to determine what occurred and provide compensation to the victims. An experienced auto accident attorney will guide the legal process to ensure that you obtain a fair settlement.
Do not accept a settlement until you speak to your attorney. Many times, the insurance company will try to give you an offer that is less than adequate to cover your damages. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to get you money for your medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other costs associated with your injury.