Recover Compensation After A Rear-End Accident
A rear-end car collision happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the back of another. These accidents can occur at traffic intersections, busy highways, parking lots, and garages. Although these crashes happen for various reasons, the most common cause is driver negligence.
The force of a rear-end impact may cause an accident victim’s body to strike something in their vehicle, like the door frame, dashboard, console, or steering wheel, or it might thrash the accident victim’s body back and forth inside their vehicle. These movements can lead to significant injuries requiring the accident victim to undergo hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical treatment.
If you suffered injuries as a driver or passenger in a rear-end crash, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. Your lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case, undertake an investigation, and determine if you can file a claim for damages.
If you qualify, your lawyer can assist you with every aspect of the claim, including filing it with the appropriate insurance company and negotiating favorable settlement compensation on your behalf. Suppose the insurance company does not offer you the damages you deserve. In that case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit, litigate your case in court, and, if necessary, take it to a jury trial or binding arbitration.
Why do Rear-End Crashes Happen?
Rear-end crashes usually occur because of driver errors. In other words, the at-fault driver behaves recklessly, carelessly, or unreasonably.
Common causes of rear-end car accidents include intoxicated driving, road rage, distracted driving, and driving violations:
- Intoxicated Driving – A driver is intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. Drunk and impaired drivers typically have trouble operating their vehicles safely. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system’s ability to function, potentially delaying a driver’s reaction time. Alcohol can also cause physical symptoms, including blurred vision, preventing a driver from safely operating their vehicle. Some intoxicated drivers also have difficulty controlling their cars and are more likely to speed, potentially causing a severe crash.
- Road Rage – A driver engages in road rage when they overreact to an actual or perceived circumstance that happens out on the road. For example, one driver might become upset with another if they travel too slowly. As a result, the first driver might become impatient, honk their horn, and drive aggressively. Common aggressive driving maneuvers include zealously weaving in and out of traffic usually without a turn signal and following other vehicles too closely. When an enraged driver tailgates and traffic slows down quickly, the driver might be unable to stop their car in time to avoid a crash.
- Distracted Driving – A distracted driver ignores the road. They might be fiddling with a cellular phone, tablet, GPS navigation system, or another electronic device in their vehicle instead of watching the road. Alternatively, a distracted driver might be listening to loud music in their car or engaging in horseplay with vehicle passengers, diverting their attention from the road. A distracted driver who turns their head, even if only for a second or two, might not see an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian and bring about a severe crash.
- Road Rule Violations – A driver’s most important duty is to operate their vehicle safely and obey all traffic laws and regulations on the books. This includes following street signs and traffic control devices, such as yield signs, stop signs, and traffic signals. When drivers disregard these signs and signals, they are likely to cause a severe accident. This is especially true if they run a red light at a traffic intersection to beat the light before it changes.
You have legal options if you suffered injuries in a car crash resulting from negligence. Your lawyer can review your car crash with you and, if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist to identify what occurred. If you can file a claim or lawsuit for damages, your lawyer can work to recover the money damages you deserve.
Who Is Responsible For a Rear-end Accident?
Several individuals or entities might be responsible for a rear-end car crash. First, the primary responsible party is the negligent driver who violated a road rule, engaged in distracted or aggressive driving or operated their vehicle while intoxicated.
Suppose the driver operated their vehicle while on the job and working within the scope of their employment. In that case, the accident victim can potentially file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s employer or their insurance company.
In that instance, the employer is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employee driver. In addition, you can file a claim against an employer for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of the problem employee driver.
Your lawyer can help you determine which parties are potentially responsible for your accident, involve the necessary insurance companies, and file the appropriate claims or lawsuits against them.
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Common Injuries in Rear-end Car Crashes
Rear-end vehicle crashes, especially those with a significant amount of force, can move an accident victim’s body around the interior of their vehicle. As a result, they can suffer serious injuries that require prompt medical treatment.
Car accident victims’ most common injuries include soft tissue injuries, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, and broken bones. Some car accidents result in fatalities, after which the accident victim’s family can bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit for damages.
One of the most critical steps that car accident victims can take is to seek same-day medical treatment for their injuries. When accident victims delay their medical treatment or fail to treat continuously for their injuries, insurance companies become skeptical.
When insurance company adjusters see significant gaps in treatment or delayed medical treatment they often assume that the accident victim did not take their treatment seriously or that their injuries were not all that serious. You can alleviate this issue by treating continuously for your injuries and refraining from self-discharge. Instead, wait for a medical facility to discharge you from care once your treatment concludes.
While you treat your injuries, your lawyer can start handling the legal components of your car accident claim. Specifically, they can gather your wage loss documents, police report, impact statement, treatment records to date, and other documents and assemble them into a demand package to send to the insurance company after you finish your treatment. If the insurance company accepts your claim, settlement negotiations can start, and your lawyer can begin pursuing the monetary compensation you deserve.
Filing a Claim For Damages Following a Rear-end Accident
Most car insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying settlement compensation following an accident. After all, insurance companies are losing money under these circumstances. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible to compensate you for your injuries so that they can keep the majority of their money in-house to distribute to their shareholders.
Consequently, it usually takes many negotiations between the accident victim’s lawyer and the insurance company adjuster before a case settles favorably for the accident victim. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, the accident victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit and begin litigation in the court system.
Once the lawyer files suit, settlement negotiations may continue until the trial date. Sometimes, insurance company adjusters are unreasonable, and the parties will need to complete discovery and sometimes a settlement conference before the case resolves favourably.
If the case must go to trial, the jury will decide what compensation to award the car accident victim. The parties might consider mediation or binding arbitration as an alternative to trial.
At mediation, a neutral mediator helps facilitate settlement discussions between the parties and resolve some or all of the disputed issues. At binding arbitration, the parties present their case before an arbitrator and introduce evidence just as they would in court. The arbitrator then decides the total damages to award the car accident victim in their case.
A car accident lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of settlement versus litigation. If you have to litigate your case, your lawyer can help you decide between trial and alternative dispute resolution based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Damages in Rear-end Car Accident Cases
Rear-end accidents, even those that do not involve significant property damage, can cause serious injuries. When an accident victim suffers injuries that require lengthy medical treatment, insurance companies tend to award them more compensation than if they suffered only minor injuries. This is because insurance companies and juries, for that matter, tend to believe that serious injuries translate into higher amounts of suffering, pain, and inconvenience.
Victims of rear-end accidents can first pursue lost wage compensation if they had to miss time from work. Some accident victims can’t work because of the pain they experience after their crash.
At other times, accident victims have to attend medical appointments or physical therapy sessions and need to take time off work. In that instance, you can pursue lost income compensation if your medical provider authorizes you to take off work. You will also need to submit documentation from your employer showing the days you missed and the amount you earned per day, week, or month.
Some car accident victims suffer injuries that permanently prevent them from returning to work. Alternatively, they may need to switch jobs or careers because their injuries prevent them from performing their job duties. This type of issue is widespread among builders and construction workers. If an accident victim must switch to a different job at a lower pay rate, they might be eligible to recover damages for loss of earning capacity.
In addition, rear-end accident victims are sometimes eligible to recover non-economic damages. These damages compensate them for their inconvenience, humiliation, pain, suffering, and mental distress.
If they suffer an injury that causes them to lose the use of a body part after their accident, such as full or partial paralysis, they can make a loss of use claim. Likewise, if they cannot partake in the same activities they enjoyed before their accident, such as sports, spending time with family members, and recreational activities, they can bring a claim for loss of enjoyment of life. Finally, under certain circumstances, they can claim loss of consortium or family support.
A car accident lawyer will work to maximize the total compensation you recover for your accident. In addition to aggressively negotiating your case with the insurance company, your lawyer can threaten litigation if it becomes necessary.
By litigating your case in the court system and taking it to trial or binding arbitration, you may recover more compensation than if you settle with the insurance company. Your lawyer can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of litigation and make the best possible decision for your case.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Victims of rear-end car accidents are frequently in pain and require extensive medical treatment. They might also need to miss time from work so that they can make a full recovery. The last thing a person in this condition should consider is trying to take on an insurance company by themselves. Insurance companies are often big businesses with vast resources. It’s better for them if you don’t have the help of an experienced lawyer.
Your lawyer can handle your car accident case’s legal components while you focus all your attention on getting better. After you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer will aggressively advocate on your behalf to recover favourable monetary compensation that makes you feel whole again.