What Does Rear-Ended Mean?
Nobody wants to be in a car accident. When they are minor they are a headache that interrupts your day and leaves you with the frustration of dealing with insurance companies and car repairs. When they are serious however they can lead to injuries, loss of being able to work, medical bills, or worse the loss of a loved one. There are many types of car accidents that a person could get into such as being T-boned or a head-on collision, but the most common type of car accident is being rear-ended.
What is a rear-ended car accident? A rear-ended accident occurs when the vehicle from behind runs into the back of the vehicle in front of them. Rear-ended accidents happen for a number of reasons; weather conditions, malfunction of the vehicle, or the main culprit – distracted driving. Rear-ended car accidents can range from lightly bumping into the vehicle in front or seriously plowing into the back of the vehicle and doing major damage.
Who Is At Fault in Rear-Ended Car Accidents?
We are often asked at our law firm, is it always the fault of the second vehicle in the case of rear-ended car accidents? The answer to this is: almost always. There can be circumstances where the first vehicle plays a part in the accident such as driving too erratically for the second driver to have a reasonable amount of time to react, or in the case of a multiple-vehicle collision where a change reaction of cars run into each other, also known as a pile-up, or road conditions can occasionally be a factor leading to both parties being at fault in a rear-ended car accident. Typically, however, it is the fault of the secondary driver who runs into the first vehicle in the case of rear-ended car accidents. Drivers are expected to maintain enough distance between themselves and the vehicle in front to be able to react to unfavorable driving maneuvers, which means in most cases the individual who ran into the other is liable for the damages incurred. Being jarred from behind in such a violent matter can lead to many serious and longstanding injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Because of this, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who deals with rear-ended car accidents near you to discuss your case. They will be able to fight the insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you need. It is also important to speak with a car accident lawyer because Florida is a no-fault state, this means that even though it could be the other driver’s fault it is your insurance company’s responsibility to pay for your injuries and damages, except when serious injuries occur.
What Happens in the Case of Multiple Vehicle Rear-Ended Collisions?
One of the worst types of accidents to occur is a multiple-vehicle collision or pile-up. These types of accidents occur when the third and fourth vehicles don’t have enough time to react to the accident created by the first and second vehicles, or a vehicle from behind runs into a vehicle and actually pushes it into a third or sometimes fourth vehicle ahead of them. Determining fault in multiple-car rear-ended accidents can be difficult. Investigators will attempt to determine which driver caused the accident to occur no matter where that fell in the line of cars. Depending on the circumstances of the accident more than one of the drivers may be found at fault. This is where the idea of comparative negligence come into play. What is comparative negligence? Comparative negligence means that the amount of compensation for damages you recieve will be directly proportionate to the percentage of fault you are found to be in regarding the car accident. In other word to receive the maximum amount of compensation in a mutliple car rear-ended accident you must be found 0% at fault, or in other words not at fault.
If you have been in a rear-ended car accident involving multiple vehicles it is important to speak with a car accident lawyer near you and explain your case. Perhaps your vehicle was hit from behind, perhaps it was pushed forward into another vehicle. Regardless of the circumstances an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you make sense of the situation and fight to get you the compensation you need.
Recent Rear-Ended Car Accident Settlements
At our mid-Florida law firm offices, we have helped a number of people who have been the victims of rear-ended car accidents. The injuries sustained in these types of injuries require extensive medical treatment and that can be costly. Some of our recent rear-ended case settlements are shared below.
$435,000 – Rear-Ended Motor Vehicle Case –
Our client was stopped at a red light when she was rear-ended by a commercial vehicle. The client initially hired a big-name law firm, but that firm failed to obtain any results during the year following the accident. Once we were retained, we immediately filed a lawsuit. Within six months, we negotiated a $435,000 settlement, which our client accepted.
$300,000 – Rear-Ended Multi-Car Collision –
Our client was rear-ended at an intersection, in a multi-car collision. The insurer for the at-fault party made no pre-suit offers. We filed suit and ultimately recovered the full $300,000 policy limits for our client.
$175,000 – Rear-Ended Car Accident Settlement –
Our client was rear-ended and suffered a shoulder injury. The insurer for the at-fault party made no pre-suit offers to help with medical bills incurred from the accident. Our law firm filed a personal injury lawsuit and ultimately recovered the full $100,000 policy limits from the at-fault insurer, and an additional $75,000 from our client’s underinsured motorist carrier.
$100,000 – Rear-Ended Motor Vehicle Case –
Our client was rear-ended. The insurer for the at fault driver offered just $8,000 to settle the claim. We filed a lawsuit and the insurer ultimately tendered their full $100,000 bodily insurance policy limits.
What Causes Rear-Ended Car Accidents?
It is the responsibility of every driver to leave enough room between them and the vehicle in front of them to be able to stop in time should the driver in front brake suddenly. When the gap between vehicles is too small for proper reaction time the risk of a rear-ended accident greatly increases. On bad weather days, when roads are slick with rain or ice, a car needs a longer amount of road to stop properly. If they are not given that distance there is a chance the vehicle will skid on the road and run into the vehicle in front of them. Occasionally rear-ended car accidents are caused by the malfunction of a vehicle. If a person’s brakes are not working properly they will also need a greater distance to stop meaning that they can end up unprepared to maneuver their vehicle correctly if the person ahead of them brakes quickly. Even if the vehicle’s brakes or some other part of the car is the blame for causing a rear-ended accident it can still be the driver’s fault. Drivers are expected to maintain their vehicles adequately and make sure that they are safe for the road.
The most common reason for rear-ended car accidents however is distracted driving. It only takes a second of taking your eyes off the road for an accident to occur. If you are the driver in front and you brake suddenly or are stopped at an intersection and the driver behind you doesn’t notice due to looking at a text, changing the radio station, drinking a coffee, or some other distracted behavior they can end up running into your vehicle quite easily.
Common Rear-Ended Collision Injuries
The possibility of being injured in any sort of car accident is great. Injuries related to rear-ended car accidents can be quite serious since the driver in front is typically caught off guard and unable to brace themselves as the vehicle behind slams into their vehicle, especially if they get rear-ended while stopped. Some of the most common types of injuries that occur in rear-ended accidents include:
Back and Neck Injuries – the force of being involved in a rear-end collision can put great strain on a person’s back and neck muscles as well as their spine. Injuries such as herniated discs, or whiplash are common and can take significant medical treatment to recover from.
Hands and Wrist Injuries – it is not uncommon for a person’s hands, wrists, or arms to become injured when a person braces for the impact of a rear-end collision. Soft tissue injuries and broken bones from hitting the steering or dashboard happen quite frequently.
Broken Bones – not only can a person’s hands or wrists be broken in a rear-end car accident, but their nose and collarbone can also be injured by an airbag being deployed. Their ribs can be fractured by their seatbelt, and even their legs or ankles can be broken if the force of the impact is great enough.
Head Injuries – often in a rear-ended car accident a person’s head is slammed forward and backward quickly. This can lead to a head injury or traumatic brain injury which can take a significant amount of time and extended physiotherapy to recover from.
Crush Injuries – in very serious rear-ended collisions the cabin of the vehicle can end up crumpled by the impact, when this is the case it is possible for the vehicle’s occupants to have their limbs caught or crushed in the wreckage. In severe cases, the person may even end up facing the amputation of an appendage.
Internal Injuries – the forces involved in a rear-end collision can cause significant strain and damage to internal organs. If left untreated these types of injuries can be extremely serious and sometimes even fatal.
What To Do When You’ve Been Involved in A Rear-End Car Accident
If you have been injured in a rear-ended car accident it is worth speaking with an experienced rear-ended car accident attorney. It is almost always the fault of the person who ran into your vehicle and a personal injury lawyer can help you with a settlement and make sure you get the compensation you need to recover from your accident. At Cloud Law Firm we help clients throughout Florida who have been injured in rear-ended car accidents, as well as any other type of car accident they may have been involved in. Contact our office today to set up a free case consultation. 855-408-5100
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