Rear-end Collisions Are the Most Common Type of Traffic Accident

Rear end collisions are the most common type of traffic accident Recent statistics show that rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident in the U.S. These crashes can cause an array of injuries, including whiplash, broken limbs, seatbelt injuries, and slipped discs.

You might qualify for a settlement if you sustained injuries and other damages in a rear-end crash. Learn about rear-end collision statistics, what to do after a car accident, and how to preserve your legal rights. Contact a car accident lawyer in New York today to get started.

Rear-End Collision Statistics: How Common Are They?

The Insurance Information Institute (III) records and releases car accident statistics for the entire U.S.

The organization’s most recent data shows that the three most common types of collisions are:

  • Rear-end collisions (30 percent)
  • Angle collisions (25 percent)
  • Sideswipe collisions (8 percent)

There are approximately 1.75 million rear-end crashes in the U.S. each year. Rear-end collisions are far more likely to result in injuries (28 percent) than fatalities (5 percent).

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions in The U.S.

Rear-end collisions share common factors with other types of crashes. Negligence on the other driver’s part, poor road conditions, defective auto parts, improper vehicle maintenance, and incomplete vehicle repairs can all play a role in rear-end crashes.

Negligent Driver Behavior

  • Distracted driving. Cell phone use, eating or drinking, and a GPS device can take the driver’s attention away from the road. Distracted drivers may not realize that traffic has slowed down or stopped, causing them to rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
  • Driving under the influence. Street drugs and alcohol can slow a driver’s reaction time. Drivers can exhibit impairment below the state’s legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause drowsiness. Drivers have an obligation to know how a drug may affect them.
  • Driving too fast. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed; road and weather conditions may necessitate a slower speed. Icy roads, dense fog, snow, and heavy rain can make it impossible to break in time.

Poor Road Conditions

Municipalities are responsible for keeping roads in good repair. Deteriorating pavement, potholes, obscured or missing traffic signs, defective traffic lights, and broken guard rails can all contribute to a rear-end collision.

Defective Auto Parts

Auto manufacturers and their vendors must produce safe products. Auto defects, particularly faulty brake systems or defective tires, can play a role in a rear-end collision.

Improper Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is a part of car ownership. The law may hold the other driver responsible if they knew or should have known that their vehicle needed repairs. For example, worn-out tires and brakes can interfere with a car’s ability to stop in time.

Incomplete Vehicle Repairs

Drivers put great trust in whom they choose to service their cars. Auto dealers and car mechanic shops are responsible for complete and safe repairs. Negligence on their part can lead to a rear-end accident.

Why Should You Have an Attorney After a Rear-End Collision?

You Need to Focus on Your Recovery.

Rear-end collision injuries like whiplash, herniated or ruptured discs, head injuries, and fractured limbs can have a lengthy recovery period. You may have ongoing doctor visits and physical therapy. What little energy you have left is spent on your loved ones. A lawyer takes over the legal aspects of your injury claim so you can rest and recover.

The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend.

Insurance companies have catchy slogans and heart-warming commercials. You may have even developed a friendly relationship with your insurance agent. But do not lose sight of the fact that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their primary goal is to protect their bottom line. They may undervalue or even deny your claim in an attempt to save money.

Your Case May Go to Trial.

Many rear-end collision injury claims settle out of court. But sometimes, negotiations can stall. You need to maximize your compensation because the law allows you one chance to pursue a settlement. An unfair settlement could leave you paying for accident-related expenses out of your own pocket. If a trial is in your best interest, you will need an attorney to represent you. Having an attorney work on your case from day one is much easier than them jumping in after you spent months trying to represent yourself.

There May Be a Dispute Over Who Is at Fault.

What you think is an open and shut case may not be. Who is at fault can become hotly contested, particularly if you were involved in a multi-vehicle crash or more than one party is to blame. The insurance company may attempt to blame you for your injuries when someone else is responsible for the accident. An attorney can gather evidence and re-create the crash scene if necessary.

5 Actions to Take After a Rear-End Collision

The hours and days after a rear-end car accident are overwhelming. Here are five actions to aid your physical recovery and preserve your legal rights.

See a Doctor for Medical Treatment.

It is not unheard of for car accident victims to refuse treatment at the scene. A sense of shock and an adrenaline rush can make you oblivious to your pain. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and you are only aware of symptoms several hours after the accident.

See a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Your injuries may worsen without prompt treatment. This initial visit may consist of diagnostic tests, emergency treatment, and an outline of your future care.

A common rear-end collision injury is whiplash. According to the National Institutes of Health, treatment for whiplash may include physical therapy, medication, a  cervical collar, and cervical traction.

The insurance company may attempt to devalue your claim if you wait to see a doctor. They could argue that you are not that injured or question the actual cause of your injuries.

And once you see a doctor, follow your treatment plan. You may need surgery, a hospital stay, physical therapy, and a prescription medication regimen to get better.

Obtain a Copy of The Accident Report

Contact the law enforcement agency that responded to the crash to obtain a copy of the accident report. Your insurance company and your lawyer will need a copy of this document. An accident report contains important details such as the crash’s date, time, and location.

You would need to file an accident report on your own if no one called the police to the crash scene. Most jurisdictions give you a limited time to report a motor vehicle accident.

Contact Your Insurance Company.

Your car insurance company needs to know about any accidents you were in, even if it is apparent to you that the other driver is to blame. Stick to basic and factual information when you speak with your insurance company. Do not speculate about who may be at fault.

It is in your best interest to decline to make a recorded statement without your lawyer present.

Do Not Publicly Discuss Your Case.

Many people take to the internet to air their grievances. Any public statements you make can only hurt your case. The insurance company will look for ways to devalue your claim. They may misconstrue statements you make or photos you share.

The same is true for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is wise to stay off social media if you have a legal case pending. The defendant’s legal team could use your photos and statements against you.

Contact a Rear-End Collision Attorney.

It is never too early to call a lawyer after a rear-end collision. You or your loved one can consult with a lawyer on the same day of your accident. Experienced and well-staffed personal injury law firms answer their phones 24/7, including on holidays and weekends. Some firms also offer an online chat feature for immediate assistance.

Deadline to File a Rear-End Collision Accident Injury Claim

Each state sets its own deadlines for pursuing personal injury claims. This time limit is called a statute of limitations.

While the statute of limitations varies from state to state, these deadlines can also vary based on who is at fault for the rear-end collision. For example, some states have different deadlines for lawsuits involving a government entity. You help protect your legal rights by contacting an attorney right away.

Rear-End Collision Accident Settlements: How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Determining an adequate settlement involves more than adding up your current medical bills and lost income. Your accident injury claim is your opportunity to pursue compensation for current and future accident-related damages.

While medical expenses and lost wages can represent a large portion of a settlement, you may qualify to receive compensation for other damages. The law categorizes damages incurred in a rear-end collision as monetary or non-monetary.

Monetary Damages Incurred in A Rear-End Crash

Monetary damages have an associated cost. Your current monetary damages are straightforward: time off work while you recover, medical expenses, and damage to your car.

What is easy to undervalue is your future monetary damages.

A fair assessment of your damages asks:

  • Is it too soon for doctors to have an accurate prognosis?
  • Do you need ongoing physical therapy? If so, for how long?
  • Will your injuries require lifelong medical care?
  • Is it possible you will need time off work in the future to treat an accident-related condition?

When lawyers calculate future damages, they may consult with medical and economic experts. Monetary damages are also called economic damages.

Non-Monetary Damages Incurred in A Rear-End Crash

Non-monetary damages are the subjective effects of the crash, such as physical pain and emotional suffering.

Other non-monetary damages include:

  • Psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of enjoyment if your injuries prevent you from pursuing favorite pastimes or partaking in family life
  • Loss of self-esteem for permanent scarring, amputation, or disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium for your spouse, if your injuries interfere with your marital relationship
  • Loss of guidance for minor children, if you can no longer parent the way you did before the accident

Compensation cannot undo your accident, but it can provide closure and allow you to move forward. Non-monetary damages are sometimes also called non-economic damages.

Rear-End Collision Case Outcomes: Out-Of-Court Settlements vs. Going to Trial

rear end car accidentMany accident victims wonder, “Do I have to go to court to win a rear-end collision settlement?” The short answer is, “Not necessarily.”

Experienced car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators. They know how insurance companies think and can anticipate their tactics. Many rear-end collision cases settle without stepping foot in a courtroom.

With that being said, there are situations where a trial is a right move. For example, the insurance company’s proposed payout will not cover your damages, and negotiations have stalled.

You want to hire a law firm that is not afraid to go to trial if that is in your best interest. Sometimes putting your case in front of a judge or jury gives you the chance to maximize your compensation. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today to get started.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Rear-End Collision Accident Injury Settlement?

Car accident injury claims may take as little as a few months to as long as several years to settle.

Your case may have a greater chance of taking longer to resolve if:

  • You suffered severe or catastrophic injuries
  • Your overall damages have a high monetary value
  • There are multiple negligent parties

No one wants to be in a lengthy, drawn-out lawsuit. But a fast settlement may not be adequate. You want to receive the full compensation that the law entitles you to, which can take some time. Your lawyer may be able to contact your creditors on your behalf to inform them that you have a pending injury claim.

Injured in A Rear-End Collision? Contact a Lawyer Today

The law may entitle you to a settlement. This payout could cover the medical treatment you need for injuries like whiplash, concussion, seatbelt injuries, and broken limbs. You may also qualify for compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Do not miss the deadline to file a rear-end accident injury claim. Contact a New York personal injury lawyer near you to learn about your legal options.