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Rear-End Collisions Were the Most Frequent Type of Collision in 2019

Posted by on January 14, 2020 in Stuff with 0 Comments

It’s estimated that rear-end collisions account for about 29% of all car crashes in the U.S. Each year 1,800 people die and another 500,000 are injured in rear-end collisions. These worrisome statistics mean that every 8 seconds, there’s a rear-end collision. This brings us to the next question, what causes rear-end accidents?

The traffic laws require that you maintain a safe distance to avoid hitting the other vehicles. But negligent drivers fail to do this. Here are some of the main reasons for a rear-end collision.

Distracted driving

When the driver’s eyes are off the road, he or she may not have sufficient time to respond to the sudden movements of the vehicles in front of him. Although most impacts occur at less than 10mph, we can’t dispute the fact that devices like MP3 players and smartphones. In most cases, the driver does not notice the car on time. Other distractions include adjusting the vehicle's radio, GPS navigation system, and eating while driving. It’s worth mentioning that looking at the rear seat to check on your young children may also cause accidents.

Tailgating

A driver cannot maintain a safe distance when he’s tailgating another vehicle. If the front vehicle brakes abruptly, it can result in an accident. Keep in mind the driver may stop to avoid hitting an animal or there’s construction, police activity, an accident up ahead, etc.

Drunk driving

When you’re intoxicated, your driving skills are impaired. This also means that you can feel drowsy or fall asleep when on the wheel. Of course, your reaction time to control the vehicle is reduced which causes a rear-end wreck.

Weather conditions

Even a competent driver will tell you they find it hard to drive in weather conditions like heavy rain, fog, or ice. Sometimes, they can’t stay within the same lane and can easily hit the rear of the other vehicle.

Driver fatigue

If you’ve been driving for many hours without making any stops, you can feel drowsy and hit the front vehicle.

Injuries associated with rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions cause injuries, so you should never downplay the “fender bender.” Most people suffer from soft-tissue injuries and may feel the effect of the crash months later. That little sore you dismiss can be something much worse. It’s in your best interest that you seek medical attention immediately. Here are the most common rear ended collision injuries.

Back injuries

A rear-end collision can result in compression of the spine or cause herniated discs. People who suffer serious back injuries engage in ongoing treatments until they slowly recover. If physical therapy may not be enough, they may have to undergo surgery. The impact could also cause spinal cord injury. This could mean temporary or permanent paralysis.

Neck injuries/whiplash

This is arguably the most common type of injury associated with rear-end collision. Generally, the neck, spine, and shoulders move beyond their normal range. According to the latest statistics, 80% of the victims suffer soreness that lasts for more than a week. Most neck injuries require that you take some time off from the usual activities and may require physical therapy.

Head injuries

Even in a low-speed collision, your head may smash the steering wheel when the airbags don’t deploy. The force may also fracture the jawbone or break the nose. Apart from that, you could end up with bruises on the face. Some victims also experience traumatic brain injury. While the airbag may stop you from hitting the steering wheel, the head can still hit the window. But even with no direct contact, a sharp jolt can damage the brain. A traumatic brain injury can have long-lasting cognitive effects.

Broken bones

Such collisions may cause you to have bone fractures on hands, legs, etc. Although some of these fractures will heal, the victim may require several surgeries to regain their usual range of motion.

What to do if you’re involved in a rear-end collision

Collisions can happen any time – whether you’re commuting to work, enjoying your favorite beverage, or while nodding your head to the music. Regardless of who is at fault, you should defend your rights. Thankfully, there are ways you can protect your interests if the other party fails to report the accident or leaves the scene of the accident. Here is what you should do to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Immediately after the accident

First, you should remain calm and report the matter to the police immediately. Check whether the driver and the passengers are fine. Avoid moving any injured passengers for their safety. And to ensure you don’t cause any congestion or resulting accidents, you should move the vehicles to the side.

Gather information

If your car has been hit at the rear, it’s the other driver’s fault. Nevertheless, you should not assume the other driver will take care of it. In some rare cases, the driver may leave the scene which is a felony in the US. You should gather information like the name, telephone number, and address of the other driver. What’s more, you should take photos to show the extent of the damage. More specifically, take photos of the debris of the ground, license plates, and inside the car. Still, you can take photos of your injuries and damaged clothes.

Don’t forget to note the policy number of the driver at fault. And if applicable you can collect contact information of the witnesses. Remember, the police report documents what happened so you can still pursue the claim. Even if the information is not admissible in court, it will give you leverage for settlement.

Seek medical attention

Now that you’ve taken care of the basic needs, it's time you seek medical attention. Never ignore even the slightest bruises. They could go unnoticed only to end up feeling pain after a few weeks. The doctor will monitor your health closely. Make sure you notify your medical provider about the injuries caused by the accident. Medical history will play a key role in your recovery. Stay away from chiropractors and personal injury doctors that give questionable treatments.

Contact your insurance company

If you’ve not sustained any serious injuries, you should launch a claim to your insurance company. If the insurance of the other driver denies responsibility, you can take some additional steps. Your report should highlight rear end collision damage to the car.

Seek legal assistance

You should hire an experienced car accident attorney to explore the legal options. In the absence of a police report, the insurance company may deny coverage. If you’re partially at fault, he or she may help you reach a settlement that works for both parties. The role of an attorney is to gather evidence to build a solid case. So, as you take the legal action make sure the pros outweigh the cons.

When do you need an attorney?

You should retain an attorney as soon as practicably possible.  Since the insurance adjusters are trained to settle disputes with the least amount of money, you may not get fair compensation if you attempt to resolve the matter without legal representation. An attorney will ensure you get back to your financial position before the accident occurred. He or she may have to work with a rear end collision specialist to evaluate the extent of the damage.

Which party pays for rear-end collision?

Although you expect compensation after a motor accident, this is not always the case. According to US traffic laws, any car that hits the other at the rear is at fault. This means that the driver is responsible for any damage even if the collision was unintentional. But there’s an exception to this rule. You may be at fault if you stopped with no warning lights or you’re driving under the influence of alcohol. Keep in mind you’re not at fault if the car that hit you at the rear pushed you at the back of the front car.

If the driver of the other car states that your rear brakes were not working, you should not rely on the adjuster’s option. Instead, talk to an attorney to pursue the case for you. A competent attorney will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you’re not responsible for the collision.

What if the driver of the other car admits liability? You should not wait for the money to roll into your bank account. Since all drivers are required by law to exercise a duty of care, a collision can happen when you drive recklessly or you stop exercising a duty of care. You have a legal duty to provide evidence of the other driver’s negligence. Needless to say, you must prove the injuries and the losses that occurred. Never allow yourself to bear a financial burden you’re not responsible for.

Final thoughts

While very few rear-end collisions are fatal, they can cause serious injuries. The best way to avoid this kind of accident is to have your car inspected and be attentive when driving. In poor weather conditions, you should maintain a safe distance. Not to mention, you should avoid engaging in distracting activities and be fully aware of your surroundings.

If you’ve been rear-ended and the other driver's negligence is to blame, an insurance company will offer a quick settlement even before you’re fully aware of your injuries. This may leave you unable to pay for your medical treatment. However, a good attorney in NY will help you get a fair settlement. Rest assured, an insurance company will also have a legal team so you may want to work with the best attorney.

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