September 23, 2021

What Should I Know About Rear-End Car Accidents?

Car destroyed after rear-end accident

A rear-end car accident has the potential to produce catastrophic health issues. When a vehicle slams into the back of your car, you can suffer a serious injury. Fortunately, there are ways drivers can prevent rear-end accidents.

You must follow other vehicles from a safe distance and adjust your driving to match road conditions. However, that does not mean you have a guaranteed settlement coming if another driver hits the back of your vehicle. A variety of factors could lead to partial or even full liability being applied to you instead of the person who struck your vehicle.

Significant Cause of Car Accidents and Deaths

Rear-end collisions account for approximately 29 percent of all traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Information Institute reports that rear-end accidents are responsible for over seven percent of all traffic fatalities. Rear-end accidents continue to be a top cause of accidents and traffic fatalities.

A variety of factors can lead to a rear-end collision, starting with hazardous road conditions, such as the weather. When roadways are wet, snowy, or icy, the likelihood of a rear-end collision occurring rises. A main problem is when drivers ignore weather and road conditions and do not adjust their speed accordingly. That could make it impossible to stop safely due to poor traction.

If you live in an area where fog commonly occurs, you might not be able to see the road at all. Even driving with the lights on in a thick fog can be very disorienting and make it harder to see any vehicles that might be stopped ahead. Driving at night could be a problem in congested areas if a motorist cannot see well.

Distraction and confusion can also lead to a rear-end collision. A motorist who is paying more attention to a cellphone instead of the roadway can hit the back end of another vehicle. If you are driving through a construction zone with unexpected lane changes, another driver might get confused and hit your car as well.

Neck and Back Injuries Commonly Occur in Rear-End Accidents

If you are stopped while at a light and another vehicle rams into yours, the blow could cause back injuries, neck injuries, or even both. A rear-end accident is especially dangerous because the driver does not have any time to prepare for the impact. The potential for back or neck injuries is especially high in rear-end accidents.

A common rear-end accident injury is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck and spine suddenly move forward and backward suddenly due to a hard jolt. The back-and-forth motion is similar to cracking a whip, and it can cause a great deal of pain in the afflicted area.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of whiplash wind up healing within one month, but other cases can linger for years. Whiplash symptoms can be very painful and include:

  • Painfully stiff neck.
  • Increased pain when moving the neck.
  • Decreased range of neck motion.
  • Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Pain in the shoulder, arms, and upper back.

Fault is Not Always Apparent in Rear-End Car Accidents

You might believe the other motorist is responsible for your rear-end car accident. All drivers have a duty of care to follow at a safe distance to prevent accidents. However, the other driver might have reason to blame you due to the condition of your vehicle or even how you drove your car.

If your vehicle has one or both brake lights or taillights out, the other driver could have a strong case for finding you at fault. If you were texting or using your cellphone and drove erratically, the other motorist could say you caused the accident. Suddenly slamming on the brakes for no reason can also cause you to be partially or fully at fault.

No matter how an accident occurs, it is always important to carefully document the scene with photographs and to obtain witness contact information. If road or weather conditions created unsafe driving conditions, you should document them, especially if the other motorist ignored them.

When you maintain your vehicle, it helps to carefully document the work that was done to show that your car was in good condition when the accident occurred. This is important because it shows that your vehicle’s condition did not contribute to the accident.

Some simple steps can help you build a strong legal claim after a rear-end accident. After a serious rear-end accident, you should speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you determine fault and protect your rights.

Our Norristown Rear-End Accident Attorneys at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Protect the Rights of Clients Injured in Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end accident can cause significant injuries that can affect the rest of your life. If you were injured by a negligent motorist in a rear-end accident, you could benefit from legal counsel. Our rear-end accident attorneys in Norristown can protect your rights. Contact us online or call us at 267-861-7100 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown, Pennsylvania.