Rear-End Crash Causes, Injuries & Liability

Rear-end crash injuriesOver 1.7 million rear-end crashes occurred in 2012, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. While many people think of rear-end accidents as a minor crash caused by a rear driver, rear-end crash causes and locations are widespread.

These crashes, which may occur inside a local Bucks County neighborhood or speeding down I-95, can result in both minor and severe injuries.

If you suffered injuries in a Pennsylvania rear-end collision, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you get the compensation you need to pay medical bills, cover lost wages, and overcome the financial stress caused by a serious injury. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to learn more.

What are some common injuries after a rear-end collision?

The most common injuries after a rear-end crash are neck injuries such as whiplash. Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, many people do not realize the severity of it, including many insurance companies. However, sufferers often miss weeks of work, and it often becomes a cause of chronic pain and disability that requires ongoing therapy and other treatment. 

In addition, victims of rear-end accidents may suffer from:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Leg, knee, and foot injuries
  • Airbag injuries, including burns, eye injuries, and facial lacerations

If you suffer any symptoms of an injury after a rear-end crash, see a doctor as soon as possible. Especially with whiplash, it is often difficult to tie the injuries to the crash unless a medical provider diagnoses you immediately after the incident. 

What causes rear-end collisions?

In most rear-end collisions, a number of factors combine to create a dangerous situation. However, any one of these factors can also lead to a rear-end crash:

  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving
  • Distracted driving, including texting, changing the radio station, talking to passengers, etc.
  • Driving while sleepy
  • Rain, ice, and other weather hazards

Is it true that the driver of the rear car is always at fault?

In many rear-end collisions, the driver of the rear car is responsible for causing the crash. Many occur when the front driver brakes and comes to a stop, and the following driver, often distracted, fails to do the same. It is a myth, however, that this is the case in every rear-end collision.

The driver of the front car can cause or contribute to these crashes in a number of ways. This includes:

  • Whipping out in front of the other driver
  • Reversing without warning
  • Stopping suddenly to make a turn, but not turning
  • Driving without proper brake lights
  • Stopping in the roadway without using hazard lights

For help proving liability in your case, call the accident attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC.

What if I am partially at-fault?

Since either driver can cause a rear-end crash, there is always the possibility that the other driver will attempt to blame you for the wreck. When this occurs, the court will determine how much each driver’s negligence contributed to the collision.

Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws, you may be able to recover compensation even if you played a part in causing the crash. You just need to be less than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

For example, if you were the rear driver and the other driver in front of you stopped suddenly, you are still required to stop; however, if her brake lights were broken, the insurer may that she was 55 percent at fault. This would still allow you to recover compensation.

It is important to note that the amount of damages you receive decreases based on your degree of fault in the wreck. Let us consider the example above. If the insurer found the other driver 55 percent responsible, you would only be able to recover 55 percent of your settlement. If your settlement was worth $50,000, you would be able to recover $27,500.

If you suffered injuries in a rear-end collision — especially one where you believe you may be partially at fault — you should discuss your case with a Pennsylvania car accident attorney in order to decide how to proceed with your claim.

What evidence should I collect?

Your attorney will play a key role in ensuring you have all the necessary evidence to prove your case. However, you can help this process by gathering as much evidence at the accident scene as possible.

You probably already know to exchange contact, driver license, and insurance information with the other driver, but do not overlook the importance of getting the contact information of any witnesses. Also, be sure to take pictures of the scene, including all vehicles involved and any hazards in the road.

Other evidence that is often paramount in proving these cases includes:

  • Reports from police and other first responders
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Surveillance video from nearby businesses
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Expert testimony

What damages might I be able to recover?

Rear-end collisions and other car accident claims fall into the category of personal injury claims. As such, they allow you to recover a wide variety of accident-related damages, including both economic and non-economic (psychological) damages. Depending on the specific damages suffered in your case, this may include:

  • Emergency medical transportation
  • Medical care
  • Surgery costs
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Ongoing medical care
  • Lost wages, including future lost work
  • Other accident-related costs

Note: Unless you carry full tort insurance, you will be unable to recover noneconomic damages (e.g., pain and suffering). If you carry limited tort, you can recover noneconomic damages only if you are able to you sustained a “serious” injury.

How can Cordisco & Saile LLC help me win compensation?

Cordisco & Saile LLC represents car accident victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, ensuring they receive all the compensation they deserve under current laws. If you suffered injuries in a rear-end collision, we can build a case against the other driver and provide evidence to prove your damages. This is key in getting you the biggest payout possible based on the facts of your case.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case review, contact us today at 215-642-2335.