Rear-end collisions are often the scariest types of accidents to deal with, as they typically happen when you least expect it. When you are driving unaware, and a car crashes into you from behind, it can be startling and traumatizing. Though the injuries sustained in a rear-end collision are not always as severe as those that result from other types of vehicle accidents, the physical and mental pain and suffering victims experience can still be devastating depending on the individual situation.
Generally, rear-end collisions are considered one of the third most dangerous collision types behind head-on and t-bone collisions. However, though they aren’t quite as dangerous as the first two, rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident. Crash data from 2019 shows over 2 million rear-end collisions total, with nearly 600,000 resulting in injury and over 2,000 being fatal.
When you suffer injuries following a car accident, no matter what type or how severe they are, trying to file a claim or a lawsuit to receive compensation can be challenging. When you are trying to focus on your health and recovery, the last thing you want to deal with is a guilty party or insurance company trying to deny your claim and compensation. Though proving fault to be awarded damages can be difficult, it is not impossible. With these cases, it is often necessary to work with an experienced car accident attorney who can fight for your rights and handle the heavy legal work while you focus on getting better.
At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, our attorneys will do everything they can to help you prove fault and get the compensation you need. We will walk you through your case and the legal process to ensure all necessary steps are taken to win your case. When you are the victim of a rear-end collision, you have a right to pursue legal action to receive compensation for any damages, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
Let the Law Office of Poynter & Bucheri fight for your rights to protect you and your family. Call us today at 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 for a free case review.
How Do Rear-End Collisions Happen?
The way any collisions occur can vary depending on several factors and circumstances. While they can sometimes happen due to factors outside of a driver’s control, generally, they occur due to one driver or more acting in a reckless or negligent manner.
Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions include the following:
- Following too closely: Most rear-end accidents occur when one car is following too closely behind another. This could be because of a traffic jam, because they just aren’t paying attention, or because they are purposely riding the other car’s bumper out of frustration or anger. Unfortunately, if the vehicle in front of them brakes, they will have little time to react and will likely end up running into them.
- Distracted driving: Driving while distracted is one of the second most common reasons for rear-end collisions. This often occurs when a driver takes their eyes off the road and then doesn’t realize that the car in front of them has hit their brakes or come to a stop. Many things can distract a driver and pull their attention away from the road, such as their phone, other passengers, the radio, eating food, or looking in the mirror.
- Aggressive driving: Drivers who are frustrated by other cars on the road, such as annoyance with a slow driver, tend to drive more recklessly and cause accidents, such as rear-end collisions. Even the calmest individuals can find themselves driving while frustrated or annoyed, especially if they are running late, which can lead to an accident.
- Inclement weather: When the roads become wet and slick from snow, ice, or rain, it is harder for your tires to gain traction when you brake. Cars that slide or skid due to poor weather conditions have a higher chance of running into the car in front of them.
- Speeding: The faster a car is going, the harder it is to come to a sudden stop if required. Drivers who disobey the speed limit are more likely to rear-end another car because they have less time to react and hit their brakes if someone pulls out in front of them or comes to a stop.
- Driving while impaired: Drivers under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or even some prescription medications can have delayed reactions. They may have a harder time hitting their brakes in time if needed, resulting in a rear-end collision.
- Mechanical failures: If the brakes go out or some other part of the car stops working, it may hinder a driver’s ability to brake before hitting another vehicle in front of them. Mechanical failures aren’t necessarily common, but they do happen. If the failure happened because the driver neglected to keep up with their car’s maintenance, they could be held liable.
If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact our PBAR legal team for a free case review to discuss your legal options for recovering money for your injuries and losses.
Common Injuries That Result From Rear-End Collisions
The injuries that result from rear-end collisions can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the person(s) involved. For example, someone who is strong and healthy may not suffer as severe an injury as someone older or weaker in that same situation. Where someone was seated in the car when it was hit can also play a role in the severity of an injury. Those sitting in the back and closer to the point of impact are more likely to sustain worse injuries than someone in the front. Additionally, someone who fails to wear their seatbelt, no matter where they are seated in the car, may also suffer more severe injuries.
Some of the most common injuries that can result from a rear-end collision include the following:
Whiplash, as well as other neck and back injuries, are common in crashes involving rear-end impacts. When another vehicle strikes your vehicle from behind, the force can cause your head to move back and forth violently. The sudden, violent movement can cause traumatic damage to the soft tissues in the neck.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Rear-end crashes can also cause head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). When the head is slammed forward and backward, the brain can “bounce” around, striking the skull in one or more places. In addition, a victim may slam their head into the steering wheel, window, or headrest. Any of these actions may cause severe damage to the brain.
Fractures are also common injuries in a rear-end crash. The rib cage, feet, hands, spine, and skull are common areas of the body in which breaks can occur during a rear-end collision. Those with more brittle bones, or bones still in development, are more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
Other injuries can include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises and contusions
- Facial injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Damage to internal organs
What to Do After a Rear-End Collision
You should never leave the scene of an accident without first contacting the authorities and emergency medical responders in case of an injury. The steps you take following a collision accident can help you build a stronger case should you decide to pursue compensation.
After a rear-end collision, you should:
- Call 911 immediately. A police report should be filed so there is a record of the accident and what occurred. Be sure to have them send emergency medical responders as well to treat your injuries.
- Gather contact information from as many witnesses at the scene as possible. Eyewitnesses can be highly beneficial to a personal injury case.
- Take photos of the scene. Photographic evidence is also very helpful when filing a personal injury claim. Take photos of your injuries, damage to the vehicle, damage to other property, and photos of the scene as a whole.
- Seek medical attention. After the accident, if you were not immediately taken to the hospital by emergency responders, you should see your doctor for treatment of any potential injuries. Even if you feel fine, it can take days and even weeks for some symptoms to appear. It is always best to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid further injury. Medical documents and doctor testimonies can also help support a personal injury claim.
- Write down as much as you can remember. Following the accident, you should write down every detail about the accident that you can remember. Even though you may have already given a statement for the police report, you may remember more details once the shock of the accident wears off.
- Report the accident to your car insurance company. You will need to notify your insurance company about the accident to get a claim started. If another party is found guilty, their insurance should be the one to award your damages, but if another party is not guilty, or if they don’t have insurance, your own coverage may provide you with the benefits you need.
- Contact an attorney. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny a claim to reduce the amount of money they have to pay a victim. Both your insurance and the insurance of the guilty party may try to do this. It is crucial in these situations to work with an attorney who knows how to fight back against insurers to get you the compensation you deserve.
At Poynter and Bucheri Accident Recovery, we will fight for your rights and do everything we can to protect you against insurance companies seeking to undervalue and deny your claim.
Determining Fault After a Rear-End Collision
With most rear-end collisions, the driver who hit you from behind will be held liable. However, other factors can play part in an accident, such as road conditions or mechanical failures. You will need to work with your attorney to gather all necessary information and evidence to help you determine fault or the cause of the accident.
If another driver is to blame, you will have to prove three things to the court to win your case against them:
- That they owed you a reasonable duty of care
- That they breached that duty
- The accident and your injuries were a direct result of their breach of duty
Evidence that can be used to further support your case can include:
- Photos or video surveillance from the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Physical evidence from the scene, such as the vehicles or property that was damaged
- Medical records
- Physician statements
- The police report
In some cases, accident reconstruction experts or engineers may be brought in to help with the case. They may use diagrams or models of the accident scene to help show how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Compensation For Victims of Rear-End Collisions
The value of a car accident claim depends on several factors, including the type and severity of your injuries and the financial losses incurred because of the crash. Damages in a car accident claim include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Examples of economic damages that you may recover compensation for include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering caused by the accident. This may include:
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional anguish and stress
- Permanent impairments
It can be very difficult to place a value on a person’s pain and suffering. Because Indiana’s personal injury laws do not contain a formula for calculating pain and suffering damages, you need an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney to establish the value of your claim.
Contact a Rear-End Collision Attorney at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery in Indianapolis
Rear-end crashes cause significant injuries in some cases. The financial and non-economic damages caused by these car accidents can be substantial. Poynter & Bucheri help accident victims recover compensation for their injuries, losses, and damages. Contact our PBAR legal team by calling 1-800-265-9881 or 317-780-8000 to schedule a free consultation with an Indianapolis car accident lawyer.