Facts Of A Rear-End Car Accident: It is never pleasant being in an accident whether you are the victim or whether you are at fault. However, if you are the victim, you are usually entitled to compensation for the damages and the injuries that you have suffered as a result of the accident. The most common type of accident to occur is usually a real end accident, and is extremely common in most countries, including the United States of America. Car accident attorneys usually attest to the fact that these accidents occur pretty commonly, and that it is fairly easy to get compensation for your injuries and the damages that you have incurred as long as you are not the party at fault. This guide attempts to provide you with complete knowledge on what a rear end accident is, what it entails, and how to claim compensation in case you have met with one.
What is a Real End Car Accident?
Before moving onto any other details, it is first important to understand as to what a rear end car accident is. As the name suggests, a rear end accident is one in which the cars collide against the rear of another vehicle, rather than against the sides or the front. It is usually due to the negligence of one driver on the road, but at times, there can be contributory negligence from different drivers leading to the unfortunate situation. High speed driving and driving recklessly in bends and black spots are usually the cause of rear end accidents. Not turning on your hazards in case you are planning to stop your car or slow down can be another reason that a rear end accident occurs.
Types of Rear-end Car accidents
There are multiple types and ways in which a rear end car accident might occur. Here are some of the ways that a rear end accident may occur:
Accidents involving two vehicles: As the title itself suggests, this type of accident occurs when two cars are parties to the accident. Usually, one car will hit the rear end of another car. This accident is common when cars are moving at high speeds in sharp bends or turns, but can occur anywhere.
Who will be deemed the at fault party? In the case of a two party rear end car accident, usually, the driver who hits the car in the front will be the negligent party, as a result of him not turning with requisite caution or going at high speeds. However, in some circumstances, the driver in the front may also be determined to be the at fault party if there has been any occurrence such as the car rolling back, breaking without notice/signalling, or travelling at speeds lower than the requisite speed limit.
Accidents involving three or more vehicles
A car accident is not always cut and dries where there are two cars and one is the party at fault. There may be instances where more than two cars are involved, such as during a time of heavy traffic, in a constricted space, or when moving at high speeds. This sort of accident may result in damage to more than one car, at the fault part may also be more than one driver.
Who is at fault in a Multi Car Rear End Accident?
Determining who at fault party is in an accident with more than two cars is slightly more complicated than determining the at fault party with a two car accident. For instance, there may be a situation where Mary rear ends Tracy who rear ends Smith, who finally rear ends Alice. In this scenario, Mary will be held at fault party for the damage that has occurred to Tracy, Smith, and Alice. However, if Smith has been driving under the influence and could have potentially avoided hitting Alice, he will also be responsible for the accident in a contributory manner. Usually, fault and liability is determined in terms of percentages, and the liability to pay compensation is also determined accordingly.
Accident in the parking area
Given that parking lots are fairly constricted spaces and require some degree of skill to manoeuvre, instances of rear end accidents are pretty common in parking lots as well. The chance of such accidents occurring increase exponentially, if the space between the parking lots are small. However, the likely damage to people or the chances of injuries are lower in this scenario because cars tend to be unoccupied when in parking lots.
Who is the at fault party in a parking area rear end accident?
The driver who has caused the accident to occur by driving into or by reversing into any of the other cars will be determined to be the at fault party, fully. However, in the situation where two reversing cars rear end into each other, both the drivers will be held equally responsible for the accident, if both are determined to be similarly negligent.
Damages to the car
It is tremendously stressful to be involved in an accident and then to realize that your vehicle is damaged. To a lot of people, a vehicle is not a luxury, but something that they need for their day to day tasks and for transport. It is important to remember that apart from the usual damage that is clearly apparent to the naked eye, there is also a considerable chance of damage to the car that can go undetected. It is therefore important to ensure that you thoroughly check your car for potential damage and get compensated for it immediately so you can rectify the damage that has been caused. Here are some of the common types of car damage that a person usually faces in a rear end accident.
Cars are deliberately constructed in a manner to ensure that they are robust, and can run for a considerably long time without requiring replacement. It is partially the reason as to why they are so expensive. However, if you have been involved in an accident, whether rear end or otherwise, one of the first issues that you may face is the issue of alignment. Alignment problems are not just hard to solve (you may have issues with pulling over to a particular side, wobbly steering, etc.) but are also tremendously hard to detect. Furthermore, faulty alignment may also lead to other problems such as issues with tires, brakes, suspension systems, etc. Therefore, if you believe that you have an alignment problem after an accident, it is important to get your car checked out as soon as you can.
Another common problem that people face after a rear end car accident issues with their transmission. The transmission system is a critical component of the car – it is the reason why the car is able to run smoothly, and the transmission system is where a car derives its power from. If you are facing problems in transmission, it is also likely that you will face problems with the gear system as well, and problems with acceleration and deceleration, and steering. If you leave a transmission problem unchecked, it is possible that your car may entirely fail. It is therefore tremendously important to get it completely checked out, to ensure that there is no damage (whether significant or partial) to the transmission system, and get it repaired if there is. It is better to not put it off for later, given the importance of transmission for the car.
The trunk is usually the component of the car that takes on the maximum impact in a rear end accident. Ideally, you should check whether you are able to open and shut your trunk without any hitches as a preliminary examination, and take it to an auto repair shop or an appraiser if you find that you are having issues with your trunk to determine what exactly has gone wrong. It is highly likely that you are going to have trunk issues if you have been in a rear end car accident because the trunk absorbs the impact of the oncoming car. Therefore, even if the damage is not visibly apparent, it always helps to check once as to whether any damage has been sustained, so proper steps can be taken to rectify it.
Hidden body damage
While it might seem like your car is healthy and properly functional after an accident, it may have sustained invisible or hidden body damage. While people are quick to spot scratches and scrapes on their car, hidden damage is harder to spot. For instance, the frame of the car may have sustained some damage, or the bumper may have. In fact, it may not even trouble you initially. However, after some time, it is likely to cause issues for both you and your vehicle because constant wear and tear will likely result in the damage deepening. Therefore, even if you feel like your car has not sustained any damage, it is better to check as to whether it actually has and repair it as soon as you possibly can.
Rear end car accident injuries
There is a high likelihood of injuries to persons in a rear end accident as there are in a front end collision. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained by those involved in a rear end car collision.
Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries that occur post every accident. This is because the body is thrown with the impact of the car, leading to jerky movements that the body cannot consciously protect itself against, or stay stiff against. The most commonly injured parts of the body include vulnerable parts in an accident such as the back or the neck. Whiplash is not just a significant injury because of the nature of damage that it inflicts on the human body, but also because it usually leads to significant long-lasting consequences and chronic pain.
Spinal cord paralysis
The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the human body, and due to the impact borne by the spine in an accident, it may lead to paralysis. This may be in the form of the ribs fracturing, or a dislocation, or a misalignment of the discs of the spinal cord. Not only can spinal cord injuries lead to paralysis (whether temporary or permanent) but they can also lead to other issues such as nerve damage and injury to the brain and skull of the person involved in the accident. It is therefore tremendously important to treat spinal cord injuries as soon as possible.
Head and brain injuries
Depending on the kind of impact that is borne, as well as the quantum of impact sustained, it is possible that the skull and the brain may also be affected in an accident. Per the reports of the NHTSA, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, over 50,000 people die of conditions associated with brain or skull damage post an accident. Common symptoms to watch out for (but are not limited to) are dizziness, blurring vision, changed behaviour or speech patterns, fatigue, loss in consciousness, and deteriorating cognitive capacities.
In any accident, the likelihood of suffering injuries to the facial structure (such as your jaws, your sockets, cheek bones, etc.) are fairly high. Usually, plastic surgery is required to fix injuries that lead to facial disfigurement. These surgeries tend to be expensive, and hard to get.
Apart from those injuries listed above, other common injuries may include injuries that are sustained due to seatbelts or airbags being deployed, other impact based injuries, and psychological ailments such as PTSD as a result of the accident. It is important to seek treatment and rehabilitation as soon as possible to post an accident to ensure maximum recovery. If you find yourself unsure as to whether or not you have been injured, or to what extent your injuries extend, it is advisable to get a complete physical examination from a qualified physician in case you have been a part of an accident.
What to do after a rear end accident?
The important thing to remember is that like any other legal battle or court case, it is important to organize the requisite documentation and evidence to have a favourable outcome. Here are the things that you will need to organize for a favourable outcome.
Check for injuries
As stated above, even if you look healthy externally, it is important to check for injuries and ensure that you have not sustained any invisible injuries (such as a concussion which is not visible, but tremendously serious). Even minor pains may have catastrophic consequences if left unchecked. It is advisable to get a complete physical examination from a qualified physician in case you have been a part of an accident, and also retain the medical slips and examination reports in a safe and secure place to present later, in case it is required.
Taking pictures of the accident
If you are in a fit enough condition to move to post your accident, then it makes sense to take pictures of the accident scene for the evidentiary value that it possesses. Aspects that you should consider covering with your picture are the damage that has occurred, the condition of the road, and possibly the injuries that you have suffered as well. If you have a dashcam, ensure that you upload that footage safely in the cloud for evidence as well.
Collect the police report
First responders and local law enforcement are likely to reach the scene as soon as an accident occurs and they record the scene (including important information such as statements from witnesses). This can be invaluable in your quest for seeking compensation. Therefore, ensure that you collect a copy of the report that the police have prepared.
Personal Injury Lawyer
One of the best ways that you can gain a favourable outcome in a case regarding an accident is to seek representation. Being in an accident is traumatic by itself, but that combined with mounting repair expenses and expenses towards medical costs can leave even the most organized individual extremely stressed and feeling helpless.
There are a lot of lawyers who specifically deal with cases of this nature. Ensure that you do your research and find one in your vicinity that fits both your budget, and has the expertise at the same time to ensure that you get the compensation that you both deserve and need. The reason that a person injury lawyer is an ideal investment for those who wish to take the matter to court is because not only are they well versed with the law, but will present the facts of your case in a manner that is in consonance with the law.
If you have insurance, ensure that you get your insurance company to cover your medical expenses to the maximum extent possible. One of the other things that a personal injury lawyer can actually assist with is negotiating with your insurance company, and ensure that they are forthcoming. If you do not want to be taken for a ride (pun not intended), then a personal injury lawyer can be a great option.
Car Accident Lawyer
While car accidents may be common occurrences in the United States, the fact of the matter is that it is not always easy or possible to get the requisite compensation that you deserve without the assistance of an attorney. The role of the attorney is to ensure that all the requisite evidence is organized in a proper manner, to take the matter to court, and to get you the compensation that you are entitled to. The biggest differentiating factor between someone representing themselves in a case and hiring an attorney is the fact that car accident attorneys are specifically trained to handle cases such as these. If you want your case to have a favourable outcome, and for you to get the amounts that you are entitled to, the most ideal course of action is to hire a car accident lawyer.
Rear end accident settlement
If you are wondering that what will be be the average settlement for rear end car accident then we got your back covered as well. If you do not receive compensation either directly or from the insurance of the at fault part, ensure that you take the matter to court to get the settlement amount that you are entitled to. Since most people are uncooperative, the unfortunate trend has been to take rear end accident matters to court. However, it is important to remember that there is certain differentiating criterion that determines as to how much compensation you will be entitled to receive. Here are the factors that are taken into account while determining the final settlement amount:
- Injuries of the person: One of the first criterion for determining the settlement amount is based on the type and extent of injuries sustained by the victim. This includes both compensation for the injuries themselves, as well as compensation for the medical bills borne of the person. This also includes costs for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, etc.
- Loss of wages, etc: If a person has been involved in an accident, it is likely that they will not be able to go into work immediately, and this will lead to a loss in wages, and increases the risk of unemployment. This will also be factored in while calculating the settlement amount.
- Pain, suffering, and trauma: It is not just physically that an accident affects a person, but also mentally. It has been demonstrated in numerous reports that conditions such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are likely in those who have been victims of an accident. Therefore, sums may be awarded as compensation for the pain and suffering suffered by the individual.
- Multipliers: In case a person has been paralysed, is now afflicted with a life-long condition, or has suffered irreplaceable damage, then a multiplier on the settlement amount may also be ordered by the court.
In summary, one can say that the settlement amounts can be divided into economic, and non-economic.
It is certainly not a pleasant experience to be involved in a rear end car accident. However, with the right kind of research, and by hiring an attorney who has sufficient experience with cases such as these, you can claim compensation for the amounts you are entitled to, easily.