Rear-end car accidents are relatively common, but their seriousness should not be downplayed. These wrecks can and often do result in major, painful injuries for the victim. In addition, there’s a good chance the victim will miss work and possibly be unable to return to the same job as before the accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end accident and you’re not sure what to do next, it’s time to reach out to a dedicated car crash attorney. Give Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman a call.
Why A Rear-End Can Accident Happen
Every car wreck is different, but the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is always responsible for explaining how it occurred. To meet this burden and establish the defendant’s liability, it’s important to consider some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions. They include:
- Distracted driving. Texting, making phone calls, talking to passengers, changing radio stations – these and countless other behaviors can take a driver’s attention away from the road. A driver who isn’t focused on driving can easily rear-end another vehicle.
- Driving under the influence. Whether it’s because of drugs or alcohol, the use of any mind-altering substances can contribute to a car accident. One particular consequence of intoxicated driving is a slower reaction time, making it more likely a driver won’t stop in time to avoid a wreck.
- Not allowing enough space. The general rule of thumb is that a motorist should allow one car length between him- or herself and the vehicle in front per every ten miles per hour of speed. Few drivers actually obey this rule. Driving too closely increases the risk of an accident.
- Speeding. This is a contributing factor in any sort of car crash, but especially one involving a rear-end collision. Speed, especially in heavy traffic or on unfamiliar roads, can make accident injuries especially severe.
- Aggressive driving. Tailgating, deliberately cutting off another vehicle, or attempting to intimidate another driver are all forms of aggressive driving. This sort of behavior can result in a criminal charge of reckless driving, making it easier for the victim to seek compensation.
- Suddenly changing lanes. If a driver suddenly changes lanes by jumping in front of you, there’s a good chance you’ll crash into that vehicle. Meanwhile, if you are the one changing lanes quickly, you may rear-end another automobile.
- Poor vision. Environmental conditions such as rain, fog, bright afternoon sun, or darkness should make drivers more cautious. In fact, motorists are expected to adjust their driving in accordance with the prevailing conditions (for example, by decreasing their speed). Failure to do this makes an accident more likely.
- Poor road conditions. Slick roads from ice, snow, or rain make it more difficult for a driver to apply the brakes in time. Exceptionally poor roads can cause multi-vehicle pile-ups, resulting in serious and deadly injuries.
What To Do After A Fender Bender Crash
If you’re the victim of a rear-end car accident, the number one rule is to not panic. Even if there are no apparent injuries, or only minor ones, being in an automobile accident is always stressful. These are a few of the steps you should follow:
Get immediate medical attention. This is a critical step, regardless of how bad the injuries are. You should seek medical attention even if you don’t believe you or your passengers have been hurt because some injuries can take hours or even days to manifest. Failure to see a medical professional could endanger your health or aggravate an underlying condition.
It could also jeopardize your personal injury claim. Insurance companies will look for any excuse to deny or underpay a claim. Your decision to delay seeing a doctor will only help the insurer meet its goal of paying as little as possible. Let a doctor evaluate you.
Call 911 and create a police report. Calling 911 is important to not only get medical attention but to have the police show up and create a police report. This important document records basic information about the accident such as time, date, and location. It will come in handy later in your personal injury claim.
There’s a chance the driver may flee after hitting you. Don’t attempt to chase the vehicle. Make note of as many details as you can about the driver and the automobile and give that information to the police.
Talk to witnesses, take notes, and gather evidence. The best way to help yourself and your personal injury case is to collect as much information as you can about it. Speak to any witnesses who saw what happened and get their names and phone numbers. Write down everything you remember about the accident and the events leading up to it. Lastly, take pictures and video of the accident scene and your vehicle.
Retain an experienced personal injury attorney. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and ensuring you get the compensation you need to recover from your rear-end car crash. Among other things, your attorney will assist with:
- Investigating the accident and collecting evidence
- Obtaining evidence held by third parties (for example, there may be a retail establishment close to the accident that recorded surveillance footage)
- Identifying any and all liable parties, which may include individuals and/or entities in addition to the other driver
- Determining the nature and amount of your damages
- Hiring expert witnesses who can explain to a jury what happened
- Talking and negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Taking your case to court if it cannot be settled for a fair amount
Contact Our Southaven & Hernando Rear-End Car Accident Attorney
Our goal is to help car accident victims get their lives back to normal. If you’ve been injured in a wreck and would like to know your legal options, or if you simply have questions, connect with Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. We can schedule your confidential consultation today.