GJEL Accident Attorneys helps victims injured in San Francisco Bay Area rear end car accidents.
We can help you get the maximum compensation for your case and help your life return to normal.
We Are California Rear End Accident Attorneys
Rear end crashes are one of the most common car accident types, with The Washington Post reporting that there are about 1.7 million rear end collisions reported on roads in the United States each year.
What’s more, while this type of crash is not nearly as deadly as some other crash types, such as head on collisions, rear end crashes are not without risk. In fact, there are about 170,000 people killed in rear end crashes each year, and another 500,000 injured.
In addition to thinking that rear end collisions are relatively harmless, another misconception about these crashes is that they are always the fault of the rear driver. If you are involved in a rear end crash in California, pay attention to these facts regarding what you need to know about causes of and fault for rear end crashes, common injuries, and how to get compensated if you are hurt.
Causes of Rear End Collisions and Determining Fault
The most common cause of rear end collisions is following too closely, usually referred to as tailgating. When a driver is following too closely, they increase the risk of a collision in the event that the other driver comes to a stop or slows down.
When coupled with distracted driving, tailgating can be a deadly decision. The reports of one National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, as reported in the article cited above, concluded that 87 percent of rear end collisions could have been avoided had the rear driver been paying better attention to the road.
Speeding, driving aggressively, and defective brakes due to the vehicle owner’s failure to perform routine maintenance are also reasons why a rear end crash may occur, and are all situations in which the rear driver may be found at fault.
But the rear driver is not always at fault for rear end crashes. Situations when the front driver, or another party, may be at fault include:
- A rear end crash involving three vehicles, where the third (most rear) vehicle hits the middle vehicle with such force that the middle vehicle is forced into the frontmost car.
- The front driver braking suddenly for no apparent reason in a manner that is unreasonable and unsafe.
- The front driver making an illegal and unsafe lane change or turn in front of the rear driver.
- The front driver failing to replace broken or/and defective brake lights.
- The manufacturer of brakes creating a product with a defect that does not allow the vehicle to stop when necessary.
- A front driver tapping their brakes or intentionally stopping in an act of aggressive driving.
As is evident, determining fault in a rear end crash may be more complex than it initially seems in some accident cases.
Common Injuries in Rear End Crashes
While some rear end crashes are dismissed as minor fender benders that do little harm, others – particularly those that occur while vehicles are traveling at high speeds – have the potential to be deadly. Some of the most common injury types incurred in rear end crashes include:
- Facial injuries from airbag explosion;
- Injuries caused by passenger/driver ejection when seatbelts are not used;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Broken bones;
- Lacerations and bruising; and
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.
Depending upon the type and severity of injury, a person may sustain permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability; incur thousands in medical bills; be faced with loss of employment; and develop psychological harm.
How to Recover Compensation Following a Rear End Crash
If you are involved in a rear end collision and suffer losses, you must prove the fault of the other driver or negligent party in order to recover compensation. In order to do this, you should request a copy of the police report, get witnesses’ information, work with accident reconstruction experts, and keep records of all medical reports and expenses.
It is important that you file your insurance claim (you will file a claim against the insurance company of the at fault driver) as soon as possible to preserve your right to damages.
How Much Will My Rear-End Collision Settlement Be?
The amount of a rear-end collision settlement can vary greatly, depending on several factors. Here are some of the most important factors that determine settlement amounts:
Severity of Injuries
The severity of injuries sustained in a rear-end collision is one of the biggest factors that determine settlement amounts. If you’ve suffered significant injuries that require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care, you can expect to receive a higher settlement amount.
Medical Bills and Expenses
Medical bills and expenses related to your injuries are another important factor in determining settlement amounts. These include bills for emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, and other related expenses.
If you’ve had to miss work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes wages lost due to time off work for medical treatment or recovery, as well as wages lost due to any permanent disabilities or limitations caused by the accident.
The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle is another important factor in determining settlement amounts. If your car is a total loss, the settlement amount will likely be higher than if the damage is minor and can be repaired.
Liability is a major factor in determining settlement amounts. If the other driver was clearly at fault for the accident, you may be entitled to a larger settlement amount. However, if there is any question about liability, the settlement amount may be lower.
The amount of insurance coverage available for your claim is also a factor in determining settlement amounts. If the other driver has only minimum coverage, your settlement amount may be limited. On the other hand, if the other driver has significant coverage, your settlement amount may be higher.
How to File a Rear-End Collision Insurance Claim
To file a rear-end collision insurance claim, follow these steps:
1. Contact your insurance company
As mentioned earlier, contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to report the collision and begin the claims process.
2. Provide detailed information
When speaking to your insurance company, provide as much detailed information about the accident as possible. This information may include the date, time, location, and a description of the accident.
3. Provide documentation
Provide your insurance company with any documentation related to the accident, such as photos of the damage and a copy of the police report.
4. Cooperate with the claims adjuster
Your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to investigate the accident and determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to. Be sure to cooperate with the claims adjuster and provide any additional information they request.
5. Consider hiring an attorney
If you’re seriously injured in a rear-end collision, it’s important to consider hiring an attorney to represent you. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Injured in an accident? Call GJEL
At the law offices of GJEL Accident Attorneys, we start working for you as soon as you call us. From investigating the cause of your accident to calculating damages and filing your claim, we do it all. We also negotiate with an insurance adjuster and review all settlement offers to ensure your interests are protected, and can help you to prove the fault of the negligent party and get the compensation award you deserve.
When you are in a crash and need legal counsel to recover compensation, you can trust our law firm. Call us today or write us a message online to learn more now.