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California Rear End Car Accident Lawyers
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.
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.