What Causes Rear-End Accidents?

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of car accidents in the United States. A rear-end collision happens when one vehicle hits the back of the vehicle in front. An estimated 1.7 million rear-end collision that occurs in the United States annually. Unfortunately, nearly 500,000 people are injured in rear-end accidents every year, and 1,700 die due to these accidents.

Most Rear-End Accidents are Caused By Driver Negligence

When drivers are sober and paying careful attention to the road. They are not likely to rear-end the vehicle in front. Most rear-end accidents happen because one or more drivers are not paying attention to the vehicle in front of them or other conditions on the road. Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions that cause injuries include the following:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsy and fatigued driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving, including road rage and driving at high speeds
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Failure to safely react to dangerous conditions appropriately

In other cases, the driver makes a mistake while driving. They may hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal, causing a rear-end collision. In other cases, mechanical failure could contribute to a rear-end accident.

Who is Financially Responsible for My Injuries?

All drivers have a legal duty to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of them to prevent sudden stopping. They also have the duty to pay attention to the road ahead of them and slow down or speed up to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. For example, when traffic is congested, vehicles may stop suddenly.

Motorists must have enough space to allow these sudden stops by maintaining a safe driving distance from the vehicle in front. Even if a driver slams down on his or her brakes, that does not automatically excuse the driver in the rear from maintaining a safe driving distance. This general rule applies even when the driver in front stops for no apparent reason. In most cases, the driver in the rear vehicle will be charged with causing a rear-end collision.

Can the Driver in Front Be Held Liable?

As long as you can prove that the other driver-rear ended your vehicle, there is a presumption that they are at fault for the accident and financially liable for your damages. However, there are cases where the driver in front is also negligent. There are some situations in which comparative fault could apply in a rear-end accident case, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The driver in front made an illegal stop
  • The motorist in front was driving erratically or recklessly
  • The driver in front drove in reverse accidentally
  • The driver in front backed out into the other driver

Determining fault in a rear-end accident is not always as straightforward as it may seem. If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, try to take photos of the accident with your phone before they are moved, as long as you can do so safely. Ask eyewitnesses for their contact information and name. Collect all of the evidence you can at the accident scene that may help you prove you were not at fault for the collision.

Types of Damages Available in Rear-End Accidents

Many people assume rear-end collisions are minor “fender benders.” However, rear-end accidents can and do cause severe, life-altering injuries. For example, a neck injury that results in soft-tissue damage may not seem like a severe injury. However, damaged tendons and ligaments in the neck can cause chronic pain, limited motion, and other impairments.

Victims of whiplash of the neck may be unable to return to work for months if not years. Rear-end accidents can also cause broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, chest injuries, and burns. By pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, victims can pursue compensation for the following types of damages:

  • Past and future costs of medical care and treatment
  • Past and future costs of personal care and nursing care
  • Loss of income and benefits, including future reduction in earning capacity and future lost wages
  • Disfigurement, disability, and other impairments
  • Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering caused by physical, mental, and emotional distress
Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Case Evaluation

If you have been injured in a rear-end accident in Charlotte, North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact a Charlotte car accident attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.

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