Have you or a loved one been involved in a motor vehicle accident in which you were rear-ended? Nearly one third of all motor vehicle accidents involve being rear-ended by another vehicle, and these often result in lasting and painful injuries that may not be immediately apparent following the injury.
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of auto accidents. They often occur at intersections while the victims are either coming to or at a complete stop. These types of crashes are often preventable and are usually related to the striking driver’s negligence or carelessness.
Rear-end accidents can cause severe and long-term injuries, as well as a substantial amount of financial and emotional damages. Victims generally will be able to file a claim to collect compensation for their damages. Contacting a personal injury attorney immediately will help you determine the next steps to take, legally and medically, to ensure that you and your rights are protected by the best team of attorneys available.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a rear-end accident, call Ron Meyers and Associates at 360-459-5600 for a free consultation.
Causes and Contributing Factors of Rear-End Accidents
It’s drivers who are intoxicated or distracted that often cause rear-end accidents. Using a cell phone, daydreaming and driving while sleepy are all dangerous behaviors that can lead to rear-ending a stopped vehicle. Tailgating is another possible cause. When drivers follow cars too closely, they don’t provide enough space and time to come to safe stop if traffic slows abruptly.
There are a number of reasons a rear end accident may occur:
- Driver inattention or distraction
- Panic stops
- Reduced traction due to inclement weather
- Reduced traction due to worn pavement
Although there may be a number of factors to consider following a rear-end accident, the driver of the car that rear-ends is almost exclusively considered to be at fault either due to inattention, or failing to leave enough room between the two vehicles. As a driver or passenger that is in a car that is rear-ended, you may file a claim with the other driver’s insurance for all of the damage to your vehicle, as well as for any ongoing medical issues that may arise from your accident.
During a rear-end vehicle collision, your body goes through a rapid and intense acceleration and deceleration. Certain injuries, such as whiplash or neck strain, may not be obvious in the days or weeks following the accident, but may cause ongoing medical issues and pain for years to come. An important step after being involved in a rear-end accident is to make an appointment with a medical professional for a full medical examination.
There are certain situations in which the driver of the car that rear-ends may not be at fault. The driver in front may be at fault if:
- They changed lanes suddenly
- Their vehicle has faulty tail lights
- They made a sudden, unnecessary stop
- Their car was in reverse gear
- They failed to yield the right of way
- They drove too slowly for driving conditions
Additionally, if the road conditions are poor, such as worn pavement reducing traction, there may be a third party or state agency at fault. In this case, you may only have a limited period of time to file a claim. Our personal injury attorneys are experts at determining which party is likely at fault and helping you make the right decisions for your personal case.
Whatever the specific cause of the rear-end collision, if one driver was negligent, then the other driver may have a valid claim for damages. Your financial recovery will depend on the types of damages sustained, such as any injuries and related expenses.
Common Types of Injuries in Rear-end Accidents
A lot of victims struck from behind sustain whiplash injuries. While whiplash is a relatively minor injury in some cases, for some people, it can cause lasting pain and discomfort and may lead to a condition referred to as whiplash associated disorder.
Below are a few other injuries rear-end accident victims might sustain.
- Leg and knee injuries – When the vehicle is struck from behind, it can crush the car, compressing the back of the car towards the front. Passengers’ and the driver’s legs can be crushed against the seat or dash in severe cases.
- Back injuries – the force of being struck from behind can cause back sprains and strains, as well as spine compression and disc herniation.
- Facial injuries – In many rear-end accidents, the airbags may not deploy because the impact is not great enough. But victims’ faces can still strike on the dash, steering wheel, or windshield, causing fractures, lacerations, and eye damage.
- Seatbelt-related injuries – While seatbelts are a vital safety tool, when victims are thrust forward forcefully, the seatbelt will hold them in place but also can cause injury, such as bruising and lacerations. Pregnant women may sustain injury to the fetus as well.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help Pursue a Settlement
If you or your loved one were seriously injured in a rear-end accident, work with an attorney to help you get a fair amount of compensation for your injuries and other damages. Especially in cases when injuries are severe or have caused disability, it’s important to pursue the case to obtain a settlement that covers all your damages, current and future.
You usually do not want to sign the insurer’s first settlement offer because it will likely be far lower than the total amount to which you’re entitled. It’s wiser to have an attorney review your case, determine how much it is worth and then work on your behalf to negotiate or win the settlement you need and deserve.
Olympia Rear-End Accident Lawyers Serving Western Washington
At Ron Meyers & Associates, we are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best representation possible. Our team of experienced legal professionals have spent hundreds of hours fighting for the rights of our clients. We know how traumatizing and exhausting a serious car accident can be, and if you put your case into our capable hands, we will represent you and your rights, so you can focus on your personal recovery and picking up the pieces.
Our team has been representing clients in Washington for more than 30 years, and we have always been dedicated to helping accident victims get the maximum recovery to which they are entitled. Contact Meyers and Associates today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 360-459-5600.