There’s a good chance you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the six million car accidents that happen on the road each year, over 40 percent ( about two and a half million!) are rear-end collisions. Many of these accidents can result in injuries such as whiplash, concussion and neck pain. From a simple bump in the local supermarket parking lot to a highway crash involving multiple vehicles, rear-end accidents happen every day right around us. When they happen, who is at fault? How can you be compensated for an accident when you’ve been hit? Here are the facts you need to know about rear-end collision accidents!
What Causes Rear-End Collisions?
A rear-end collision is a kind of accident where a car or vehicle makes an impact with the back end of the car or vehicle in front of it. They can range from mild fender-bender accidents to full speed, life-altering crashes. There are several main causes for this kind of accident. Some of these are:
Someone texting, talking on their phone, adjusting the radio or driving distracted in any way may totally fail to see the car in front of them come to a stop!
Do you know how much space the law requires you to have between cars on the road? Chances are, most folks behind the wheel do not! The state of South Carolina requires drivers to maintain a three or four-second distance between cars, and longer if driving in inclement conditions. A tailgating driver may not even have time to hit the brakes before driving into you.
3. Heavy traffic.
We’ve all been stuck in bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic jams before! Exasperated drivers short on time and heavy traffic is a primer for a rear-end collision.
Additionally, intoxicated drivers, road rage, driver fatigue, speeding, road conditions, and mechanical failures can all contribute to accidents.
The Driver of the Car That Rear-Ends Will Almost Always Be Held Responsible…
When it comes to rear-end collisions, the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of it will traditionally be held responsible. This is because of the clear-cut idea of negligence behind the wheel; tailgating is always considered an act of negligence! When a person is deemed negligent in their actions, they bear the liability and responsibility for any accident that occurs.
For negligence to be established, three things must happen. First, it must be proven that a “duty of care” exists; behind the wheel, drivers are automatically assumed to have a duty of care towards each other. This means that a driver is expected to exercise care when behind the wheel, and conduct themselves in a way that they are reducing the likelihood of harming others. Second, it must be established that a driver breached their duty of care with their actions. Lastly, that the driver’s actions are directly responsible for the accident!
It is a basic “rule of the road” that drivers maintain a safe stopping distance from one another on the road. If a driver cannot stop in time and, as a result, ends up rear-ending you, they are not driving safely.
But You Can STILL Contribute to Your Accident!
The state of South Carolina follows the rule of comparative negligence. This states that someone may be up to 51 percent responsible for an accident occurring and still receive compensation for damages. While responsibility for rear-end collisions usually rests with the “behind” vehicle, there are some circumstances where the lead car can be held partially liable for the accident as well. For example, if the lead car has faulty brake lights, which would prevent the car behind it from properly being warned of their stopping. Other examples can be, a lead driver suddenly going into reverse for no reason, or if this car begins to make a turn but stops suddenly and fails to execute the turn; the car rounding the corner would have no way to see the stopped lead vehicle. These are examples of negligent driving and ways that a lead vehicle can contribute to their accident!
How Much You Are Responsible Determines Your Compensation
Comparative negligence states that more than one party can be held liable and responsible for the accident. The percentages that each driver involved is held responsible will, ultimately, help to determine the amount of possible compensation awarded for damages.
If one driver bears fault solely on themselves, the injured party will be awarded 100 percent of the possible damages and compensation. At the same time, if the lead driver is deemed partially responsible for the accident based on a negligent action, the compensation will be less and based on the percentage they are held responsible.
If you are involved in a “chain reaction” accident with more than one car being rear-ended, the final car may be held responsible. The more vehicles there are involved in a “pile up” accident, the harder it becomes to determine fault. Which drivers were distracted at the time of impact? How fast was each car going? Multi-vehicle accidents are complex! If you’ve been rear-ended during a multi-car pileup, the experienced team at Green Law Firm will help represent your rights!
Do You Have Whiplash From a Rear-end Accident?
One of the most common symptoms of a rear end collision is whiplash. Things such as a sore neck and headaches after rear end collision can indicate that you might have whiplash. We highly recommend that you visit a medical professional if you feel that you might be suffering in this way.
- Symptoms of whiplash from a rear-end collision are similar to a side impact and can include:
- Neck pain
- Decreased range of motion in neck
If you think you or your child might have whiplash you might have questions such as what you should do or even how much your whiplash is worth. Knowing your rights in the event of a whiplash accident is essential to ensure you get the best settlement possible.
Green Law Firm Will Represent Your Rights After a Rear-End Collision
As with all personal injury claims, the strength of your case depends on the strength of the evidence supporting you! An experienced South Carolina car accident attorney at Green Law Firm will fight to help get you the compensation you deserve. From compiling all medical bills and securing fast-disappearing evidence, like witness testimonials and images from the scene, to intervening with insurance companies on your behalf. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way!
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, contact us today for a 100 risk-free case review. Remember, it costs nothing to retain our services; we are compensated based only on the amount you are awarded. Don’t let uncertainty stop you from getting the compensation you deserve to help bring your life back to normal!