If you have been hurt in a car crash, there is a high chance it was a rear-end accident and that you suffered a potentially serious injury. It is also likely that you are due compensation from the driver of the car that hit you.
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the incidence of rear-end collisions at 23.4 percent to 27.9 percent of all car accidents. The latter study also said rear-end collisions are responsible for 30 percent of all car accident injuries and 29.7 percent of property damage that occurs in car accidents.
When a car is struck from behind, the occupant initially is pushed backward. If a vehicle’s head rests are improperly positioned, the occupant’s neck will hyperextend backward, causing whiplash injury or a fracture of the cervical spine. Whiplash, a sprain of neck muscles, tendons and/or ligaments, causes pain that can be chronic. Whiplash is the most frequently reported injury in U.S. insurance claims and accounts for about 25 percent of auto insurance payouts for crash injuries, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The abrupt wrenching of the cervical spine may also cause other spinal injuries. The impact of a car crash may cause broken bones, head / traumatic brain injury (TBI), serious cuts, burns, or any number of other injuries.
Why Rear-End Collisions Are Common
A rear-end collision typically occurs because a driver is following too closely, going too fast, not paying attention or is distracted. In some cases, the driver in front stops abruptly, but it is still generally the following driver’s responsibility to avoid a rear-end collision.
In some instances, the lead driver involved in a rear-end collision is at fault. A driver whose brake lights do not work, for instance, would likely be considered negligent for driving a malfunctioning vehicle. In cases of a sudden stop that leads to a rear-end collision, the location of the stop may have been improper – such as a non-emergency stop in an active traffic lane.
The driver in the rear car involved in a rear-end collision can be significantly injured, too. The impact of a sudden stop and being slammed into the steering wheel and/or windshield can cause chest injuries, internal organ damage and other impact injuries.
Passengers in either car may be injured, as well.
Rear-End Collision Injury Lawsuits
When you are seriously injured in a rear-end crash, most likely you may have medical bills you cannot (or do not want to) pay, lost pay, plus unjust pain and suffering. If it was your car, you face the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle. If the accident was not your fault, all of the costs and losses are compensable, meaning you may be able to recover money for them.
Auto liability insurance pays for the losses of someone who the policyholder injured physically and/or financially. But the two hurdles to receiving an insurance payment are proving responsibility (liability) and compelling the insurance company to make a proper payment. Overcoming those hurdles is the primary work of a car accident lawyer.
The attorneys at The Millar Law Firm investigate rear-end accidents on behalf of injured drivers and passengers in Georgia with the objective of obtaining a fair and proper insurance settlement. As we noted above, in most rear-end accidents, it is the driver in the rear who is at fault – but not always.
If you have been injured in a rear-end accident, we can review it with you and explain your options for filing a claim in a free legal consultation. Don’t assume you have no chance to recover compensation after a car crash, and do not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without a professional review of your losses. Don’t go it alone. Contact us today.