Each year, there are over 1.7 million rear-end accidents. While the public perception of rear-end accidents is that they are minor crashes, many rear-end accidents result in severe injuries or, in some cases, fatalities. Due to California’s highly trafficked roads and highways, rear-end accidents are especially prevalent in the Golden State.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rear-end accident in California, it is imperative to seek legal counsel. An experienced rear-end accident lawyer can help ensure you receive fair compensation and protect you from the deceptive tactics of insurance companies. Here is some important information to know about rear-end accidents in California
How Do Rear-End Accidents Happen?
Most commonly, rear-end accidents happen in heavy traffic. During heavy traffic, drivers tend to have a harder time paying attention. In these situations, a driver’s frustration can cause them to make unsafe driving choices. While there are many reasons for rear-end accidents, some of the most common scenarios that lead to rear-end collisions include:
On the road, it is common for a driver to get too close to the car in front of them or to drive in a way that does not allow enough safe distance. This behavior is referred to as tailgating. Tailgating is one of the most common causes of rear-end accidents, as too short of a distance between cars does not allow for adequate braking time.
Behaviors such as checking your Instagram, responding to a text, and even programming your GPS are categorized as distracted driving. When drivers are distracted, they have less time to respond to changes on the road, which can result in a rear-end accident.
Driving at a high speed during heavy traffic is a common culprit of rear-end accidents. Drivers have a responsibility to adjust their speed to match the conditions on the road. A failure to uphold this responsibility can result in a driver colliding with another car.
Failure to Perform Routine Maintenance
Routine vehicle check ups are essential for safe driving. Vehicle failures—specifically with a car’s brakes and brake lights—can contribute to a rear-end accident.
Fault in Rear-End Collisions in California
Many people falsely assume that the rear driver will be assigned fault in their accident. While it is more common for the rear driver to be at fault, in some cases, the front driver is determined to be in the wrong. Some scenarios in which the front driver or another driver may have caused the accident include:
- A front driver had a maintenance issue or vehicle failure
- A front driver who was driving in an unsafe manner, including tapping their brakes, making dangerous lane changes, or stopping suddenly for no apparent reason
- A rear-end accident involving three vehicles in which the rearmost vehicle collided with the middle vehicle with a high level of force, causing them to crash with the vehicle in front of them
As seen through these examples, determining fault in rear-end collisions is not always as straightforward as one would think. Therefore, to ensure your accident is accurately assessed, it is best to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Potential Injuries from a Rear-End Collision
Most commonly, rear-end collisions involving high speeds result in significant injuries to the drivers involved. Some injuries that a driver many sustain after a rear-end crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
- Facial scars and bruises from an airbag explosion
After being involved in a rear-end accident, it is important to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t have any obvious symptoms or injuries, you should still get an opinion from a medical expert, as many injuries can have a delayed onset. In any accident where injuries are involved, it is always best to work with a car accident lawyer to ensure you are compensated for all incurred injuries and associated costs.
How a Rear-End Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you incurred any injuries or property damage from a rear-end accident, an attorney can ensure that you receive fair compensation. Since most insurance companies don’t have a driver’s best interests at heart, it is best to have a professional who understands the industry advocating for your rights. Some potential damages a lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for include:
- Medical bills and costs
- Present and future lost wages and earning capacity
- Property damage costs
- Emotional pain and suffering
When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, they will look at all the factors surrounding your case and determine the best strategy for dealing with your insurance company.