Rear-ends may happen more often than you think. In 2012, rear-end collisions comprised 29% of all police-reported crashes in the United States. With that said, rear-end collisions are not something to overlook, especially when it happens to you.
When you are in a rear-end collision situation, you need to do certain things before you call your rear-end accident lawyer. This article will discuss everything you need to know about rear-end collisions and what to do when encountering one.
What is a rear-end collision?
A rear-end collision (often called simply a “rear-ender”) is a type of car accident that occurs when one vehicle collides with the back end of another vehicle.
Rear-end collisions often occur when the driver in front suddenly stops or slows down, and the driver behind fails to react quickly enough to avoid a collision. Rear-end collisions can also be caused by other factors, such as bad weather, tailgating, and distracted driving.
Why Do I Keep Getting Rear-Ended?
If you notice that you keep getting rear-ended, getting your car checked out might be a good idea. There might be something wrong with your brakes or taillights. There are some reasons why you can get rear-ended, such as:
You're not focused on driving.
Most rear-end collision cases root in some form of driver inattention. If you're not paying attention to the road, then you won't be able to react in time if the car in front of you stops short.
You're following too closely.
Tailgating, or following too closely, is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. If you're tailgating, you're not giving yourself enough time to brake if the car in front of you needs to stop suddenly.
You're drowsy driving.
Another common reason for rear-end collisions is drowsy driving. If you're behind the wheel when you're tired, you're more likely to get into an accident.
You're driving aggressively that leads into road rage.
Sometimes, drivers get so angry that they start driving aggressively. This can lead to road rage, increasing the risk of an accident. There may be several reasons drivers become aggressive, but staying calm and focused on the road is always important.
You're driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Lastly, one of the most common reasons drivers get into rear-end collisions is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you've been drinking, it's essential to hand over the keys to someone else so you don't put yourself and others at risk.
What Does Comparative Negligence in Texas Mean?
In the state of Texas, there's a law called "comparative negligence." This law says that if you're involved in an accident, and it's determined that you're partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
For example, let's say you were rear-ended and the other driver was found 80% at fault while you were 20% at fault. If you were awarded $10,000 in damages under comparative negligence, your award would be reduced by 20%, so you would only receive $8,000.
It's important to note that each case is different, and the amount of fault attributed to each party can vary. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine the percentage of fault you may attribute in your case.
Common Injuries From Rear End Accidents
When you encounter rear-end collisions and accidents, you might acquire common injuries such as:
These can range from minor concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries. If you hit your head in a rear-end accident, you must seek medical attention immediately, even if you don't think you're seriously injured.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are common in rear-end accidents. These include injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury that's often seen in rear-end accidents.
Rear-end accidents can also cause fractures or broken bones. These can range from simple fractures that heal independently to more serious, compound fractures that require surgery.
Back & Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries are also common in rear-end accidents. These can range from mild sprains and strains to more serious herniated discs. Back and neck injuries can sometimes lead to chronic pain that lasts for months or even years.
What To Do After Getting Rear-ended
Here are some things you need to do after a rear-end accident:
Check for injuries.
The first thing you need to do is check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 right away.
Move to a safe location.
If you can move, and there are no injuries, move your car to a safe location off the road. This will help prevent any further accidents from happening.
Notify the police and file a report.
After you've moved to a safe location, call the police and file a report. This will document the accident and can be used if you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Take photos of the scene of any damage to your car.
If you have a camera or smartphone, take photos of the damage to your car and the other driver's car. These photos can be used as evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Exchange information with all involved drivers and witnesses.
Get the contact information of all the drivers and witnesses involved in the accident. This can be used to get eyewitness accounts of what happened if there's ever a dispute about who was at fault for the accident.
See a doctor to treat any injuries.
You must see a doctor as soon as possible if you're injured. Even if your injuries seem minor, they could be more severe than they appear.
Call your insurance agent.
After seeing a doctor and exchanging information with the other driver, you need to call your insurance agent. Your agent will help you navigate the claims process and get the compensation you deserve.
Is it always the fault of the car from behind?
No, it is not always the fault of the car from behind, but more often than not, drivers of the car in the back are considered at fault. Moreover, if one of the cars is not functioning correctly, the driver may be at fault.
For example, if a car has brake lights that are not working and the driver does not know it, he or she may rear-end another car. The driver of the car with the non-functioning brake light would likely be considered at fault because he or she should have been aware of the problem with the car.
How long does an insurance company have to settle a rear-end accident claim in Houston?
The amount of time an insurance company has to settle a rear-end accident claim will vary depending on the state where the accident occurred. In Texas, for example, an insurance company has up to 15 days to accept or deny a claim.
Do I Need a Rear End Car Accident Lawyer in Houston?
You may need a lawyer if you've been in a rear-end car accident and have suffered severe injuries. A rear-end accident lawyer can help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
A lawyer can also help prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Contact a Houston rear-end accident attorney today, like Attorney SGT Pike, to discuss your case if you've been in a rear-end car accident.
Hire An Experienced Rear End Accident Attorney in Houston, TX
When you get into any car accident, such as rear-end collisions, you must have the right kind of lawyer on your side. The other driver's insurance company will do everything they can to ensure you don't get the settlement you deserve.
We at Attorney SGT Pike have experience dealing with rear-end accidents. If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, we can help you. We will work diligently to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.