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St. Louis Rear-End Collision Attorney

Rear-End car accidents can cause massive damage to both your vehicle and the passengers inside.

Rear-end collisions are among the most common motor vehicle accidents and often cause serious injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board estimates that more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions happen annually in the United States. The effect of a rear-end collision while standing still can be much more severe on the muscles and bones than any other type of car accident.


Injuries Resulting From a Rear-End Collision

The occupants of a rear-ended car often experience whiplash, causing the neck and the head to snap forward and backward at high speed. This whiplashing can cause damage to the spine and the disc of the vertebral column in the neck area. The injury can be extremely painful and may take years to resolve or last a lifetime. After a rear-end collision, the most important thing to do is to visit a hospital for a complete check-up. It may happen that you do not feel any pain immediately after the injury and may feel that you are alright; however, most of the symptoms of a ruptured disc are felt after some time. Immediate medical help should be sought to avoid any permanent damage.

How the Swedish Study Was Conducted

Using motion sensors that are now standard equipment on most cars, Swedish researchers focused their attention on rear-end collisions and the extent of damage they caused. The motion sensors told them how fast and in which direction each car was going during the crash. They could also determine whether the cars were speeding up, braking, traveling at a consistent rate, or a complete stop at the time of impact.

What the Research Found

After examining the data and comparing it to the car accident victim’s medical reports, the researchers discovered a direct correlation between speed and the severity of a whiplash injury. More importantly, it showed that if the car driver in the back was pressing on the gas at impact, the risk of a permanent neck injury dramatically increased. Life-long whiplash symptoms were much lower when both cars traveled simultaneously, regardless of how fast that was.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents. The tendons and ligaments that support the neck are strained far past their standard capacity due to the trauma of a sudden and intense movement to the head. When hit by another car from behind, your body typically reacts by thrusting the head forward and then back violently. It is that violent movement that causes the strain.

For many people, the painful symptoms of whiplash will clear up in a few weeks with some moderate therapy, yet the pain may never dissipate for others. It might even spread to the shoulders or cause debilitating headaches. This range of symptoms has perplexed doctors, who often have a difficult time making a prognosis for whiplash as a result.

Rear-End Car Accident Lawyer

Rear-end car accidents can cause massive damage to both your vehicle and the passengers inside. At our law firm, we are quick to thoroughly investigate the scene of your accident to properly uncover all of the critical evidence you will need to build a solid case against all negligent parties. We will work with you to recover the maximum compensation so you can pay your medical bills, property damage, and other losses you have incurred.

Injured in a Rear-End Car Accident in St. Louis?

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Who Is at Fault?

This past August, in the western district of the Missouri Court of Appeals, a verdict was upheld that favored the trailing vehicle in a rear-end collision case. The ruling was based on the defendant’s admission to hitting the lead vehicle, but the circumstances did not allow any other course of action. As the driver topped the hill, she could not see that the car in front of her stopped, nor was there any way for her to know that there would be stopped vehicles at the bottom since there were no stop signs or signals on the two-lane road. The plaintiff’s attorney quickly disproved all possible means of avoiding the accident. An oncoming car and no shoulder did not allow the trailing vehicle to veer out of the way. State trooper testimony stated that the hill obstructed the driver’s line of sight and that skid marks prove that she stepped on the brake as soon as she crested the hill and could see the cars stopped in front of her.

There is a rule while driving that is referred to as the ACDA rule, or assured clear distance ahead. Careful drivers know to give themselves ample space from the car in front of them and follow the 3-second rule. There should always be at least 3 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead, or more if poor road conditions exist, such as ice. This should ensure plenty of time to stop if the car in front of you were to brake suddenly.

However, there are instances where the lead car could be found at fault. For example, they may weave suddenly into your lane on a highway or enter a road directly in front of you without first checking to ensure ample space. In cases such as this, the driver of the trailing car should seek the advice of a Missouri car accident attorney. They would better help you determine who is truly at fault.

Other factors to consider when assigning blame in these cases are obscured vision caused by darkness or fog, being tired or ill while driving, or taking certain medications. Brake pads that have not been changed recently, driving a car that you are unfamiliar with, speeding, or being distracted are also common factors in rear-end collisions. All of these possibilities will be explored in a rear-end collision case. That is why it is essential to let your Missouri car accident attorney know of any mitigating factors when you present your

What To Do if You’ve Been Rear-Ended

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in St. Louis, you should take a few important steps to protect your legal rights.

  • Seek Medical Care Immediately: Because rear-end car accidents involve a car slamming into each other at full force, injuries are common. Whiplash injuries to the spine, neck, and back often happen after a rear-end car accident injury. However, some injuries may not be apparent at the time. Regardless, it’s a good idea to seek medical care immediately.
  • Document the Scene and Take Pictures: After the crash, you’ll want to exchange insurance information with the other driver and take pictures of the scene. Do not admit fault at the scene. Notify your insurance company and the police. If a police offer comes, he may ask you to make a statement about what happened at the scene. If there were witnesses, he might ask them as well. A police report can be valuable later for your attorney if the fault is disputed or you must prove to your insurance company that you weren’t at fault.
  • Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer: If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact The Hoffman law firm for a free consultation. 

Comparative Fault

Some states are what’s called “no-fault” states regarding car accidents. If one driver is found to be at fault in a no-fault state, they are 100% responsible for the accident and must pay all damages. Missouri is a comparative fault state. 

Comparative fault makes things a little less black and white by assigning a percentage of blame for the crash. A judge might find you and the other driver were both 50% responsible for a crash, and thus, you would each be entitled to only 50% of the damages you would normally collect. This accounts for the possibility that multiple people could cause an accident.

The Rear-End Collision Doctrine

In Missouri, there is a “rear-end collision doctrine.” The driver that rear-ends the other driver is generally assumed to have been negligent by default. The rear-end collision doctrine states that drivers must always control their vehicles and use the highest degree of care possible while driving. Rear-ending another driver is assumed to violate this doctrine. However, it isn’t necessarily a guarantee the rear-ending driver will be found at fault.

Fighting the Insurance Companies for You

After a rear-end car crash, very little damage may be done to your car. Insurance companies take this as a sign that no one was seriously hurt. This is far from the truth of what happens. Rear-end car accident injuries can take a long time to develop fully. That is why seeking medical attention and speaking with a knowledgeable attorney is critical. We have experience negotiating and litigating with insurance companies to get our clients the full recovery they deserve.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Call (314) 361-4242 or fill out our online contact form for dedicated legal assistance with your rear-end collision. We offer free consultations in all personal injury cases, and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do immediately after a rear-end collision in St. Louis?

Ensure your safety and the safety of others, then call 911 to report the accident. It’s crucial to seek medical attention, even if you feel fine, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Document the scene by taking photos and gathering contact information from witnesses. Then, consider consulting a St. Louis rear-end accident attorney to protect your rights.

How do I know if I have a case after a rear-end accident?

You likely have a case if you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision due to another driver’s negligence. Negligence may involve tailgating, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws. An experienced rear-end accident attorney can assess your situation to determine if you have a valid claim.

Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault for the rear-end accident?

Yes, Missouri follows a pure comparative fault rule, which means you can still recover damages even if you’re partly responsible for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. We can help you navigate these complexities to ensure a fair outcome.

What types of damages can I recover in a rear-end collision lawsuit?

You may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Our firm works diligently to maximize our client’s compensation.

How long must I file a claim after a rear-end accident in St. Louis?

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically five years from the accident date. However, it’s important to act promptly, as delaying could hinder your ability to collect evidence and build a strong case.

Why should I choose The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., for my rear-end accident case?

Christopher Hoffmann has over 25 years of experience exclusively handling car accident claims in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. Our firm is dedicated to providing personalized, aggressive representation to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case.

How can I schedule a consultation with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.?

You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling our office at (314) 361-4242 or filling out the contact form on our website. During the consultation, we’ll review your case, answer your questions, and discuss how we can assist you in achieving justice and compensation for your losses.