Rear End Collision Attorney & Rear End Collision
Rear-end car accidents can do massive amounts of 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 every year 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, which may take years to resolve entirely or last for 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 that you 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 were able to tell them how fast and which direction each car was going at the time of the crash. They were also able to determine whether the cars were speeding up, braking, traveling at a consistent rate, or at 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. The occurrence of life-long whiplash symptoms was much lower when both cars were traveling at the same speed, 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 you are 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 do massive amounts of 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.
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 defendants’ admission to hitting the lead vehicle, but the circumstances did not allow for 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 of the hill 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 for the trailing vehicle to veer out of the way. State trooper testimony stated that the hill was an obstruction to the driver’s line of sight and that skid marks prove that she did indeed step on the brake as soon as she crested the hill and was able to 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 trying to assign 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
There are a few important steps you should take to protect your legal rights if you have been involved in a rear-end collision in St. Louis.
- 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 fault is disputed or you need to prove to your insurance company 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. Reach out to The Hoffman law firm for a free consultation.
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 by default to have been negligent. The rear-end collision doctrine states that drivers are required to be in control of their vehicles at all times 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, there may be very little damage 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 it is critical to seek medical attention immediately and speak with a knowledgeable attorney right away. We have experience negotiating and litigating with insurance companies to get our clients the full recovery they deserve.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
For dedicated legal assistance with your rear-end collision, call (314) 361-4242 or fill out our online contact form. 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!Free Consultation (314) 361-4242