If you were struck in a rear-end crash, it likely happened while you were stopped at a light or an intersection– completely unaware of the approaching danger. In an instant, this type of accident can change the course of your day or even the months and years to come.
A rear-end collision often occurs when the lead vehicle is stopped or traveling slowly but that does not mean that the damage is trivial. The physics of this type of collision often causes jarring that can lead to acute, long-lasting injuries.
Showard Law Firm understands the challenges that rear-enders can present when it comes to recovering physically and obtaining full compensation. We stand alongside residents of Tucson, Sierra Vista, and surrounding Southern Arizona, providing high-quality representation when you need it most.
Rear end collisions are common
If you have had the unfortunate experience of getting rear ended while stopped, you are not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear end crashes are the most common type of automobile collisions in the country. They account for nearly 30% of all crash incidents on the roads.
According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 2.4 million rear-end crashes in 2016. Of those, nearly 700,000 led to injuries while more than 2,000 ended in death. In other words, rear end collisions are very common, they can cause serious injuries.
Liability for rear end crashes
A stunning 80% of rear impact crashes are caused by distracted driving. It may only take a few seconds to answer a cell phone, apply makeup, or program the pre-sets on the radio but that is enough time to cause an accident. When these types of actions lead to a crash, the driver of the rear vehicle may be cited for failing to maintain enough distance from the lead vehicle.
Since it is often the carelessness of the following vehicle that causes the crash, the rear driver is the most likely to be held liable. However, this is not always the case. If it is shown that the vehicle that was struck had improperly changed lanes, made an illegal turn, was driving too slowly, or in some other way caused the accident, it may be the lead driver who takes the blame.
Understanding fault is important. Your car accident lawyer will assess the facts of the case to determine who the probable at-fault parties are. Proving their legal responsibility will be a key component of your case.
Rear end collision injuries
In this type of accident, the lead vehicle that is struck can experience a severe jolt– while the striking vehicle comes to a dangerously abrupt stop. The energy transfer often causes distinctive injuries, even when the rear-end collision damage to the vehicles is minimal. Common injuries include:
- Whiplash – This neck injury occurs when the body undergoes a rapid, whip-like back-and-forth motion. The jerking motion can cause stretching and tearing in the tissues in the neck. Symptoms include neck pain, back pain, headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle spasm, decreased range of motion, memory issues, and jaw pain. Many cases of whiplash resolve quickly. However, it may also be a chronic problem; as many as 50% of people who experience whiplash are still feeling persistent pain a year later.
- Spine injuries – Even when a rear end car crash occurs at low speed, damage can occur. Minor injuries to the nerves may lead to temporary paralysis. More serious spinal cord damage can result in permanent impairment including total paralysis. Since the spinal cord transmits brain signals throughout the body, a spine injury can cause other impairments as well.
- Brain injury – The sudden motion can cause the head to strike a part of the car or simply cause the brain to strike the skull. A concussion occurs when the brain suffers bruising; even though they are common, they are a type of traumatic brain injury and may be more serious than they first appear. A higher impact strike can cause permanent brain injury. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a rear end auto accident because treating a head injury early can improve healing and prevent serious complications.
In addition, a rear-ender can result in the types of injuries that are common in other car accidents. Broken bones, sprains, bruises, and lacerations can all add to pain and discomfort after a crash.
Speak with a Tucson car accident lawyer
Call Showard Law Firm after a rear-end collision to schedule a free consultation with a Tucson personal injury lawyer. We will review your case and inform you of your legal options. We never charge a fee up front so there is no risk to you.
Additional rear-end collision resources:
- S. Department of Transportation – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Driver Attributes and Rear-End Crash Involvement Propensity, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809-540.PDF
- AAA Foundation, Crash Risk of Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Data, https://aaafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/18-0105_AAAFTS-AAAFTS-Cell-Phone-Crash-Risk-Fact-Sheet_FNL.pdf