Rear End Accidents: Determing Fault & Filing a Claim

Who’s At Fault & How To Get Compensated

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About 1.7 million auto accidents ranging from T-bone to head-on collisions occur each year which results in different types of personal injury in the United States. A rear end collision happens when the front of one motor vehicle hits the back of another. Rear end crashes account for almost one-third of all accidents. It is important to always have auto insurance and what to do after a rear end car accident.

The success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case, therefore, we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients.

Rear end collisions cause injuries to people and damage property. Severe head, neck, and back injuries are possible. It can also be hard to determine who caused the rear end accident.

For your safety as well as the safety of others on the road, learn what causes rear-end collisions, what to do if you are in a rear-end collision, and what can a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer help you with or your loved ones if you are in a wreck today.

Common Examples Of A Rear End

There are many situations that can lead to a rear end accident. Many of these are not just road condition related. Phone calls and texting cause distracted driving, which is as deadly as drunk driving. Road conditions and weather can be poor which can cause chain reactions among other things. Traffic congestion causes cars to stop or slow down quickly. Ignoring speed limits and other road signs or hazards can also lead to a car accident.

The success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case, therefore, we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients.

Following too closely behind another car, or tailgating does not allow enough time for anyone to stop. A drunk or sleep-deprived driver can’t judge distances as well as he or she should. Braking hard in front of a car, sudden turns, brake failure, and worn out tires. As you can see, there are many things that can cause a motor vehicle collision.

Consequences Of Being In A Collision

Serious property damage can happen in rear-end collisions. A vehicle may be totaled or need costly repairs due to the impact.

Personal injuries sustained in a rear-end crash can also be serious. The most common injury sustained is whiplash. The neck moves back and forth too fast, like the cracking of a whip. This can cause major neck pain. Spinal trauma, head or brain injury, broken bones, and paralysis can also happen.

If you are ever in an accident, the police must be called to the scene. Let a doctor check you for accident injuries. Symptoms of whiplash injury or other personal injury suffered in rear-end collisions can take time to appear. Follow up with a doctor if you have neck pain, stiffness, or loss of range of motion. Headaches, dizziness, tenderness, and numbness in the upper body are all signs of whiplash. Other symptoms include fatigue, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and problems with memory.

Potential Complications

People can recover from whiplash within a few months. However, some people continue to have pain for several months or even for years after a car accident. You never know if the injuries you sustained in an auto accident will turn into chronic pain.

Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after if you are an accident victim. Document or take pictures of all the info you can gather about the accident. Keep all vehicle repair and medical receipts. Such records will help you build a personal injury case if needed.

What Are The Costs Of A Rear End Wreck

There are some costs you should expect if involved in a rear end wreck. These can later be included in a car accident settlement. Save all expense records just in case.

First, there are medical bills to consider. These include hospital stays, doctors’ visits, medications, rehab, and equipment.

Also, there are lost or damaged property and lost wages costs. Finally, you may incur out-of-pocket expenses from things like uncovered insurance claims.

Accidents from the rear happen all the time

Repair Costs

How do you repair cars from rear-end collisions and how much will it cost? It is hard to give a precise figure because it depends on the amount of damage to repair as well as the type of car. Here are some cost ranges for common repairs.

  1. Cracked windows or windshield: $50-$300
  2. Suspension damage: $300-$5,000
  3. Dented bumper: $450-$900
  4. Deep paint scratches: $800-$1,500
  5. Major frame damage: $10,000+

Don’t let medical and repair costs overwhelm you. If the wreck wasn’t completely your fault, consulting with an auto accident attorney is in your best interests. You can reach a settlement with the other driver if you can prove that he or she was at fault.

Who’s At Fault?

Sometimes rear-ending or hitting another car can be prevented and sometimes not. The driver who hit the car in front of him or her is usually the one found at fault. They caused the accident due to their actions or failure to act. They did not pay enough attention, or they were otherwise impaired. This driver didn’t leave enough stopping distance between the two vehicles. They were speeding and couldn’t stop quickly enough when needed. Thus, this driver’s negligence led to the rear end collision.

There are exceptions though. For example, a distracted driver brakes hard when they see there is someone walking in the road in front of their car. This late notice causes the driver following them to rear-end their car. The accident could be the driver of the hit car’s fault. This is also true for reversing. If the hit car backs into another car, then that driver is at fault.

Comparative Negligence

Courts look at negligence when trying to determine fault in a rear end collision. All drivers have a duty to be safe on the road. If a person fails to perform this duty in any way, it is negligence. When determining fault, you must be able to prove that the other driver’s negligence was the cause of the wreck.

Two types of negligence exist, comparative and contributory. Not many states follow contributory negligence, which looks for fault in the driver who was hit. If they are at fault in any way, then no money can be recovered in a lawsuit. On the other hand, comparative negligence allocates fault between drivers. It takes into account each driver’s responsibility. It also looks at the damages based on the negligence of both drivers. Liability is reduced if fault is found on the part of the other driver.

Florida follows a comparative negligence system. This means that a judge or a jury assigns a percentage of fault to each driver. They then allocate the damage award according to this percentage.

How Do I Get Compensated?

Victims of rear end collision have the right to sue for property damage costs and compensation from the insurance companies of the fault drivers. If seriously injured, a driver may lose income and gain medical expenses. There can be much pain and suffering involved. Permanent injuries or death may occur. When these things happen, a case can be brought to court by a personal injury attorney. The court will determine which driver was at fault and award a settlement to the victim. The settlement will be received in a lump sum or in a series of smaller payments.

Here are some average settlement amounts:

  • Whiplash: $10,000-$25,000
  • Injuries requiring further care or surgery: $50,000-$75,000
  • Spinal injuries: $75,000-$100,000
  • Brain injuries: $100,000-$250,000
  • Paralysis or catastrophic brain injury: very high six figures to millions

How Can We Help You?

If you were recently in a car accident and would like to speak with our attorneys we do offer a free case evaluation. Just contact us today for your free 100% consultation with our experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys.

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Client Testimonials

Christine E.
Christine E.
19:36 05 Dec 19
This past Tuesday, I got into a car accident that was frankly, quite scary. The experience left me disoriented, shaken, and overwhelmed with what "next steps" needed to be taken. Thanks to Nicole Pearlman, and the whole Denmon & Pearlman team, I didn't have to worry about those next steps. They quickly took over and set me up with medical appointments, a rental car, car inspection.... leaving me the ability to focus on spending those initial hours processing the accident and later, days spent on healing physically and emotionally. In a world where billions of people reside and yet we still often feel alone, that was never the case during this chaotic week. Never did I once feel alone in this whole process and I am incredibly thankful for their kindness to my nephew and I and their expertise in these matters. Denmon & Pearlman, especially Nicole Pearlman, WILL be there for you during life's most challenging experiences.
Nichole P.
Nichole P.
14:37 18 Apr 19
Ashley Boisvert was so great to work with when it comes to dealing with a not so great situation! I highly recommend Denmon & Pearlman.
John A.
John A.
16:50 20 Mar 19
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Carly M.
Carly M.
13:47 01 May 18
Nicole Denmon handled my criminal defense case and her tenacity at getting the desired result exceeded far beyond what I ever thought to hope for. Even after I had given up, Nicole persisted in negotiating my case until she was able to get the ideal outcome for me. I have never had an attorney fight for me the way that Nicole did, and weeks later I am still amazed at the perseverance and level of dedication shown by Nicole and her supporting staff. Thank you Nicole!
Josh F.
Josh F.
16:12 09 Jun 17
Great group of attorneys. They are very knowledgable and quick. I got responses to my questions immediately and they actually seem to care about their clients. I would highly recommend them.
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