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Rear-End Accident Lawyer

Rear-End Accident Lawyer

Rear end crashes are among the most frequently occurring type of motor vehicle collision. Although the Texas Department of Transportation does not keep records on rear end collisions, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that they account for roughly one-third of all crashes. Federal data also shows that rear end collisions are almost always the fault of a distracted driver running into the vehicle in front of them.

If you were rear ended by another driver, the odds are that they’re to blame, and you should receive a payout from their insurer. But car accidents that appear open-and-shut can sometimes turn into protracted insurance company battles. The insurer might say, for example, that the collision was too low speed to cause the injuries you’re claiming, or that the accident was your fault because you stopped short.

Even though your car may have sustained little or no property damage, you could still suffer soft tissue and joint injuries. And at higher speeds, rear end collisions can cause brain injuries and other serious harm.

Hit from behind? Insurance company giving you a hard time? It may be time to hit them with The Texas Hammer.

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Rear End Accidents - Causes and Statistics

There are around 2 million rear end collisions annually in the United States. These collisions kill approximately 15,000 – 20,000 people and injure an additional 500,000.

One NHTSA report about rear end crashes says they are the most common type of car crash, accounting for roughly 29% of all crashes. A meta-analysis of rear end collisions and concussions found that rear end crashes account for 40% of all accidents.

Rear end accidents are not only a regular occurrence on our roadways, but they’re also a top cause of injuries, fatalities, and property damage. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that 80% of rear end collision deaths and injuries could be prevented by collision avoidance systems, which are available on many new cars (but not required).

Rear End Accidents and Distracted Driving

A collision avoidance system could do what many drivers these days fail to do: pay attention to what’s going on in front of them. When NHTSA analyzed more than 6,000 rear end crashes, it found that around 87 percent of rear end collisions involved driver distraction.

When a driver’s attention is focused away from the road in front of them, they have slower reaction times. One of the key contributors to rear end distracted driver crashes is what NHTSA calls “long glances” away from the forward roadway, or glances lasting longer than 2 seconds.

Not coincidentally, research from Liberty Mutual shows that taking your eyes off the road for 2 seconds—the amount of time it takes to glance at a smartphone or navigation screen—can have a profound effect on a driver’s ability to see an upcoming hazard. Research from Oregon State University found that taking your eyes off the road for 2 seconds increase the risk of a crash up to 24 times.

At 55 mph, a vehicle travels about 80 feet per second, or 160 feet in two seconds. When texting—which takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds—a driver travels the equivalent of a football field without looking.

Other Causes of Rear End Car Crashes

While most rear end accidents are caused by distracted driving, the following unsafe driving behavior can also raise the chances of a rear end accident:

  • Speeding: The faster a vehicle is moving, the longer it takes to slow down and come to a full stop.
  • Following too close: Increased following distance gives a trailing vehicle more time to recognize a hazard, such as a stopped vehicle, and react. Tailgating, or leaving insufficient space between the lead driver and the rear driver, provides almost no margin for error if the lead car stops suddenly.
  • Drug and alcohol use: Alcohol and other depressant drugs slow a driver’s reaction time.
  • Not driving to conditions: During inclement weather, drivers should drive to the road conditions (e.g., speed should be decreased and following distance should be increased).
  • Mechanical failure: Faulty brakes could increase stopping distance and result in a rear end accident, but unless the malfunction was caused by a manufacturer defect or botched repair job, it is typically the responsibility of owners to keep their vehicles in good working order.
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Rear End Collisions Injuries

Many factors can affect the severity of rear end collision injuries, including:

  • Size and speed of the vehicles
  • Location and direction of the impact
  • Height and weight of the vehicle occupants
  • Seat stiffness, seat back angle and height, and headrest position
  • Whether someone anticipates getting struck and tenses up prior to the collision

What Happens to the Body in a Rear End Car Accident

The physics of a car accident can be complicated, involving measurements of force, velocity, and acceleration. But to simplify, it comes down to the fact that, when somebody is rear ended, the body jerks forward suddenly and then snaps back just as quickly. This forward-and-back ricochet action can cause soft tissue to slam up against more rigid structures like bone. Soft tissue and bones can also absorb the impact of a rear end collision and be injured.

Common injuries suffered in rear end collisions include:

  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Herniated discs, fractures vertebrae, and other back injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Arm and wrist injuries
  • Pinched nerves
  • Muscle strains
  • Broken bones

Why an Accident Victim Should Always Get Checked Out

Not all injuries from a rear end collision are immediately apparent. Whiplash and concussion symptoms can be delayed for a day or more, or they may come and go.

In addition, rear end impacts at relatively slow speeds—even those that leave no skid marks and barely cause a dent or scratch to the car—can cause soft tissue, joint, and brain injuries (i.e., concussions). Similarly, a rear end crash can cause hidden vehicle damage that isn’t noticed right away.

Recovering car accident damages is all about establishing a paper trail. It’s not enough to claim that you suffered injuries and property damage. You must prove your losses to the insurance company by showing them documentation.

To be on the safe side, always get yourself checked out by a doctor and your car inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible, and never ignore their recommendations. Insurers are always looking for an excuse to cast doubt on legitimate claims. Don’t give it to them. And if they give you a hard time, hang up and call The Texas Hammer.

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Can I Be at Fault in a Rear End Car Accident?

A rear end collision is almost never the fault of the lead driver. Although it is possible, unless you were doing something reckless or unsafe—like backing up without paying attention, reversing into another car, driving drunk, operating with broken brake lights, not using turn signals, or failing to move your broken-down vehicle fully to the roadside—it is a near certainty that getting rear ended is the fault of the rear vehicle, not the lead vehicle.

Of course, that may not stop the trailing driver and their insurance company from trying to blame you. Texas comparative negligence laws makes it possible for drivers to share blame, and if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you might be denied compensation.

At the same time, maybe you rear ended somebody and have a compelling case that they contributed to the crash. The other driver might have jammed on the brakes for no apparent reason, cut you off in heavy traffic, not had working brake lights, or been stopped without hazard lights.

At-Fault Parties Besides the Lead Driver and Rear Driver

Other vehicles besides the two vehicles directly involved in the crash could come into play as well. Maybe a third vehicle was engaged in aggressive driving and is ultimately the at fault party. A driver might have run a stop sign or red light, for instance, setting off a chain reaction that caused the front driver to stop suddenly and get rear ended by the trailing driver. The challenge in this case could be tracking down the negligent driver who did not obey traffic laws.

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Legal Issues in Rear End Accidents

If you were rear ended, an insurance adjuster might try to blame you for the accident, especially if there was a third driver involved who you aren’t able to identify. The insurer may also lowball your claim or deny it altogether, citing the low speed of the rear end collision. Either way, you might have to fight to get the compensation you need for medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost wages.

When a high speed rear end collision occurs, the powerful forces can cause very serious injuries that require weeks, months, or years to recover from. In that case, you may be fighting with the insurance company not over hundreds or thousands of dollars, but tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars.

An experienced car accident attorney from Jim Adler & Associates can review your claim, free of charge, and answer your questions about who can be held liable, proving fault, financial recovery, and the claims process.

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What to Do After a Rear End Collision

Hit from behind? Here’s what to do if you are involved in a rear end crash:

  • Call the police or 911 and report the car accident
  • Move your vehicle off the roadway (if possible)
  • Exchange info with other driver (name, address, registration, insurance, and license)
  • Render aid if somebody is hurt
  • If you’re hurt, get checked out (remember, you might feel fine initially but actually are not)
  • Get the name and contact information of any witnesses
  • Notify your insurance company within a reasonable timeframe (usually 72 hours)
  • Obtain a copy of the crash report

Keep the number for The Texas Hammer in your phone and call it: (800) 505-1414

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Rear End Accident Lawyers Serving Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio

Not every accident requires hiring a lawyer. But if you have any questions about the claims process after a rear end accident, you have nothing to lose by calling Jim Adler & Associates. You can call us from the scene of the accident, the hospital, or any place—and any time—you need legal advice. Our consultations are 100% free, and as a client, you pay no fees unless and until we win.

Over 50+ years of serving injured Texans, we’ve helped thousands of people recover more than $1 billion. We’re a family law firm that treats clients like extended members. When insurance companies treat victims badly, we take it personally. There are many law firms in Texas, but there’s only one Texas Hammer. For your free consultation, call or contact us today.

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